FREWSBURG, NY – Jamestown resident Peter L. Carlo, a decorated Korean War veteran and longtime advocate for veterans, was inducted into the New York State Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame for his selfless service to our nation and community. Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-57th District) nominated Mr. Carlo as the 2018 honoree for the 57th Senate District.
Established in 2005, the annual recognition is bestowed upon a veteran from each Senate District in the state. Criteria for the award includes dedicated military service as well as outstanding community service.
More than 60 of Mr. Carlo’s family members and friends gathered at the American Legion Samuel L. Derby Post 556 in Frewsburg for the ceremony.
“Many Jamestown residents know Peter Carlo from his years as a local businessman and as the generous donor of more than 300 flags to area schools and community organizations. What they may not know is that he served our nation valiantly in the United States Army during the Korean War,” said Senator Young.
“As a young man of 21 years old, Peter Carlo traveled halfway around the world to risk his life in defense of freedom and democracy when duty called. Trained as a machine gunner, Mr. Carlo was assigned to a combat unit which was positioned near the 38th parallel at an outpost known as Little Gibraltar,” she said. “The terrain was steep and dangerous and gunfire and artillery shelling by Chinese and North Korean forces rained on allied forces almost daily.”
“Although the Korean War Armistice was signed in July 1953, the situation remained tense and skirmishes continued. On September 5, 1953, Peter Carlo was hit when a barrage of Chinese mortar rounds blanketed his encampment, shredding his uniform with shrapnel. The force of the impact tore off one of his boots. Transported by ambulance to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, doctors labored to save his life, repairing carnage and removing deeply embedded metal fragments. While doctors removed as much shrapnel as they could, Mr. Carlo still has 97 pieces embedded in his legs and back.”
“In most cases, an injury of such severity would be cause for a soldier’s discharge and return home. However, because there was a shortage of machine gunners, Peter Carlo was returned to his platoon to finish his tour.”
“Although the Korean War is sometimes referred to as ‘the Forgotten War,’ for veterans like Peter Carlo who served, sacrificed and suffered for that war, it will never be forgotten.”
“That is why he has made it his mission to donate American flags to schools, fire departments, nonprofits and community organizations around the Jamestown area in support of America and its veterans. He wants to ensure that people always remember those who risked and gave their lives for a cause greater than themselves. It is an honor to be able to recognize him and have his story memorialized in the state’s history,” said Senator Young.
“I am very grateful to Senator Young and humbled by this tremendous honor. This recognition is a tribute to all my fellow Korean War veterans who endured the unique hardships of that conflict and the sacrifices it required. We were the lucky ones – nearly 37,000 American patriots did not return from Korea. That is why I have dedicated myself to veterans’ causes and have donated hundreds of flags to ensure that we never forget those who fought for the freedoms we treasure,” said Peter Carlo.
“Peter Carlo’s exemplary service and sacrifice for his country, and his dedication to his fellow veterans and community is outstanding,” said Rep. Tom Reed. “Individuals such as Peter are truly important to the district, and I am proud to serve as his representative in Congress. Peter and others like him make the New York 23rd District a beacon of hope in the state and the nation.”
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said: “I congratulate Peter Carlo for being named to the New York State Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame and for his dedication and service to our country. He has kept the spirit of patriotism and honoring our flag alive by ensuring every organization in our community has an American flag, which has been flown over the U.S. Capitol, to proudly fly in front of their establishment.”
Greg Carlson, Director of the Chautauqua County Veterans’ Service Agency, said: “It’s a great privilege to join our community leaders in honoring and recognizing Mr. Carlo, not just for his heroism on the battlefield, but for his sixty-plus years of continued dedication to his country, countrymen, and local community.”
Vincent DeJoy, Director of Development for the City of Jamestown said: “Peter Carlo is a man that cares deeply for his family, his Jamestown community, and obviously for his country for which he risked his life in the Korean War. Peter is the kind of person that you don’t have to ask him to do something for his community and his country; he just does it every day.”
About Peter Carlo
Peter Louis Carlo was born on May 4, 1931, in Dunkirk, New York to George and Josephine Carlo. He attended Jamestown High School’s commercial studies program and left school in the 11th grade to help his parents with their business, Carlo’s Fruit Market, then on Foote Avenue in Jamestown.
Peter was inducted into the U.S. Army on April 23, 1952 at the Military Processing Station in Buffalo, New York, and immediately reported for active duty. It was here that he would form lifetime friendships, facilitated by the U.S. Army’s new “Buddy Program,” that kept soldiers together from training to assignment.
Peter Carlo was an Army machine gunner with Company C, First Battalion, Ninth Infantry Regiment, Second Infantry Division, which was known as the “Indianhead Division.” He fought in five major battles including Inchon, and was at the front line when the truce to end the Korean War was signed.
His dedication, courage and leadership earned him numerous awards, including the Army Good Conduct Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, the Korean Service Medal with Three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. He served until the end of 1953 and left the Army as a corporal.
After completing his military service, Mr. Carlo returned to Jamestown to work in the family business. His father had a fruit market in Jamestown, which he inherited and grew to six stores.
He has always been actively involved in many veteran and community organizations. He is the past commander of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and a member of the American Legion, AMVETS and the VFW. He also purchased a 600-pound monument with a plaque on behalf of the DAV for the Veterans Park in Jamestown in memory of all deceased veterans.
A special initiative of Mr. Carlo’s has been the donation of American flags to local schools, municipalities, fire departments, hospitals, youth groups and veterans’ organizations. All the flags he donates have been flown over the U.S. Capitol. He explained, “I believe in America. I love Jamestown and the people in this city. As a veteran, I feel that I should give something back to the city.”