USS SLC...USN...Grayson B. Carter, Comdr.
Grayson Carter passed away on June 14th, 1984
Jan. 31st, 2003
June 15, 1984 San Diego Union Newspaper clipping found in SLC Memorabilia Collection
Retired Rear Adm. Grayson B. Carter, a veteran of both world wars, a one-time aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the first native-born San Diegan to achieve flag rank, died yesterday morning [June 14th, 1984] at Balboa Naval Hospital at the age of 86.
Adm. Carter was born Nov. 16, 1897 and graduated from San Diego High School. He was the son of Cassius Carter, San Diego County's district attorney from 1902 to 1906 and co-founder of the Cuyamaca Club.
He spent 34 years in the Navy, starting as a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD., in 1918. His first taste of sea duty came as assistant turret officer aboard the battleship MICHIGAN. The gun unit he helped direct won Navy awards for excellence.
Adm. Carter was ordnance and planning superintendent at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attack on that base plunged the United States into World War II.
He remained at Pearl Harbor until 1942, when he became the executive officer of the cruiser SALT LAKE CITY, which escorted the aircraft carrier HORNET during the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and later took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal. At the Battle of Cape Esperance, he won the Legion of Merit.
In November 1942, he took command of a flotilla of 36 LSTs, thank landing ships designed to unload men and heavy equipment directly onto a beach, as well as their screen of escorting destroyers.
He was a captain during the long, bloody Solomon Islands campaign, and took his flotilla into one amphibious landing after another. He won the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest honor for military heroism, during operations at the island of Vella Lavella.
There, his ships were subject to day and night Japanese air attacks and a number of them were sunk. After that, he argued for - and got - more weapons mounted on his relatively slow LST's, and ship losses fell sharply.
From June to August 1944, he took part in the invasion of Guam, commanding the amphibious tractors that put US assault troops ashore - and winning a second Legion of Merit. He returned to the United States in September 1944 as a training commander at the Coronado Amphibious Base.
He finished WWII - and his life at sea - as he had begun it in WWI, aboard a battleship, this time as a skipper of the battleship NEW YORK. He retired from the Navy in July 1949.
Between the two wars, he commanded a gun turret aboard the NEW YORK, served as gunner officer aboard destroyers and the battleship TENNESSEE, and was a naval recruiting officer in Louisiana and Mississippi.
In 1923, he went to Japan as a Naval Officer to bring aid to the city of Yokohama.
In 1931, he graduated from the US naval War College in Newport, RI, and from 1935 to 1936, he was a White Hose Naval aide under President Roosevelt.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth and daughter Victoria.
Other Items & Articles about Grayson B. Carter:
Epic of the USS SLC
SLC Deck Log Officer's List
SLC Deck Log, Feb. 1942