Battleship Arizona Official Biography
Lauren F. Bruner USS Arizona Memorial Foundation

Charles was the first born to Charles Louie Sr. and Ola Mae (Kelley) Echols on 20 December 1918 at Youngblood, Pike County, Alabama. His mother died on 7 June 1922 and was buried in the Helena Cemetery in Helena, Alabama. His father married Stella F. Echols about 1925. He graduated from the Pruden High School in May of 1938 in Pruden, Tennessee. He worked for the Black Diamond Coal Mining Company as a coal weigher for three years prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy for six years on 17 January 1940 at Louisville, Kentucky. He was living with family in Marion County, Tennessee. When inducted, he was 5’ 7” tall, weighed 138 pounds, and had blue #10 eyes, dark brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He completed his recruit training at the Naval Training Station at Norfolk, Virginia. Charles reported to the USS Arizona on 26 March 1940 at San Pedro, California. On December 7th 1941, Charles Louie Echols Jr. was twenty-two years, eleven months and seventeen days old, just thirteen days shy of his 23 birthday. Charles’ battle station was deep in the engineering space which made it very difficult to escape. He perished there with his crewmates on that sad day, and he remains on duty on the USS Arizona (BB-39).

He was survived by his father, step-mother, his sister, Rebecca Louise, two years younger, and half-brother, Robert Jackson, eight years younger.

  • Rank: Electricians Mate Third Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 20 December 1918
  • Date of death: 7 December 1941
  • County: Knox
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Arizona
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Pearl Harbor
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XIV, Top Panel
  • Sponsored by: Rick Giancarlo

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.


Submit more information on this veteran →