Charles “Chuck” Terrazas was born December 5 1925, in a small California town called Pinedale  to parents, Carlos and Julia, who were of  Mexican decent.  They came to the United States seeking a better life from their home state of Chihuahua, Mexico.  The Terrazas family chose to locate in Pinedale, a small hamlet that is located near the scenic San Joaquin River, just north of Fresno. Pinedale had its beginnings as a small lumber mill town many years before. It was soon to become a military base where G.I’s trained for World War II and was aptly called, “Camp Pinedale Army Base”.

Chuck attended Pinedale Elementary School, along with his sister Gloria, until his family moved into Fresno City proper. There, Chuck first attended Washington Junior High and then Roosevelt High School where he became rabidly interested in athletics that included all major sports.  While at Roosevelt, Chuck developed outstanding athletic prowess and was a dedicated sportsman lettering in three sports including football, basketball and baseball. In his last year as a high school senior, he transferred to Fresno Technical High School when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Sunday December 7, 1941.  During that time Chuck also found time to play in the Fresno Twilight Baseball League where many semi-pro players cut their baseball chops and he excelled as a shortstop.  Later, during his military career Chuck went on to play for many outstanding military baseball teams.

On March 28, 1944, Charles Terrazas was inducted into the U.S. Army, with basic training at Shepard Field located in Wichita Falls, Texas. Upon completion of training Chuck, now a PFC, was sent to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to a 34-week school for Radio Operator Mechanics.  As there was no need for ROM’s at that time, Chuck was sent instead to Camp Livingston in Louisiana for infantry training. After completing his infantry training, Chuck shipped from Camp Stoneman to Fort Meade, MD to prepare for duty in the European Theatre.  However, he then returned to Camp Stoneman and was shipped instead to the Asiatic Pacific. Chuck served eleven months assigned to the 38th Infantry Division on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.  Chuck was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service during his stay as well as the World War II Victory Medal, Philippines Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Campaign and the American Campaign Medals. After completing his tour of duty Chuck was shipped back to Camp Beale in  California and discharged from the U. S. Army on April 13, 1946.

Back in Fresno, Chuck met and married his wife Delores in 1948. They had one son, Charles John. As a civilian, Chuck served 22 years with the Fresno City Fire Department, retiring in March of 1976. He became a good bowler during those years and has attained 7 perfect games of 300.  Chuck was inducted into the Central Valley Bowling Hall of Fame in 1999.  Always the avid golfer, Chuck has had 8 holes in one in his lifetime, far more than most good golfers could ever claim.  It was on a golf course that Chuck met Legion of Valor Museums first Director, Chuck Monges, and became aware of the many volunteer activities and opportunities at the museum. Chuck became a docent at the museum where he has dependably served since March, 2001 in various roles, including speaking at schools and service clubs in the San Joaquin valley.  His sunny smile is always welcome wherever he goes.