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Adapted from "Captain Matthew Vaughan Carson, Jr., U.S. Navy, Deceased"
[biography, dated 28 April 1958] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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Matthew Vaughan Carson, Jr.

12 November 1910 - 27 October 1971

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Matthew Vaughan Carson, Jr., was born in Cleburne, Texas, on November 12, 1910, son of Matthew V. and Mary Brady Carson. He attended St. Edwards University and received the degree of Bachelor of Laws from the University of Texas in 1934. Thereafter he practiced law in Corpus Christi and Forth Worth, Texas, specializing in Oil and Gas Law, and was a member of the Bar in the State of Texas and the US Supreme Court. Commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on May 23, 1938, he was called to active duty in December 1940, after his promotion to Lieutenant (jg). Through subsequent advancement and his transfer to the US Navy on September 27, 1946, he attained the rank of Captain, USN, to date from July 1, 1954.

Reporting for active duty in December 1940, he served for a year as Executive Officer of USS PC-458, and commanded that submarine chaser after the outbreak of World War II in December 1941, until October 1942. “For heroic achievement as Commanding Officer of the USS PC 458 during action against an enemy submarine in the Caribbean Sea Area on July 13, 1942…” he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V.” The citation further states:

“When USS Lansdowne made contact with the hostile vessel, Commander (then Lieutenant, Junior Grade) Carson directed the PC 458 in a skillfully coordinated depth-charge attack to the target and contributed to the destruction of one of the enemy’s vital combatant ships as evidenced by the appearance of an oil slick and a large quantity of air bubbles on the surface of the war…”

He briefly commanded another submarine chaser, USS SC-1268, and in March 1943 reported to the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company to assist in fitting out USS Levy (DE-162), one of the first destroyer escort vessels built at that yard. He joined the Levy at her commissioning on May 13, 1943, as Executive Officer, and from July 13, 1943 until February 1944 was her Commanding Officer. After instruction at the Fleet Sound School, Key West, Florida, he reported in March 1944 to the Brown Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Houston, Texas, to fit out USS LeRay Wilson (DE-414).

As Commanding Officer of the USS LeRay Wilson during the latter period of the war, Captain Carson participated in the Leyte operation (landings in October- November 1944), the Luzon operation (Lingayen Gulf landing), Okinawa Gunto operation (assault and occupation), and Third Fleet operations against Japan. In October 1945 he reported to the Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, where he served as Administrative Officer and Assistant Captain of the Yard, with collateral duty as Commanding Officer, Reserve Fleet Berthing Area. He was detached in June 1946 for instruction at the General Line School, Newport, Rhode Island, after his transfer to the regular Navy from the Navy Reserve.

From July 1947 until October 1948 he was at sea as Operations Officer of USS Portsmouth (CL-102), which during part of that period served as Flagship of Commander Mediterranean Forces. He returned to the United States in October 1948 and from November of that year until August 1950 served in Washington, DC, as Chief of the Operations Division, Munitions Board, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He then served for ten months as Counsel, Navy Petroleum Reserves, Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, and in July 1951 became Deputy Director and Counsel, Naval Petroleum Reserves, Denver, Colorado, remaining there until April 1954.

After a year’s duty with the Joint US Military Group, Spain, he returned to the United States for duty as District Legal Officer, Third Naval District, with Headquarters in New York, NY. During his tour of duty there he also served as Legal Officer on the staff of Commander Eastern Sea Frontier. On August 23, 1957, he was ordered detached and to duty as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, DC, his current assignment.

In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V,” Captain Carson has the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three operations stars; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Europe Clasp; National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars.

Captain Carson is a member of the Pole Vaulters Club; Army and Navy Country Club, Arlington, Virginia; Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver, Colorado. He is an Admiral in the “Texas Navy.”

He died October 27, 1971.



Published: Tue Sep 08 12:36:01 EDT 2020