Charles F. Phillips (1945/05/04)
A Greyhound bus canceled the reunion that Charles had planned with his family.
Charles Frederick Phillips was born in Santa Cruz, California, on March 15, 1913. Information regarding his parents and siblings is not available. References to his grandparents, Charles and Mary Stubblefield, in local newspapers suggest that they may have been instrumental in his upbringing. Charles attended Laurel Grammar School before enrolling in Santa Cruz High School about 1928. While in high school, he was active in track, football and basketball.
Phillips left school after two years and was employed by Bibbins Automotive Service as an electrician. He remained with that company for the next ten years. About 1935 Charles Phillips married Vera Hendrix and their family expanded over the years to include a daughter, Barbara Jean, and sons, Frederick Charles and Richard Thomas.
Charles Phillips was inducted into the US Army at the Presidio of Monterey on March 16, 1944, and sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky, for training. Phillips remained at Ft. Knox and for the next fourteen months served as a maintenance man in the tank corps. During that time, he contracted pneumonia requiring his hospitalization for nine months. Following his recovery, he transferred to the Medical Corps and helped organize a machine shop to help rehabilitate returning veterans.
In May 1945 he was scheduled for a promotion to corporal that would have allowed his family to join him in Kentucky. That reunion never occurred. On May 4, 1945 Phillips was riding in a car leaving Ft. Knox that collided with a Greyhound bus. Six of the soldiers in the car, including Charles Phillips, were killed in the crash. His body was returned to Santa Cruz for a funeral and burial in Santa Cruz Memorial Park Cemetery.
(NARA2; SCHSC Pg. 16, SCSn, May 5, 1945 1:7; SCR May 11, 1945-1)