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1LT William Glover Farrow

1LT William Glover Farrow

Darlington, Darlington County, South Carolina, USA
Death 15 Oct 1942 (aged 24)
Shanghai Municipality, China
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 12 Grave 157
Memorial ID 9529372 · View Source
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First Lieutenant, US Army Air Corps B-25 Pilot and Doolittle Raider, he was captured by the Japanese and executed for “war crimes” after a staged mock trial.

Born September 24, 1918, in Darlington, SC, he joined the Army Air Corps in 1940 as war loomed for the US. On April 18, 1942, after months of bad news on the war in the Pacific, the US public was stunned to learn that 16 American B-25 bombers, led by Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, had successfully bombed Tokyo and a number of other Japanese cities. The B-25s had taken off from the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet, and flown over Japan to bomb strategic targets. Following the bombing made famous by the 1944 book and film, “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo” the raiders flew on to China rather than return to the USS Hornet. Short of fuel, most of the planes crashed far short of the friendly Chinese airfields they were to find, ending up inside Japanese lines, and 8 crewmen (2 men had died when their planes crashed) were captured by the Japanese. Initially the Japanese jailed the flyers, torturing them for information. Confined and poorly fed, the men contracted dysentery and beriberi. After interrogation, the men were sent to Tokyo, Japan for further interrogation, then returned to Shanghai, China where they were again imprisoned. On October 14, 1942, Japanese officers gave the crews a mock trial, and although never told of the charges against them, they were quickly found guilty and sentenced to death. 2nd Lt. Dean E. Hallmark, 1st Lt. William G. Farrow, and Sgt. Harold A. Spatz were selected for execution, while the Japanese gave “mercy” to the others by commuting their sentences to life in prison. The three men were executed in Shanghai’s Public Cemetery No. 1, in accordance with Japanese military tradition: they were forced to their knees, blindfolded with their arms tied behind them, then shot simultaneously by three soldiers armed with rifles in the center of their foreheads. Following their execution, the bodies were cremated and the ashes buried in the cemetery. Four crewmen survived the war (2nd Lt Robert G. Meder died in captivity in December 1943) and returned to the US; in February 1946, four Japanese officers were tried for their mistreatment of the Doolittle aircrews and sentenced to five years imprisonment. After the war, Lt. Farrow’s ashes were recovered and buried in Arlington National Cemetery. (Bio by Kit and Morgan Benson)

Family Members


  • Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
  • Added: 28 Sep 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9529372
  • Art Stafford
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT William Glover Farrow (24 Sep 1918–15 Oct 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9529372, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Kit and Morgan Benson (contributor 46483611) .