The son of David and Martha Carter, Alfred Williams Carter was born on a ranch near Calgary and enlisted on 23 December 1915 at Kingston, Ontario where he had been a student at Queen's University. In 1916 he joined the Royal Naval Air Service and attended flight school at Thomas Brothers' School of Aviation in St. Augustine, Florida. In 1917, after serving with 3 Wing, he was posted to 3 Naval Squadron and scored 5 victories flying the Sopwith Pup. In June 1917 he was reassigned to 10 Naval Squadron as a flight commander and scored 4 more victories flying the Sopwith Triplane. By the end of the war, he scored another 8 victories flying the Sopwith Camel and assumed command of his squadron. Post-war he worked for the Air Board until April 1922, and in 1923 he owned and operated an automobile dealership, A.W. Carter, Ltd., in Victoria, B.C. Carter was an active member of the Air Cadet League of Canada.
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Flt. Sub-Lieut. (act. Flt. Lieut.) Alfred Williams Carter, R.N.A.S.
This officer has at all times led his patrols with great courage, skill and pertinacity, often engaging superior numbers of hostile aircraft.
On 22 July 1917, he engaged, single-handed for half an hour, five enemy scouts which he prevented from carrying out a reconnaissance.
On 24 July 1917, with one other pilot, he attacked four enemy aircraft, one of which he drove down completely out of control.