Carter was born May 26, 1916 in Los Angeles, California, but because his parents were missionaries, he grew up in India and Shanghai, China. While in Shanghai, Carter joined the Chinese National Army fighting against the Japanese.
In 1941, Carter enlisted in the United States Army and because of his previous combat experience, in less than a year he was promoted to staff sergeant. On March 23, 1945 near Speyer, Germany during World War II, Carter performed the actions for which he was awarded the medal, America’s highest military decoration. His citation partially reads, “When the tank he was riding received heavy bazooka and small arms fire, Sgt. Carter voluntarily attempted to lead a three-man group across an open field. Two of his men were killed and the third seriously wounded.
Continuing on alone, he was wounded five times and finally was forced to take cover. As eight enemy rifleman attempted to capture him, Sgt. Carter killed six of them and captured the remaining two. He then crossed the field, using as a shield his two prisoners from whom he obtained valuable information concerning the disposition of enemy troops.”
Carter was refused re-enlistment in the army and immediate awarding of the medal because of unfounded allegations that he had communist contacts and allegiances. He was posthumously awarded the medal on January 13, 1997 by President William Clinton.