Carson J. Turnage
Tech 3
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 07/21/1944 - 04/15/1946
Infantryman, 30th Inf Reg, 3 Inf Div

He was born in Grapevine, Texas, as one of four brothers and five sisters. His father, a grocer, soon moved the family to a fruit farm near Colleyville, Texas, where they raised peaches, plumes, grapes, and persimmons. Carson helped with farm chores and worked for his older brother's paint and body shop, helping out on Saturdays for $1.75 a day. "Times were real tough during the Depression and I could take the money home," he says. He attended Paschal High School after the family moved to Fort Worth, but did not graduate. Another older brother, Harold, worked for an oilfield supply company as manager of a store in Pampa, Texas, and offered Carson a position. "Things were pretty tough at home," he recalls. "So I went to Pampa, Texas and started working full time for him." A sixteen-year-old, he spent a year in the Panhandle, and then worked in another company store in Kilgore, Texas. In 1937 he was transferred to Seminole, Oklahoma, where he met his wife and married on June 4, 1938. When called into service and sent to Camp Wolters, Texas near Weatherford, he finished basic training in December of 1944. Shipped to France he joined the Thirtieth Infantry Regiment of the Third Infantry Division as a replacement, just after that unit had "fought their way up through the Vosges Mountains with heavy casualties," he recalls. "In our company the highest ranking officer was a sergeant." The early morning of March 25 marked Carson's "first real combat experience," when the division was advancing against the Siegfried Line. They broke through and marched towards the Rhine River. Carson recalls combat from the private's view. "It was so much general confusion. The main thing was just to keep going," he recalls. He recalls the Germans they captured as "very young and very old." Carson was wounded at Nuremberg by a mortar blast, and was convalescing in a hospital in France when the war in Europe ended. He rejoined his company in Salzburg, Austria, and then was transferred to the 903rd Ordnance Light Maintenance Company, in which he served as an automotive clerk in a unit that repaired and kept records of the division's vehicles. He remained in Germany "about nine months." As "one of the high points of my stay" he recalls a trip to Switzerland where he enjoyed hotels and civilian food. He also got a chance to call home and talk to his wife. He was discharged at Camp Chaffee, near Fort Smith, Arkansas, on April 15, 1946 as a Tech 3, the equivalent of a sergeant. Carson resumed his last, pre-service civilian job with United Gas Pipeline Company in Carthage, Texas. He soon returned to the oilfield supply business with his brother, managing a store in Houston, and then one in Lafayette, Louisiana. He moved to Shreveport in 1957 and retired in 1983.