Carter, James Earle, LT

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Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1952-1953, USS Seawolf (SSN-575)
Service Years
1946 - 1961
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Decommissioning
Plank Owner
Lieutenant
Lieutenant

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What are you doing now:
Putting aside political divisions and partisan arguments, this profile is not intended as a political statement for President Carter but rather to document his service while in the United States Navy. All information comes from the Navy Historical Center (http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq60-14.htm)
and the President Jimmy Carter Library and Museum (http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.org/documents/jec/jcnavy.phtm)
Any additional information, with sources, would be welcome.

   
Other Comments:
MILITARY SERVICE:
James Earle (Jimmy) Carter, Jr., who in 1976 became the fifth consecutive President with prior Navy service. Graduating from Plains High School in 1941, he attended Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia. After a year there, Carter transferred to Georgia Institute of Technology to study mathematics for a year in order to qualify for the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1943, Carter received an appointment to the academy and became a member of the Class of 1947. After completing the accelerated wartime program, he graduated on 5 June 1946 with distinction and obtained his commission as ensign.

After he graduated, Carter was stationed at Norfolk and assigned to USS Wyoming (E-AG 17), an older battleship that had been converted into a floating laboratory for testing new electronics and gunnery equipment. On Wyoming, Carter served as radar officer and CIC officer. Detached when Wyoming was decommissioned on 23 July 1947, he was assigned that day to another similarly used battleship, USS Mississippi (E-AG 128) as Training and Education Officer. After completing two years of surface ship duty, Carter chose to apply for submarine duty. Accepted, he began the six-month course at the U.S. Navy Submarine School, Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut from 14 June to 17 December 1948.

Upon completion of the course, Carter was assigned to USS Pomfret (SS 391) based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he reported on board on 29 December. Pomfret left on a simulated war patrol to the western Pacific and the Chinese coast on 4 January 1949. On board, Carter qualified in a submarine on 4 February, and served as Communications Officer, Sonar Officer, Electronics Officer, Gunnery Officer and Supply Officer. On 9 March, he served as the approach officer for a simulated torpedo firing at target ships, and scored a "hit." The submarine returned to Pearl Harbor on 25 March. Soon after Carter's promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade on 5 June 1949, Pomfret was sent in July to San Diego where the submarine operated along the California coast.

Detached from Pomfret on 1 February 1951, Carter was assigned as Engineering Officer for the precommissioning detail for USS K-1 (SSK 1). K-1, the first postwar submarine built, was under construction by Electric Boat Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, Connecticut. After K-1's commissioning on 10 November 1951, Carter served as Executive Officer, Engineering Officer, and Electronics Repair Officer. During this tour he also qualified for command of a submarine.

When Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (then a captain) started his program to create nuclear powered submarines, Carter wanted to join the program and was interviewed by Rickover. On 1 June 1952, Carter was promoted to Lieutenant. Selected by Rickover, Carter was detached on 16 October 1952 from K-1 for duty with the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, Division of Reactor Development in Schenectady, New York. From 3 November 1952 to 1 March 1953, he served on temporary duty with the Naval Reactors Branch, U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, DC to assist "in the design and development of nuclear propulsion plants for naval vessels."

From 1 March to 8 October, Carter was preparing to become the engineering officer for the nuclear power plant to be placed in USS Seawolf (SSN 575), one of the first submarines to operate on atomic power. He assisted in setting up training for the enlisted men who would serve on Seawolf. During this time his father became very sick and died in July 1953. After his father's death in 1953, Carter resigned from the Navy to return to Georgia to manage the family interests. Carter was honorably discharged on 9 October 1953 at Headquarters, Third Naval District in New York City. On 7 December 1961, he transferred to the retired reserve with the rank of Lieutenant at his own request.

When President Carter was in naval service, he was awarded the
following: American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, China Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

"Carter was in the tail end of World War II as a student at Annapolis.
Later in 1949, his ship was in China as an observer of the Chinese
Revolution (He later wrote he could see the campfires of the Maoist
armies from his ship) thus the China medal." - Albert Nason, Archivist, Jimmy Carter Library

After the service:
1963-1967 Georgia State Senate
1971-1975 - Governor of Georgia
1977-1981 - 39th President of the United States

   
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  1952-1953, USS Seawolf (SSN-575)

Lieutenant

From Month/Year
- / 1952

To Month/Year
- / 1953

Unit
USS Seawolf (SSN-575) Unit Page

Rank
Lieutenant

NEC
Not Specified

Location
Not Specified

Country/State
Not Specified
 
 
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 USS Seawolf (SSN-575) Details

USS Seawolf (SSN-575)





Awarded: 21 July 1952
Builder: Electric Boat division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 7 September 1953
Launched: 21 July 1955
Commissioned: 30 March 1957
Decommissioned: 30 March 1987
Struck: 10 July 1987
Fate: Disposed of by submarine recycling






Hull number SSN-575

Type
Sub-Surface Vessels

Existing/Disbanded
Decommissioned

Parent Unit
Submarines

Strength
Submarine

Created/Owned By
MM Summers, Nicole (Mike), MMFN 105
   

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2009
   
Memories For This Unit

Other Memories
From 16 OCT 1952 to 08 OCT 1953 served duty with US Atomic Energy Commission (Division of Reactor Development, Schenectady Operations Office) From 3 NOV 1952 to 1 MAR 1953 he served on temporary duty with Naval Reactors Branch, US Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C. "assisting in the design and development of nuclear propulsion plants for naval vessels." From 1 MAR 1953 to 8 OCT 1953 he was under instruction to become an engineering officer for a nuclear power plant. He also assisted in setting up on-the-job training for the enlisted men being instructed in nuclear propulsion for the USS Seawolf (SSN575). Left service before launch.

   
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