Carter, Terrel Elbert, QM1

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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
Last Rating/NEC Group
Primary Unit
1966-1966, QM-0000, PBR-103, River Section 531
Service Years
1957 - 1967
Two Hash Marks

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael D. Withers (Mike), OSCS to remember Carter, Terrel Elbert, PO1.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Jan 15, 1967
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Gia Dinh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Bedon Baptist Church Cemetery - Walterboro, South Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
14E 033

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Vietnam Combat Craft Crewmember Badge

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2013, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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 Ribbon Bar
Petty Officer in Charge (Small Craft) Badge

 Duty Stations
River Section 531, River Division 53 (RIVDIV 53)
  1966-1966, QM-0000, PBR-103, River Section 531
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1966 Vietnam War
  1966-1967 Vietnam War
  1966-1969 Operation Game Warden
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (65-66)/Operation Jackstay
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jan 17, 2016, General Photos3
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Operations in the Mekong (My Tho) and Ham Luong Rivers
On 15 January PBRs of River Patrol Section 531 engaged at least three main force companies of the Viet Cong's 263rd Battalion in the narrow Nam Thon channel north of Ngu Hiep Island. One U.S. Sailor was mortally wounded in the actions; at least nine Viet Cong were killed and three were wounded. A large number of sampans and installations were destroyed.

About 15:45 PBRs 103 and 105 received a report from a Vietnamese outpost on the south bank of the river that a large number of Viet Cong with heavy weapons were crossing the river from north to south about six miles west of the outpost. The patrol officer, BM1 WILLIAMS notified the Vietnamese Seventh Division tactical operations center at My Tho and proceeded to the crossing area.

As the PBRs approached the crossing point., they detected two heavily-loaded sampans in the channel. The patrol came under heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire from both banks simultaneously and small arms fire from the sampans. The patrol returned the fire into positions spotted and marked by an L-19 aircraft overhead.  Enemy fire was momentarily suppressed and the patrol cleared to the west. 

Artillery fire was then ordered into the area, followed by helicopter and fixed-wing air strikes. Upon completion of the air strikes, PBRs 103 and 105 Joined by PBRs 96 and 104, entered the channel under cover provided by an Army helicopter fire team
in order to investigate two enemy sampans which had beached during the fire fight. Several more sampans were discovered. Suddenly the enemy opened up again on the PBRs with heavy fire from both banks. While the patrol was trying to clear the kill zone, PBR 96's propulsion pumps clogged. The three companion boats remained in the kill zone to provide cover until the crew of 96 was able to clear the pumps. The four boats then withdrew together.

During the engagement the four boats killed nine Viet Cong and wounded three. In addition, nine Viet Cong sampans were sunk (one with over 2400 pounds of rice), 17 structures were destroyed and eleven others were damaged. Four PBR crewmen were wounded, including the boat captain of PBR 103, Quartermaster First Class Terrell E. CARTER, USN, CARTER was evacuated to Saigon, but died in the hospital a few hours later.

Name of Award
Silver Star
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Quartermaster First Class Terrel Elbert Carter (NSN: 4891342), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action on 15 January 1967, while serving with River Patrol Section FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE, during combat operations against insurgent communist forces along the Mekong River, Republic of Vietnam. As Boat Captain of Patrol Boat River ONE HUNDRED THREE (PBR-103), on combat patrol seventeen miles west of My Tho, Petty Officer Carter was directly instrumental in the interdiction of a major enemy supply movement across the Nam Thon branch of the Mekong River. While investigating a suspected enemy crossing, and spotting two heavily-laden sampans, his patrol was subjected to intense automatic-weapons fire from enemy positions on the river banks. Petty Officer Carter successfully maneuvered his boat clear of the enemy fire while directing his crew in returning accurate machine gun fire. With the help of two other PBR's the enemy sampans were destroyed. When one PBR developed a propulsion casualty and could not maneuver rapidly, Petty Officer Carter unhesitatingly maneuvered his boat back in position to lay down a heavy protective fire until the PBR reached safety. While performing this courageous act, Petty Officer Carter was mortally wounded. His boat accounted for three confirmed enemy dead and two confirmed enemy wounded. By his outstanding and inspiring leadership and valiant devotion to duty in the face of intense enemy fire, Petty Officer Carter upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Board Serial 1678 (March 15, 1967)
Action Date: 15-Jan-67
Service: Navy
Rank: Quartermaster First Class
Regiment: Patrol Boat River 103 (PBR-103)
Division: River Patrol Section 531

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