John Harvey Carson

First Lieutenant
United States Marine Corps
26 August 1946 - 05 June 1968
San Antonio, Texas
Panel 60W Line 016


John H Carson

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Harvey Carson

John was born in East Stroudburg, Pennsylvania. His mother was the former Elizabeth M. Pysher, of Bangor, Pennsylvania. He was our first born. He attended and graduated from Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas, where he excelled in the Army ROTC. John was Cadet Sergeant Major in his senior year and was awarded the prestigious Bentencourt Medal which traditionally had gone to the Corps Commandant.

John attended the University of Texas, Austin, and after one year decided to enter the US Marine Corps taking his boot training in San Diego, California. He completed boot camp as the series honor man and led the parade in Marine Corps dress blues. Shortly after boot camp he was accepted for Officer Training School which he also finished with high honors.

John was awarded the Bronze Star with V for heroic action on 6 April, 1968:

Bronze Star Certificate


The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the
Bronze Star Medal posthumously to

Second Lieutenant John H. Carson
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following:


"For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company E, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division. On 6 April 1968, Second Lieutenant CARSON's platoon was the lead element of a helicopter-borne force consisting of another platoon and the company command post assigned to recover a Marine killed during a previous reconnaissance mission near Hill 190 in Quang Tri Province. Almost immediately upon landing, his platoon came under heavy mortar fire from entrenched North Vietnamese Army on the hill and emplacements in the surrounding terrain. Ignoring the danger to his life, he repeatedly exposed himself to exploding enemy rounds as he deployed his men to secure the landing zone for the arrival of the remainder of the force. He then skillfully maneuvered his men through the increasingly intense hostile mortar and artillery fire to reach and secure the crest of the hill. Completely disregarding his own safety, he personally supervised and assisted in carrying wounded Marines from the fire-swept slopes to the landing zone, returning each time across the hazardous area to direct the actions of his men on the hill top. When informed that both the company commander and executive officer had become casualties, he immediately assumed command, rapidly assessed the situation and established defensive positions. Organizing the command group to provide security, he then directed the movement of the platoons to the landing zone for retraction. Only after ensuring that all the casualties had been medically evacuated and the remainder of the company embarked did he board the last helicopter and depart the area. Second Lieutenant CARSON's courage, bold initiative and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

The Combat "V" is authorized.

For the President

Admiral, U. S. Navy
Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet

18 Feb 1998

From his father,
John W. Carson
Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)

15 Jan 2003

Thanks, John Harvey Carson.

I owe you, my family owes you. We will try our best to pay you back by keeping our country free. Thanks for the freedom you have passed on to me. I am eternally grateful.

Barry E. DeWalt
Arlington TX

26 Aug 2003

God Bless You, John Harvey,
You and your Father John and Uncle Gene,
Are far better Men than I!

From a friend,
Bob Bradshaw
17 Starlite Ave.Holiday Island, Ar. 72631

26 Aug 2003

I accidentally happened on this site,
and thought perhaps I could just contribute anyway.
So many Marines lost, but NEVER forgotten.
Semper Fidelis, and "Oorah" to LT Carson.

LCpl Joshua B. Kruger

20 Nov 2003

I've never actually met John Harvey Carson, but I have heard of him through his father. I have no idea what it must actually be like to risk your life for our country's freedom with bullets flying around you, but I do know John must have been an extremely brave and proud man. Thank you, John, for preserving a life for myself and my children that allows us to live in the land of the free.

From a friend of his father.
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

29 Nov 2003

The Carson family history is full of heroic fighting men who dedicated their lives for our great Country. I was a classmate of John Harvey at Jefferson High School. Even then, you sensed he was someone special. We both served as Marine infantrymen in Vietnam and I had already returned state-side when I learned of his passing. He possessed impeccable character and integrity and must have instilled great confidence in his subordinates. I have come to know John's dad and uncle, both career mustangers, and men of the strongest moral fiber I know. I would do well to emulate them for they are the reason we have the freedoms too many take for granted today.

Semper fidelis, John Harvey Carson.
You will never be forgotten.

Stephen W. Amodt
Captain, USMC (Retired)
P. O. Box 3508 Idyllwild, Ca. 92540

22 Feb 2004

Lt Carson, I salute you and thank you for your sacrifice for myself and our 11 grandchildren and our freedom.

From a fellow Marine,
Sgt Jack Pankratz, USMC 1948-52
Appleton, Wisconsin

28 Mar 2004

Lt. Carson and family,
Thank you for a debt we cannot repay.
We will pray for you and for our country.

James T. Wren
2Lt, USAF 1975-77
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

24 Jul 2004

I served under Lt Carson in Vietnam with Echo Co. I was med-evaced in February of 1968 and was not aware of Lt Carson's passing until 35 years later. He was the same age as me and when he first arrived in-country, he was looked at with much skepticism. It did not take long for the young LT to gain our respect. He had the leadership skills of a veteran combat officer and was well admired by all of his men. Many of those men are alive and well today thanks to Lt John Harvey Carson.

Former GySgt John Foster

8 Oct 2004

I knew John Carson at Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas. He was my ROTC cadet Lt. Colonel. John was a fine ROTC leader. He was serious, but he took the time to get to know the new cadets, and he treated them with kindness and respect.

What I remember most about John is his smile. He had a smile that was electric. In a tough situation on the firing range, John calmed everyone down with a quick smile and "It's OK, guys". He was a born leader who asked no one to do what he was not willing to do.

I last saw John at what was called Wonderland Mall. My friend and fellow cadet, Joe Hines, found out then that he was going in the Marines. He was upbeat and wished us the best in our studies. Joe and I often talk of John and our good memories of him. Joe and I were in Washington a while back, and we looked up John Harvey Carson on the wall at the memorial. Sad. John was so much more than just a name on a wall.

From a friend,
J. C. Horton

17 May 2005

I served with LT Carson as his Platoon Messenger from 1/68-3/68. He became more than my Platoon Commander. He became my friend. He and I had served under fire together and had developed a very trusting fellowship. One night when our position was being hit by the enemy, our platoon was to fall out as a reactionary force against them. LT Carson knew that my time in Vietnam was almost up, so he told me to stay behind in case the Captain needed anything. I told him " No sir, I am going with you." He knew what I meant and he didn't order me to stay behind. But this was the admiration and respect I had for him. To stand beside him, to carry out and perform what ever his orders.

"And this story shall the good man teach his son;
from this day till the end of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother."
Henry the V

Semper Fi, Sir
L/Cpl Alva Moring

From a fellow Marine,
Alva Moring

27 Jun 2006


As usual you know that I honor and remember your Son each year at the Wall. I will never forget his sacrifice or yours.

Semper Fi

From a friend,
Carmen Crawford

27 Jun 2006

Many were lost fighting to preserve our freedom. Thanks will never be enough gratitude. My father served 3 tours. We were lucky, he came home. God Bless America and all who have fought for us!!

E-Mail will be forwarded by the

30 Jun 2006

A true friend, just and honorable John Carson is. For without men like you, to serve and give your heart and soul for our country, I wouldn't have been able to live in freedom compared to other countries. In a day when honor and truth and justice may have meant more or different degrees of what was right. Thank you, John, and to your family. For you. For you.

From a friend,
Lisa Kohn

30 Jun 2006

Thank you, and welcome home. Families like yours are the reason we are all able to enjoy life at home. Thank you for your son's service and for your own.

Without your sacrifices this country would not be here.

A friend,
John C. Peabody III
'76-'79 U.S. Army Europe (Germany)

04 Jul 2006

I have been fortunate enough not to lose any loved ones in any of the wars they fought. May John and all the others who have sacrificed themselves rest in peace knowing there are still many Americans who have not been so personally struck that are grateful beyond mere words for the freedoms and ideals he and the others gave everything to defend.

From a grateful American,
Molly Dodge

05 Jul 2006

I guess it is never too late to express our sorrow at your loss and our thanks for your service. My grand son is in the Marines. I never really knew the emotional roller coaster ride this could cause. Please know that you will always be remembered. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, and, I know you are now an angel giving advice to all of our new angel heroes who have come to join you.

With love and respect
Pamela Dustin
Bakersfield, Ca

14 Apr 2007

"Once a Marine, always a Marine" is what my brother Pete (5th Marine Division) used to say.

I was in the same AO more toward the west close to Laos and Cambodia borders and DMZ to the north. Thanks, Marine, for an outstanding job. Semper Fi...

From a fellow member of his Dad's BK Chapter VII.
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

1stLt Carson was the commander of Echo Company, 2/9 Marines. He and Lance Corporal David R. Keller of Bellefontaine, Ohio, died in the same incident on Route 9 west of Ca Lu.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his father,
John W. Carson
Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 18 Feb 1998
Last updated 09/13/2007