Hartwell Scarborough was born on July 29, 1915, in Burlington, North Carolina. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State College in 1937, and entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Navy on September 18, 1941. Scarborough was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Marine Corps and was designated a Naval Aviator on September 22, 1942, and then joined VMF-214 in December 1942, deploying to Guadalcanal in March 1943. Between April and August 1943, he was credited with the destruction of 5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, 1 while flying an F4F-4 Wildcat, and the rest while flying the F4U-1 Corsair. Scarborough transferred to VMF-212 in August 1943, and returned to the U.S. in November 1943. Capt Scarborough served at Cherry Point, North Carolina, during the month of March 1944, and then served with VMF-522 at Congaree, South Carolina, from April 1944 to April 1945. He then returned to combat in the Pacific with VMF-441 from June to December 1945, followed by service at NATB Pensacola and NAS Vero Beach, Florida, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and NAS Norfolk, Virginia, from February to December 1946. Capt Scarborough served as Operations Officer and Engineering Officer with VMF-222 at MCAS Cherry Point from January 1947 to March 1948, and then on the staff of MCAS Cherry Point from March 1948 to August 1949. He next served with VMR-252 at Cherry Point from August 1949 to August 1950, followed by service with VMR-152 at MCAS El Toro, California, from October 1950 to October 1951, and then deployed to Korea from November 1951 to January 1952. His next assignment was to Sandia Base, New Mexico, from March to June 1954, and then to MCAF Santa Ana, California, where he served with H&MS-36 and then HMR-362 from July 1954 to July 1956. He attended the Senior Course at MCS Quantico, Virginia, from August 1956 to June 1957, and then served on the staff of the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, from July 1957 to December 1959. Col Scarborough served with the 1st Marine Air Wing in Fleet Marine Force Pacific from February 1960 to May 1961, and then attended the Naval Warfare Course at USNB Newport, Rhode Island, from June 1961 to June 1962. He served on the staff at MCAS Cherry Point from July 1962 to May 1965, and then served with Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps at Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, from May 1965 until his retirement from the Marine Corps on September 1, 1968. Hartwell Scarborough died on November 12, 1995.
His 1st (of 7) Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For heroism and extraordinary achievement as Flight Officer and Division Leader in Marine Fighting Squadron TWO FOURTEEN during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area from March 14 to May 15 and from July 22 to September 1, 1943. Although his guns jammed during an interception mission over Guadalcanal, First Lieutenant Scarborough, with grim determination in the face of tremendous odds, continued his passes at enemy bombers and fighters until he finally restored one weapon to action and shot down a Zero. Refusing to drop out of the fight despite his dangerously limited firepower, he gallantly pressed home his attacks until his own plane was so badly damaged that he was forced into a dead-stick landing with a severed rudder control cable. On two subsequent occasions he shot down four planes, one during an escort mission to the Shortland Islands, and three while acting as fighter cover for a B-24 bombing strike against Kahili. His superb airmanship and aggressive fighting spirit were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.