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William Otto Carter, Jr.
348th Fighter Group, 340th Fighter Squadron/460th Fighter Squadron
P-47D Thunderbolt Pilot

Background
Born in Sweetwater, Texas.

Wartime History
William Otto Carter, Jr, flew 190 combat missions, received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters. Among his highlights are meeting and flying with Charles Lindberg in a week long training session in New Guinea. On November 29, 1944 he claimed a Japanese destroyer and a transport.

Neel Kearby was his commanding officer. On the March 4, 1944 mission when Kearby was shot down, Carter was scheduled to fly with Kearby the week after he was shot down.

Click For EnlargementDuring 1943-1945, Carter was assigned at least four P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft. His planes had two nicknames: "Carter's Li'l Pill" named after the popular regularity medicine named Carter's Little Liver Pills. His other two aircraft were named "Sweetwater Swatter", as a tribute to his hometown Sweetwater, Texas.

P-47D "Carter's Li'l Pill" 42-8066  piloted by Carter July - October 1, 1943
P-47D "Carter's Li'l Pill"   piloted by Carter circa early 1944 operated at Saidor
P-47D "Amaranthus! / Sweetwater Swatter"   piloted by Carter circa middle 1944
P-47D "Sweetwater Swatter!"   piloted by Carter circa late 1944-1945

Other aircraft known to have been flown by Carter:
P-47D 42-25419  piloted by Carter from Townsville to Port Moresby
P-47D 43-25643  assigned to Carter during late 1944 - 1945

When the 460th Fighter Squadron was formed, Carter and Dunham formed the unit. Carter was asked to command the new squadron, but he declined.

Awards
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) citation:
"Captain WILLIAM O. CARTER, JR., (0665522), Air Corps, United States Army. For extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight off Duljugan Point, Leyte, Phillipplne Islands, on 29 November 1944. Captain Carter was a f1ight leader in a formation of 16 p-47 aircraft which attacked a Japanese convoy consisting of :2 large transports and a destroyer escort. Leading his 4-plane flight in a low-lever attack, through light and medium anti~aircraft fire, he strafed one of the transports and dropped a bomb directly on its stern. An explosion shook the vessel and, having also been hit by another member of his flight, it began to sink , Then, accompanied by a wingman, Captain Carter made a minimum-altitude attack on the destroyer escort, which continued to throw up a barrage of anti-aircraft fire. He and his wingman scored direct hits on the warship, setting it on fire. The vessel lost speed, stopped, and began sinking at the stern. The outstanding courage and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Carter during this flight are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army Air Forces."

References
Thanks to William Otto Carter, III (son) for additional information
Wings, W.A.S.P. and Warriors "The Otto Carter Story"
Abilene News "Internet holds big surprise for retired Air Force colonel" March 12, 2000
OttoCarter.com - Letters Home 1943 - 1944 - 1945 William Otto Carter, Jr.

Last Updated
May 22, 2017

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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