“The galloping Ghost of the Java Coast


Charley Pryor






            Charley Pryor was born February 9, 1920, in Garvin County, Oklahoma. As the oldest of 9 children, he learned at a very young age how to work hard in the cotton fields.  He used to pray for bad weather so he could attend school, where he earned top grades.  In January 1939, he joined the Marine Corps and knew he wanted to be a “sea-faring” Marine.

            The USS Augusta was Charley’s first station.  He was an aide to Admiral Hart and received his PFC stripe from his Captain, Chesty Puller.  He quickly rose through the ranks to Sergeant. Charley was transferred to the USS Houston where he became gun captain on 5” gun #8.  He survived the sinking of the ship and the atrocities of the POW camps to come home to a mother who never gave up hope he was alive.

            After almost 25 years in the USMC, Charley retired a Captain and began life as a Baylor University student.  He graduated with honors in 2 years and then began a teaching career that spanned 15 years as a Political Science professor at Baylor and Dallas Baptist University.

            Along the way Charley acquired a beautiful wife, Jimmie, a daughter, 3 sons, 16 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.  He tenaciously fought the Japanese, cerebral malaria, jungle ulcers and later cancer, which took his leg.   However, he couldn’t defeat the disease that took his mind.  Charley passed away October 30, 1995, and is buried at the DFW National Cemetery.