HARTLEY CHARLES R

CPT Charles R Hartley was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 04/14/2020 at the age of 81.5
Duncanville, AL
Flight Class 69-26
Date of Birth 10/18/1938
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with A242 5 SF in 67, A246 5 SF in 67, B24 5 SF in 68, B/7/17 CAV in 71, HHC 52 CAB in 71-72
This information was provided by Sammie Williams - obit

More detail on this person: Leutenant Colonel (Ret) Charles R. (Sonny) Hartley of Duncanville, Alabama died on April 14 at the age of 81 and entered the gates of heaven where he was welcomed with opened arms by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who he served faithfully. He was preceded in death by his mother Ada Susanna (Sannie) Fisher Hartley, his sister Margaret Fontaine, and his brothers Robert W. Hartley, and Gerald W. Hartley. He loved and was loved and survived by his wife of 57 years Johnnie Newton Hartley, his daughter Suzanna Allaway (Arthur) of Tuscaloosa, sons Frank (Jessie) of Ft. Bragg, NC, and David (Xan) of Tuscaloosa. He was "Poppa" to five grandchildren: Chandler Belle (17), Joshua Isaiah (16), Garrett Franklin (14), Charleston Thomas (13), and Isabel Grace (12). He is also survived by his sister Betty Moore, special niece Brenda Lancaster, special family Aaron, Ariella, Yardena, and Eitan Wolf, and a host of nieces and nephews. Sonny was born in Tuscaloosa in 1938 to M.C. and Sannie Hartley. He graduated from Tuscaloosa County High in 1957, and The University of Alabama in 1974. His first job, at the age of 5, was picking cotton. By 9, he was working for his brother-in-law, Sam Moore, on the farm. He then went on to work at Vic Holman's store on Highway 82, Railway Express, and The Alabama Power Company as a tree trimmer earning the name "Top Cat." He found his true calling as a soldier when he joined the United States Army in 1966. He served in various units in his 26 years of service. He started his career at sixteen years old in the 31st Infantry "Dixie" Division of the Alabama National Guard on 20 Oct 1954. After a break in service, he joined the 20th Special Forces Group (A) on 06 July 1959 and served with them until June 1966. He attained the rank of Sergeant First Class and was selected to attend Officer Candidate School at FT. Benning, GA. He was commissioned to the rank of Second Lieutenant in 1963 and reported for active duty on 11 July 1966 as the rank of First Lieutenant. He graduated from the Special Forces Officer's Course at FT. Bragg, NC in March of 1967. He went on to serve two tours in Vietnam; from June of `67 until June of `68 he served with the 5th Special Forces Vietnam; from June of `67 until June of `68 he served with the 5th Special Forces Group (A) at various locations in the II Corps Region - Dak Pek, Dak To, Kontum and Pleiku. After graduation of Army Aviation School in 1969, he returned to Vietnam for his second tour of duty. From May `71 until May `72 he served with B TRP, 7/17th Air Cav in Kontum Province. In Nov of `72, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for "heroism by voluntary action in aerial flight" for recovering a downed aircrew and the survivors of a rifle platoon under intense hostile fire from enemy forces. During his military service he was assigned to various units to include the 82nd Airborne Division, United States Army Special Warfare Center, and was the Commander of the Special Warfare Center Flight Detachment at Simmons Army Airfield at FT. Bragg, NC. He also served as a Squadron and BDE Executive Officer, BDE S-3, and Plans Officer with 7/17th, 6th AIR CAV BDE at FT. Hood, TX from 1978 to 1980. He gained rating as an aviator on the OH-58D Kiowa, UH-1H Huey, CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Blackhawk and the first attack helicopter the AH-1G Huey Cobra. He attained the award of Senior Army Aviation Badge and flew until his retirement on March 31, 1985 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He attended numerous schools and was awarded four Bronze Star's for actions against hostile forces during his tours in Vietnam. Upon retirement from the military in 1985, he was hired as the procurement officer for JVC Disc America. He retired from the company as President of JVC Disc America in 1998. He was an active member of Gilgal Baptist for 63 years serving as deacon, church treasurer, and prayer warrior. He served on several committees and worked to help the church to retire its debt. When hearing him pray, you got a glimpse of the depth of his relationship with Jesus Christ. Many early mornings were spent with him reading his Bible at the kitchen counter. His calling might have been to be a soldier and protector, but his one true love was his wife, Johnnie. The couple met at Gilgal Baptist Church when she was 14. Church socials followed with dates that included younger siblings. They practiced dancing to The Platters "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" for her Sweetheart dance at County High. Funeral services will be a private family service at Gilgal Baptist Church on Saturday at 11 a.m. with Bro. Bart Latner officiating. A celebration of his life will be held on his birthday in October at his home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Gilgal Baptist Church, 3000 Bear Creek Road East, Duncanville, Alabama 35456. We write this to tell the story that he would never tell, for he lived the motto that is the pillar of the Special Forces warrior - "The Quiet Professional". On April 14, 2020 this "Green Beret met his fate, "De Oppresso Liber. Excerpted from obituary provided by Memory Chapel Funeral Home

Burial information: Gilgal Baptist Church Cemetery, Duncanville, Al

This information was last updated 04/19/2020

Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 07/01/2020


Copyright © 1998 - 2020 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association