July 30, 1924|
Geneva, New York, United States
|Died||November 13, 1998 74)(aged|
|Buried at||Tahoma National Cemetery|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1942-1945|
Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,|
101st Airborne Division
Sergeant Gordon 'Gordy' Carson (July 30, 1924 – November 13, 1998) was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II. Carson was one of the 140 Toccoa men of Easy Company. Carson's life story was featured in the 2010 book A Company of Heroes: Personal Memories about the Real Band of Brothers and the Legacy They Left Us.
Carson enlisted and volunteered for paratrooper. He was sent to training in Toccoa, Georgia. He was one of the five top scorers in physical competition at Toccoa. During their training in Aldbourne, Carson and William "Wild Bill" Guarnere once smuggled two English girls to the Sergeants' barrack, but was found out by Lieutenant Thomas Peacock. Guarnere said both girls were his, and was given KP duty. Carson and other sergeants were given a night march.
Carson made his first combat jump into Normandy on D-Day. He also made a jump for Operation Market-Garden. After the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal at Son was blown by the Germans, Carson, seeing a couple of waterlogged row-boats on the other side, swam across the canal and fetched a boat back, hoping to carry the men across in it. The boat sank halfway over the canal. This event is best described in "Parachute Infantry" by David Kenyon Webster, Chapter 2, page 59.
During the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Carson was wounded on his leg by tree burst, and was sent to an aid station. He was given creme de menthe for his pain. Carson rejoined Easy Company when it was moving towards Germany, where he became the company clerk for Captain Ronald Speirs. In Berchtesgaden, Carson found Hermann Goering's car and went for a ride with Speirs. Before turning the car to the regiment, the two wanted to know if the car windows were bulletproof. They found out that they were not.
Easy Company was sent to Kaprun, Austria for occupation duty and to help with the displaced persons' camps. Carson met with Antonia Tosca Puchalski in one of the DP camps, and the two fell in love. In his book Band of Brothers, Ambrose mentioned 'a Polish D.P. and her small child' and that 'Carson fed an educated, beautiful and sophisticated Polish blond'. They both refer to Puchalski. Carson introduced Puchalski to Speirs, who put her as the interpreter for Easy Company. Later Carson filed the necessary papers to obtained permission to marry. With the war's conclusion, by August 1945 the 506th was packing up and moving to join the 82nd Airborne in Berlin as stated on p. 297 of Ambrose's Band of Brothers. In the "Parachute Infantry" by David Kenyon Webster, Chapter 6, page 253, E Company of the 506th PIR, commanded by Captain Ronald Speirs, moved out from the Kaprun Valley, Austria to journey back to France to a village named Joigny for shipment to the 82nd Airborne Division in Berlin. The 42nd Division took command of the Kaprun Valley. The 101st Airborne Division was inactivated on November 30, 1945, and E Company no longer existed as stated in Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers, Chapter 18, page 297.
Speirs discovered that Puchalski was pregnant with Carson's baby. He then communicated to Carson who returned to Austria prior to being shipped back to the United States for separation. He had approval to marry Puchalski, and the two were married in October 6, 1945 in Zell am See. On the wedding day, George Luz found a rickshaw and pulled Puchalska around Kaprun while Gordon was finishing his duty. Following their marriage in October 1945, Carson was shortly shipped back to the United States where he was separated from the U. S. Army at Ft. Dix, New Jersey on November 20, 1945 pursuant to his official Separation Qualification Records, just 10 days before the 101st was inactivated. His first son was born 6 months later in Austria where Puchalska remained, including Puchalski's child from her first marriage, until the necessary clearance papers as a War Bride were approved to come to the United States. She arrived in New York Harbor on October 18, 1946 via the ship SS President Tyler, where she and her two sons reunited with her husband at Staten Island, New York.
Carson went to Springfield College in Massachusetts and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with honors and also minored in Philosophy in 1949. He had two more children while attending Springfield College, another son and a daughter. After graduation, Carson's first job was with the YMCA as an athletic director in Bellingham, Washington, where he and Puchalski had one more daughter. He was selected as the Junior Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year Award in 1953 and later worked as a life insurance salesman in Seattle and Olympia, Washington. Carson and Puchalski divorced twelve years after their marriage which produced two sons and two daughters. Both of his sons became Veterans of the U.S. Army, and one of them reached the rank of Colonel, U.S. Army Retired. Carson remarried to a Susan C. Taylor later in December 1958, which marriage produced three daughters. Carson was diagnosed with liver cancer and died on November 13, 1998.
- Ambrose, Stephen E. (1992). Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-6411-6.
- Brotherton, Marcus (2010). A Company of Heroes: Personal Memories about the Real Band of Brothers and the Legacy They Left Us. Berkley Caliber. ISBN 978-0-425-23420-4.
- Robyn Post; William Guarnere; Edward Heffron (2008). Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends. Berkley Trade. ISBN 0425224368.
- Winters, Major Dick, with Cole C. Kingseed. Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters.