LINDSBORG, Kan. (KSNW) — A World War II veteran from Kansas is still going strong.
Terence Carlson is 100 years old. His experiences serving in the Navy are just as fresh on his mind as they were almost 80 years ago.
“I knew that I’d be drafted cuz I was 20 years old. You know that’s a prime time,” said Carlson.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Carlson knew he wanted to enlist.
“After I graduated from college, I went to officer’s training,” said Carlson.
As an engineering officer, Carlson was sent to the Great Lakes to form a crew for the brand new tank landing ship, LST-692.
“We would haul all kinds of trucks and tanks in our bottom deck,” said Carlson.
After making its way down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the ship would set sail to the Mediterranean.
“And we went over in a convoy, and they had destroyers patrolling, you know, for the U-boats,” said Carlson.
Carlson said the ship would sail back and forth across the sea, picking up troops and tanks from Italy.
“By that time, the Germans had been beat in Africa, North Africa. That was a lot of hard fighting there, and then, our troops went into Sicily, and from Sicily, they jumped into Italy,” said Carlson.
They dropped those troops off in southern France in the weeks following D-Day.
“It took about three days for a round trip going from Marseilles to Italy or Sicily,” said Carlson.
Carlson would serve in the European Theatre until April of 1945. Shortly after, he would receive an order to go to the Pacific. During his 30-day leave, he would marry his sweetheart Margot.
“It actually turned out the day we were married was V-E Day in Europe,” said Carlson.
But days away from landing in Japan.
“I was only on it about 10 days when they dropped the bombs,” said Carlson.
Carlson’s new ship would then transport prisoners of war and other troops throughout east Asia.
“They sent us to Shanghai, and we hauled a whole load of Japanese prisoners home to Japan. After that one trip, we were sent back to Shanghai, and we hauled the Chinese, Chiang Kai-shek, his troops. We hauled them up to Manchuria to fight the communists up there,” said Carlson.
Now at 100 years old, Carlson says he wouldn’t have changed a thing about his time in the Navy.
“I was, well, blessed or lucky, whatever you call it,” said Carlson.
If you would like to nominate a veteran for our Veteran Salute, email KSN reporter Hannah Adamson at email@example.com.