June flag raising will honor the late N.S. veteran Carter

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – A late North Smithfield man who died in service to his country at the age of 20 will be honored through the month of June with a flag raised by Memorial Town Hall.

Fred Carter was born in Ayer, Mass. in 1946 to Frederick Weir Carter Jr. and Helen Louise (Davis) Carter, the second of seven children. In 1956, when he was 10 years old, his family moved to North Smithfield. He graduated from Halliwell School and went on to attend Mount Saint Charles Academy, graduating in 1964. In the fall of that same year, he entered the engineering program at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. However, in 1965, he was drafted into the army.

Growing up, Carter enjoyed playing sports and as a teenager, he was a dedicated bodybuilder, according to a biography provided by members of his family. During his summers off he also worked various jobs to save for college, including a summer spent working at Providence Granite Company with his father, who was a stonecutter.

On November 3, 1965, Carter was drafted into the army and after basic training, he was assigned to Troop A, First Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, also known as the “Black Horse,” as an armor reconnaissance specialist. He deployed to Vietnam on August 19, 1966.

“Tragically, at the young age of 20, Freddy was a passenger in a military vehicle that hit a hostile landmine in Long Khanh, South Vietnam, now known as Dong Nai, Vietnam,” notes a write up to be presented during an event in June organized by the North Smithfield Heritage Association.

Following his death in 1967, Carter was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, and several other service medals. His name is etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., Panel 14E, Row 014. He is buried in Slatersville Cemetery, alongside his brother Tom and his parents. He is survived by his three sisters, Helen, Ruth, and Lydia, as well as his brother Ron. He is also remembered by his late brother Chuck, who died in 2020.

A ceremony on Saturday, June 1 starting at 10 a.m. at the building at 1 Main St. will honor Carter, with participation by VFW Post 6342, Boy Scout Troop 1139 and others who hope to remember the late veteran. The service is part of an ongoing effort by the NSHA to acknowledge the town’s deceased veterans.

Other families interested in participating  are asked to email nsha@nsheritageassn.com or call (401) 651-6316.

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