Charles Thomas Bardon was born May 27, 1924, in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, to Eula Sallee Bardon and Wesley Bardon.
The son’s early years are not revealed in publicly available records, but one from January 1939 describes tragedy. His father killed himself the morning after he was committed to a sanitarium.
The spring 1940 Census said Charles lived with his mother and younger sister in Bixby, now a suburb of Tulsa but then a town of about 1,300. Mrs. Bardon operated a home laundry and both children, 15 and 14, were students. It does not appear that Charles stayed in school long enough to graduate from Bixby High, though his sister did.
He enlisted in the Navy two days after his 17th birthday in 1941. Mr. Bardon was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5579 was organized in Bixby in 1956 and named in Mr. Bardon’s honor. Subsequent mergers now have its name as Bardon-Humphries Post 1327. Larry Humphries was killed in Vietnam.
Mr. Bardon’s father served on a submarine during World War I.
Sources: The Tulsa (Oklahoma) World; Census; Navy muster roll; Bixby Historical Society; Oklahoma court records. Navy photo. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.