Charles Richardson Chandler – Captain, United States Navy

Charles Richardson Chandler, 87, a retired Navy Captain, died of kidney failure, congestive heart disease and prostate cancer June 14, 2005, at The Fairfax, a military retirement home at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Captain Chandler was a native Washingtonian and graduated from Annapolis High School. He was appointed to the Naval Academy and graduated in 1939. He served on the USS California before going to submarine school. On Dec. 7, 1941, he was the assistant signal officer aboard the USS Pompano, which arrived at Pearl Harbor shortly after the disastrous strike on the Navy's fleet.

His father was a commanding officer on the USS Northampton, which was also just off Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack, while Capt. Chandler's mother awaited her husband and son on the island.

During World War II, Captain Chandler also served aboard the USS Indiana, Drayton and Thatcher, surviving kamikaze attacks on two of those ships. He earned a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.

After the war, he served on the staff of the command for destroyers based in the Pacific. He spent 1950 to 1952 as an instructor at the Naval Academy in seamanship and navigation and wrote “The Watch Officer's Guide,” a textbook used for years.

He took command of the USS McDermut, assigned to picket duty off Korea, where his actions won him the Bronze Star for destroying enemy mines and providing gunfire support for minesweepers. When enemy shore batteries fired on the minesweepers, he placed his ship between them and the beach, and fire from his ship silenced three batteries.

He later served at the fleet training group in San Diego, as commanding officer aboard the USS Vega, commanding officer of the fleet training group in Pearl Harbor and commanding officer of the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, Japan. His last sea duty was as commander of the service squadron at Newport, R.I. He retired in 1969 after serving at the Naval Board of Inspection and Survey in Washington.

In retirement, he was active in reunion organizations for the Drayton and Thatcher crews. He also patented a device to purify water.

His wife, Ann Yates Chandler, died in 1986.

Survivors include three children, Kathryn Chandler of Washington, Annie Lawhorne of Dumfries and Yates Chandler of Los Angeles; and three grandchildren.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/19/1917
  • DATE OF DEATH: 06/14/2005

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