Gerald Francis Carney was born in New Hampton, Iowa, on May 6, 1919, son of Harry James and Lena Hanna (Rehorst) Carney. He attended Iowa State College at Ames, and holds the degree of Bachelor of Science. Appointed a Midshipman in the US Naval Reserve in August 1940, he had instruction at the Midshipman School, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and upon graduation was commissioned Ensign, USNR, March 14, 1941. He subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from July 1, 1960, having transferred to the Regular Navy on November 27, 1946.
After receiving his commission in 1941, he joined USS Minneapolis and was serving as Radio Officer in that cruiser when the United States entered World War II, December 8, 1941. He subsequently participated in raids on the Marshall-Gilbert Islands and Salamaua-Lae; action at Coral Sea and Midway; Guadalcanal-Tulagi landing; and operations in the Eastern Solomons and at Tassafaronga. Detached from that vessel in December 1942, he next had duty as Staff Secretary on the staff of Commander Naval Bases, South Pacific and in April 1943 reported as Communication Officer on board USS Reno.
From August 1943 to July 1944 he attended a course in applied communications at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland, after which he was assigned as Communication Watch Officer and Assistant Communication Officer on the staff of Commander Third Fleet. In November 1944 he reported as Communication Officer on board USS Lexington and for “meritorious achievement . . . (in that capacity) during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific War Area from November 9, 1944 to September 2, 1945. . .” he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”. The citation continues in part:
“With the Lexington participating in carrier strikes against the Philippine Islands, Formosa, Indo-China, China, Nansei Shoto Islands, Iwo Jima and the home islands of Japan, (he) demonstrated skillful leadership in organizing and administering his department in a highly efficient manner to insure effective communications, thereby contributing materially to the fighting efficiency of his ship . . .”
He is also entitled to the Ribbon for, and a facsimile of the Presidential Unit Citation awarded USS Lexington.
Detached from the Lexington in July 1946 he had a period of inactive duty until December of that year, when he joined the USS Tarawa as Communication Officer. During the period July 1947 to June 1948 he was a student at the General Line School, Newport, Rhode Island, after which he served as Communication Officer on the staff of Commander Carrier Division Sixteen. In April 1951 he reported as Executive Officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit at Iowa State College and in July 1953 returned to duty afloat, serving as Executive Officer of USS Deuel.
He was head of the Officer Candidate Training Section in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., between June 1955 and September 1958, and after training at the Sonar School and Fleet Air Defense School under Command Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet, assumed command.
In November 1958, of USS Harry E. Hubbard (DD-748). In June 1960 he became Commanding Officer of the Naval Communication Facility (later changed to Naval Communication Station), Philippine Islands, with headquarters in San Miguel. In June 1962 he was ordered to duty in The Joint Staff Office, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, and the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Captain Carney has the American Defense Service Medal with star; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two silver stars (ten operations); World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars.