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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Carroll Napier Langston, Jr.

Over on my genealogy blog, I’ve just posted some information on my overall impressions of FootNote.com and some of the potential I see with it. As I was exploring the site, I decided to do a search for information on Carroll Napier Langston, Jr. His paternal grandmother, Ida M. Napier Langston, was a sister to James Carroll Napier.

One of the collections I noticed in FootNote was one titled, Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) of the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1941-1948. In the course of my research, I knew that Carroll N. Langston Jr. had gone missing during WWII and his body was found a couple of weeks after he went missing. Wanting to see if I could find him in this resource, I did a search. His name is rather unique, so I was able to readily identify him in the results. I am deeply moved by what I found.

A report from September 19, 1944 provides an account from the person that found his body, Captain Samuel R. Center. While he was on reconnaissance with 5 others, he found a body that had washed up to the beach of the Adriatic Sea near Pineta, Italy on June 26, 1944. The account describes everything that they found on his body, information about how they buried him and a detailed description of where they buried him. On his person were items such as his ID tags, his pilot wings, a metal cigarette case, and his watch. They buried him “…about 750 feet south of railroad flag station no. 331, 200 feet from railroad track towards sea; 65 feet towards sea from second concrete post of barbed wire fence. Wow.

There were witnesses to the incident. — Lts. Maurice V. Easters, Ulysses S. Taylor, and Harold E. Sawyer. Lt. Sawyer reported that Carroll called in saying that he had engine trouble. Carroll was unable to keep up in flight, so Saywer left his route to fly with Carroll. Carroll was not able to keep the plane up, so decided to bail out, but something went wrong with his chute. It did not inflate all the way and Sawyer saw Carroll hanging on to the side of the plane. Sawyer could not stay with him because of low fuel, but notified Air Rescue. Carroll’s plane crashed about 10 miles off the coast of San Benedetti, Italy. The paperwork even includes a hand-drawn map of where his plane went down.

I really feel like I need a moment of silence after reading through all of this. Can you imagine finding this level of detail for a relative? These documents were previously confidential – I am so glad they have been opened up for public use.

If you have a FootNote account, you can view the images here.

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19 Comments

  1. Tom McKnight

     /  May 12, 2008

    Hi Taneya,

    God bless you for your diligent efforts in your continued search of our family members. Finding the MACR was really a great find and does much to further the sharing of family history.

    Of note to this, particulary as this new information suggests that Lt. Carroll Napier Langston Jr. is still buried at that location in Italy, my trip to Greenwood Cemetery in Nashville TN a couple of years ago to visit the Napier family plot revealed Lt. Langston’s headstone and the following birth and death detail:

    Sept 25, 1917
    June 7, 1944

    He is buried between John M. Langston (Dec 10,1879) and Vivian Cashin Langston (no death date – marker No. 580 or 680)

    This of couse raises the question if he is still buried in Italy or was eventually recovered and brought home. Given the social and economic status of the Napier family, it is very possible that the latter is the case; or perhaps he is still overseas.

    If his remains were returned home for burial this would have most likely been news generating material and I wonder if such an account exists in some of the Nashville or other news papers of the time.

    Anna and I appreciate all that you do Cuz.

    Reply
  2. Anna Williams

     /  May 12, 2008

    Thank you Taneya for sharing that story with us,I don’t have footnote but I am planning on trying it out later on. Anna

    Reply
  3. Wow..that gave me chills!!!

    Reply
  4. Looks like the HTML got stripped from my last comment.

    To get the code, go to your Spotlight and click “Link & Embed” to the right of the number of views.

    Reply
  5. Chris Lee

     /  January 26, 2010

    My mother Isabel Johnson was born in Nashville in 1916 and was a friend of Carrol Langston. I have pictures of him as a child playing with Kindergarten blocks. Notes on the back of the picture stated that he died in WWII as a Tuskegee Airman.

    My Mother’s parents were Andrew Johnson who attended Meherry Med School and his wife Edwina ( Smith). Edwina’s parent’s were Frank Gatewood Smith who taught at Pearl High School and Lena Calhoun.
    Lena is the Auntof Lena Horne.

    Let me know if you want digital copies of the photographs.

    Reply
  6. Earl Langston Jr .

     /  March 14, 2010

    Hello.. I do appreciate your looking into this and doing as much research as you have. I only hope that your reports are correct in how he passed. I started doing some research and found a far worse tale of how he perished. Thank you so much for your interest in this,

    Reply
  7. Elizabeth Cashin McMillen

     /  July 24, 2011

    Dear Taneya,

    Carroll was my cousin. His mother, Vivian Cashin Langston was my Aunt. His father , Carroll Napier Langston Sr.was my Uncle Tode. My father was attorney James Blaine Cashin. We lived in Chicago.

    I think there were what my father and uncle thought were “prosecutable irregularities” about Carroll’s death. Only their fear for my Aunt prevented them from pursuing this.

    Carroll was killed the year I was born. My brother and I grew up playing with his toy blocks and striving to memorize the long quotations he memorized. Which my brother did. We loved him as if he were living.

    Yours truly,

    Elizabeth Cashin McMillen

    Reply
    • Elizabeth – thank you for the comment. I will email you.

      Reply
    • Anne-Catherine Medin

       /  July 20, 2012

      Betty-V
      I think you are the same person I was very good
      friends with in Mexico City when we were teenagers!!!!
      We went to Greengates School together.
      I don’t know if you remember me???
      I am Swedish and have a younger brother.
      I knew your mother and brother.
      I just read The Agitators Daughter and
      realized it MUST BE you.
      Anne-Catherine

      Reply
      • Elizabeth Cashin McMillen

         /  July 29, 2012

        Cathy!

        Cathy Medin!
        I am stunned and thrilled!

        My brother directed me to the replies on Taneya’s blog about Carroll. He was patient as I scrolled down to each until the utter shock of your encounter !
        I remember you vitally!
        Betty-V
        I have remembered you always!
        Betty-V

  8. Jasmine Cashin

     /  January 23, 2012

    Taneya,

    Thank you so much for this piece! I love hearing about my family history. My grandfather was Dr. John Logan Cashin of Huntsville, Al. My father is Carroll Langston Cashin. If anyone would like to contact me, my e-mail is jasminecashin@ymail.com

    Jasmine

    Reply
  9. Dear Elizabeth Cashin McMillen & Earl Langston Jr, i am John Marcus Cashin the brother of Atty Sheryll D. Cashin and son of Dr John Logan Cashin Jr of Hunstville, Alabama. A cousin Thomas McKnight of Tuscumbia, Ala & I traveled from HSV Airport to Tuskegee’s Moton Airfield together Jan 18th thru Jan 21st, 2012. We gave the park service officials at the old Tuskegee Airman training grounds photos of our cousin Lt. Carroll Napier Langston Jr and received an acknowledgment letter for the donation. We want to go get him from his alleged burial site on the coast of Italy and bring him home to a full honor burial in front of all living relatives next to his family in Huntsville, Alabama. His father Carroll Napier Langston Sr and his mother Vivian Cashin Langston I knew well as they died living in our house at Lydia Drive in “Brandon Town” sub-division of Huntsville. Every time i visited Aunt Vivi and Uncle Tode they talked about Carroll Jr like it was yesterday till their death! Especially the day he broke his leg sliding into 2nd base playing for his alma Oberlin in Ohio. They missed him so dearly. My brother Carroll Langston Cashin is named after him as you know and my dad and my uncle Atty Herschel Brandon Cashin were so fond of him they both put his name on their 2nd sons! Can you all forward info on the tales of prosecutable irregularities on our cousin Attorney Lt Carroll Napier Langston Jr US Army Airforce Tuskegee Airman Flight Class of October 1st, 1943 to me asap to cashin@me.com & johnm.cashin@bigfoot.com or via CashinCongress.Net

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Cashin McMillen

       /  August 3, 2012

      Dear John, Earl and Thomas,
      I am curious to know whether stories travelled to your generation about Tuskegee Airmen drawing straws to lead flight missions?
      I read your comments with much interest,
      Elizabeth Cashin McMillen

      Reply
      • Cousin Liz,
        We had Lt. Carroll Langston Jr’s personal handwritten diaries that my mother read to us (my brother Carroll Langston Cashin, sis Sheryll D Cashin & I John Marcus Cashin) that uncle Toad & aunt Vivi left in the 1815 Lydia Drive house in Huntsville. Most of what i recall he wrote about was up until he left Tuskegee flight training at Moten Airfield, etc. He left the diaries with his parents on his last visit before being sent overseas into WWII. I will do my best to find out which of his writings may exist from his months overseas in the 332nd unit. That would be from October 1943 till his loss in June 1944.
        JMC

  10. Ann

     /  October 6, 2013

    I just looked up this name for my father. He knew Carroll. Carroll was a little older than my Dad but they were childhood friends in Chicago. Latter, Carroll became a Tuskegee airman, a couple years latter my Dad became a Tuskegee airman as well. Dad almost, 90, tells us many first hand accounts of his childhood friend. He knew the family very well. He talks about the huge influence the entire Langston family had on him. He said he cried when he saw Red Tails cause it brought back the memories of the death of his friend
    Carroll. I will tell him about this page.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Cashin McMillen

       /  November 11, 2013

      Message to Ann and to her father.

      My brother and I extend our sincere greetings to you this Veteran’s Day. 
      Our lives had just begun when our Cousin Carroll was killed in WWII. We were very close to our aunt and 
      uncle. We loved the stories they told us about Carroll. Stories that may dovetail with yours. Carroll’s Trapper Mitt which we played with may have been shadow play of their games . Carroll played baseball when he was a student at Corpus Christi in Chicago, and during his student years at Oberlin, in the summer he played with players of the Negro Baseball League during practice sessions in Chicago  . 

      The stories they were told by my uncle when they were boys we may have been told also. And the love and attachment we had for our aunt and uncle followed suit with all their welcome, and my brother and I both agree,  we felt Carroll ‘s presence.

      Our childhood names were Blinny and Betty-V Cashin.

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  11. Ann

     /  November 17, 2013

    This is Ann (I wrote you in October) I am visiting my Dad so I am finally writing you back. I am sitting with my Dad reading from your blog. His name is David F. James tairman5801@sbcglobal.net. He would be glad to share stories of his childhood friend with you. Please feel free to contact him on his email. Please keep me in the loop. I love living history! Thanks Ann

    Reply
  1. Taneya’s Genealogy Blog » Blog Archive » What I Want From Footnote

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