Charles Lee Andrews, Jr., was born in Brooklyn, New York on 15 January 1897, son of Charles L. Andrews and the late Edith Walden Andrews. He attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire and the Polytechnic Preparatory in Brooklyn, before entering the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, by Presidential appointment in June, 1915. At the Academy he won his numerals in football and crew, and also won the Thompson Binoculars for sailing. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on 27 June 1918, he advanced progressively in rank to that of Captain to date from 20 June 1942. Upon transferring to the Retired List of the Navy on 1 November 1946 he was promoted to Rear Admiral on the basis of combat awards.
When detached from the Naval Academy in June, 1918, he was under instruction in submarines at the Submarine School, New London, Connecticut, and completed the course in November. He was then assigned duty in USS H-2 and successively in the S-1 and R-5 until August, 1919. After six weeks at the Receiving Ship, Hingham, Massachusetts, he reported in October, 1919 to USS New Jersey. Three months later he was ordered to USS Constellation stationed at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, and when detached in July, 1920, he joined USS North Dakota for duty, followed by a year of duty aboard the USS Overton.
From September, 1924 to November, 1926 he was assigned to the Naval Training Station, Newport. Returning to duty at sea, he served in USS Henderson; USS Idaho; and from June, 1928 was Executive Officer of USS Decatur. In June, 1929 he reported to the Naval Academy for a two year tour of duty. When detached in June, 1931, he took passage to the Asiatic Station for duty on the staff of Commander Destroyer Squadron 5, aboard USS MacLeish, flagship. The following April he became Executive Officer of USS Pillsbury, and served two years.
Returning to the United States, in July, 1934 he reported to the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, where he completed the Junior Course in May, 1935. He remained in Newport, having duty at the Naval Training Station from May, 1935 to March, 1937. The next month he joined USS Minneapolis for duty as Navigator. When detached in June, 1940 he was assigned as Instructor of Naval Reserves in the 9th Naval District at Toledo, Ohio, and after three months there he reported to Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, for duty in connection with the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit, serving until January, 1942.
Assigned to the Newport News (Virginia) Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for duty in connection with the conversion and fitting out of the SS Pastores, as Prospective Commanding Officer, he was detached upon her commissioning in the US Navy the following August. He then reported to the Commandant, Third Naval District, in New York, NY, for temporary duty under Commander in Chief, US Fleet, and thereafter he had additional duty in the European-AfricanMiddle Eastern theater as Commanding Officer of the Naval Station, Oran, Algeria. He was awarded the Legion of Merit with combat distinguishing device, V, "For exceptionally meritorious conduct ... "during a raid by hostile bombing planes on the harbor of Oran, Algeria, on the night of 19 May 1943." The citation further states: "When the SS Samuel Griffin, loaded with a cargo of gasoline, was set afire by an exploding bomb, (he) with...complete disregard of his own personal safety, immediately boarded the flaming vessel and assisted in the employment of operations for towing her from the harbor. By expert seamanship and heroic resourcefulness, he undoubtedly averted a major catastrophe and prevented disastrous damage to shipping and harbor facilities."
He also received a Letter of Commendation with Ribbon and Combat V from the Secretary of the Navy.
Completing duty in connection with naval matters in Algiers, he continued his assignment under Commander in Chief, US Fleet in the Seventh Fleet, Pacific. From June to November, 1944 he was attached to the Amphibious Training Force, Pacific Fleet, at Pearl Harbor, and the year November, 1944-1945, he was Commander of the tentative Transport Division C, later designated Training Division 48.
He was detached from the Pacific Fleet, and in December, 1945 reported to the Naval War College, Newport, for instruction in the Command and Staff course, and from June, 1946 he had duty on the staff of the College. He was so serving when relieved of active duty pending his transfer to the Retired List of the Navy on 1 November 1946.
In addition to the Legion of Merit and Commendation Ribbon, each with Combat V, Rear Admiral Andrews has the Victory Medal, Submarine Clasp, for World War I service; Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal; Yangtze Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War I Victory Medal; and Navy Occupation Service Medal. He also had won the Expert Pistol Shot's Medal.