James Robert Carnes was born in Acworth, Georgia, on October 23, 1909, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Erwin Carnes. He was graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce in 1930 and upon graduation was commissioned in the Naval Reserve from the Naval ROTC Unit of that School. Before being called to active duty, he was employed by the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company at Akron, Ohio, Johnson City, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia; studied Law at Emory University, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1935; and entered the general practice of law at Columbus, Georgia, in April 1936.
He was promoted to Lieutenant (jg) USNR in May 1941, to Lieutenant in June 1942, Lieutenant Commander in July 1943 and Commander in July 1945. He was transferred from the Naval Reserve to the Regular Navy in 1946, designated a Special Duty Officer (Law), and attained the rank of Captain, USN, to date from April 1, 1954.
Reporting for active duty, he served from February 1941 to May `1942 at the Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, then in USS Meade (DD-602), participating in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal. Later, he was on the Staff of Commander Destroyers, Pacific Fleet, and for meritorious service was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Released from active duty in March 1946, he was recalled in November 1946 as Officer in Charge of the Casualty Section, Bureau of Naval Personnel. He served in that capacity and briefly in the Office of the Judge Advocate General until he reported in November 1948 to the Commandant, Sixth Naval District, and served as District Legal Officer until December 1950.
In January 1951 he returned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General, and served in the Legislative Division until 1953; and as Director of that Division until 1956. Detached in September 1956, he reported a month later to Headquarters, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California, for a tour of duty as District Legal Officer and Staff Legal Officer to Commander Western Sea Frontier. In 1959, he returned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Navy Department, where he currently serves as Assistant Judge Advocate General (International and Administrative Law).
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Captain Carnes has the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two operation stars; the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal. He also has the Naval Reserve Medal (for ten years’ service in the U. S. Naval Reserve).