World War II
Tech Sgt. Pay Level E-4
TAOR (Tactical Area of Responsibility) ANZIO, Southern France
J. Carter Rowland, PhD., U.S. Army
3rd Infantry Division
G Company, 30th Regiment, 3rd Army Division
Duties/Military Jobs Held
Anti-Tank Battalion - Duties were to halt, stop or destroy the enemies' plan to advance or use their tanks and forces against any of the allies' position, equipment or ground forces. In their arsenal, the anti-tank battalion had the use of anti-tank land mines, anti-tank bazookas, TNT charges and the anti-tank recoilless rifle that was used to destroy the tank's track system on the tank, leaving it useless for battle.
Army radio - To set up a communication system between troops in the field and an artillery fire direction control system in the rear or the unit's headquarters communication which was also located in the rear area. Decision could be made on how to direct the troops to complete their missions with little or no enemy engagement. The radio operator's duty was to keep the back packed radio in perfect operating condition and to be ready to relay field situations to the proper unite to aid and support, if needed.
Among Medals and Awards: Combat Infantry Badge, 3 Battle Stars, 2 Purple Hearts, Bronze Star, Good Conduct, Presidential Unit Citation, French Fourrangene (Class A Uniform), Eloyes and Colmar, Purple Hearts
1 France Shrapnel Arm/Chest Hospital Plombiers Army Hospital October 28, 19442 France Shrapnel Wounds February 1, 1945. Company commander was KIA this day.
Married-December 26, 1946 to wife Boo. The wedding ceremony was in Warren, Pa.
Children- Mark, Cynthia, Kirk and Lisa
Grandchildren John, Meggan, Bess, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Erick, Susanna, Kevin, and Patrick
John Carter Rowland (commonly known as Carter) was born on March 13, 1926, in Lancaster, Ohio. He was the son of Carter Sr. and Mary (Mooney) Rowland. His mother, Mary, was a homemaker and his father, Carter Sr. worked for Emblem Oil Company, in Warren, Pa.
When Carter was 2, Carter Sr. moved the Rowland family to Warren, Pa., where Carter attended the Lacy Elementary School. Carter went to Beaty Junior High School for his middle school years, and then he moved on to Warren High School. After graduation, Carter worked at Emblem Oil Co. until he went into the service.
By August of 1943, our country was in a two front war one in Europe and the other in the South Pacific. Our leaders believed the war in Europe needed to be won first because of the number of people facing death each day. Carter had no preference in which war he wanted to participate in.
On Aug. 19, John Carter Rowland enlisted at the local Army recruiting station. A few hours later, Carter was the property of the United States government. From now on, everything that was to be done was to be done the Army's way. It seemed that boot camp lasted eight years instead of eight weeks. With all the possibilities in front of him at the end of boot camp, he did not know where he would be sent or what he would be doing. As the drill instructor was shouting out names and duty, it was not long before he heard "Private Rowland, Anti-Tank Soldier, new duty for your school will be Camp Blanding." In sunny Florida, this was a new training base near Jacksonville.
Camp Blanding was the Army's training base for anti-tank, radio school and sniper's school. Training there was 15 weeks, which included training on how to disable enemy tanks, use howitzers, and place anti-tank mines and grenades.
After 15 very hard weeks of anti-tank training, the battalion was transported and loaded aboard a United States Freedom personnel carrier, the USS General Butler. Its departure was unknown to the entire crew except for the captain, who knew that the next time his ship would see land would be in Orin, North Africa. The USS General Butler delivered its crew of 800 without incident. Carter now had a few days to walk off his sea legs and get some real rest. Orders were for Casablanca. His trip was to be on a 40 and 8. The term 40 and 8 was used for a railroad car that was used to carry horses. It could hold eight horses while they were standing; when used to transport men, it would hold 40 men.
After the trip from Orin to Casablanca, the unit found out they had orders to Naples. Upon arriving, each man received orders to a unit that required a replacement. Carter's orders read, commanding officer, 3rd Inf. Div. ANZIO. Carter was to be re-trained from an anti-tank to a radio man. After arriving in Naples at a replacement depot, Carter was assigned to the Third Infantry Division at Anzio. At Anzio, the conditions were more difficult for the infantrymen than in France. The weather was very wet and the beachhead was full of canals. As a result, fox holes were usually full of water and men became either frost bitten or came down with trench foot. This caused a lot of attrition in the ranks.
As the war progressed, the unit landed in Southern France. The unit saw extreme combat action in St. Tropez, Aix, and Grenoble. While in Southern France, Carter's unit witnessed the combination of the U.S. Army and the French Resistance working hand in hand. One thing he will never forget was watching the French Resistance weed out and make a collaborator, who gave aid to the German enemy. The collaborators were put on display to walk the streets of newly liberated France. The women who escorted and paired with German soldiers were taken to the town square and had all their hair shaven off and words like "collaborator," "whore," or "traitor" were painted on their bodies with ink or any chemical that was difficult to remove.
During the United States advance, Carter's unit worked its way to Eloyes, France. While making a radio transmission, Carter was wounded by an enemy mortar. The shrapnel wounds sent Carter to the Army Battalion Aid Station. The wounds were severe enough to send Carter to the Army hospital in Plombiers, France. Weeks went by before the Army Hospital released Carter for duty. Carter returned to his unit, which was participating in operations near the Vosges Mountains. It was later to be renamed The Bloody Colmar Pocket.
In January, temperatures began to drop and eventually there were entire days when the temperature stayed in the negatives. Every pillowcase, sheet, paper and light paint had to be used to camouflage the big guns and jeeps. Casualties began to add up. On Feb. 1, Carter earned his second Purple Heart. A round came in sending pieces from tree burst of shrapnel flying everywhere, taking many lives, including Carter's commanding officer.
Sent to Le Mans, France, a U.S. Army Major Physician decided that the war had taken its toll on this young Army soldier and a change of scenery should be ordered. The day he was released, Carter was handed orders to report to Rheims Chemical Procession Plant, in Rheims. It was a unit designed to incorporate chemicals and uniforms. What this unit actually did was never officially disclosed to Carter.
He knew that it held some level of extreme importance. He could tell by the way he was greeted when he first reported. Carter recalls being told to leave his shoes and laundry out and the Germans would clean them. When he saw a menu next to his bed for his next day's meal, he knew he was attached to something special.
Carter was always told that if something is too good to be true, then it probably is. So was the case with this new outfit. After he got there, it was only a few weeks and Germany surrendered. The Rheim's plant was no longer needed. The majority of its men had their 85 points and were going home. But not Carter, who had 73 points. Carter was sent to Esch, Luxemburg to receive another stripe. Carter returned to Rheims to help to store company equipment. Then he was sent to camp Phillip Morris to await discharge.
The war soon came to an end and John Carter Rowland was on his way home. After serving his country in the European Theater, Carter came back and accomplished the following:
Carter Rowland used the GI Bill and received a BA from Gannon University in 1949
He received a Master's Degree in English from Penn State in 1951
FSU Chairman English Department 1967-1971
Western Reserve PhD. 1958
VP of Academic Affairs 1971-1986
Albany Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies 1986
Received Fullbright Grant 1 year 1965
American University in Alexandria, Egypt (American Studies) 1972
Adviser- World War II Memorial on quotations used. Worked with Rolland Kidder
Board of Directors
Chautauqua County Board of Ethics for 6 years
Jazz Erie Board
Carter is now retired and lives in his Route 20 home that was built in 1852. In 1974, Carter and his wife started an upscale gift shop business at his home, which he enjoys. Upon receiving a Fullbright Grant, Carter took his wife and family along with him while he was lecturing at the University of Jordan in 1966. While lecturing at the University of Jordan, The Luweibdeh was a proper name that Carter's wife thought to be appropriate to name her gift shop after.
Another story we have here is Carter. It is an honor that he chose our area to live in. He is another soldier who helped write our history; another solider to have actually been there. You served your country and used the benefits you earned. Thank you for serving; you are our Hero of the Week.