Charles Hutchinson was born on April 18, 1917, in Sheldon, Illinois. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on September 10, 1940, and completed basic training at NTS Great Lakes, Illinois, in November 1940, followed by Submarine School at Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, from November 1940 to January 1941. S2c Hutchinson joined the crew of the submarine USS O-3 (SS-64) in February 1941, serving aboard her until March 1942. During this time he attended Torpedo School at Naval Torpedo Station Newport, Rhode Island, from August to December 1941. TM3c Hutchinson transferred to Submarine Base New London in March 1942 and joined the crew of the submarine USS Grunion (SS-216) during her fitting out, and remained aboard through her commissioning in April 1942. He was killed in action during a confrontation with the armed Japanese freighter Kano Maru on July 30, 1942. On August 22, 2007, a search team organized by the three sons of CDR Mannert Abele (the Captain of the Grunion when she was sunk) used a remotely operated vehicle to find a sunken vessel 3,000 feet down in the Bering Sea north of Kiska Island at the tip of the Aleutian Islands. On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Navy announced that the sunken vessel is the World War II submarine USS Grunion (SS-216).
His Navy Commendation Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious conduct as a member of the crew of the U.S.S. GRUNION which destroyed three enemy destroyers while engaged in a war patrol in enemy controlled waters. Despite severe and persistent anti-submarine measures resulting from these three successful attacks, the GRUNION was brought safely through the counter attacks and continued an aggressive war patrol. As a member of the crew of the GRUNION, your performance of duty was an important and material contribution to the prosecution of this war.