Battleship Arizona Official Biography
Lauren F. Bruner USS Arizona Memorial Foundation
Charles was the fourth of six children born to Arthur Betts and
Mollie (Tipton) Byrd on 23 January 1922 at Unicoi, Tennessee.
His younger brother, Lobrighe, died of whooping cough when
he was five weeks old on 21 October 1923. Charles completed
his ninth grade education at Kingsport High School in
Kingsport, Tennessee in 1940. He was living in Kingsport
with his family when he enlisted in the U. S. Navy for six years
on 3 October 1940 at Nashville, Tennessee. As with many
enlistees at that time, his basic training at San Diego was
shortened in order to bring ships to full complement.
Charles reported to the USS Arizona on 9 December 1940 at
the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington.
On 7 December 1941, Charles Dewitt Byrd was nineteen
years, ten months, and fourteen days old. Charles was killed
in action on that horrible day and he remains on duty aboard
the USS Arizona (BB-39).
He was survived by his parents, and siblings, Trula, nine years
older, Zora, seven years older, Ray, four years older, David
Theadore, two years older,
- Rank: Seaman First Class
- Date of death: 7 December 1941
- County: Sullivan
- Hometown: Kingsport
- Service Branch: Navy
- Division/Assignment: USS Arizona
- Theater: Pacific
- Conflict: World War II
- Battles: Pearl Harbor
- Awards: Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal w/Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/Star, WWII Victory Medal, Combat Action Ribbon.
- Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Location In Memorial: Pillar XVIII, Middle Panel
- Sponsored by: Anthony Byrd
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