Worrall Reed Carter was born at sea aboard the
American ship Storm King on January 11, 1885. He attended Bath, Maine High
School before his appointment to the US Naval Academy from Maine in 1904.
Graduated in June 1908, he served the two years at sea then required by law
before was commissioned Ensign, June 6, 1910. He was promoted to Lieutenant
(jg), June 6, 1913, to Lieutenant, August 29, 1916, received temporary
promotion to Lieutenant Commander, during the World War, was commissioned in
that rank January 1, 1921, and his subsequent promotions were as follows:
Commander, June 4, 1925; Captain, February 1, 1957; and Commodore June 1, 1944.
He was retired in the rank of Rear Admiral on February 1, 1947.
After graduation in June 1908, he served in USS
Minnesota until April 1911 when he was assigned to USS Castine for
instruction in submarine. The following November he assumed command of the
submarine C-5, formerly USS Snapper, and from September 1912 until
September 1913 commanded the submarine D-3. He was under instruction in
mechanical engineering at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland, and
Columbia University, New York, New York, where he received the degree of Master
of Science in June 1915. After fitting out USS L-11, he commanded that
submarine from her commissioning, August 15, 1915 until June 1917.
He was an instructor in mechanical engineering aboard
USS Fulton and at the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, until
January 1918 when he was ordered to duty with the US Naval Forces operating
in European waters, and assigned duty in connection with submarine detection
devices, with additional duty as aide on the Staff of the Commander, Naval
Forces Operating in European waters. For his services in that assignment he
received the following Letter of Commendation: “He rendered meritorious service
in assisting efficiently and cheerfully in all work of the Operations –
anti-Submarine Division of the Staff of the Commander, US Naval Forces
operating in European Waters. His energy, interest and excellent example to
others aided greatly in the success of this work.”
After his return to the United States in December
1918, following the Armistice, Commodore Carter served as engineer officer of
USS Nevada from January to August 1919 when he reported for duty at the
Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia. Detached from that assignment in June 1922, he
served consecutively as executive officer of USS Procyon until September
1923 and of USS Mississippi until January 1925.
He served with the US Naval Mission to Brazil, with
continuous duty afloat with the Brazilian Navy, from February 1925 until
December 1926. Following consecutive duty in the Office of Naval Intelligence,
Navy Department, Washington, DC, at the Naval Air Station, Naval Operating
Base, Norfolk, Virginia, and at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, he
commanded USS Osborne from September 1927 until June 1929. The two
succeeding years he was an instructor in the Department of Engineering and
Aeronautics at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
Returning to sea, he commanded USS Nokomis from
July 1931 until May 1933 when he was ordered to the Naval Training Station,
Norfolk, Virginia, serving as executive officer of that Station from February
1934 until September 1936. From October of that year until April 1938 he
commanded USS Marblehead. He was Commandant of the Naval Station,
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from June 1938 until August 1940. In October of that year
he assumed duty as Commander, Submarine Squadron 4 with additional duty as
Commander Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, T.H. In January 1941he was transferred
to duty as Chief of Staff and Aide to the Commander, Battleships, Battle Force,
serving in that assignment until September 1942.
In October 1942, he assumed duty as Commander, US
Naval Advanced Base, South Pacific Area, and in June 1943 was assigned to duty
with the Pacific Force. In October 1943 he was assigned duty in connection with
organizing Service Squadron 10, commanding that Squadron from commissioning in
January 1944 until July 31, 1945. Under his command, Service Squadron 10,
organized to service and supply the Fleet, served in the Marshalls Campaign in
the latter part of January 1944, first servicing the Fleet in Majuro during the
Marshalls Campaign, subsequently spreading out all across the Pacific,
establishing subdivision, first at Eniwetok, going to the Marianas, and later
establishing detachments at Kwajalein, at Manus in mid-summer of 1944, and
later establishing detachments at Okinawa and Leyte, leaving a small detachment
For his service in command of Service Squadron 10 while operating with both the Third and Fifth Fleets, he was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service Medal with the following citations:
Legion of Merit (Combat “V”)
“For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the Government of the United States as a Task Group Commander with Flag in USS Prairie, under Commander Third Fleet, during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Caroline Islands, August 26, 1944 to January 26, 1945. Thoroughly understanding the complex problems of the combatant forces, Commodore Carter planned with foresight and vigorously executed the activities of the Service Forces under his command to support most fully the Third Fleet operations. Effectively overcoming great difficulties and handicaps in replenishing the Fleet during brief and frequently stormy periods, and despite a concentrated attack by Japanese Midget submarine on the Task Group Anchorage at Ulithi, he achieved miracles of battle-damage repairs toward keeping the maximum fighting strength at sea. By his forceful and skilled leadership while operating in forward combat areas, Commodore Carter upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Distinguished Service Medal
“For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility as Commander of Service Squadron Ten during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Central and Western Pacific Areas, from January to August 1944, and from February to May 1945. Responsible for Fleet repairs and logistics at forward mobile bases, Commodore Carter effectively organized his limited facilities to support Fifth Fleet operations during the capture of the Marshall and Marianas Islands, Iwo Jima and strategic positions in Okinawa Gunto and also, provided excellent services for our Fast Carrier Task Forces conducting raids against Truk Atoll, the Palau Group, Tokyo and Kyushu. Foresighted and resourceful, he kept pace with the raid expansion and forward movements of the Fleet, handling all logistic demands in the brief periods permitted by combat operations, effecting all types of operational and battle damage repairs despite the current requirements with overtaxed his facilities, and simultaneously making effective preparations to meet still greater future demands upon Squadron Ten. His inspiring leadership, determination, professional ability and steadfast devotion to the fulfillment of an exacting assignment were important factors in the success of Fifth Fleet operations against the enemy and reflect the highest credit upon Commodore Carter and the United States Naval Service.”
Detached from command of Service Squadron 10 on July 31, 1945, preceding the capitulation of the Japanese in September of that year, Rear Admiral Carter returned to the United States for temporary duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC. In October 1945 he reported for duty with the Board of Medals and Awards. He was relieved from active duty on December 8, 1946, and transferred to the Retired List on February 1, 1947. He was recalled to active duty in May 1949, in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit, Rear Admiral Carter has the Victory Medal, Destroyer Clasp (USS Aylwin), the China Service Medal (USS Marblehead), and is entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
He died on July 21, 1975.