16
MAY
2015

Yorktown Survivor Chose Subs

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LISTEN to Chuck Betty on Hometown Heroes
91-year-old Chuck Betty of Modesto, CA appears on episode #367 of Hometown Heroes, debuting May 16, 2015. A lifelong resident of the Modesto area, Betty joined the Navy in the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Chuck Betty as an 18-year-old sailor.

Chuck Betty as an 18-year-old sailor.


A month later, he was at that historic scene, and you’ll hear him relate the gruesome duty he had to carry out as an 18-year-old sailor. Eventually assigned to the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5), Betty was carrying ammunition up to the deck when the Yorktown came under attack at the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942.
The USS Yorktown after being bombed by Japanese planes on June 4, 1942.

The USS Yorktown after being bombed by Japanese planes on June 4, 1942.


Listen to Hometown Heroes to find out how Chuck was injured in the early phase of the attack, and how long he had to wait, in a seemingly helpless position, while the crew of the Yorktown tried to keep her afloat. Midway was a major turning point in the war, a pivotal victory for American forces, but the Yorktown was a significant casualty. Chuck’s ship went under in the early morning hours of June 7, 1942, after he and other wounded survivors had been evacuated.
The USS Yorktown under attack at Midway.

The USS Yorktown under attack at Midway.


After recovering from his knee injury, Betty decided to volunteer for submarine service, and after training in the United States, he eventually became part of the crew of the USS Bashaw. He made one patrol as a torpedoman on that boat, and two more aboard the newer USS Sea Robin.
The crew of the USS Sea Robin (SS-407) celebrating victory after World War II.

The crew of the USS Sea Robin (SS-407) celebrating victory after World War II.

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