Born 10 November, 1930, McCame, Texas
Father’s Name; Raymond Buford Carpenter – Rancher
Mother’s Name: Elizabeth Morrison – Homemaker
Raised in Devine, Texas. Attended and graduated from Devine High School (May 1947). Played (lettered 3 years each) football, basketball and baseball.
Enlisted in USMC, June 9, 1947 at age 16. Lied about my age, stating my date of birth was April 10, 1930. My Dad gave parental consent and his friend notarized my lie. Boot camp in San Diego. Was squad leader.
Started out in the USMC as a machine gunner. Got tired carrying the gun and decided there must be a better way to make a living. Took a typing test and got into the 7th Marines Bn. office.
Tried football and boxing some but not good enough. In November of 1948, filled a quota and was sent to HQMC. Personnel SgtMaj. assigned me to the Photographic Section. I objected, saying my Mother wanted to give me a camera when I left home so I could send pictures back.
I refused – not interested in photography. Needless to say the SgtMaj was not impressed and I went to the Photographic Section. There I became interested in motion picture photography.
At about the time the Korean War started, my enlistment ended but I decided to re-enlist. Seemed chicken to get out when there was a war going on. Didn’t get to Korea though until later because I was sent to the Signal Corps Production Center in Long Island, NY for on the job training to become a film editor (4691).
Enlisted assignments – Naval Photographic Center,3rdMarDiv, Japan, Korea, Camp Pendleton, 1st MarDiv. Naval Photographic Center (First enlisted Project Supervisor), HQMC. Top enlisted rank – Gunnery Sergeant E-7.
At some point when no longer fearful of a fraudulent enlistment situation, changed my birth date to the correct date of 10 November, 1930.
In 1961 applied for Warrant Officer. Was highly recommended. Took a written test. Appeared before a board. Was selected and commissioned permanently as WO. Did not attend WO Basic School. After 3 years as WO made CWO. In 1965 selected for LDO as 2ndLt. Later promoted to 1stLt. Retired 1 Sept. 67.
Officer assignments – MCRD San Diego as Photo and Postal Officer. East Coast Motion Picture Production Unit, Quantico, VA as OIC. TAD to Vietnam for 1 month to direct motion picture coverage of helicopter operations there. Vietnam, 3rdDiv and 111 MAF as OIC Photographic Unit and OIC Photo Unit, Combat Information Bureau, Da Nang, VN. Naval Photographic Center as Project Supervisor.
Medals – Navy Commendation with combat V. Good Conduct with 3 stars. Korean Service, China Service, (helped evacuate Chinese from Tachen Islands during Japan tour with 3rdMarDiv). Vietnam Service.
Worked on A Force In Readiness at Warner Bros. Pictures in Hollywood, which won an academy award. Also worked on John Glenn Story at Warner Bros., which was nominated but did not win an academy award.
Attended George Washington University, University of Maryland, Northen Virginia Community College. Successfully completed the College Equivalency test. Approximately 100 hours credit. No degree.
Following USMC retirement, was producer/director of motion pictures for Veterans Administration 1967-68. George Washington University, Department of Medical and Public Affairs, Director/Producer/Editor of motion pictures, 1968-1971. During same period was Vice President of Ravens Hollow, a not-for-profit motion picture production company. Veterans Administration as Chief Learning Resources Services, producing motion pictures, television, slides, workbooks and doing educational analysis for health care providers in VA (1971-87). Retired from VA in Jan. 87 but continued as consultant for 13 years until 2000. Now completely retired in Spring Hill, FL.
During civilian career won many awards including 3 emmys (Wash. D.C. local).
Married to the lovely Ann Marie Mahar for 54 years at this writing. Met Ann when she came to visit (1954) her sister who worked in the same photographic section as I at HQMC. Ann worked in accounting for the telephone company in Boston and Washington, D.C. She left work to be at home with our 5 children, Mary Beth, Scott, Tracy, Patrick and Kerry. When the children were older she returned to work in a school library of the Fairfax County, VA school system.
Past President of the U. S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association (USMCCCA). Currently President of the Florida Chapter, USMCCCA.
Still work for USMCCCA, organize and coordinate a golf tournament to benefit wounded Marines, active duty educational seminars and scholarships. Conference site coordinator for USMCCCA. Play golf a couple of times each week and take all week to do what I use to do in a weekend.
Happy – Healthy and enjoying life and proud of my USMC service.