From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Charles Sooy '38

Date of birth: January 13, 1917

Date of death: October 27, 1941

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:



The Secretary of the Treasury awarded a Gold Life-saving Medal to Ensign James C. Houghton, U.S .Navy, for his courageous attempt to rescue the late Lt. (jg) Charles D. Sooy, U.S.Navy, swept overboard by heavy seas on Oct. 27, 1941.

A storm was raging in the North Atlantic, the ship rolling so heavily that lowering a life boat was impossible. From his position on the forecastle, Ensign Houghton saw that Lt. Sooy, apparently stunned, was making no effort to reach life ring buoys thrown close to him, saw his head drop forward under water, and he immediately dove overboard, swimming to Lt. Sooy's side. In the waves that broke continuously over them, Ensign Houghton struggled to hold the unconscious man's head out of the water as they were both pulled toward the ship where men on the rescue net grasped them. A violent roll of the ship to starboard engulfed the whole party and the reverse up-roll, tore Lt. Sooy from their grasp. Ensign Houghton risked the same fate as that of his brother officer by his courageous act and was hauled aboard in an almost unconscious condition.

He was serving aboard USS Hilary P. Jones (DD 427) when he died.

Class of 1938

Charles is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.