Charles D. McCarthy
Charles D. McCarthy
As America was wrestling with the devastating Depression, in the small town of Anaconda, Montana, a boy named Charles McCarthy was born. He was raised in a Catholic family from his birth, on July 6th 1931. McCarthy's life had a turning point when he joined the Navy reserve in 1952.
When World War Two began, he remembered being in the movie theatres, yet scared to be in the streets because of the bombings that were occurring in the Invasion of Poland. He grew up during the war and graduated from Anaconda Central High School in 1949 and received a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Carroll College, Helena, Montana, in 1953. Mr. McCarthy recalls one evening in college in 1949, when he got the notice that he had been drafted to the Army. He didn't want to join the Army so instead he took the test to enter the Navy reserve. In 1952, he joined the Navy reserve and served active duty in Pearl Harbor. Subsequently, he joined the Officer Candidate School to become a legal officer. The Officer Candidate School required a lot of work and the instructors were very rigid. During his stay in O.C.S he had the opportunity to practice with a .50 caliber hand gun but he missed all the rounds he fired. He stayed there from October 1953 to April 1954. During the first week of April, his plans to get married had to be rearranged because he was sent to Japan earlier than what he had expected. Although the orders were changed unexpectedly his wedding was held on April 7th, 1954. Since he had missed his original ship, he had to take the Military Sea Transport (MSTS) towards Japan. He had a unpleasant experience because there were people vomiting on the deck and it was going onto everyone's feet. People took the Military ship transport because they had missed their ship or for women and children to get to an assigned place.
Afterwards he attended the Navy Justice School until July of 1954 and commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy reserve. He was on a destroyer ship and was in control of many different jobs. In the period of his service he became a Lieutenant, which was a job not a rank, assistance gunnery officer and legal officer. He served most of his active duty time on board in the USS Epperson (DDE-719) in Pearl Harbor. One of his jobs was to be in charge of the whale boats, which were narrow with pointed ends, located on the side of the ships for any emergency. They were primarily used for whaling but then they became common in warfare. As a line officer everyone had to listen to his orders and no one could contradict him. Even though he was never in a combat, he had many roles to play that made him important. Three medals were given to him because he had joined the Navy reserve and for being in Japan. After his release from active duty in 1957, he became a teacher. He taught in several different high schools in California but retired in 1992. All of his achievements are important, and if he had the chance to experience his active duty again, he would.
Pearl Harbor was his home town for three years, and his first two children were born in Hawaii. He traveled to Germany to be able to attend the graduation of his children. His son studied the cleaning of nuclear spills and his daughter studied nuclear engineering. When he arrived in Japan, Germany, and Russia he felt frightened because he doubted people were going to be respectful. After arriving to those locations his mind set changed because he realized that we are all humans and all should be treated the same.
Until this day he constantly keeps contact with his best friend Mario. Mr. Charles and Mario went to high school together but never got along. Their friendship is different from others because they disliked each other but ironically they were put in the same ship and attended the same university. Mr. McCarthy learned to not judge people by their appearance because you can be wrong. Since the day he was released, he keeps his captain hat and other special items that remind him of his service. His opinion about the Navy has changed because now they are not obligated to be drafted, instead they volunteer at their own will. He doesn't regret his time in active duty because he sailed to many countries and his learning experiences increased.
Charles McCarthy was part of the Navy reserve and was on active duty from 1953 until 1957. He had many accomplishments, learned new ideas and had an unforgettable experience in the Navy. Despite the fact that he was afraid to join the service, he doesn't regret anything that occurred during his active duty.