Charles L. Burnett
Killed In Action
Battleship Arizona Official Biography
Lauren F. Bruner USS Arizona Memorial Foundation

Charles was the middle of three children born to Joseph Marshall and Ethel ‘Effie’ (Tipton) Burnett on 10 January 1918 at Neuberts, Knox County, Tennessee. His mother passed away in 1923 at the age of 37. Charles completed his eighth grade education at the Trinity Grammar School in Seymour, Tennessee in 1935. He worked on the family farm to help support the family. His father married Annie Burnett in the 1930s. Charles was living with his family in Seymour, Tennessee when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for six years on 4 October 1940 at Nashville, Tennessee. He was 5’ 8” tall, weighed 133 pounds, and had brown eyes, black hair and a ruddy complexion. He started recruit training on 6 November 1940 at the Naval Training Station at Norfolk, Virginia.

Charles reported to the USS Arizona on 4 December 1940 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Washington. On December 7th 1941, Charles Leroy Burnett was 23 years, 10 months and 27 days old. Charles didn’t survive that awful day and he remains on duty aboard the USS Arizona, BB-39. Charles was survived by his father, step-mother and siblings; Edna B. four years older and Ralph Alfred, two years younger.

The Knoxville Journal, December 25, 1941:
Sevier Countian missing after the surprise Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, is Charles LeRoy Burnett, son of J.M. Burnett, Seymour. Relatives yesterday received Christmas cards mailed by Burnett before the surprise attack Dec. 7. Burnett was a Cook on the USS Arizona. He volunteered 18 months ago.

  • Rank: Seaman Second Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 10 January 1918
  • Date of death: 7 December 1941
  • County: Sevier
  • Hometown: Seymour
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Arizona BB-39
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Pearl Harbor
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XVII, Bottom Panel
  • Sponsored by: Anne Burnett

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