Carroll was born in New Boston, Missouri. There were two girls and two boys in their family. They were a farming family and owned several farms. Everyone in the family worked on the farms doing the necessary chores. Their family lost all of those farms during the Great Depression. The banks closed and they lost everything. The government gave them a small amount of acreage with a couple of cows so they could survive. Carroll remembers that people in the city were lined up for food every day. They grew all of their own food on their land, so they were in better shape than most families.
Carroll’s dad got a job as a mail carrier. His dad knew a senator that helped him get the job. Carroll walked one mile to and from school each day to the little schoolhouse on the hill. There were a total of seven students in the school and that was all of the grades put together.
Later in high school they had buses to ride the 12 miles to school. Carroll played basketball and was the captain of his team for the three years he played.
One day he saw a guy driving a beautiful car and had a military uniform on with gold wings on his shoulder and at that moment Carroll knew that is what he wanted to do, join the military. He knew it was better to enlist rather than to be drafted. He was 17 years old and his parents agreed to sign the papers to let him join. Carroll entered the Navy Air Corps, went to Kansas City to have his physical and could not wait to get into an airplane.
Carroll trained for many hours to fly an airplane and was almost ready to graduate, before he ended up washing out of flight school. He was told he would go out on guard duty. He went to Oklahoma and was trained to be a torpedo gunner. He was getting ready to be sent to Tokyo, but the atom bomb was dropped and the war ended. Carroll states that he probably wouldn’t be here if Harry Truman hadn’t dropped the bomb. Most everyone he knew agreed with Harry Truman and thanks him for saving their lives.
Carroll decided to wait until he got home to get married. He married his wife of 67 years, Enid.
Carroll went to school to be a carpenter. With a baby on the way he had to make a living. Carroll ended up owning his own business building houses. One day a city inspector for the city of Independence asked Carroll if he was tired of building houses alone and suggested he work for the city. Carroll became a city inspector for the city of Independence for 12 years and says it was one of the best things he ever did.
In his spare time, he built a home for his own family and they still live in that home today. The house just happens to be across the street from where Drumm Farm golf course was built and Carroll smiles as he thanks them for building a golf course right across the street from him. His house is one half mile from where he tees off and he really enjoys playing golf. Carroll and Enid have a large family that they enjoy spending time with.
Carroll volunteered for seven years at MCI Hospital until they closed and now volunteers at Centerpoint Medical Center in the pharmacy. Carroll and Enid also enjoy eating lunch at the Palmer Center and Carroll has a very fun group of guys that he plays pool with while at the center.
Peggy Sowders, a city of Independence staff member, compiles stories from veterans from around the area at the Truman Memorial Building. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-325-7979 if you are interested in helping a veteran tell his or her story.