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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: July 18, 1923
Date of death: September 11, 1974
Age: 51

Lucky Bag

1947 Cummings LB.jpg

From the 1947 Lucky Bag:

Charles Ward Cummings

Porterville, California

So you've never heard of Porterville? Well, we knew of it after hearing Ward constantly praise his one-horse podunk. He came to the Academy from Stanford, bringing with him his art equipment and ability. Even with some of his uncomplimentary caricatures, he stands very high in popularity. The same, however, cannot be said of his academics. What is amazing, though, is how he managed to participate in what seems like fifteen or twenty extra-curricular activities, and still get average marks. His art work, both humorous and serious has brought a lot of enjoyment to the Regiment.

He was also a member of the Class Ring Committee.

The Class of 1947 was graduated in June 1946 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.


1947 Cummings 1.jpg

Charles was a passenger lost in the crash of an Eastern Airlines DC-9 while on approach to Charlotte, NC. He had been named Commandant of the 6th Naval District in Charleston just six days prior to the accident.

He was survived by his wife, Lillian, and is buried in California.


1947 Cummings 2.jpg

Previous tours included USS Duluth (CL 87), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 5), USS Mt. McKinley (AGC 7), COMFIFTHFLT/Fifth Amphibious Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Naval War College, CINCPACFLT/ COMPACFLT, USS Bradford (DD 545), USS Brown (DD 546), USS Carpenter (DD 825), Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF), and USS Coontz (DLG 9).


From Together We Served:

On 1 July, three North Vietnam torpedo boats came out to attack USS Coontz (DLG 9) and USS Rogers (DD 876) operating about 40 miles off shore on search and rescue missions. Aircraft from USS Constellation (CVA-64) and USS Hancock (CVA 19) made short work of the attackers, sinking all three with bombs, rockets, and 20mm cannon fire. After the attack, Coontz pulled 19 survivors from the water. Constellation returned from the WESTPAC deployment on 3 December 1966. Commander Cummings was the commanding officer of the Coontz. His awards include the Legion of Merit with combat V, a Bronze Star and two Navy Commendation Medals, one with a combat V.

Related Articles

Jack Hoel ’58 was also lost in this crash.

Class Navigation

Class of 1947
Charles is one of 27 members of the Class of 1947 in Memorial Hall.
<< Valentin Matula '47