Class Memorial Pages\F-1 George Carnes
Taps Memorial Article:
George P. Carnes 1962
Cullum No. 24409 • Sep 9, 2006 • Died in Tucson, AZ
Cremated. Inurned at Ft. Huachuca Veterans' Cemetery, Sierra Vista, AZ
George Perry Carnes
was born at Ft. Benning, GA, the youngest of four children. His father, known as
Gentleman Jim, was Class of 1923, and his brother, Richard, was Class of 1945.
When George was two, his father left for World War II in Europe and was gone
for most of the next five years. His family moved to Minnesota, the childhood
home of his parents, for the duration.
When the war ended, his father was assigned to Rome and the family joined him
there until he was made Governor of Trieste and they moved again. George
attended a Catholic girls’ school in Trieste, and when the Pope visited, he was
intrigued with this sole American boy in a girls’ school. He and George spent
the visit discussing fishing in Minnesota, to the chagrin of the faculty. When
the family returned from Europe, they settled in Foxhall Village in Washington,
George was not a terrific student, and he took the entrance exams to the
Military Academy without telling his parents. To his amazement and everyone
else’s, he passed and at the age of 17, he entered with the Class of 1961. It
wasn’t long before he failed math and French and was turned out, but he was
readmitted with the Class of 1962. His roommates were Norm Grahn and Ricardo
Cesped, a cadet from Chile, both very good, life-long friends. The three were
split up first class year, and George roomed with Don Voss, who also has been a
George’s favorite memories from the Academy were a visit to Chile with Ricardo
and his trips with the Glee Club. He also enjoyed playing chess and bridge. He
was commissioned in the Signal Corps upon graduation.
George and I met in San Francisco in September 1964, when he stopped over on his
way to Viet Nam. In his short, two-year career, he already had convoyed from Ft.
Riley to Florida during the Cuban crisis, had been to Berlin, and then to Ft.
Bragg to prepare for a tour in Viet Nam as an advisor. We enjoyed a short time
getting to know each other before he left for Viet Nam to serve as a military
advisor in the Mekong Delta.
A thread that runs through his letters from Viet Nam is how disturbed he was
about the lack of public support and the “peace” demonstrations in the States.
The second half of his tour was spent in Mo Cay, a “chopper in and out” village
in the Delta.
Three months after his return, we were married. George was then assigned to the
Signal School at Ft. Monmouth and became an automated data processing officer.
He was immediately re-assigned as an ADP officer to Defense Personnel Support
Command in Philadelphia where he and others brought their division into a third
generation computer environment. He also worked on other systems projects and
was chosen to be the general’s aide. Because of the latter, I had a 50 yard line
seat at the Army Navy game for two years while he had to work.
George then returned to Viet Nam, to Lai Khe with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry
Division, to work with experimental radar. He wrote that he got together with
classmate John Easterbrook several times and particularly enjoyed those visits.
As his tour progressed, he spent more and more time in the air, and after eleven
months, was medically evacuated with a heart condition, first to Japan and then
Letterman in San Francisco, where I was living. He was very ill and only
released from Letterman with the stipulation that I care for him. I left my job
After two months of medical leave, he was assigned to Ft. Hood for six months,
followed by Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS and graduate
school at the University of Alabama, where he earned his master’s degree in
electrical engineering. Four years at Ft. Ord followed, half of which was spent
commuting daily to Hunter Liggett, many miles south. Our two daughters, Cheryl
and Leanne, were born while there.
Next George was Radio Frequency Liaison Officer at the U.S. Embassy at Bonn for
three years, one of our most enjoyable tours. Georges German counterpart and his
German colleagues honored him when he left, an unusual gesture. Americans living
in B onn were particularly interested that George bring American TV to Bonn,
which he did, but it was a project of minor importance. Jon, our son, was born
Two years at Ft. Huachuca with TriTac capped George’s 20 years in the Army. He
accepted a job in Annapolis, and we lived there for the next 20 years. A major
accomplishment was a large building project for the Federal Aviation
Administration while with SAIC.
Several years after George retired, we moved to Tucson. He was a happy man in
retirement, but the time he had left was all too short. He had vascular disease
and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A heart attack and a stroke sent him
to the hospital four months before his death, and it was discovered that he
also had terminal colon cancer. All contributed to his death on 9 Sep 2006 at
the age of 66.
I am grateful that George and I had 40 very good years together. I am also
grateful that George was able to briefly enjoy his first grandchild and
namesake, who was born seven months before his death. He was very proud of our
three children. Cheryl earned her Phi Beta Kappa key at the University of
Arizona, a Master of Science at Cal and a second at the University of Arizona.
She now teaches middle school science in Tucson. Leanne, a graduate of Ohio
University, works in pharmaceutical research for Johnson and Johnson and lives
in Portland, OR. Jon, a graduate of the University of North Florida, works for
Omnitrax as general manager for the NKC (Nebraska Kansas Colorado) Railroad. He
is married to Michelle, a third grade teacher now staying home to raise their
two small children.
George is inurned in the columbarium in the Veterans’ Cemetery at Ft. Huachuca.
His good friends, Ricardo Cesped and Norm Grahn, participated in his service
along with our family.