Charles Darr was born on February 25, 1944, in Alton, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve on October 4, 1968, and went on active duty beginning January 13, 1969. After completing basic training and Tech School, AMN Darr served as an Inventory Management Specialist with the 3510th Supply Squadron at Randolph AFB, Texas, from July 1969 to February 1970, when he was accepted for Officer Training School. He was commissioned a 2d Lt at Lackland AFB, Texas, on May 18, 1970, and then completed Undergraduate Navigator Training in March 1971. Lt Darr then completed Navigator Bombardier Training and B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training before being assigned to the 340th Bomb Squadron at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas, in March 1972. He deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, in August 1972, and was killed in action during Operation Linebacker II on December 21, 1972. He was officially listed as missing in action and was promoted through the ranks to Major until he was declared dead on September 15, 1981. His remains were returned to the U.S. on December 15, 1988.
His Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Citation reads:
First Lieutenant Charles E. Darr distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as a B-52 Navigator near Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 20 December 1972. On that date, while engaged in one of the largest conventional bombing raids ever amassed in the recent history of aerial warfare, Lieutenant Darr received significant battle damage to his aircraft as the result of extremely heavy hostile fire. Lieutenant Darr and his crew were targeted against massed supplies, communications equipment, and transportation lines in order to eliminate the aggressorâ€™s capacity to initiate an offensive, and, despite receiving heavy battle damage and incurring grave personal danger, Lieutenant Darr and his crew were able to destroy this target even though the loss of their aircraft was imminent. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Darr reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.