Border Patrol Inspector James M. Carter

Border Patrol Inspector James M. Carter

United States Department of Justice - Immigration and Naturalization Service - United States Border Patrol, U.S. Government

End of Watch Wednesday, June 6, 1956

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James M. Carter

Border Patrol Inspector James Carter and Pilot Douglas Shute were killed in an airplane crash approximately 25 miles northwest of Langtry, Texas, while tracking suspected illegal aliens on the Carson Ranch.

Inspector Carter and his partner were conducting a "sign-cutting" operation, a term used to describe locating and following footprints or other physical evidence left by a person traversing an area. They had discovered several sets of footprints when Pilot Shute landed the Piper Super Cub nearby and picked up Inspector Carter to assist as an observer as his partner remained on horseback.

At about 10:00 am Pilot Shute reported by radio that the subjects had been located and directed Inspector Carter's partner on a course to intercept them. The plane was then seen making a banking turn to the left and resuming level flight at a 100-foot altitude. Moments later the plane went into a steep climb before stalling at 450 feet. The plane then rapidly descended and struck the ground in vertically, the engine being driven back into the cockpit. Inspector Carter and Pilot Shute were both killed upon impact.

Inspector Carter was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of WWII. He was survived by his wife and two children. He is buried in the Richland Springs Cemetery in San Saba, Texas.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 1 year, 1 month
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident
  • Location Texas

aerial search, plane crash

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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice are always remembered.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 19, 2020

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