Charles Oropallo

Charles Oropallo in High School

Charles Oropallo photo taken at Bishop Gibbons High School in 1967

Charles Oropallo attended Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady, New York. Charles was living with his grandparents in Loudonville, New York at that time.

Charles Oropallo was always extremely fascinated by electricity and electronics from a very young age. Charles remembers his grandparents letting him play with batteries and wires and light bulbs as early as five years old when he visited them. Charles Oropallo was one to scour the surrounding neighborhoods on trash day for discarded electronic items – especially radios and television sets. Charles did this through his teenage years. Charles would disassemble them for any salvageable parts to build various electronic devices. There were many electronic items using vacuum tube technology at that time. However, transistors were the incoming rage and Charles got right into that “new” technology as a teenager who loved electronics.

Another serious interest of Charles Oropallo’s was astronomy. Charles had various telescopes throughout his teen years and through his high school years. It made perfect sense that Charles would turn into a “Trekkie” once the original Star Trek started its debut. The original Star Trek series debuted in the United States on NBC. Star Trek told the tale of the crew of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission was “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Charles watched the very first showing of Star Trek on that infamous Thursday evening on September 8, 1966.

The photography club was one of Charles’s favorite pastimes when he was in high school. Charles Oropallo enjoyed taking photos and developing them.

Charles also ran track as a sprinter for a short time. Charles Oropallo was not a sports enthusiast. He did not stay involved with sports as a rule. But Charles did enjoy running and jogging. Charles jogged fairly regularly in high school to a girl friend’s home approximately 19 miles from his own.

Charles Oropallo joins the USMC


PFC (Private First Class) Charles Oropallo on the parade deck just after his graduation from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina
PFC (Private First Class) Charles Oropallo on the parade deck just after his USMC boot camp graduation from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina.
Photo by Arlene deSousa.

Charles left high school to join the United States Marine Corps. He did that shortly after he turned seventeen in 1969. PFC Charles Oropallo is shown above on the Parris Island parade deck. It was on a beautiful June day in 1969 that he graduated from boot camp in Parris Island. Charles Oropallo was plenty relieved to complete that training. Charles was also very proud to have received his promotion to Private First Class right from boot camp. That honor was bestowed upon only five Maine Corps recruits to have graduated in platoon 157 in June 1969.

Charles Oropallo earned his High School General Equivalency Diploma about eight months after he joined the Marine Corps. Charles then applied for – and received – a High School Diploma from Bishop Gibbons High School in 1972. Charles Oropallo accomplished that based on his Marine Corp GED (General Equivalency Diploma) testing scores.

Charles Oropallo was Honorably Discharged from the United States Marine Corps after serving the three years of active duty he originally volunteered for.

at Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady NY