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Donald E. Chariton
Donald Ellsworth Chariton

Donald Ellsworth Chariton

Donald Ellsworth Chariton was born on November 13, 1914 in Rocky Ford, Colorado. He joined the Navy on July 6, 1939. During his career he served aboard the USS Robin, USS Pensacola, USS Marblehead, USS Tulsa, USS Mount Vernon, USS Prometheus, and USS Guam. He was honorably discharged on October 15, 1945 at the rank of Chief Machinist's Mate. His decorations include the American Defense Service, American Theater Area, Asiatic-Pacific Theater, and Philippine Liberation ribbons. His medals include the Purple Heart, Good Conduct and Victory medals. He was married to Margaret T. Chariton. He died on April 11, 1995 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His brother, Robert P. Chariton, was an aircraft mechanic in the Navy during World War II. He, too, spent the war in the Pacific Theater, including a tour aboard the aircraft carrier USS Chenango.

The following is a summary that Donald Chariton gave to the Webmaster of his experience on the USS Marblehead on February 4, 1942 when the Marblehead was attacked.

We were 75 miles north of Java in February 1942. I was on one of the anti-aircraft guns. I counted 16 Japanese aircraft. We took a bomb through the smoke stack, and it blew up underneath the ship. Sailors from other ships told me later that they could see the screws of the ship as it was lifted up into the air. I ended up flat on the deck, and I was hit on the left side of my body by a shot of flame. I looked at my watch to see what time it was, but the insides of my watch were gone. All that was left was the watch case and the crystal. The crystal didn't have a scratch on it. I looked over at another sailor that was also flat on the deck next to me. He was dead. He didn't have a scratch on him. The force of the blast killed him.

You may view and sign Mr. Chariton's memorial page on Find A Grave by clicking here.

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