Charles J. Harley was born on November 9, 1906 to Charles and Margaret Harley who lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was one of three children.
Charles attended St. Agnes Catholic School in West Chester. He was a newspaper boy for the town’s newspaper, the Daily Local News.
After completing school, he worked for several years at Kauffman’s Furniture Store. He later obtained employment in the circulation Department at the Daily Local News, then later at a war plant in Baltimore. He married Anna Frances Sturm on August 15, 1936.
Charles enlisted in the Army in 1942. He received basic and advanced training, but was injured in a training accident during desert maneuvers in the west. He was hospitalized and returned to Camp Pickett, Virginia, before being sent overseas to the Pacific Theater.
Charles served nearly two years in the Pacific Theater. He served with the 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Division. He participated in the invasion on Leyte in the Philippines, and on Guam. In April of 1945 his division landed on Okinawa.
Private First Class Charles J. Harley was killed in action on May 4, 1945 in the battle of Shuri, Okinawa. He was buried in a military cemetery on the Island.
Charles was returned for reburial in 1949. His was one of 1,922 bodies of servicemen returned on the ship Private John R. Towle.
He was buried at St. Agnes Cemetery with full military honors.