Charles Joseph Zondorak was born on 1 February 1904 in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania. He attended public schools there before entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from his native state in 1923. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on 2 June 1927 he subsequently attained the rank of Captain in July 1949 to date from 20 March 1949.
Following graduation he remained at the Naval Academy for instruction in aviation until August 1927, and was assigned the next month to USS Mississippi, operating with Battleship Division 4, Battle Fleet. In August 1928 he was transferred to USS West Virginia, Flagship of Battleship Division, Battle, Fleet, and served in her until May of the following year where he was ordered to communication duty in USS California, Flagship of Commander in Chief, Battle Fleet. Detached in June 1930, he served aboard USS Houston in Asiatic waters until October 1933.
Instruction at Shanghai, China for a year preceded his return to the United States in October 1934 for duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, until May 1936. In June of that year he joined USS Wyoming, and after eighteen months’ service in that battleship, a unit of the Drill Squadron, he reported for brief duty with the Naval Inspector of Ordnance, at Long Island City, New York. From March until May 1938 he served in the Office of the Naval Inspector of Machinery, San Francisco, California.
Again ordered to duty afloat, he had successive service from June 1938 until February 1941 in USS Arctic and as Gunnery Officer of USS McCall, operating with Train, Base Force, and Destroyer Squadron 6, Battle Force, respectively. He returned for a year’s duty at the Naval Academy as Aid to the Superintendent, during which time the United States entered World War II. In March 1942 he joined USS Howard (DMS 7) as Executive Officer, and served as her Commanding Officer from November of that year to January 1943. Duty on the Staff of Commander, Service Force, Atlantic Fleet preceded his appointment as Naval Member of the US Military Mission to the United Soviet Socialist Republic (Russia), from March 1944 to August 1945.
Upon his return to the United States he had two months’ temporary duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC, and for a year thereafter commanded USS Logan (APA 196). In October 1946 he joined the Staff of Commander, Seventh Fleet, Naval Forces, Far East, and during the latter part of that assignment, from April 1947 to March 1948, served as Liaison Officer with US Army Forces, Korea. In May 1948 reported as Commander, Sub Group ONE, Texas Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Orange, Texas. He was detached in September 1949 for duty with the Assistant Secretary, Department of State, Washington, DC.
Captain Zondorak has the Yangtze Service Medal and is entitled to the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.
Captain Zondorak and his wife, the former Miss Theresa Martin, had two sons. He passsed away on 1 November 1985 and is interred in Arlington National Cemetery.