Charles Edward Barnes USS Arizona

Y3c Charles Edward Barnes

Charles Edward Barnes was a young man who had always been driven by a sense of duty and a love for his country. He was born on September 26, 1922, in Pittsburg, Kansas to Carter Barnes, a farmer, and Ettie Pulley Barnes, a homemaker. When Charles was still a young boy, the family moved to Senath, a small town of about 1,300 in the southeast panhandle of Missouri.

Despite growing up in a small town, Charles had big ambitions. He graduated from the local high school in 1940, and just a few months later, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He was assigned to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois for his basic training as an apprentice seaman. Charles rose through the ranks as a yeoman and petty officer third class.

In 1941, Charles was assigned to the U.S.S. Arizona, one of the Navy’s most powerful battleships. He was proud to serve on such a prestigious vessel, and he worked hard to fulfill his duties as a sailor. But his time aboard the Arizona would be tragically cut short.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The U.S.S. Arizona was one of the ships that was most damaged, and Charles was among the crew members on board. The attack was devastating, and Charles was killed in the ensuing chaos.

American Legion Post 303 named after Barnes

The news of Charles’ death sent shockwaves through his small hometown. American Legion Post 303 in Senath was named in honor of Charles and two other local men who were killed on other ships at Pearl Harbor. The post also erected a memorial in their honor outside of City Hall, and Charles’ photograph was displayed prominently in the Legion building.

Charles’ father, Carter Barnes, had also served his country, as a private first class in Battery F of the 342nd Field Artillery in World War I. Like his son, he had answered the call to duty and had served with honor and distinction.

Today, Charles Edward Barnes is remembered as a hero, one of the many brave men who lost their lives in service to their country on that fateful day at Pearl Harbor. His sacrifice will never be forgotten, and his memory will always be honored by those who knew and loved him. Charles’ life may have been cut tragically short, but his legacy lives on as a reminder of the courage and sacrifice of all those who have served their country in times of war and peace.

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

Sources: Special thanks to American Legion Post 303 and its commander, Alton Ivy. Other sources are The Dunklin (Missouri) Democrat; Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. Headstone Application for Military Veterans; U.S. Defense Department. Navy photo. This profile was rewritten by “Operation 85”  from the original sourced profile written by Bobbi Jo Buel on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.