S1c Charles Elijah Swisher

Unknown Sailor

S1c Charles Elijah Swisher

Charles Elijah Swisher lived near the sea his whole life.

He was born in Orange County in Southern California on Oct. 23, 1922.

In 1925 the family lived in Anaheim and in 1928 a sister was born in Fallbrook in San Diego County, but by April 1930 they had moved to Montebello east of downtown Los Angeles. At some point the family returned to Fallbrook, where the son attended Fallbrook Union High School in northern San Diego County. The 1940 yearbook listed him as a sophomore and a member of the football team. He joined the Navy on Nov. 7 of that year.

Mr. Swisher was a seaman first class when he was killed on the U.S.S. Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

His father, Leon William Swisher, served in the Navy during World War I. He worked at the Navy ammunition depot in Fallbrook during World War II. His mother, Mary Henrietta Ingraham Swisher, was a homemaker.

VFW Post 1924 in Fallbrook was established by World War I veterans, including Leon Swisher, just 10 months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The post changed its name to the Swisher VFW in June 1942 in honor of Charles.

His body was found three days after the Japanese attack and returned to the mainland in 1947 with burial at Loma Vista Memorial Park in Fullerton, California.


Sources: Headstone Applications for Military Veterans; Fallbrook Union High School yearbook; Navy muster rolls; Census; World War II draft registration card; U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Form; Fallbrook VFW photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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