Charles J. Hayes was born in Boston on July 3, 1924, and served in the United States Navy, beginning with his enlistment on September 2, 1941, more than three months before Pearl Harbor. He had the following assignments.
As a radioman and a member of the Navy Armed Guard, Charlie was assigned to S.S. ALAMAR in April 1942. While in Convoy PQ-16, ALAMAR was sunk by German dive bombers on May 27, 1942, outside of Norway. There were no casualties. Charlie and his shipmates were rescued by the British corvetter HMS STARWORT (K-20).
Assigned to S.S. MASSMAR in June 1942, Charlie survived another sinking when MASSMAR, in Convoy QP-13, hit two mines in an Allied minefield near Iceland on July 5, 1942. This time casualties totaled 17 merchant marine crew and five Armed Guard killed; 23 merchant mariners and four Armed Guard, including Charlie, were rescued when the French corvette FLL ROSELYS (K-57) entered the minefield.
Charle served in the destroyer U.S.S. CHAMPLIN (DD-601) from September 12, 1942, to October 22, 1943.
Later Charlie was transferred to the Naval Communication Station in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He served in London, England, at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) in June 1944 during the D-Day invasion.
After the war Charlie was employed at the U.S. Veterans Affairs hospital in Leeds, Massachusetts, retiring in 1984 after 40 years of service. He was a member of Michael F. Curtin VFW Post 8006 and of the U.S.N. Armed Guard World War II Veterans Association.
Charlie was devoted to his family and loyal to his friends. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and hiking. He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and wonderful sense of humor.
Charlie died in Florence, Massachusetts, on December 15, 2013.
(Contributed March 28, 2014, by Ted Hayes, Charlie's son)
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