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Charles Howard Bixby

Graduating Class of 1941
Served in World War II

Charles Howard Bixby



Appleton, WI

Date of Birth


Location of Death

Pacific Ocean

Date of Death

Location of Burial

Tablets of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, National Capital Region, Philippines

More About Ensign Bixby

Charles Howard’s family describes him as a jokester and the life of every gathering. Even when his jokes were at others’ expenses, he managed to make friends of all he came across. It came as no surprise to his family when his high school elected him senior class president. In addition to his charming demeanor, Charles Howard had a talent for science and math, which led him to pursue a degree in chemical engineering at UW-Madison. After graduating in 1941, he joined the U.S. Navy and become an ensign. In the Navy, he served as a pilot. While away, he kept in contact with his family, and, through it all, continued to be the joyful, funny individual he had always been. In a letter he wrote to his sister Janet, he included a list of satirical rules for her to follow until she was, as he said, “once again under my tender wings”. They included, “Dress warmly – remember, this isn’t the middle of July. Do not smoke as you might set the house afire. Behave yourself, and do not go out with Harvey! (Anyway not more than seven evenings in a week!”)” Prior to his passing, in December 1942, he was reported missing in action after he was believed to be on an aircraft that disappeared while transferring a crew. However, Charles Howard was actually aboard a different aircraft and soon alerted his family that he was indeed alive. However, little over a year later, his letters home ceased. And his family was informed that Charles Howard was believed to have been killed in a plane crash off the coast of Australia. He was reported missing in action March 28, 1943. After his death, the Bixby family received a box of Charles Howard’s belongings from Australia. It included a stamp collection he had been gathering from his time in the South Pacific as well as a boomerang, which was treasured as a lasting symbol of his fun, lighthearted personality that would forever be missed. Missing and missed, the world and a mourning family lost a talented engineer, a loving brother and son, and someone who made the world a more joyous place. He is now memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines. His brother Philip Bixby was also killed during WWII. On Dec. 7, 1945, Charles Howard’s and Philip’s mother, Alice Bixby, was presented two gold star certificates in honor of her two fallen sons and in acknowledgement of their heroism and dedication to serving their country. To read more about Charles Howard's and Philip's story, visit