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Adapted from "Vice Admiral William Joseph Carter, (SC), United States Navy" [biography, dated 2 October 1946] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

  • Operations
  • Cruises, Deployments, and Exercises
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  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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  • NHHC-Library

William Joseph Carter

19 April 1893 - [no death date]

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Vice Admiral Carter was born April 19, 1893, in Dillon, South Carolina. He attended Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, receiving the AB degree in 1913, there to Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He was commissioned Assistant Paymaster, with the rank of Ensign, in the Supply Corps of the US Navy on the June 30, 1917.

During the World War, he had duty in troop transports as assistant supply officer of USS Leviathan, from October 4, 1917, until May 10, 1918, later supply officers of USS Pocahontas from June 20, 1918, until November 7, 1919. During this period he was temporarily advanced to Lieutenant (junior grade) from October 15, 1917, and to Lieutenant from July 1, 1918.

He was disbursing officer of a section of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy at New York, New York, from December 15, 1919, until May 26, 1920, and was assistant supply. After duty in the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, from June 17 until September 27, 1921, he was Senior Member of the Board of Survey, Appraised and Sale, Fifth Naval District, until November 10, 1921, and was officer in charge of Commissary Store, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until May 11, 1923.

Vice Admiral Carter was supply officer in USS Capella from May 12, 1923, until September 10, 1924, and completed a postgraduate course in Business Administration at Harvard University on June 4, 1926, receiving the degree of Master in Business Administration. From July 1, 1926, until March 14, 1928, he had duty at Norfolk, Virginia, as supply and accounting officer of the Naval Air Station; later as disbursing officer of the Naval Operating Base; and the Naval Supply Station. He was supply officer in USS Altair from April 1, 1928, until July 29, 1930, and completed a course in textile engineering at the Philadelphia Textile School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 27, 1932. He was commissioned Lieutenant Commander from June 4, 1931. After duty at the Naval Supply Depot, New York, New York, for a year, and at the Naval Clothing Depot, Brooklyn, New York, for two years thereafter, he was supply officer in USS California from June 28, 1935, until July 1, 1937.

Since August 16, 1937, he has had duty in the Bureau of Supplies and Account, Navy Department, Washington, DC he was head of the Provisions and Clothing Division from August 16, 1937 until June 1, 1939, and while in this duty was commissioned Commander from June 23, 1938. While in this assignment he was a member of the Permanent Uniform Board. On September 13, 1938, the President of the United States requested the Director of Procurement to arrange through the Navy Department for the development of a distinctive uniform for enrollees in the CCC. The Director of Procurement contacted the Chief of the Bureau and arranged for the project to be undertaken by Rear Admiral Carter (then Commander). In 1939 he was a member of several of the technical committees of the Federal Specifications Executive Committee, Procurement Division, Treasury Department. From June 1, 1939, until June 1, 1942, he was head of the Officer Personnel Division. On June 1, 1942, he became Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. He was commissioned Captain, Supply Corps, from June 15, 1942, and on September 21, 1942, was commissioned Rear Admiral, Supply Corps, for temporary service, to rank from September 4, 1942, while serving as Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.

On March 7, 1945, Vice Admiral Carter again was confirmed in the rank of Rear Admiral, to continue while serving as Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Navy Department, Washington, DC, assuming that duty on March 8, 1945. For his services in the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts June until the cessation of hostilities he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with the following citation:

Distinguished Service Medal:

“For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility as Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts from June 1, 1942, to March 8, 1945; and as Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts and Paymaster General  of the Navy from March 8, 1945, until the cessation of hostilities. A professionally skilled and astute administrator, unerring in his judgment, Rear Admiral Carter competently established and directed the enormous program of procurement, storage and distribution of supplies for the support of the United States Fleet during its period of expansion of the most powerful naval force in the world. Resourceful and vigilant in his supervision of all affairs under his cognizance, he demonstrated marked ability to handle urgent matters with the utmost efficiency and dispatch, rendering distinguished service to the Navy in its successful prosecution of the war. His exemplary performance of complicated and exacting duties reflects the highest credit upon Rear Admiral Carter and the United States Naval Service.”

After the cessation of hostilities he continued serving as Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts. On August 22, 1946, he was advanced to the rank of Vice Admiral. He was relieved as Chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts on October 1, 1946, and was placed in the Retired List of the Navy, in the rank of Vice Admiral, on that date.

In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal, Vice Admiral Carter has the Victory Medal, Transport Clasp (USS Leviathan), and is entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, the American Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.  



Published: Wed Sep 09 11:00:51 EDT 2020