MUS2c Charles William White

Unknown Sailor

MUS2c Charles William White

Charles William White was born April 11, 1920 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His mother, Catherine Henderson White, was a homemaker, and his father, Arthur White, a blacksmith and English immigrant.

The family moved about six miles north to Bountiful, population about 2,200, when Charles was four. He graduated from Davis County High School in 1938, then studied music for two years at Brigham Young University. The 1940 yearbook identified him as a junior. He left before graduating and worked briefly at a meat packing company in North Salt Lake before enlisting in the Navy on March 13, 1941.

He entered the Navy’s School of Music in Washington, D.C. that April and became a member of the band of the U.S.S. Arizona. He played drums and piano.

Mr. White was a musician and petty officer second class when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. All 21 band members died after they rushed from the fantail at the stern to their battle station in an ammunition hoist near the No. 2 turret close to where igniting black powder destroyed the Arizona.

He was survived by his widow, Myrlene Richins White. They married in 1939 and had a daughter who was one when her father died.

Mr. White’s younger brother, Douglas, served in the 3rd Marine Division during the war and played in its band.


Sources: The Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune; the Salt Lake Telegram; The Idaho Evening Times; The Weekly Reflex of Bountiful, Utah; Navy muster roll; Census; Brigham Young University yearbook; Utah marriage index. 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