“The body rests at Pearl Harbor
“His memory is here at home
“And his memory shall not die”
Those are the words on a cenotaph for Charles Andrew Boyd at New Zion Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery in Tumbleton, Alabama.
Mr. Boyd was a carpenter’s mate and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
His parents, Charles H. Boyd, a farmer, and Hattie Miller Boyd, a homemaker, are buried at the same cemetery as the marker for Charles, the oldest of their 10 children. He was born Feb. 16, 1919.
The son was 21 and living at home with his parents, paternal grandparents, and seven siblings when the Census was conducted in the spring of 1940. The father was listed as the only employed member of the household — a sign of the Great Depression’s toll. One younger brother, Stancil, had already left home to join the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal jobs program. Charles Andrew left southeast Alabama in April 1940 to join the Navy.
In all, six Boyd sons eventually served in the military from World War II through Vietnam. One of them, William, also served in the Navy and as a seaman apprentice made a brief stop at Pearl Harbor, where he helped lower the flag over the Arizona one evening at sunset. He erected the cenotaph in his brother’s memory on what would have been Charles Andrew’s 83rd birthday.