From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Charles Gunnels, Jr. '41

Date of birth: May 20, 1918

Date of death: April 27, 1957

Age: 38

Lucky Bag

From the 1941 Lucky Bag:


From the 1956-1957 cruise book of USS Shangri-La (CV 38)

From Facebook:

At 1330 on April 27, the OOD at NAS Atsugi telephoned the ship to report that the SNB-5 with three Shangri-La crewmen aboard was overdue. The plane had departed NAS Atsugi enroute to Komaki Air Base on a proficiency training flight. Aboard the aircraft were Shangri-La'ss Operations Officer, Cdr. Charles Gunnels; Medical Officer, Captain Elmer Johnson; and Lt(jg) James Fryer of HU-1. Also aboard was a first class photographer from a shore station in Japan. A wide search was initiated by U. S. Naval, U. S. Air Force and Japanese Defense aircraft and ships of the U. S. Navy and the Japanese Maritime Defense Force. The next morning, Shangri-La sent thirty members of the Marine Detachment to join ten men of SAINT PAUL (CA-73) to search the mountain area on Izu Peninsula. By mid-afternoon, search parties located the wreckage of the SNB near the crest of Amagi-Sammuaka Mountain on Izu Peninsula. There were no survivors.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was survived by his mother, brother, and sister; his father died earlier in April 1957.

He was also survived by three daughters and four sons. (Information from July 1957 issue of Shipmate.)


He became operations officer of USS Shangri-La (CVA 38) in June 1956, while the ship was in Yokohama, Japan. He "formerly performed duty for the Bureau of Aeronautics at Washington, D.C."

For some reason Charles, and the other men lost in the crash, are not included on the In Memoriam page of the USS Shangri-La (CVA 38) 1956-1957 cruise book.

Class of 1941

Charles is one of 60 members of the Class of 1941 on Virtual Memorial Hall.