Update: January 17th, 2015
Thought I'd pass along another "attaboy" for our Modoc, Susanville, Sacramento & Northern Nevada members who attended the Darnell mission in McArthur, Ca. in November.
Today Terry & I attended the 90th birthday celebration in Bieber for Leona, widow of Royal Darnell. As you know, that family & mine were close friends for many years. Today Leona and all 4 of her kids came to Terry & I and thanked us over & over for the very meaningful PGR presence at Royal's service. One of the daughters said that seeing all of us and all those flags Cowboy Bob brought up filled their family with pride and really helped to make their loss a lot easier to deal with. So again...on behalf of the Darnell family and myself also, I'm extending deep thanks to all who attended.
Skip "Boonierider" Kelly
RC Modoc Patriot Guard Riders
Friday November 14, 2014
Royal N. Darnell, US Navy WWII Pearl Harbor - McArthur, CA
On a cold & windy day, eleven (11) Patriot Guard members journeyed to McArthur and stood the flag line for fallen WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, Petty Officer 1st class Royal N. Darnell. PGR members came from Sacramento, Susanville, Burney, Westwood, Carson City, NV and Alturas in a showing of honors & respect for one of the rapidly dwindling members of "the greatest generation."
My personal thanks go out to these members who braved the cold to travel the distance and stand our customary flag line. Many thanks also to the Team 6 color guard for their traditional folding & presentation of the flag and Big Valley VFW Post 7144 for their rifle salute & the playing of "Taps." Petty Officer Darnell, your watch here has been stood with valor & pride: Rest in peace, my friend.
Petty Officer Darnell was born on March 10, 1922 in Toledo Oregon and passed away on November 7, 2014 in Fall River Mills, California. He entered the United States Navy on March 26, 1941 and was honorably discharged on November 12, 1946. Petty Officer Darnell served on several Navy ships: USS Wichita, USS California but mainly aboard the light cruiser USS St. Louis---aka Lucky Lou, aka Two Screw Lou and saw action from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to the Philippine Islands and the battle of Leyte Gulf. During this time their ship was hit by a Kamikaze suicide plane and also torpedoed, which destroyed much of her bow. Also of note was the fact that Petty Officer Darnell was in charge of firing up the boilers of his ship during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and accomplished this task in what has been called a "significant accomplishment," allowing them to escape the attack. Petty Officer Darnell was authorized to wear the following medals & ribbons: WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Ribbon, American Defense Ribbon with Bronze Star, American Area Ribbon with 1 Star, Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with 2 Silver Stars and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Star.
After the war, he and wife Leona settled in Nubieber, Ca., where he worked many years at a moulding mill, Clear Pine Products. . He was a man of many talents, a couple of which he became expert at were archery and electronics. Petty Officer Darnell was a Life Member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assn., Life Member of the VFW, Member of the American Legion as well as the National Field Archery Assn. and North American Hunting Club.
Petty Officer Darnell was a proud U.S. Navy veteran and because of his sense of humor and his love of life, he will be deeply missed.
Carry on, Petty Officer Darnell, for your mission here is complete...and a job well done!
R.C. Skip "Boonierider" Kelly
Modoc PGR, Alturas, CA