In Memory

Charles Napper VIEW PROFILE

Charles Crawford Napper Specialist Four


  • Home of Record: Shelbyville, Tennessee
  • Date of birth: Thursday, 09/16/1948
  • MILITARY DATA Service: Army (Selective Service)
  • Grade at loss: E4 Rank: Specialist Four
  • ID No: 410842424
  • MOS: 17K20 Ground Surveillance Radar Crewman
  • LenSvc: Between 1 and 2 years


  • Start Tour: Thursday, 02/13/1969
  • Cas Date: Friday, 11/07/1969
  • Age at Loss: 21
  • Remains: Body recovered
  • Location: Binh Long, South Vietnam
  • Type: Hostile, died outright
  • Reason: Artillery, rocket, or mortar - Ground casualty

ON THE WALL Panel 16W Line 043

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08/15/08 04:27 PM #1    

Larry Phillips

I wasn't that close to Charles when we were back in school but yet I remember him as a quiet guy and very friendly.

I remember working at Mittwedes Grocery store when Charles came by one day. He was in his Class-A Army uniform looking very nice. He shared his Army experiences up to that time. I do recall that he had orders for Vietnam and would be leaving shortly. I was so innocent at that time about war and probably didn’t conceive the thought of knowing someone who could possibly die in a war.

After experiencing the war myself first hand a few years later, when I see a service-person, I think much differently about his/her situation and the sacrifice that they are making.

Charles made the ultimate sacrifice. I wondered why God kept the memory of Charles’ visit that day in my mind over the years. I wondered what Charles would be doing. I was guessing he made Army a career.

I didn't know that Charles was killed in Vietnam until I started looking at deceased classmates. When I saw the date of Sept 1969, I was afraid I knew what his fate had been. I did some research on the web and found out the details as how he died.

I find it an honor to have known him. It wouldn’t do any good regretting the fact I wish I had known him better. I’m glad to say that I knew him some!

08/16/08 12:43 AM #2    

Patsy Reese ((Stovall) Andrews)

There was a girl that rode my bus that had a crush on Charles. He was in my homeroom, so I tried for several weeks to talk him into asking her to prom. He told me he wasn't interested in her, then the week of prom, told me he wanted to take ME. By that time, I had started to really like him. That was the beginning of us, I guess. I even remember he borrowed a suit from Milton Herriman for the prom, because he didn't have one. I remember Mrs. Denton made him figure his grade on the board to see if he passed to graduate. He hated that class. We were engaged by mid August, then he got his "brown envelope", as he called it. I made as many trips to Fort Campbell as I could, when Charles couldn't come in. Jay Grahams parents took Judy McCullough to see Jay, so I met them at the old Rebel Maid and hitched a ride. He got a 2 week leave during Christmas. After that, he was stationed at Fort Knox. When he was told he was leaving for California, then to Nam, he called to see if I could come up. My grandparents arranged for me to go by bus and stay at the Hospitality House on base. The last time I saw him was the night before he shipped out. He wouldn't let me go see him off. I'm glad I went. He left California for Viet Nam in Feb. Charles worked a full time job his senior year. He worked the night shift at Airseal that was behind present McDonalds. He pretty much paid his own way. He would get off at midnight, get some sleep and be at school the next morning. He usually worked 6 nights a week. Our date night was Sunday, but I had to be home early. He got me interested in the NFL. He even taught me to play touch football in our front yard. He was very decicated to his family and loved his mother dearly. He helped her with raising his siblings (even 2 brothers ages 2 & 4). He stayed with Mama Lener, his blind grandmother alot and did things for her. Charles didn't have a whole bunch of friends, but he was a dear friend to those he had. He would have gladly given the shirt off his back, if they told him they needed it. In Viet Nam, the children loved him. Charles didn't really like sweets, but wanted me to send him a package every couple weeks with candy and toys for the kids. I have pictures I could post, if I could add them to his profile. I remember the Sunday morning Mama Lener called to tell me he had been killed. I didn't want to believe her, but when I got there and saw those soilders come out the front door, I knew it was so. It was a hard week to wait for his body to get back. I have put flowers on his grave at Willow Mount for nearly 39 years, even when my husband was still alive. Even tho' I moved on with my life, there will always be a special place in my heart for Charles Crawford Napper.

08/17/08 11:58 AM #3    

Lolly Farrar (Watson)

Patsy, you are a living tribute for Charles. Like Larry, I remember Charles clearly. He was reserved and very quiet...but a person of gentle strength. Charles made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. People like Charles should never be forgotten, for they embody the very principal upon which this country was founded. Oh, if we all embodied Charles' strength, loyalty, and God and country.

08/20/08 01:14 PM #4    

Larry Hart

Charles,was a good friend. I remember that day in Denton's class I hated it too. Bear Hart.

01/27/09 07:49 AM #5    

Sharon Peacock (Moore)

I just read Charles Napper's profile and it brings tears to my eyes to find out what a great person he really was. Thank you Patsy for sharing your relationship with Charles to our class. It touches my heart to know that he was a good son and loved his family and was willing to do whatever it took to help out. I'm certainly not surprised that he went into the Army to serve his country as well. When I hear of a testimony such as Charles I wish I could have known a little more about each of my classmates, but since that wasn't possible, I look forward to hearing stories from others about other classmates that I may have only passed in the hall, saw in the lunch room, or at a pep rally.

Sharon Peacock Moore

08/31/09 04:57 PM #6    

Judy Snell (Sanders)

I remember so clearly the day Patsy called me at home and told me Charles had been killed. Her voice was full of pain and disbelief. Patsy and I knew each other since first grade in Flat Creek,and we had many fun years together, but I was at a loss for words for her that sad day. I wanted to go to her, but, I knew nothing I said or did could ease her pain. I remember telling her I would always be there for her if she ever needed to talk.
War can be so cruel--to families and to friends.

11/10/12 05:22 AM #7    

Tommy Hay

Thank you on this day 10 Nov 2012, Charles for the supreme sacrifice you made for our Nation.   It seems like only yesterday we were on the soils of Vietnam with the smell of lead from gunfire and explosions running rampant.   I only wish that in 1969 I had known you were in vietnam at the same time as I.  I know now that having someone you knew and grew up with being not far away would have made the tour of duty easier.  Semper Fi, my friend and God bless your family and sincerely thank you for giving it all. 

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