Charles Henry Bibby was born in Oak Creek, Colorado on Feb. 16, 1919, but by the next year his family moved to Jefferson County, Alabama. His father, Henry, was a salesman for a retail grocery and later a lime keeper at a coal mine and operator of a brick kiln. His mother, Genevieve Kennedy Bibby, was a homemaker.
The son graduated from Corner High School in Dora, about 25 miles northwest of Birmingham. By 1939 he was a cab driver, earning $706 for 40 weeks of work. His father worked the full year and earned $900. Their combined income — equal to $29,400 in 2020 — supported a household of seven.
Charles Henry enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 4, 1940, and was aboard the U.S.S. Arizona by that December. Mr. Bibby was a fireman second class on the battleship when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
A younger brother, William Harrison Bibby, served in the Army during World War II.