His birth certificate says he was born 11FEB1922 (so that is his "official" birthdate), but his mother disagreed. Two of his sisters also had birth certificates that were a few days off.
His father was the chief engineer at a small natural gas pumping station in the northwestern part of Armstrong County called Kaylor Station, and the family lived in a house provided by the company, right on the company property, less than 100 yards from the station. He attended a one-room schoolhouse, skipping two grades, and graduated from East Brady High School in 1936. Work was scarce because of the Depression, but he eventually got at job at the Quartermasters Depot in Philadelphia.
Volunteered for military service in WWII to have more control over how he would serve, choosing the Army Air Forces. During pilot training he gave a preference to fly bombers instead of fighters, preferring not to be alone if he got into trouble in combat, and was assigned to B-24 Liberator heavy bomber training. At the time, heavy bomber groups were perhaps the most powerful weapon the allies had, except for the B-29, which was new.
After training was assigned to the 464th Bomb Group, stationed in Pantenella, Italy. Transatlantic voyage was aboard the John Eriksson, a passenger liner that had been converted to a troop transport and renamed, and was from New York City to England. The 464th was part of the Fifteenth Air Force, which did strategic bombing in the European Theater. On some missions, the 464th was defended by the famous Tuskeegee Airmen.
Lt Stanley lost two B-24s in combat, becoming Missing in Action (MIA) both times. Both losses were from flak over the target while bombing Bleckhammer, in the Silesia region of Germany (now part of Poland). Bleckhammer had two of the largest synthetic oil refineries in Germany. The B-24s were damaged, and not able to make it back to base, but he was able to make it far enough to escape capture.
The first MIA episode was 13OCT1944 (Friday the 13th). He decided to head toward Romania, because parts of Romania had been occupied by the Russians, and previously downed airmen had been returning from there. All 10 men bailed out just 20 or 30 miles past the battle front, and the crew was collected up into the village of Campeni in Transylvania, which was Russian-controlled territory. The Russians made arrangements to get the men back to base, which took less than two weeks. The only casualties were some injuries from bailing out, plus the co-pilot contracted amoebic dysentry while staying with one of the locals.
The second MIA episode was 02DEC1944, and that time they headed straight back, over Yugoslavia, having been briefed which areas were safe to bail out in. This time they were able to pick their spot (the first time the engines gave out before they bailed out), and the locals brought them to a place called Sanski Most, which behind enemy lines, but controlled by Tito's partisans (allies). They spent Christmas there, and a plane arrived to extract them in early January. About 80 airman had accumulated in the village - parts of many crews, and not everybody would fit on the plane, so Charles volunteered to wait for the next plane. But the airfield closed for the winter the next day and they had to make other arrangements.
The remaining airmen (about 14 of them) started making their way out of Yugoslavia on foot. It was an unusually cold and snowy winter, and they marched for over a week, about 100 miles through heavy snow, to get to Split, their Partisan guides leading the way. Upon their return, they were sent back to the US, flying no additional combat missions. Charles had flown 11 missions. In the US, he trained other pilots to fly the B-25, a medium bomber. During his service, he was promoted from a 2nd Lt to a 1st Lt.
Paternal relationship is confirmed by a GEDmatch test match between Frank Stanley GEDmatch A344093 and his third cousin, LRH, a grandchild of Dorothy (Standley) Horner. Their MRCAs are their great-great grandparents, John Standley and Barbara Catherine (Fox) Standley. Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 4.5, based on sharing 26.7 cM across 2 segments.
Paternal relationship is confirmed by a GEDmatch test match between Frank Stanley GEDmatch A344093 and his third cousin, A.M., a grandchild of Alberta A (Flockerzi) McSparren through her son, George. Their MRCAs are their great-great grandparents, Frank M Johnson and Flora Ann (Craig) Johnson. Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 4.7, based on sharing 21.8 cM on 1 segment.
Maternal relationship is confirmed by a GEDmatch test match between Frank Stanley GEDmatch A344093 and his third cousin, T(S)G, a grandchild of Hubert O Hoffmann. Their MRCAs are their great-great grandparents, Richard Baxter and Margaret (Kuckamose) Baxter. Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 4.4, based on sharing 33.4 cM across 3 segments.
Maternal relationship is confirmed by a GEDmatch test match between Frank Stanley GEDmatch A344093 and his third cousin, B(S)W, a grandchild of Charles E Steiner. Their MRCAs are their great-great grandparents, John McCarthy and Jane (Atkins) McCarthy. Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 4.0, based on sharing 59.0 cM across 5 segments.
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