Carl Cartledge

Class of 1945

He turned down a full scholarship to Harvard to attend The Citadel for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army during WWII. A member of 101st Airborne, he was one of the most decorated soldiers in the European Theatre making three combat parachute jumps and participating in several historic battles (Normandy, Bastogne and the Ardennes). He was the first to enter Hitler's redoubt, The Eagles Nest, led his team to liberate several concentration camps, and is credited with capturing noted Nazi War Criminal, and German Commander of the Western Front, Field Marshall Kesselring. Among his decorations were four awards of the Purple Heart and the French Legion of Honor (Valor), that country's highest decoration for heroism. He has been featured in a number of books and documentaries relating to his wartime heroics. He later founded the Grand Piano Furniture chain, then Cartledge Furniture. Cartledge never attended another college.