The son of Peter and Jane Carpenter, Peter Carpenter attended the National School at Grange Town, Cardiff, where he was a good rugby player. Leaving school at age 14, he played rugby at the local level in Cardiff and Stockport and with his battalion rugby teams subsequent to his enlistment. In 1915 he enlisted in the Public Schools Royal Fusiliers. When he broke a leg during a rugby game, he was posted to Home Establishment. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and, after 84 hours of flight training, was posted to 45 Squadron on 14 September 1917. The squadron was moved to Italy in the middle of December 1917. Carpenter was reassigned to 66 Squadron on 27 February 1918. He finished the war having flown 190 combat patrols and 9 bombing raids. He led 139 patrols and flew a total of 422 hours 30 minutes.
On 30 March 1918, near Mansuè, Italy, Carpenter, Harold Eycott-Martin, and Alan Jerrard attacked five Albatros scouts. They then attacked an Austrian aerodrome. In an epic battle with nineteen enemy fighters, Eycott-Martin was attacked by eight of the enemy and Jerrard went to his aid, fighting the enemy alone until Carpenter and Eycott-Martin escaped. His Camel riddled by bullets and his controls shot away, Jerrard was forced to land and surrender. For his actions that day, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Peter Carpenter started his own company, the Loyal Shipping Co., in 1920 but lost this business in the Great Crash of 1929. Later, he was the London General Manager of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York and its subsequent British incorporation. During World War II Carpenter served with the 13th Company, 20th Battery, Middlesex Home Guard. He died at his home in 1971. He was 79.
Carpenter's Medal Group
Military Cross (MC)
T./2nd Lt. Peter Carpenter, Gen. List and
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Within a period of the last three months he has brought down six enemy machines, four of which were observed to crash to the ground, the remaining two being shot down completely out of control. The offensive tactics pursued by this daring and skilful officer have produced most successful results.
T./Capt. Peter Carpenter, M.C., Gen. List and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led an offensive patrol against seven of the enemy; three were destroyed. Again he led a patrol of three machines against six of the enemy; two of them were destroyed and one driven down out of control. Later, with two other pilots he engaged twelve hostile machines, of which three were destroyed and one driven down out of control. He shot down several machines himself.
(M.C. gazetted 4th March, 1918.)
T./Capt. Peter Carpenter, M.C., R.A.F.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has destroyed nine enemy machines, and driven three down out of control. He has led forty-six offensive patrols. On one occasion twelve enemy aircraft were attacked, and on another he led two other machines against nineteen of the enemy, destroying six of them. He has at all times shown a magnificent example.