Arnold John Carlson was born in Seattle, Washington, on January 25, 1909, son of John and Hilda Augusta (Holmberg) Carlson. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit of that University, was commissioned Assistant Paymaster with rank of Ensign in the Supply Corps of the US Navy, effective July 28, 1931. Through subsequent promotions he attained the rank of Captain, to date from January 1, 1951.
Accepting his commission in the Supply Corps of the Navy in July 1931, he had duty under instruction until January 1933, first at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, and later aboard battleship Colorado. He then served for almost two years as Disbursing Officer, Mine Division One, Pearl Harbor, and in May 1935 returned to the Puget Sound Navy Yard to serve in the Supply Department until February 1937.
Duty as Disbursing Officer of USS Idaho preceded instruction from August 1939 to June 1941 at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, where he received his Masters’ degree in Business Administration. Ordered to the Naval Station, Guam Island, Marianas, he served from September until December 1941 as Comptroller and Cashier, Bank of Guam. He was taken Prisoner of War following the Japanese attack on the islands, and remained in Zentsugi War Prison Camp, Shikoku, Japan, until repatriated in September 1945. He received a Letter of Commendation, with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon, from the Secretary of the Navy for “excellent service in the line of his profession while a Prisoner of War at Zentsugi War Prison Camp, Japan, from May 1944 to June 1945. . . .” The citation continues in part: “Lieutenant Commander Carlson, while functioning as liaison officer in the prison galley, by his unselfish effort on behalf of the prisoners improved the quantity and quality of food and contributed to the welfare of the camp, exhibiting great courage in dealing with very difficult Japanese authorities . . . .”
Following a period of rehabilitation, Captain Carlson reported in April 1946, to the Naval Supply Depot, Clearfield, Utah, where he served until August 1948, first as Supply and Planning Officer, and later as Executive Officer. He attended the course at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces until June 1949, and in July was designated Officer in Charge, General Supply Depot, Naval Supply Center, Oakland, California. He completed that assignment a year later and in August 1950 joined the staff (and Faculty) of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC, where he is presently serving.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon, Captain Carlson has the American Defense Service Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one star; the Philippine Defense Ribbon with one star; and the World War II Victory Medal.
He died February 23, 1983.