|Dec 1941 – Heard about attack on Pearl Harbor while listening
to the NY Giants football game on radio.
|March 1942 – Received draft notice. Induction deferred
until summer to complete current college semester. Had completed
his freshman year of engineering upon reporting.
|8 August 1942 - Reported to Fort Jay for induction and released
on two week leave.
|22 August 1942 – Assigned Camp Upton, Yaphank, LI for initial
classification. Achieved high classification scores, accepted into
Army Air Forces as Power Turret Mechanic (these had secret computing
mechanical gun sights and thus required a very high score on the
|27 August 1942 – Attends AAF Basic Training in Miami Beach,
FL. Stationed in the Winterhaven Hotel in the 880th Training Squadron
of the 581st Tech School Squadron
|5 October 1942 – Attends AAF Power Operated Turret School,
Lowry Field, Denver, CO.
|12 December 1942 – Assigned as Power Turret Specialist,
398th Medium Bombardment Squadron (B-26’s) of the 21st Bomb
Group, McDill Field, Tampa Florida. Took additional courses Martin
turrets until 20 Jan 1943. The Martin Marauder was hard for new
pilots to control, thus the saying “A plane a day in Tampa
Bay”. Awarded Good Conduct Medal.
|1 Feb 43 - Has a twelve day furlough in NYC.
|19 March 1943 – Informed that he has been selected for
|10 April 1943 – Promoted to Corporal. Attends Coast Artillery
AAA OCS (120 days) at Camp Davis, NC in Class 65, 3rd Battery,
|5 August 1943 – Discharged as an enlisted man
and commissioned 2LT Coast Artillery Corps in the Army of the United
States (AUS). Assigned to AAA Officer Basic School at Camp Davis,
NC. Given ten day leave.
|11 August 1943 – Assigned 504th AAA Gun Battalion (90 MM)
Battery D at Camp Davis, NC.
|16 September 1943 – Battalion moves to Blackstone AAF,
VA for maneuvers with the Air Corps.
|26 October 1943 – Transferred to Battery C within same
|8 November 1943 - Unit moves to Camp Pickett, VA. Unit later
moves to Fort Dix NJ (Is there in February 44). Functions as Assistant
Executive officer. Does so well, when he receives orders for transfer
to teach at the Antiaircraft Artillery Training Center (AATC) Camp
Stewart, GA, his Commanding Officer writes a letter describing
that he cannot lose Charlie! Transfer happens anyway. Awarded American
|3 Mar 44 – Assigned to XIII HQ Corps, Fort Dix for leave
purposes prior to going to Camp Stewart.
|31 Mar 44- Assigned to AATC, Camp Stewart GA. Assigned to 71st
AAA Awpns Bn for advanced courses prior to instructing.
|19 May 44 - Excess Coast Artillery Corps 2LTs redesignated 2LT
Infantry by order of the President. Camp Stewart CAC staff and
students sent to Fort Benning, GA
|23 May 1944 – Attends Infantry Officer Special Course 19
at Ft Benning, GA
|19 July 1944 – Assigned to AntiTank Company, 140th Infantry
Regiment, Camp Howze, Texas. (Most former CAC officers were initially
assigned to Anti Tank units within the Infantry since they had
previous artillery experience). Given 15 days leave enroute and
returns home. Develops a training program to qualify all of the
enlisted folks in the company for the Expert Infantry Badge so
they could get the extra $5.00 a month pay. This makes him a very
|21 October 1944 – Assigned to Army Ground Forces Replacement
Depot, Fort Meade MD for shipment to European Theatre of Operations.
|24 October 1944 – Awarded Expert Infantryman Badge with
the rest of his former company.
|13-24 November 1944 – Sails to Naples, Italy
|December 1944 – Attends MTOUSA Combat Indoctrination
Course, Italy. Learned to lead small units under live fire and
how to advance close behind live artillery.
|February 1945 – Assigned as replacement Platoon Leader,
F Company, 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry
Division, Casetta, Italy, 1LT Jim Gray, commanding. Company F had
suffered heavy casualties when attempting an assault on the night
of February 2, hence the need for replacement officers.
|February and March 1945 – F Company alternates training
and patrolling in the Apennine Mountains near Casetta, Italy. Initially
led patrols with the “advice” of an experienced NCO,
later leading them by himself. You could tell the 34th was a veteran
outfit by their breaking in new officers to combat very carefully.
April 1945 – Being short
of officers, additionally functions as Executive Officer,
F Company, 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th
Infantry Division near Casetta, Italy. CPT Jim Gray, commanding.
Here's my Dad as a 2LT with the 133rd in April 1945
in Casetta, Italy. Obviously not on the line with the
tie, overseas cap and visible lieutenants bars.
17 April 1945 – Po Valley
Campaign begins with push-off from the Apennine Mountains
north towards Bologna.
Here's a patrol about to go out from Company F , 2 Bn,
133rd Infantry during the Po Valley push in April 1944.
2LT Charles Wilson is the second from the left in the
I love how an experienced unit knew how to protect itself.
Unlike the pictures of green units on D-Day in France,
the 34th had been on the line for two years and it's
officers knew to fold their collar insignia under and
not wear any thing different than the rest of the troops.
|19 April 1945 – F Company suffers three KIA
|20 April 1945 – F Company suffers four KIA
|21 April 1945 – Enters Bologna, Italy
|23 April 1945 – 34th Division moves NW along axis of Highway
9 towards Piacenza to protect left flank of the Fifth Army advance
and cut off escape routes of three German divisions trying to flee
|27 April 1945– Earns Bronze Star (awarded in 1946) for
action at San Pietro in Cerna with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 133rd
Infantry Regiment in capturing 744 German prisoners. They were
on another road trying to avoid contact when they managed to stop
two German Regiments and established a roadblock after the initial
German regiment of that division had passed through. Company F
took the initial 47 prisoners who were supposed to hold the crossroad
in San Pietro in Cerna. (See 133rd Official Unit history) They
later protected the flanks of the roadblock and supported Company
E in the center as the Germans attempted to breakthrough.
|30 April 1945 – Personally accepts surrender of Luftwaffe
Northern Italy HQ in Bergamo, Italy. They had sent out an english
speaking Luftwaffe Major who had previously played with Paul Whiteman
Orchestra at the Roxy Theater in NYC to negotiate. They wanted
an American Colonel to surrender to. He told them that a Lieutenant
would have to do or the Americans would continue moving ahead and
they could surrender to the Italian Partisans. They quickly agreed
that the ignominy of a Colonel surrendering to a Lieutenant was
the safer choice.
|2 May 1945 - Combat in Italy ends. Awarded European Campaign
Ribbon with battle stars for Northern Apennine and Po Valley campaigns.
|May – 34th Infantry Division Occupies Italian French border
near Sussa Pass to keep the French out of Italy. They put a Cajun
from Louisiana on the telephone switchboard to monitor the French
phone messages between units. Division was later stationed at Oleggio
|16 May 1945 - Awarded Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
|29 May 1945 - Promoted to 1LT, Infantry
|July 1945 – 34th Division moves to Trieste, Italy along
the Morgan Line to keep the Yugoslavs out of the Trieste area.
|1 July 1945 – Assigned as 1LT to Company A, 109th Engineer
Battalion, 34th Infantry Division. (Assigned by Division Commander;
they needed Engineer officers for the reconstruction and saw that
he had one year of engineering in college).
|September 1945 - Assists in the convoy of 34th division to embarkation
port in Legano, Italy. Because he had been overseas less than a
year, he stays on in Company A, 109th Combat Engineers,
|1 October 1945 109th Engineer Combat Battalion becomes 313th
Combat Engineer Battalion of the 88th Infantry Division. Detailed
to a Corps of Engineers Officer Company Commander MOS and assumes
command of Company A, 313th Combat Engineers. His Battalion Commander
is Major Jack Snow, USMA ’42.
|November 1945 – Regular looping parades (same units came
through town three times in the same parade) are held in Trieste
to impress the Yugoslavs with our “strength.” The Engineer
Battalion had lots of large equipment so was always included in
these “shows”. They also had a German Army POW Engineer
Battalion under their supervision to help rebuild the roads and
bridges in Italy as there was no food for them in Germany yet.
|17 January 1946 – Detailed as one of four Engineer Officers
to conduct reconnaissance and support for the Allied Observers
of the Greek Election. Assigned to the Patras District as billeting
officer. Receives a letter of commendation from the US Embassy
Vice Counsel for his work.
|12 April 1946 – Returns from Greece to command of Co A,
313th Combat Engineers, 88th Infantry Division. Awarded WWII Victory
and Army of Occupation medals.
|26 May 1946 - Released from 313th Engr Battalion for return to
|June 1946 – Sees Jim Gray (now a Major in the MP’s)
in Italy before leaving theater.
|10 June -20 Jun 1946 – Sails from Italy to New York.
|26 June 1946 – Returns to Fort Dix, NJ and is discharged
as Captain, Infantry, AUS, to accept commission as Captain, USAR,
Corps of Engineers effective Sep 1. Home is 47-11 48 Avenue, Woodside,
NY. Spends his summer terminal leave camping at Lake George with
his Boy Scout buddies. Assigned to 290th Organized Reserve Engineer
Combat Battalion Jamaica NY. Meets mostly at the Knightsbridge
Armory in the Bronx and practices assaulting the New Jersey Palisades
during the next four years.
|His Decorations included the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star
with Oak Leaf Cluster, American Campaign Medal, European Campaign
Medal w/ Northern Apennine and Po Valley Battle Stars, World War
II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal.
|Civilian Career and Family Life
|September 1946 - Resumes engineering studies at New York University
|September 1946 – Begins work as draftsman at the Babcock & Wilcox
|10 July 1949 – Marries Eleanor Becker in Jamaica, Queens.
Honeymoons on Cape Cod.
|July 1950 – Because of his combat experience, designated
as an Infantry Division Combat Engineer Major for Korea. As wife
is pregnant, gets out of going on Active Duty. One war had been
enough. Doing reconnaissance ahead of an Infantry Division was
a good way to get killed.
|2 October 1950 – Son Gary is born in Jamaica, NY
|1950 – Moved to Hollis, Queens.
|17 July 1951 – Receives BSME from NYU on Dean’s list.
|1951 – Appointed Marine Design Engineer at Babcock & Wilcox
|1952 – Appointed Proposition Engineer at Babcock & Wilcox
|9 Sep 1952 – Honorably Discharged from USAR as Captain,
CE, since he isn’t available for active duty due to his essential
civilian work for the US Navy.
|9 June 1954 – Son Robert is born in Jamaica, NY
|June 1954 – Receives MSME from NYU.
|July 1954 – Moves to Westbury NY.
|1954 – Becomes Licensed Professional Engineer, State of
|1958 – Appointed Sales Engineer at Babcock & Wilcox;
Joins Downtown Athletic Club.
|22 May 1958 – Attends keel laying of NS Savannah, New York
Shipbuilding, Camden NJ.
|1960s – B&W moves headquarters to Barberton, Ohio.
Dad stays in New York to do Marine Sales so family will not have
to move. Works on conventual and nuclear powered steam ships including
US Navy Aircraft carriers and submarines. Made honorary submariner
after submerging in a sub during sea trials.
|1 January 1967 – Appointed manager of Marine Sales
|1972-1973 – Elected Chairman of the Metropolitan District
of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).
|1978 – Babcock & Wilcox is target of a takeover bidding
war between United Technologies and McDermott Industries. McDermott
wins and Charlie sells stock at the high.
|November 1981 – Post Three Mile Island, Babcock & Wilcox
has to retrench. Gets out of the Marine business and Charlie leaves
|March 1982 – Opens the NYC Office of Seaworthy Engineering
in the Whitehall Building.
|1988 – Becomes Technical Coordinator of the Society of
Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME)
|1992 – Moves to Robbinsville, NJ near his son Gary.
|2001 – Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
(SNAME) holds “Charlie Wilson Day” to recognize his
lifetime of work in Marine Engineering
|November 2005 – Moves to Cedar Crest Village in Pompton
|24 August 2007 – Passes away peacefully in Pompton Plains
at age 86 after fighting Parkinson’s disease for ten years.