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William O. Darby Papers

Identifier: M1995

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a copy of a file on Darby from the Governmental offices in Torbole, Italy; copies of biographies about Darby: "The Last Days of Col. William O. Darby: An Eye-Witness Account by Kenneth Templeton" (1998) and "William Orlando Darby - A Man to Remember" complied by Darby Junior High School, Fort Smith, Ark. (1986); newspaper clippings (1963-1970).


  • 1963-1991


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

William O. Darby was born at Fort Smith, Ark. in 1911. He graduated from West Point in 1933. At the outbreak of WWII, Darby was stationed in Ireland, where he had became interested in British commando units. He was instrumental in the formation of "Ranger" units in the U.S. Army. On April 23, 1945, Brigadier General Robinson E. Duff, Assistant Division Commander of the 10th Infantry Mountain Division, was wounded and Colonel Darby volunteered to take charge of the unit. "Task Force Darby" spearheaded the breakout of the Fifth Army from the Po River Valley bridgehead and reached Tabole at the head of Lake Garda. On April 30, 1945 while issuing orders for the attack on Trento to cut off a German retreat, an 88mm shell burst in the middle of the assembled officers and NCOs, killing Darby and wounding several others. Darby earned the Distinguished Service Cross and had attained the rank of Brigadier General at the time of his death.


1 envelope(s)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source unknown.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.

Linking Entry Complexity Note

Forms part of: 10th Mountain Division Resource Center Collection.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States