Skip Navigation and Jump to Page Content    The Library of Congress >> American Folklife Center  
Veterans History Project (Library of Congress) ABOUT  
Home » Charles Sequoyah Lee Chupco

"I graduated on the twenty-seventh of May, 1960; twenty-eighth of May, I was in San Diego, California, and I was in the Navy." (Audio interview, 2:28)

   Charles Sequoyah Lee Chupco
Collection image
Charles Chupco at time of interview [06/17/2017]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Maury (AGS 16); USS Mars (AFS 1); USS Guadalupe (AO 32); USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53); USS Crockett (PG 88)
Service Location: Pacific Ocean; South China Sea; Japan; Philippines; Hong Kong; Singapore; Taiwan; Oklahoma; Great Lakes, Illinois; Guam (Mariana Islands); San Diego, California
Rank: Chief Petty Officer
View Full Description

A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Charles Sequoyah Lee Chupco spent his high school years at the Chilocco Indian School, a boarding school for American Indian students in north-central Oklahoma. Life at Chilocco fostered a sense of independence and self-reliance, and the school became a second home to him. He entered the Navy the day after his high school graduation in 1960. After four years at boarding school, he was acclimated to rigorous rules and regulations, and he adjusted easily to the demands of military life. Chupco spent the next 20 years in the service in roles ranging from gunner’s mate to Navy recruiter, and went on to have a second career in the Round Rock (TX) School District.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (87 min.)
»Photo Album  (1 photo)
More like this
»Legacies of Service: Celebrating Native Veterans
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Family background; attending Chilocco Indian School; joining Army National Guard while a senior in high school; didn’t want to have to go to Fort Leonard Wood with the Army; deciding to join Navy instead. (04:03) Family members who attended Chilocco; getting approved to attend; arrival. (01:56) Growing up as an only child, and the son of a Methodist preacher; growing up speaking Creek and not learning English until he went into the first grade. (02:04)
Arrival in San Diego; easy to adjust to military life because he was used to authority after attending Chilocco. (02:48) Starting as a seaman recruit on deck division; advancing to gunner’s mate. (03:04) Getting transferred to a brand new ship; advancing through the ranks; working on a supply ship during the Vietnam War; transferred to shore duty in Japan. (04:20)
Taking cruise vacations; funny story about taking a shower in rainstorm aboard ship. (03:51)  

Home » Charles Sequoyah Lee Chupco
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us