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Athens in McMinn County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN

U.S.S. Charles R. Ware (DD-865) 1945-1981

 
 
Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, July 17, 2021
1. Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN Marker
Inscription.  

Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN
1911-1942
U.S.S. Charles R. Ware (DD-865)
1945-1981

To honor the memory of Lieutenant Charles Rollins Ware, the former officers and crewmen of the destroyer USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) dedicate this plaque in salute to a fallen hero and one of the U.S. Navy's finest officers. During the Battle of Midway, in June, 1942, Lt. Ware selflessly sacrificed his life to help defeat a formidable Japanese fleet.

For his gallantry, Lieutenant Ware was awarded the Navy Cross, with this citation: “For extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty while piloting an airplane of a Scouting Squadron in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway during the period of June 4-6, 1942. Participating in a devastating assault against a Japanese invasion fleet, Lieutenant Ware, with fortitude and resolute devotion to duty, pressed home his attacks in the face of formidable barrage of anti-aircraft fire and fierce fighter opposition. His gallant perseverance and disregard for his own personal safety were important contributing factors to the success achieved by our forces
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and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Born March 11, 1911, in Knoxville, TN, Lt. Ware joined the Navy in 1929 from Athens, TN, where his mother was living at the time at 328 Ohio St. In 1934, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, and served at sea on various ships until 1940 when he entered flight training. On earning his wings as a naval aviator, Lt. Ware was assigned first aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CV-6). In January 1941, he was transferred to Scouting Squadron 5, aboard the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) In early 1942, Lt. Ware was reassigned to Scouting Squadron 6 aboard the Enterprise and it was from her deck that he flew into naval history when the Battle of Midway erupted on June 4.

Lt. Ware and his section of six Douglas SBD-2/3 "Dauntless” dive bombers joined other planes from the USS Enterprise and USS Yorktown in pressing home a fierce attack on three Japanese carriers, while fighting a large number of Japanese "Zero” fighter planes that protected the enemy fleet. When a second wave of Japanese planes appeared from a fourth enemy carrier, Lt. Ware attacked them without hesitation, even though his section's fuel and ammunition were running low. The possibility of the aviators returning to their carriers diminished with every passing second but Lt. Ware continued the
Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, July 17, 2021
2. Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN Marker
attack until the last moment.

Only two members of Lt. Ware's group survived - plucked from the sea by a destroyer. The others, including Lt. Ware and his air-gunner, ARM 1/C William H. Stambaugh, USN, of Paintsville, Johnson County, KY, vanished into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. Stambaugh, like all aircrewmen who fought at Midway, has been enshrined in the Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor, located at the Midway Exhibit at Patriots Point Museum, Charleston, SC. In Lt. Ware's honor, the USS Charles R. Ware, a Gearing class destroyer, was launched at Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Staten Island, NY, April 12, 1945, by Arva Zena Ware, his mother, and was placed in commission July 21. For the next 29 years, DD-865 served the U.S. Navy well around the world, including in the waters off Vietnam in 1967. After serving for a time as a Naval Reserve training ship, the Ware was decommissioned November 30, 1974, in Galveston, TX. On November 15, 1981, the ship was used as a target and was sunk in 3000 fathoms in the Atlantic Ocean, 400 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

May she and her namesake, Lt. Charles Rollins Ware, forever rest in Honored Peace.
 
Erected by Former officers and crewmen of the destroyer USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865).
 
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: War, World II
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Waterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 35° 26.464′ N, 84° 35.438′ W. Marker is in Athens, Tennessee, in McMinn County. Memorial is on Sunset Drive west of Ceasar Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Athens TN 37303, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rice House (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bus Station (about 700 feet away); Cleage Corner (about 700 feet away); McKeldin Block (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cher-O-Kee Photofinishers (approx. 0.2 miles away); Crawford Corner (approx. 0.2 miles away); Evans Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Foster-Rowan House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. This page has been viewed 272 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 22, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024