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USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
C/O Art Curtis
P.O. Box 318063
San Francisco, CA 94131-8063

Phone:

573-590-2152

STORIES OF THE MEN

William Benton

 

William Benton

Capt Bethholf was the skipper of the DD 792 in July 1945.

Retired Navy Captain Charles Bertholf, who later served seven years as Chief of the Central Intelligence agency's operational center, died January 14th 1991 at the age of 78.

Captain Bertholf served 35 years in the Navy before he retired in 1965. During World War ll, He was commanding the USS Callaghan DD 792 when she was hit and sunk off of Okinawa By a Japanese Kamikaze. He was awarded the Navy Cross, The Navy's highest award after the Medal Of Honor, for his actions during this engagement.

Later in his military career, Captain Bertholf specialized in Naval Intelligence. He served as assistant Naval Attache' in Stockholm and as Naval Attache' in Brussels an The Hague. His last assignment before retiring was in London on the staff of the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Naval Forces in Europe.

After Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1934 he served aboard light cruisers and destroyers. He was posted at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7th 1941.

During the Korean War, he commanded an Amphibious Ship off Wonsan. His other Decorations included two Bronze Stars.


USS Callagan

Captain Bertholf was born in San Francisco. He settled in Alexandria Va after his retirement from the Navy. He worked seven years for the CIA before retiring permanently. He had lived one month of each year on the Island Of Ibiza in the Mediterranean. His first wife, the former Katie Collins, died in 1953. Survivors include his wife, Terry Bertholf of Washington; their daughter Brenda Bertholf of Washington: Three children from his first marriage, Katherine Nichols of Concord, Mass.,

Charles M. Bertholf Jr. and Melissa Cafritz, both of Washington; and seven Grand Children. 

The night the USS Callaghan was sunk is discribed here by the eyes of Bill Benton, aboard

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