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Francis Joseph Carney was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on September 23, 1914, the son of Joseph P. and Helen L. (Boyle) Carney. He attended De La Salle Academy in Newport, where he played basketball, tennis and was active in extra-curricula affairs. At graduation he won the highest scholastic award, a Knights of Columbus Scholarship. At Manhattan College in New York City, from which he was graduated in 1938 with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he was active in intramural sports, a member of the Junior American Society of Civil Engineers, Newton Mathematics Society, the Transit Club and Manhattan Engineers.
He was appointed Assistant Civil Engineer, with rank of Ensign, CEC-V(S), US Naval Reserve, to rank from October 18, 1940, and on March 24, 1941, reported to Headquarters, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California, for temporary duty. On April 9, the same year he was assigned to the Naval Station, Guam, were he reported on May 7, and there served in the Public Works Office until taken Prisoner by the Japanese.
He died on July 25, 1945, in the Asiatic Area, the cause “enemy action”, having been reported priviously to be a Prisoner of War. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in action, and was entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Base Clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.
Prior to his Naval Service, Ensign Carney had been employed as a Building Inspector for the C&R Division, US Coast Guard, on the construction of the equipment building at Block Island and the seawall at Point Judith (October 1938 to February 1939, and October 1939 to March 1940, respectively). From March to July 1939 he was at Fort Adams, Newport, RI, as an engineer of the Works Projects Administration. From April to July 1940 he worked for the Army Engineers on construction at Fort Michie and Fort Terry, New York, and in August 1940 he became a building inspector for the Department of Public Works at the Newport Naval Training Station, on the construction of the temporary barracks. He was serving in that capacity when called to active duty on February 26, 1941.