Keep Oral Histories coming through your tax-deductible donation now.

Darden, Colgate W., Jr. (1897-1981)

Marine Corps Aviator, Member of Congress

Based on two interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., in September 1969 and October 1969. The volume contains 79 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1984 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use.


Darden's life was one of public service, including being a U.S. Congressman, Governor of Virginia, president of the University of Virginia, and delegate to the United Nations. This short volume concentrates on two facets of his career--as an aviator and a congressman. As a Marine Corps aviator in World War I, he went through boredom in France waiting for planes to become available, then was seriously injured in an aircraft accident which killed Marine Medal of Honor recipient Ralph Talbot. In the second interview in the oral history, Darden discusses his service on the House Naval Affairs Committee in the 1930s and 1940s and recalls some of the issues of importance at the time: dealing with the Japanese, fortifying Guam, and preparing the Navy for war. He provides insights on personalities such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Representative Carl Vinson, and Admiral Chester Nimitz.


Conferences and Events

2016 Naval History Conference

Thu, 2016-09-08 - Fri, 2016-09-09

Join us for the 2016 Naval History Conference on 8 and 9 September at Alumni Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy. The Athena...

WEST 2017

San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

View All

From the Press

Author Talk & Book Signing

Sun, 2016-08-28

Guest Speaker

Fri, 2016-09-09

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 135 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership