From the Naval Order 2018 Autumn Edition:
Carter served as our Commander General from 2005-2007 and was extremely dedicated to our entire organization but most notably, the Texas Commandery. Carter was a key figure in establishing and administering the Nimitz Leadership Award and innumerable other initiatives in Texas. I know that I will miss his sage advice and wise counsel; he was a true gentleman of the finest order. We often say that the most important part of a person’s life is the ‘dash’ between the day an individual was born and the day they perish; for Carter this truly was an extraordinary sprint!
Carter was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He was just 17 on 7 December 1941 when the Japanese carried out the surprise attack on the U.S. Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the United States entered World War II.
Carter enlisted in the Navy on 30 October 1942. He reported for active duty in the Navy’s V-12 college program at the University of Southern California (USC) on 1 July 1943 where he graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering in June 1945. After graduation Carter attended Midshipmen’s school (officer’s training program) at Columbia University in New York City. He was commissioned an Ensign on 2 November 1945 and assigned duty in USS Horace A. Bass (APD 124), a high-speed destroyer transport operating in the Pacific. In June 1946, Carter was separated from active duty to continue his Naval service in the Naval Reserve.
In April 1951, as part of the Korean Conflict actions, the Navy recalled Carter to active duty. During his recall to active duty he served as Combat Information Center Officer (CICO) on USS Lloyd Thomas (DD-764) and as Operations Officer (OPO) USS Jack Wilke (DE800). While aboard the Wilke he was promoted to be her Executive Officer. In April 1953, Carter was released from active duty to resume his inactive duty service in the Navy Reserve.
While serving in the Naval Reserve, Carter earned a M.S. degree in chemical engineering at USC and embarked on a long career with Texaco. 1982 was a milestone year for Carter when he retired from Texaco after 35 years of service and from the Navy after 40 years of service.
Then Carter began his third career as a consulting chemical engineer for small oil companies and other clients. He continued to be an active supporter of the sea services as a member of the Navy League and Naval Order, as well as a strong advocate for the USS Houston CA 30 Survivors Association and Next Generations.
Carter was a past Commander of the Texas Commandery and a Commander General of the Naval Order. In his service to the Texas Commandery, he was a key member on the committee of the Texas Commandery that brought the ship’s bell from the USS Houston (CA-30) to Houston to be placed atop a memorial to that ship and the other ships of the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDA) in the early days of WW II. Carter served as the Chairman of the TCNOUS’ Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Leadership Award selection committee, a position he held since the inception of that award.
A renaissance man, Carter had many loves: first and foremost, God, his family and his country. His many interests included playing the piano, reading, Bible study, photography, tennis, gymnastics, woodworking, and flying as a licensed pilot.
Carter is survived by his wife of 45 years, Nancy Conlin, and his five children, John, Carter Barry Conlin, Jr., Kevin, Brian, Ann Conlin Sommerfeld, and three grandchildren.
Members of the Texas Commandery, including CAPT Chuck Hewell and CDR Jim Sterling, both past Commanders of the Texas Commandery, served as Pall Bearers at CAPT Conlin’s internment at the Houston National Cemetery on 14 September 2018. CAPT Conlin’s service was marked by the rendering of full military honors where his widow, Nancy, was presented the National Ensign that draped his casket.