S1c Charles Braxter South

Charles Braxter South USS Arizona

S1c Charles Braxter South

Charles Braxter South was born Nov. 9, 1921 in Fayette County, Alabama north of Tuscaloosa. His mother, Pearl Maddox South, was a homemaker who died when the boy was three. His father, Charles M. South, a farmer, died when the boy was 10.

He became a ward of an older sister, Kathleen, and her husband, Richard Corr, in Moundville, Alabama south of Tuscaloosa. The 1940 Census said Charles was a high school senior. He also worked as an assistant telephone operator.

Mr. South left Moundville, population 812, to enlist in the Navy on Oct. 5, 1940 in Birmingham, AL and completed his basic training at the Naval Training Station in Norfolk, VA. He reported for duty aboard the USS Arizona on December 4, 1940. He was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Though Mr. South left Fayette County after his father’s death, the people of the town of Fayette honored him at a parade, memorial service, and war bonds drive in June 1942. The local newspaper reported that more than 2,000 people attended — an impressive turnout for a town of 2,600. Three other men from Fayette County killed on the Arizona were also honored — brothers Alfred and Louis Nichols, and James T. Black.

There is a cenotaph for Mr. South at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Fayette County. His parents are buried there.

Sources: the Fayette (Alabama) County Times; the Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News; Census; cenotaph and grave markers; Navy muster roll. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

NOTE: If you are a family member related to this crew member of the U.S.S. Arizona, or have additional information, pictures or documents to share about his life or service to our county please contact us through our FAMILY MEMBER SUBMISSION FORM