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Post Info TOPIC: Indy Survivor Loyd G. Carter Receives awards 63 years after discharge.


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Indy Survivor Loyd G. Carter Receives awards 63 years after discharge.


Veteran waits over six decades for awards
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Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Kishman pins the World War II Victory Medal on Navy veteran Loyd Carters sweater during a March 14 ceremony in the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training bay here. Petty Officer Kishman and Rear Adm. Doug McClain, director of global operations, U.S. Strategic Command, awarded seven medals to the Petty Officer Third Class who survived the Pearl Harbor attack aboard the USS California and the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. Petty Officer Kishman learned of the veterans service and was praised for arranging the long-overdue awards ceremony. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)
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by Danielle Gregory
Tinker Public Affairs


3/20/2008 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- "Lucky" is a nickname that truly describes the life of one Oklahoma City man.
   Loyd Carter was assigned to the USS California in 1941 and lived to tell the story of a day that changed the course of American history. 
   Mr. Carter was guest of honor at a ceremony March 14 -- which is now known as BM3 Loyd Carter Day -- for long overdue awards that were never presented to him for his service in World War II.
   Rear Adm. Doug McClain, director of Naval Global Operations, United States Strategic Command, served as the guest speaker at the ceremony giving background history to Carter's life as a Seaman.
   Enlisting into the Navy four years into World War II doesn't sound like something most would enjoy unless they're Loyd G. Carter, formerly of Holdenville, Okla.
   Mr. Carter, who joined the Navy at the age of 21, was involved in several world events that would forever be taught in history school books and educational television shows.
Once graduating recruit naval training, Seaman Carter was assigned to the USS California, home ported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The USS California was one of the newest battleships at the time.
   On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Seaman Carter was putting chairs on the deck of the ship for church services when he spotted Japanese airplanes overhead. Carter watched and participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor. That day will forever be known as "A day which will live in infamy."
   Soon after the attack took place and the USS California was dry docked, Seaman Carter was reassigned to the USS Indianapolis.
   The USS Indianapolis carried the atomic bomb "Little Boy," which was to be dropped at Hiroshima. According to Admiral McClain, "Little Boy" played a huge part in ending World War II. 
   "Five days after dropping off the cargo, the ship was struck by a torpedo and inevitably sunk on July 30, 1945," Admiral McClain said. "This sinking led to the loss of hundreds of Sailors. About 300 of the 1,196 men onboard died in the actual attack and, of the 880 men that survived, only 316 came out of the four-day stay in the water. These men endured exposure to the elements, severe desquamation and shark attacks."
   It was on Aug. 2 that the survivors were accidentally spotted on a routine patrol flight.
   "At last count, only 86 of the U.S. Sailors that survived what some described as hell are alive today," said Admiral McClain.
   According to Admiral McClain, Mr. Carter spent 53 months of his enlistment seeing action overseas. He survived the sinking of two ships, a kamikaze attack and endured four days floating in the sea. He was honorably discharged just a few months after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.
   Several amazing twists of events lead up to Mr. Carter receiving his overdue awards. Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Kishman was on leave during the holidays and met Mr. Carter. After learning about the awards Mr. Carter never received, Petty Officer Kishman took it upon himself to figure out Mr. Carter's story. His work led to the presentation of the awards.
   "I'm glad to see that he is getting the recognition he well deserves," said Petty Officer Kishman.
   The only award Mr. Carter had already received was the Purple Heart. The awards Mr. Carter received on March 14 were: Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, The American Campaign Medal, The Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal.
   "I am very humble and appreciate what you all have done for me," Mr. Carter said. "This feels great and it was a relief to receive the medals. I didn't think I would ever get them."
   Admiral McClain said, "What your generation did for our freedom is to be celebrated. Thank you for what you gave to us and the country. The fact that we have these Sailors assembled here who are in the fight today keeping the freedom right here in Oklahoma makes this the most fitting setting I can think of."


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Thank you for sharing that with us! These men truly are heroes who have been forgotten or for many their story hasn't been told! I'm glad he is getting his recognition! Thanks for including the photograph!

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