Obituaries » William Charles Carlson

December 17, 1922 - June 15, 2018

Service Date: July 20, 2018

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William Charles Carlson
December 17, 1922 – June 15, 2018

Lt. Col. William Charles Carlson, USMC, Retired, 95, passed away on Friday, June 15, 2018 in Wilson. He was born in Marshalltown, Iowa where he attended and graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1940. He attended Marshalltown Junior College. After World War II was declared, William joined the Navy Air Corps where he learned to fly. In 1943 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He married Elsie Mae Marshall in 1945 in Marshalltown, Iowa. They had two children, Karen Lea and John Arthur.

As a Marine Corps pilot, Col. Carlson flew several aircraft including a UPF-7, the B-25, the C-46, the Corsair, the C-54, the C-117 and the UH-34 helicopter. He saw action in World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Viet Nam War. He was stationed in Tientsin, China; El Toro, California; Cherry Point, North Carolina; Barbers Point, Hawaii; Jacksonville, North Carolina; Quantico, Virginia, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. During his twenty-eight years of service he received many honors including The Purple Heart, The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Bronze Star with Combat “V”, and The Air Medal.

Will retired from the Marine Corps in 1970. He and his wife, Elsie moved to Wilson where he returned to college and graduated with honors from Atlantic Christian College with a degree in accounting. Following graduation, he worked as a Trust Officer at Branch Bank and Trust for fifteen years. He was a member of the First Christian Church where he served as an Elder; a member of the Marine Corps League, Gold Leaf Detachment #1276 and as a member of the Wilson Country Club.

Col. Carlson is survived by his daughter, Karen Carlson Ciampa and her husband, Guy of Boca Raton, Florida; his son, John Arthur Carlson of Leucadia, California; his grandsons, Eric Carlson Ciampa and his wife, Laura of Islamorada, Florida and David Marshall Ciampa and his wife, Jessica of Moseley, Virginia; his great grandchildren, Luca David Ciampa, Lacey Katherine Ciampa, Lawson Dean Ciampa, and William Carlson Ciampa, and his brother, James Kenneth Carlson of Winona, Minnesota.

He was preceded in death by his wife of seventy 70 years, Elsie Marshall Carlson.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Coastal Carolina State Veteran’s Cemetery, 110 Montford Point Road, Jacksonville July 20, 2018 at 2:00 pm. A reception will follow at Duck’s Bar and Grill, 1207 Gum Branch Road, Jacksonville.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to The First Christian Church, PO Box 2702, Wilson, North Carolina 27894 or to The Marine Corps League Gold Leaf Detachment #1276, c/o Keith Shearin, 389 Genoa Lane, Clayton, North Carolina 27527.

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