Charles N. Major

Home Pentagon Write Up Upcoming Events Charles N. Major Links to our friends


From the “Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships,” 
(1969) Vol. 4, p.203.


Charles Nance Major, born 24 February 1915 in 
Richmond, Va., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 1 August 1940. 
Following training in battleship ARKANSAS (BB-33) and in 
Midshipman’s School at Chicago, he was commissioned ensign 
14 March 1941. He served in destroyer LEARY (DD-158) from 
April until December, when he reported to Norfolk for duty 
in the 5th Naval District. On 9 February 1942, he reported 
to the Armed Guard Center at New York City for duty in SS 
R. P. RESOR, a tanker owned by Standard Oil Co. of New 
Jersey. The tanker loaded a cargo of bulk crude oil at 
Houston, Texas and, while steaming for Fall River, Mass., 
she was torpedoed off Manasquan, N.J., by U-578 late 26 
February. The German torpedo exploded against the tanker’s 
portside. Explosions and raging fires engulfed R. P. RESOR 
from her bridge aft, and she burned out of control before 
sinking 2 days later. All but two of her merchant crew and 
armed guard, including Ensign Major, died in the attack.

Displacement: 1,400 t.
Length: 306’
Beam: 36’10”
Draft: 9’5”
Speed: 24 k.
Complement: 186
Armament: 3 3”; 4 1.1”; 8 20mm; 3 21” torpedo tubes;
2 depth charge tracks;
8 depth charge projectors;
1 hedge hog

MAJOR (DE-796) was laid down by Consolidated Steel 
Corp., Orange, Tex., 16 August 1943; launched 23 October 
1943; sponsored by Ens. Margaret Roper Major, Ensign Major’s 
widow; and commissioned at Orange, Tex., 12 February 1944, 
Lt. Comdr. 0. W. Goepner in command.

Following shakedown off Bermuda, MAJOR served in the 
Caribbean Sea frontier and escorted convoys between Cuba and 
Trinidad until arriving Boston, Mass., 11 June. She 
underwent training out of Casco Bay, Maine, with ships of 
Escort Division 56 before arriving Yorktown, Va., 2 July for 
convoy escort duty. On 4 July she sailed as part of TF 61 
and escorted UGS-47, a 68 ship convoy, to Bizerte, Tunisia, 
where she arrived 23 July. Between 30 July and 18 August, 
she escorted a westbound convoy back to the United States. 

MAJOR again sailed with TF 61 as convoy escort 12 
September, but on the 25th she left UGS-54 and steamed to 
Plymouth, England, arriving 29 September. There she met a 
convoy of 18 LSTs and 20 LCIs, and between 5 and 24 October 
she sailed as escort to Charleston, S.C. During the next 2 
months, MAJOR made another convoy run to north Africa and 
back; and, after returning to Boston 29 December, she served 
as submarine training target ship out of New London. Thence 
she sailed 21 February 1945 for duty in the Pacific.

Arriving Manus, Admiralties, 1 April, MAJOR escorted a 
convoy from Hollandia, New Guinea, to Leyte Gulf, 
Philippines, where she reported for duty with the Philippine 
Sea frontier. During the remainder of the war she operated 
out of Leyte Gulf, patrolling for enemy submarines, 
providing passenger and mail service to islands in the 
southern Philippines, and conducting periodic convoy escort 
duty, including a run to New Guinea and back. Late in July 
she reached Okinawa as escort for an LST convoy, thence she 
departed 1 August guarding LSTs bound for Leyte. Three days 
later, as destroyer escort EARL V. JOHNSON (DE-702) dueled 
with a Japanese submarine, MAJOR protected the convoy, which 
arrived at Leyte Gulf 7 August.

Following the cessation of hostilities 15 August, MAJOR 
steamed to Manila 18 August and escorted LSTs to Japan. She 
anchored near mighty MISSOURI (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay 1 
September and the following day witnessed the Japanese 
surrender on board the giant battleship. After returning to 
the Philippines later that month, she operated out of Leyte. 
Late in 1945 she steamed to the west coast. MAJOR 
decommissioned at Long Beach 13 March 1948 and entered the 
Pacific Reserve Fleet. At present she is berthed with the 
Pacific Inactive Fleet at Stockton, Calif.

[Stricken from the Navy Register on 1 December 1972, 
MAJOR was sold on 27 November 1973.

K. Jack Bauer and Stephen S. Roberts, “Register of Ships of 
the U. S. Navy, 1775-1990,” p.231.]


Copyright © 1996-2000, Andrew Toppan. All Rights Reserved.

Copied intact from the following web page.