Leonard Carroll Farr (1921-2008)
Leonard Farr was born in Coquille, Oregon on October 16, 1921. His family owned a feed, seed, and farm supply store in Coquille until after the Second World War, at which time they expanded operations to Coos Bay. Leonard went to the University of Oregon business school where he met his wife, Joyce.
Leonard was drafted into the army as a noncombatant in 1942 and sent to England in May of 1944 as part of the Medical Administrative Corps (MAC). His battalion, the 94th Medical Gas Treatment Battalion, was trained to treat casualties from gas, but gas was not a weapon used by German soldiers against the American soldiers, so he and his unit found themselves without a job. Nevertheless, they were deployed. His unit landed on Utah Beach 60 days after D-Day, on August 5, 1944, following the path of General Patton’s 3rd Army. Patton’s army liberated a POW camp and enlisted Leonard’s unit to transport them to a nearby airfield for evacuation. Following this assignment, his unit became the 94th Air Evacuation Holding Unit (AEHU) and for the remaining of his tenure in Europe, he was attached to this unit. His unit followed Patton’s army through France, finally ending near Buchenwald on the day after it was liberated. The official day of liberation for Buchenwald is listed as the day Leonard’s unit arrived, as it turns out, because that is the day the generals Eisenhower, Patton, Gay and several others arrived to witness what had happened at the camp.
After the war Leonard returned to the United States. He and his family lived in Coos Bay and actively operated Farr’s True Value hardware store until the 1980s. At that time, he handed handed over the major daily operations to his son, Jay Farr, but remained involved in the business until the late 1990s.
Leonard was killed in a car accident in Coos Bay on April 2, 2008 at the age of 86.