Carlo Andersen attempted to join the Marine Corps in June 1943 after graduating from high school. He was unable to due to health reasons. His father had previously been in the Coast Guard as a merchant seaman, so Andersen enlisted in the Coast Guard.
He attended boot camp in Brooklyn. Due to his high mechanical aptitude, he went to motor machinery school in Connecticut to learn how to operate ship engine machinery.
After serving in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a water tender on the USS Bangor, Andersen served on a ship escorting a convoy to a French base in Oran, Algeria, in February 1945. After leaving Oran, a German U-Boat attacked the USS Bangor, but did not severely damaged the ship. Due to the damage, the ship had to be repaired in New Jersey before resuming escort duties in April 1945.
Andersen escorted another Oran-bound convoy to Algeria out of New York City, before arriving in North Africa May 9. The war in Europe just ended, so Andersen returned to the U.S. in June.
The USS Bangor went to the Panama Canal Zone in mid-June to train with submarines for service in the Pacific. In mid-July Andersen went to California to prepare for duty against Japan, but the war ended while the ship was in Seattle.
Andersen’s ship was initially supposed to be transferred to the Soviet Navy under Project Hula, but the USS Bangor became a rescue and weather patrol ship. Andersen returned to the East Coast through the Panama Canal, landing in Charleston, South Carolina. He discharged from the Coast Guard April 30, 1946.
For his service in the Coast Guard, Andersen received a WWII Victory Medal, a European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and an Asiatic-Pacific Victory Medal.
Andersen returned to New York City and became a firefighter. He was active in the Staten Island Retirees Association for retired firefighters, formerly serving as the association’s president during the 1980s.
We honor his service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Editor: Michaela Yesis
Fact checker: Ariel Coronado