Carroll Waddell, 90, of Manila passed from this life, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro. Born in Greenville, Tenn., Sept. 28, 1923, he was the son of the late Lawrence Vance and Addie Mae Collins Waddell and had been a Manila area resident since 1928. He was a 1941 graduate of Blackwater High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps following graduation. Serving in the 68th Bomb Squadron (The Flying Eightballs), 44th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, he was assigned as a tail gunner on the B-24 Liberator and stationed to Shipdham Airfield in Norfolk, England. On March 18, 1944, Waddell's plane, "Paper Doll," was hit by enemy fire and crash landed in Switzerland. Even though Switzerland was considered a neutral country, Waddell was not permitted to leave and was placed in a Swiss internment camp.
Waddell stated that the situation was better than being a prisoner of war in Germany, but he still wasn't free, so he acquired a Boy Scout uniform and escaped by walking out of Switzerland, first walking 70 miles to Geneva, Switzerland, then another 100 miles to Lyon, France. From Lyon an American plane flew him to England where officials expedited his flight home. Waddell arrived in St. Louis, Mo., on Dec. 9, 1944, where his sweetheart, Delphia Crouse was working at McDonald Aircraft. Five days later they were married.
After completing his military service, he and Delphia returned to Manila and the family farm. He became a lifelong farmer and cattleman and attended Blackwater Baptist Church near Manila.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a son, Lt. Larry Carroll Waddell in 1971, a U.S. Navy pilot, killed during a landing accident on the USS Coral Sea en route to Vietnam, and his sister, Lois Keller, earlier this week.
Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Delphia Crouse Waddell of the home; two sons, Garry Waddell and Ricky Waddell, both of Manila; one daughter and son-in-law, Genna and Danny Cochran of Jonesboro; two brothers, Lee Waddell of Clinton and Vance Waddell of Imboden; four sisters, Violet Alexander of Manila, Jennie Mae Justus of Jonesboro, Bertha Mobley of Pensacola, Fla., and June Milligan of Pine Bluff; seven grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Howard Funeral Service Chapel in Manila with Rev. William Piercy, Rev. Chris Jones and Rev. Hershel Conley officiating. Burial with military honors followed in Manila Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Jimmy Brown, and grandsons, Chad Waddell, Greg Waddell, Jason Cochran, Alexander Shoaff and Stabler Waddell.
The family received friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
The family prefers any memorials be made to Blackwater Baptist Church or St. Bernards Foundation.
Guest register: www.howardfuneralservice.com