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 birth:
  • 23 January 1922
  • 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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