The guns of the USS Alabama, which fired more than a thousand rounds of sixteen-inch shells during the war in the Pacific, bombarding enemy-occupied islands in battles that resulted in the collapse of the Japanese military and the deaths of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, were kept in service for the last two years of the campaign by Charles Stitt, the descendant of a Scotch-Irish family who had opened a tailor’s shop in a log cabin a few miles north of New Castle in 1833.
On a Friday night in September, 1946, a year after the end of the war, Charles and three friends met a railroader from the Mahoningtown district named G W Dailey in a bar in downtown New Castle. They went with him by taxi to the neon-lit strip of Long avenue, where they kept drinking until around half-past two in the morning. Charles and his friends all lived in nearby streets, but they offered to walk with Dailey back towards the center of town.
Before they had gone more than a few blocks, the four men took Dailey to the rear of a building on South Jefferson street and attacked him. They stole his clothes and his cash and left him bleeding on the ground. Some time later, Dailey found a nightwatchman, who called the police. It took them a month to arrest Charles and the others. They all confessed to the crime. One of them handed over Dailey’s wallet. The case never came to trial.
Charles spent the next forty years manufacturing machine parts, mostly in the NRM plant in Columbiana, Ohio. He died in New Castle in 2006, at the age of eighty-one.
Sources: New Castle News (27 Jan 1945 “Cpl C Critchlow Home From The Pacific”; 10 Oct 1946 “Police Arrest Four In Holdup September 14”)