Chuck Paty

– Charlotte, NC

Radioman, USS North Carolina
Paty, a Charlotte native, had a keen interest in Hitler’s European invasions prior to US involvement in World War II and enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor — though he had to get his parents’ permission because he was underage, and then after eating several bananas to gain enough weight to be accepted. Paty said he was thrilled to be a Tar Heel onboard a ship named after his native state. He described the battleship’s dramatic arrival at Pearl Harbor and subsequent Pacific engagements, including kamikaze pilots and surviving being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

In this excerpt from Act Six (of 20), entitled “USS North Carolina,” Charlotte, NC, veteran sailor and radioman Chuck Paty describes the battleship’s “baptism of fire” as it faced its first Japanese attack during WWII.