- Carl Roberts was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1929. His father and mother worked in a cotton mill. He was one of seven boys and had one sister. Roberts enlisted in the Navy when he was 17-years old and attended basic training in Maryland. He was assigned to the USS Leyte aircraft carrier as a Seaman First Class in the Pacific at the end of the Second World War. He later joined the Army and was stationed in Seoul during the Korean War where he worked in the motor pool, acquiring mechanical skills and learning to drive various vehicles. He received the Victory Medal for service in World War II, the Good Conduct Medal for service in the Korean War, and the Honorable Service button. After leaving the service, he was a sheet metal worker at Beverage Air in Spartanburg. In the 1960’s, Roberts moved to Charleston to work as an automatic transmission mechanic and to begin a family. He married and had three children.