Howard Fredric Carter was born in Medford, Oregon on Jul 13, 1917 to Mabel Rose Carter, also known as May Belle Rose Carter (McKay), who owned a beauty shop in Lakeside, and Harold Carter. Harold passed on February 23, 1960 in Torrance, California; Mabel survived him and passed on November 7, 2001 at the age of 103 in Forth Worth Texas.
Howard was 126th in his graduating class of 1936 at Grossmont High School. The Principal said he was a fine young man, as did many community members. He was a member of the track team, was a member of the biology and chemistry clubs, and participated in the Christmas Pageant and Spring Concert. His goal, as he stated in the yearbook, was to be a bread and butter man. He and Rowland Smith were on the track team at the same time in 1936. Howard stood five foot, six inches tall, with light brown hair and blue eyes.
Unmarried, Howard enlisted in the Navy on December 11, 1936 for a term of four years; his base pay was $21 a month. He attended boot camp at Naval Training Center San Diego, then reported aboard the USS Dobbin on March 26, 1937. He was advanced to Coxswain, Third Class, in February of 1941, and reenlisted for two years on October 31, 1940. He was awarded a good conduct medal.
Sadly, Howard was on Gun #4 during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when he was struck by bomb fragments that resulted in extensive wounds to his lungs, thorax and heart. He gave his life at only 24 years old.
Later, his remains were returned to San Diego and laid to rest at Greenwood Memorial Park. In 2017 the Post Commander Paula Jansen and Auxiliary President LeAnna Brown placed a VFW marker at his grave site.
Rowland Hampton Smith was born in San Diego on Jun 17, 1921 to Susan S. Smith, and Harry Smith, a carpenter. They lived on Lot 109 in Riverview Farms. They adopted Rowland, their only child. Susan passed Jan 24, 1938, and Harry followed her on December 7, 1948.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, his remains were declared non-recoverable. His remains were never identified but are listed as some of the approximately 390 veterans from the USS Oklahoma that are buried in mass graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Rowland was just 20 years old.The USS Oklahoma Memorial was dedicated Dec 7, 2007 on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. Both Howard and Rowland were posthumously awarded the American Defense Service Medal, WW II Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Combat Action ribbon and the Purple Heart.