2017 - Fort Smith AR
William O. Darby (8 February 1911 – 30 April 1945) was a career United States Army officer who fought in World War II, where he was killed in action in Italy. He was posthumously promoted to brigadier general. Darby led the famous Darby's Rangers, which evolved into the U.S. Army Rangers.
|Born||February 8, 1911|
Fort Smith, Arkansas, United States
|Died||April 30, 1945 (aged 34)|
Torbole, Italy †
Fort Smith National Cemetery, Arkansas, United States
During World War II, Darby formed the “Darby’s Rangers,” which distinguished themselves in combat from North Africa to Europe.
During his career, Darby received three Purple Hearts, two Distinguished Service Crosses, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Russian Order of Kutuzov and the French Croix de Guerre.
Little Rock-based artist Kevin Kresse was selected as the official sculptor for the project.
An Arkansas-native, Kresse has exhibited work around the state and country. His pieces have been shown in Arkansas, as well as in Memphis, Atlanta, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
The statue Kresse depicts Darby on his classic 1942 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which was his most common mode of transportation during World War II. The Darby monument is one and one quarter life scale, with the final product standing approximately seven feet tall, and the Harley base close to nine feet long.
Kresse envisioned the monument to show Darby with one foot off the bike, and his body turned to the side looking out. The motorcycle is situated where it runs parallel to Garrison Avenue, with Darby's torso and face turned toward the street.