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BG Evans Fordyce Carlson

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BG Evans Fordyce Carlson Famous memorial

Birth
Sidney, Delaware County, New York, USA
Death
27 May 1947 (aged 51)
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Burial
Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot
Section 11, Lot 653
Memorial ID
7362953 View Source

United States Marine Corps General. He was the United States Marine Corps leader of the World War II's famed "Carlson's Raiders" and is credited with introducing the term "Gung Ho" as it is most popularly used today. He was the son of a Congregationalist minister who ran away from home at the age of 14 and concealed his age to enter the US Army two years later. He served in the Philippines and Hawaii on his first enlistment and was discharged at the rank of first sergeant in 1916. He returned to the Army in less than a year in which he participated in the hunt for the Mexican bandit and outlaw Pancho Villa under renowned Army General John Pershing. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1917 and served in France during World War I and was made captain of field artillery in December 1917. After World War I he served in Germany with the Army of Occupation and was discharged in 1921. In 1922 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, as a private and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1923. He performed duty in Puerto Rico and with the Pacific Fleet on the West Coast. In 1925 he applied aviation training and attended instructional school at the Naval Aeronautical Station in Pensacola, Florida, but returned to ground duty. From 1927 to 1929 he served at Shanghai, China. In 1930 he was sent to Nicaragua as an officer in the Guardia Nacional, and earned a Navy Cross for defending his garrison of 12 Marines against 100 bandits in a night attack. He returned to the US in 1933 and was assigned the executive officer for the Marine Corps Detachment at President Franklin Roosevelt's alternative White House and vacation retreat at Warm Springs, Georgia. While there, he became good friends with the President and his son James. After serving at Warm Springs, he returned to China where he was assigned to the 4th Marines at Shanghai and then to the Marine Detachment, American Legation, Peking (now Beijing) China, serving as Adjutant and studied the Chinese language. He returned to the US in 1936 where he served at Quantico while attending the Marine Corps Schools and studying International Law and Politics at George Washington University, Washington DC. In 1937 he returned to China again as an official student of the Chinese language and also as a military observer with the Chinese forces, where he learned the tactics of the Japanese soldier. After meeting author Edgar Snow and reading his book "Red Star Over China," he visited Chinese communist troops in northern China where he met Mao Zedong and other Chinese Communist leaders, traveling and living with them under primitive conditions. He left China in 1938 and returned to the US. Strongly believing in the danger of Japanese aggression in the Far East, he soon resigned his commission as a captain to freely write on the subject. In 1941, prior to the US entry into World War II, he applied to be re-commissioned into the Marine Corps and was accepted with the rank of major. In 1942 he was placed in command of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion with the rank of lieutenant colonel, a new combat organization whose creation he helped influence, modeled after the communist armies that he observed on his last tour in China. On 17 August 1942, his unit participated in the Makin Island (now known as Butaritari Island) Raid against Japanese forces in the Pacific, earning him a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross. He earned another Gold Star for his heroism and distinguished leadership on Guadalcanal in November and December 1942. In March 1943 the four raider battalions were restructured under the newly created 1st Raider Regiment and he was relieved of his command. Having contracted malaria and jaundice, he was sent back to the US for medical treatment and in 1943 served as a technical adviser to Walter Wagner's "Gung Ho!: The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders." Later in 1943, he returned to the Pacific Theater as an observer and was wounded during the 1944 Saipan operation while attempting to rescue a wounded enlisted radioman from a front-line observation post and received another Gold Star in lieu of a Purple Heart. His wounds resulted in his physical disability and he retired from the Marine Corps on 1 July 1946 with 31 years of active military service in the US Army and Marine Corps, and was advanced to the rank of brigadier general on the retired list. He died in Portland, Oregon, a year later due to a cardiac ailment. Among his awards and decorations include the Navy Cross with 2 stars, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart with 1 award star, the Navy Presidential Unit Citation with 3 service stars, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, the World War I Victory Medal with France clasp, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 service stars, as well as other decorations for his military service in China and Nicaragua. His publications include "The Chinese Army: Its Organization and Military Efficiency" (1939), "Twin Stars of China" (1940), and "Evan F. Carlson on China at War, 1937-1941."

United States Marine Corps General. He was the United States Marine Corps leader of the World War II's famed "Carlson's Raiders" and is credited with introducing the term "Gung Ho" as it is most popularly used today. He was the son of a Congregationalist minister who ran away from home at the age of 14 and concealed his age to enter the US Army two years later. He served in the Philippines and Hawaii on his first enlistment and was discharged at the rank of first sergeant in 1916. He returned to the Army in less than a year in which he participated in the hunt for the Mexican bandit and outlaw Pancho Villa under renowned Army General John Pershing. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1917 and served in France during World War I and was made captain of field artillery in December 1917. After World War I he served in Germany with the Army of Occupation and was discharged in 1921. In 1922 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, as a private and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1923. He performed duty in Puerto Rico and with the Pacific Fleet on the West Coast. In 1925 he applied aviation training and attended instructional school at the Naval Aeronautical Station in Pensacola, Florida, but returned to ground duty. From 1927 to 1929 he served at Shanghai, China. In 1930 he was sent to Nicaragua as an officer in the Guardia Nacional, and earned a Navy Cross for defending his garrison of 12 Marines against 100 bandits in a night attack. He returned to the US in 1933 and was assigned the executive officer for the Marine Corps Detachment at President Franklin Roosevelt's alternative White House and vacation retreat at Warm Springs, Georgia. While there, he became good friends with the President and his son James. After serving at Warm Springs, he returned to China where he was assigned to the 4th Marines at Shanghai and then to the Marine Detachment, American Legation, Peking (now Beijing) China, serving as Adjutant and studied the Chinese language. He returned to the US in 1936 where he served at Quantico while attending the Marine Corps Schools and studying International Law and Politics at George Washington University, Washington DC. In 1937 he returned to China again as an official student of the Chinese language and also as a military observer with the Chinese forces, where he learned the tactics of the Japanese soldier. After meeting author Edgar Snow and reading his book "Red Star Over China," he visited Chinese communist troops in northern China where he met Mao Zedong and other Chinese Communist leaders, traveling and living with them under primitive conditions. He left China in 1938 and returned to the US. Strongly believing in the danger of Japanese aggression in the Far East, he soon resigned his commission as a captain to freely write on the subject. In 1941, prior to the US entry into World War II, he applied to be re-commissioned into the Marine Corps and was accepted with the rank of major. In 1942 he was placed in command of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion with the rank of lieutenant colonel, a new combat organization whose creation he helped influence, modeled after the communist armies that he observed on his last tour in China. On 17 August 1942, his unit participated in the Makin Island (now known as Butaritari Island) Raid against Japanese forces in the Pacific, earning him a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross. He earned another Gold Star for his heroism and distinguished leadership on Guadalcanal in November and December 1942. In March 1943 the four raider battalions were restructured under the newly created 1st Raider Regiment and he was relieved of his command. Having contracted malaria and jaundice, he was sent back to the US for medical treatment and in 1943 served as a technical adviser to Walter Wagner's "Gung Ho!: The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders." Later in 1943, he returned to the Pacific Theater as an observer and was wounded during the 1944 Saipan operation while attempting to rescue a wounded enlisted radioman from a front-line observation post and received another Gold Star in lieu of a Purple Heart. His wounds resulted in his physical disability and he retired from the Marine Corps on 1 July 1946 with 31 years of active military service in the US Army and Marine Corps, and was advanced to the rank of brigadier general on the retired list. He died in Portland, Oregon, a year later due to a cardiac ailment. Among his awards and decorations include the Navy Cross with 2 stars, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart with 1 award star, the Navy Presidential Unit Citation with 3 service stars, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, the World War I Victory Medal with France clasp, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 service stars, as well as other decorations for his military service in China and Nicaragua. His publications include "The Chinese Army: Its Organization and Military Efficiency" (1939), "Twin Stars of China" (1940), and "Evan F. Carlson on China at War, 1937-1941."

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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OREGON BRIG GENERAL USMC


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 17 Apr 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 7362953
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7362953/evans-fordyce-carlson: accessed ), memorial page for BG Evans Fordyce Carlson (26 Feb 1896–27 May 1947), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7362953, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .