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.