Donald M. “Slim” Carlton
|War||World War II|
Carlton, Donald M. “Slim”
10/22/20 – 6/19/14
Don Carlton lived a long life with no regrets. He was a resident of San Diego for over 70 years. Don was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. As a boy, Don loved to hunt and fish. He was a Boy Scout 1st class and graduated from Central High School. He worked at Montgomery Ward before leaving for California prior to WWII. At Consolidated Aircraft in San Diego, he built B-24s for Great Britain prior to Pearl Harbor. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and shipped to Leyte, Philippines, where he was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division. He served with the 184th Infantry Regiment, Company “D”. While in combat he was the leader of an 8-man heavy machine gun squad. He served as a machine gunner during the Okinawa Operation where he received a shrapnel wound.
Don was among the first troops to enter Korea at the end of WWII. After 9 months in Korea, he had enough “points” to earn a discharge. His citations included the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry badge, Philippine Liberation Medal, Army Occupation Medal Japan, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
In the late 1940s, Don returned to his job at Convair in San Diego where he learned tool design skills at night school. He met, fell in love with and married Audrey. They were blessed with three healthy children. Don took the family to Plattsburgh, NY for 2 years while building Atlas missile silos to protect the Plattsburgh Air Force Base. The family returned to San Diego in the early 1960s. Don left Convair in 1982. He worked as a contract design engineer for many companies working on classified projects for aircraft, missiles and submersibles. Don retired the first time from Hydro Products in 1985 and retired four more times over the next several years.
Don and Audrey made many friends and traveled extensively, visiting over 60 foreign countries during 38 cruises. Neighbors and friends remember Don as kind, helpful, generous and creative. He was an accomplished woodworker and wrote a book about his WWII experiences titled “Wanna Live Forever?”. Don is survived by his son Richard, daughters Patti and Barbara, and daughter-in-law Sheryl. Don was a lifetime member of VFW Post 5985. His ashes were inurned with full military honors in the columbarium at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery along with Audrey’s, his wife of 63 years.