Charles J. Harley was born in 1907 to Charles and Margaret Harley who lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was one of three children.
Charles attended St. Agnes Catholic School on Gay St. in West Chester. He was a newspaper boy for the town’s newspaper, the Daily Local News.
After completing school, he worked for several years at Kauffman’s Furniture Store. He later obtained employment in the circulation Department at the Daily Local News, then later at a war plant in Baltimore, Maryland.
Charles enlisted in the Army in 1942. He received basic and advanced training, but was injured in a training accident during desert maneuvers in the west. He was hospitalized and returned to Camp Pickett, Virginia, before being sent overseas to the Pacific Theater.
Charles served nearly two years in the Pacific Theater. He served with the 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division. He participated in the invasion on Leyte in the Philippines, and on Guam. In April of 1945 his division landed on Okinawa.
77th Infantry LogoPrivate First Class Charles J. Harley was Killed In Action on May 4, 1945 in the battle of Shuri, Okinawa. He was buried in a military cemetery on the Island.
His sister received his last letter dated April 16th. His sister received the telegram of his death in June.
Charles was returned for reburial in his home country in 1949. His was one of 1,922 bodies of servicemen returned on the ship Private John R. Towle.
Friday Mass was held in remembrance of Charles at St. Agnes Church, with interment at St. Agnes Cemetery. Burial was with full military honors with Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion participating.