Marian Carl opened his account while flying from Midway Island on 04JUN42, downing a Zero. He was among the ten fighters from VMF-221 to return to the island out of the twenty-five sent up that day. Carl then deployed with VMF-223 to Guadalcanal, where he became the Marine Corps first ace, eventually raising his score to 16.5. He returned to VMF-223 as Commanding Officer for a second tour in the Solomons, downing two more aircraft to bring his total to 18.5.
After the war Carl became a test pilot and set speed and altitude records. He served in Vietnam, where he flew combat missions but refused official recognition or medals for his actions. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Major General in 1973. He was killed in 1998, protecting his wife from a home intruder. He was 82 at the time of his death.