Oral History of Charles W. Stockell, interviewed by Jessica Upchurch, 20 March, 2012


Oral History of Charles W. Stockell, interviewed by Jessica Upchurch, 20 March, 2012


Charles Stockell was born in Washington, DC. Following a family tradition of service, he joined the military when he was twenty years old, attending basic training at Ft. Bragg and Officer Candidate School in Oklahoma. He was assigned to a division that was very aggressive on the battlefield. ÒI liked the way that they acted. I got better targets that way. He also frequently served as an observer on a Piper Cub aircraft flying combat missions over German territory. Stockell recalls the confusion of the Omaha Beach landing during the Normandy Invasion. He and the men in his battery were forced to swim ashore after disembarking from the landing craft prematurely. The chaos continued on the shore. We hadn't left the beach before I found my first two American casualties. They were lying on the beach, and all four feet of these two men had been [blown] off. And they knew that they were bleeding to death, so in their death, their last thing on earth, they wrapped their arms companionly around each other and died that way. It was a very touching sort of thing. Stockell received four Purple Hearts for wounds he received while serving in the artillery, and rose to the rank of colonel. He also served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and taught at the National War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 2012, Stockell was inducted into France's National Order of the Legion of Honor.

In the spring of 2012, Citadel graduate students in Dr. Lauren Rule Maxwell’s Advanced Composition class conducted oral history interviews with a diverse group of area veterans regarding their military experiences during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In addition to conducting interviews, the students incorporated the veterans’ stories into a range of writing exercises, including feature articles, which appear online. In organizing the project, Maxwell teamed up with Fred Lesinski of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston. The digital recordings and transcripts are part of The Citadel Oral History Program Collection at The Citadel Archives & Museum and also will be housed in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. By capturing these histories, the interviews aim to do justice to the veterans’ stories while paying homage to their legacy and the principled leadership they inspire.Interview transcriptions are intended to reflect the words and sounds of the audio recordings as closely as possible. Even the best transcriptions, however, are imperfect representations of the recordings. For a full discussion of The Citadel Oral History Program's transcription guidelines, consult the program's Web site.

Listen to the audio on the Lowcountry Digital Library.


The Citadel in War and in Peace -- World War II
Lowcountry Veterans' Oral Histories
The Citadel in War and in Peace -- Korean War
The Citadel in War and in Peace -- Vietnam War
The Citadel in War and in Peace


The Citadel Archives & Museum



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Charleston (S.C.)


Jessica Upchurch


Charles W. Stockwell


Charleston, South Carolina


1 hour, 2 minutes



The Charleston Oral History Program at the Citadel, “Oral History of Charles W. Stockell, interviewed by Jessica Upchurch, 20 March, 2012,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed September 30, 2023, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/142.