Colonel Richard Waggener Carr, USMC (Retired), 90, passed away on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Born January 30, 1933, in Monroe County, MS, to Richard Coleman and Agnes Noffsinger Carr, he is survived by his devoted wife of 68 years, Margaret (Peggy) Alexander Carr of Hampstead, NC; his children Catherine (Philip) Horvitz of McLean, VA, Suzanne Martin of Raleigh, NC, and Richard Coleman Carr of Hampstead, NC; grandchildren Steven and Sarah Horvitz of DC, Ian and Scotland Martin of Raleigh, Alex Bohr (Chad) of Bishopville, SC, and Katie (Sid) Padgett of Augusta, GA; great grandchildren Logan and Heather Bohr: sister-in-law Ruth Alexander (Joe Major) of Aiken, SC, and several nieces and nephews. “Dick” was preceded in death by his younger sister Marianne (Harold) Roberts.
When Dick was two years old, his father moved his family to Anderson, SC to teach Biology at Anderson Boys High School. In 1948, Dick received the Boy Scout Eagle Badge, Scoutdom’s highest honor, at his childhood church, St. John’s Methodist Church. After graduation from Anderson Boys High School in 1951, he chose to attend The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
June 4, 1955 was an important day in his life. As a distinguished military graduate, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant by the USMC at 8 a.m., attended his graduation ceremonies at 10 a.m., and married his high-school sweetheart Peggy at The Citadel’s Summerall Chapel at 4 p.m.
Upon graduation from Officer’s Basic Training School, Quantico, VA, in December 1955, Dick was assigned as a Platoon Leader with the 7th Marine, 1st Division, Camp Pendleton, CA, until 1957 when he attended flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL. He received his wings as a Naval Aviator in June 1958 with orders to report to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Oppama, Japan. In September 1959 he was ordered to HMX-1, MCAS Quantico, VA where he served as a helicopter pilot to The President under the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. Upon completion of the Officer’s Junior School at Quantico, he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Camp Pendleton, CA until February 1965. He reported to VMO-2, MAG-16 in April 1965, Danang/Marble Mountain, Vietnam, where he participated in his first Vietnam War tour until May 1966.
Returning to CONUS, he was assigned as a squadron pilot with VMO-1, MAG-26 (H) New River, NC until July 1967. Dick then moved his family to Virginia Beach, VA, and served as Assistant Air Operations Officer aboard the USS GUADALCANAL June 1968 – November 1968 in its Caribbean deployment.
He returned for his second Vietnam tour in December 1968 where he served as the Commanding Officer of HMM-161, MAG-39 until 1969. Nicknamed “The Rock” by DMZ (most northern base) squadron. Dick then served at Marine Corps Headquarters in DC, received his Master’s Degree in Financial Management from George Washington University in May 1973 and returned to MCAS (H) New River Air Station, NC as Comptroller. In July 1975 he became the Executive Officer of MAG-26.
Dick was commander of the 38th Marine Amphibious Unit (Caribbean) from August 1977 until January 1979. He became the Commanding Officer of 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit (Mediterranean deployment) on January 1979 and retired as Comptroller of MCAS Cherry Point, NC on June 30, 1981, moving back to our mutual hometown area of Upstate SC.
He earned many medals during his military service including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit w/V – 2 awards, Distinguished Flying Cross – 4 awards, Air Medal strike/flight – 93 awards, Air Medal single mission, The Navy Commendation Medal, and The White House Service Medal.
Peggy “held the fort down” during all of Dick’s tours, including Japan and Okinawa, because the USMC family was not allowed to accompany the spouse at that time. In May 1985, Dick received a B.S. in Agricultural Education from Clemson University. He taught biology at Pendleton Junior High for a short time, then he and Peggy bought Hackers Haven, a golf driving range, and later purchased Blinds Plus at Clemson. He was an avid member of the Olde Point Mens Golf Association, Hampstead. In addition to loving his family, Dick enjoyed playing poker at Camp David with President Eisenhower and providing JFK’s son “John-John” Kennedy a cloth to polish the Presidential Helicopter at Camp David. He loved his rescued kitty “Jebby”, eating at home, motorcycles, fishing, golf, riding on his lawn tractor, and Clemson football!
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Pender County Humane Society, P.O. Box 626, Burgaw, NC 28425. Email: [email protected]. It is a no-kill shelter.
A private family internment will be held later at The Citadel’s Memorial Bell Tower Columbarium, Charleston, SC.