THE RARE BREED |
Recognizing Area Veterans Of World War II
John Carroll Cairnes: Served
America In Both World Wars
The late John Carroll Cairnes was from the Rare Breed generation of men and women who responded to their country¹s call in war time. Cairnes, who passed away in 1964, did it twice‹ and he was not born in America.
His story was submitted by his son, Carroll B. Cairnes, who lives in The Woodlands. It is as follows:
Cairnes was born in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, in 1898, to Dr. Alfred and Eva Cairnes. The family moved to the USA when he was four years old. After several stops, they settled in Palacios, where Carroll was among the 13 graduates at Palacios High School in 1915. After graduation, he attended San Marcos Preparatory School before enrolling at Baylor University in 1916.
At Baylor, he played football for four years, skipping one year when he volunteered for military service in 1918, becoming an Aviation Cadet in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Air Branch.
When World War I ended, Cairnes returned to Baylor. As the captain of the football team, he scored two touchdowns in a victory over SMU.
Cairnes went on to play professional football with Detroit prior to continuing his education at the University of California, where he received his BS degree. He received his MA from the University of Southern California and was working on his PhD.
When World War II broke out, Cairnes was coaching football at Fresno, Calif. At the age of 43, Cairnes volunteered for service and served as a Captain with the Eighth Air Force in England.
After the war, he returned to Palacios where he coached the Sharks one year before resigning in 1947. He then purchased Glendale Claybourn¹s distributorship to form Cairnes Oil Company and operated it until his death in 1964.
He preceded his wife, Mildred, in death (she was a charter member and chaplain of the Ladies Auxiliary of Queen-Hamlin VFW Post 2465).
There are two daughters, Arlene Cline and Patricia Anderson, and a son, Carroll B. Cairnes.Grandchildren are Carroll B. Cairnes, who resides in Palacios; Kyle Cairnes and Elizabeth Cairnes Alford; as well as several great-grandchildren.
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