Captain Carlson was born in Sweden on July 17, 1876. As a citizen of Ohio he entered the US Navy in 1898, and was appointed an Assistant Civil Engineer with the equivalent rank of Lieutenant junior grade on July 16, 1903. He was advanced in rank throughout his naval career until selected for Captain to date from June 5, 1924. His retirement dates from August 1, 1940, but recalled to active duty the following October, he served again until June, 1946.
As a civil engineer Captain Carlson’s first assignment was at Navy Yard, Puget Sound, Washington. After serving there three years, he reported to Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina in July, 1906, and after one year he reported for temporary duty in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii before proceeding to the Naval Station Olongapo, Philippine Islands, where he served from June, 1907 until September, 1909. Returning to the United States, he served the next five years, until February, 1915, in the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department, Washington, DC. While so attached he had additional duty on various occasions in 1911-1912 as representative of the Navy Department at conferences of Government Engineers, in the Bureau of Standards, and was a member of the board to prepare uniform plumbing specifications for War, Navy, and Treasury Departments. In 1914, he was designated a member of the commission to pass upon merits of systems of fire extinguishers and other equipment for buildings of the Interior Department.
When detached from the Bureau of Yards and Docks in February, 1915, Captain Carlson had duty for the next five years as Public Works Officer, serving consecutively at Navy Yards, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mare Island, California, Pearl Harbor, TH, and Naval Station, New London, Connecticut. For two years, from November, 1920 to October, 1922, he was Government Inspector at The Wellman, Seaver, Morgan Company, Cleveland, Ohio, with additional duty for several months as senior member of the Hull Inspection Board, located in Cleveland.
Captain Carlson served the year October, 1922-23 as District Public Works Officer of Fourteenth Naval District, Honolulu, TH From December, 1923 to July, 1929, he was attached to Navy Yard, Mare Island, California, and had various duties traveling in that area. Returning to the Fourteenth Naval District in July, 1929, he served the next year at Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, TH He reported in September, 1930 to the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department and served there until June, 1934.
From June, 1934 until May, 1940, Captain Carlson was General Inspector and Procurement Officer for Public Works at Navy Yard, Mare Island, with additional duty, from December, 1937 to March, 1938, as Public Works Officer there. He was relieved of all active duty and transferred to the Retired List of the Navy to date from August 1, 1940. The following October, he was recalled to active duty, and served as General Inspector and Procurement Officer for Public Works, West Coast, at 11th, 12th, and 13th Naval Districts. From September, 1944, he served as Head of the Plans and Design Section for all three districts, and had additional duty as Planning Officer of the 12th Naval District, at San Francisco.
He was so serving when relieved of all active duty on June 1, 1946.
Captain Carlson was awarded a Letter of Commendation by the Secretary of the Navy for his services from October, 1940 to April, 1942, and is entitled to wear the Commendation Ribbon. He also has received the Spanish Campaign Medal, Victory Medal (World War I), American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal
He died September 23, 1957.