Potter, Darrin K. (P3, C1, L35)
Sergeant Darrin Keith Potter, 24, of Louisville, Jefferson, County, was died in Iraq on 29 September 2003. Potter was a member of the 223rd Military Police Company serving with the 800th Military Police Brigade in Iraq. The 223rd MPs were providing force protection to the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division, guarding prisoners and training newly appointed Iraqi law enforcement officers during their deployment. Sergeant Potter was the Kentucky Guard's first combat-related death since the Vietnam War.
Potter was a member of a military police team in a four-vehicle convoy responding to reports of a mortar attack outside of Baghdad near Abu Ghraib Prison, on the west side of Baghdad, around 10:45 p.m. The patrol was moving toward the enemy's suspected location to disrupt an enemy mortar crew that had previously attacked American soldiers, causing loss of life as well as injuries. Potter's Humvee swerved to avoid an obstacle in the road, at the top of a steep bank and plunged into a nearby deep and swiftly moving drainage canal. All the occupants got out of the vehicle but Potter was swept away by the swift currents. Two other solders from the 223rd managed to swim to safety.
Potter was a member of the Kentucky Army National Guard since 1998 when he joined the 223rd Military Police Company. Potter served for two years with the Jefferson County Police Department prior to deploying to Iraq. In 2001 Potter went with the 223rd to Bosnia where he served as a military police investigator. Potter was born in Flemingsburg and grew up in Maysville, Frankfort and finally Louisville and was a graduate of Butler High School in Louisville. Potter is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery Section L Range: L33 Space: 10. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
In November 2012, Kentucky 111 from the intersection with Kentucky 32 one mile south in Fleming County was designated the Sgt. Darrin K. Potter Memorial Highway.
Sergeant Andrew Joseph Baddick, 26, of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, an occupant of one of the other vehicles in the convoy, drowned while trying to rescue Potter. Baddick was a paratrooper assigned to 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Baddick was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Soldier's Medal for Heroism. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
SEE Also: Section 60- Arlington National Cemetery: Where War Comes Home; Book by Robert M. Poole; Chapter 5 - Above and Beyond; Pages 51 -53
CAPTION: A young man points to his uncle's name, Darrin Potter, on the KYNG Memorial after the Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 27, 2019 as his grandmother, and mother of the fallen, looks on in the reflection of the stone. (Photo submitted)
CAPTION: Soldiers from the 223rd Military Police Company of the Kentucky Army National Guard place a marker honoring SGT Darrin Potter in the ground in front of the Buechel Armory at a tree in Louisville, the unit's headquarters, as lasting tribute to a fallen comrade.