Some Fallbrook history on Memorial Day 2020
By Tom Frew
The Fallbrook Veterans of Foreign Wars post, VFW 1924 on Old Stage Road, is named for the first son of Fallbrook to be killed in World War Two. Seaman 1st Class Charles E. Swisher was killed in the early moments of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Swisher family, Charles parents Leon and Mary and his younger sister Mildred, were well known around Fallbrook because of their involvement with civic activities. Young Charles had attended West Fallbrook Union Elementary School as a child. He went on to play football on the Fallbrook Union High School team in 1939. After the football season, he joins the Future Farmers student organization. Charles enlists in the U.S. Navy in November 1940 just 2 weeks after turning 18 years old. Following his basic training in San Diego, he is assigned to the battleship USS Arizona then docked in Bremerton, Washington. Just a year later he is promoted to Seaman 1st Class while the Arizona is docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On Saturday night, December 6th, Charles attends a concert on the navy base with some Fallbrook friends also stationed there. He then returns to the ship to stand watch from midnight to 4 a.m. Seaman 1st Class Swisher is sleeping in Sunday morning in the bow area of the ship when Japanese planes make a surprise attack on Hawaii at 7:55 am December 7, 1941. The Arizona is hit several times; explodes, burns and sinks taking the lives of 1,177 sailors and Marines.
Full story at https://www.fallbrookhistoricalsociety.org/about/fallbrook-history/featured-articles/naming-of-fallbrook-vfw-post/