William Rogers Carter – Colonel, United States Air Force

Colonel William R. “Roger” Carter (BA, MA, Texas Tech University) was the Deputy Commander for operations, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kunsan, Korea.

His flying assignments have included wing-level, command and staff positions in the Pacific Air Forces, Tactical Air Command, and Air Training Command. Colonel Carter has had other assignments at headquarters US Air Force and at the Air University Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education (AUCADRE).

His combat decorations include the Air Force Cross, Silver Star, and Distinguished Flying Cross. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Armed Forces Staff College, and Air War College.

Colonel William R. Carter, United States Air Force

Citation: Air Force Cross

War: Vietnam War


Captain William R. Carter (then First Lieutenant), was awarded the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Forward Air Controller in Southeast Asia from 6 March 1971 to 7 March 1971.

On those dates, Captain Carter flew his lightly armed observation aircraft into a heavily defended hostile area to aid in rescue of seven crewmen.

He also directed the pickup of another pilot and was instrumental in the extraction of a team of 97 men.

During this 36-hour ordeal, Captain Carter flew over 13 combat hours and directed 16 flights of fighter aircraft. After four unsuccessful rescue attempts the first day, Captain Carter returned to find the survivors out of food, water, and ammunition.

When their capture appeared imminent, with complete disregard for his personal safety, and despite intense hostile fire which had destroyed three aircraft and severely damaged four others, Captain Carter strafed the enemy within 15 feet of the survivors. When strike aircraft arrived, he directed them against hostile positions, When his supply of marking rockets had been expended, he continued to direct the fighters by making low passes and rocking his air-craft’s wings over enemy positions, exposing himself to a constant barrage of fire.

Due to the courageous efforts of Captain Carter, all 104 men were brought out alive. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Carter reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 10/14/1946
  • DATE OF DEATH: 12/02/2002

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