1LT Charles E. Hopkins, jr.
7th AF, 11BG, 98BS
MIA 20 Jan, 1944, in a B-24 over the South Pacific
Declared KIA 1948
-- Proud Daughter Penny Sue Hopkins LeGrand --
1st Lt. Charles E. Hopkins Jr., son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great
grandfather vanished on January 20th, 1944 while on a midnight bombing raid over Wotje
Atoll in the South Pacific.
Junior, as he was called by his parents, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, grew up in Webster,
Wisconsin on a soybean farm. He was put on a train by his mother to go to Montana to live with
an aunt because his father wanted him to quit school and go to work on the farm. His mother
felt his education was much more important and he continued on and graduated from college
While he was in B-24 pilot training at Davis Monthan Airforce Base in Tucson, Arizona and taking
a little R&R at a local swimming hole, he met a cute little freckled faced girl named Peggy Paxton.
They fell in love and married in Alamagordo, New Mexico December 1942. After they spent a
few short months together he was sent to Hawaii in March of 1943 with the 7th AF, 11BG, 98BS.
My mother remembers the last time she ever saw him was as he got on the train at Union Station
in Los Angeles, California. I was born from this short but sweet union and was two months old
when he perished so he never saw me, but knew he had a baby daughter. His crew helped him to name
his new baby girl; they collectively decided on Penny Sue after their beloved B-24 named SEXY SUE,
Mother of 10. They sent a heart charm bracelet home with the name of each crew member on
the back of each heart.
He left Hawaii for the South Pacific six hours after I was born and participated in many search
and bombing missions as well as reconnaissance flights. He was anxious to return home and only
had a few missions to go when he took his last fateful flight.
My mom has kept my dad alive through many stories and memories so that I always felt he was with me.
He was born September 16, 1918 and at 25 years old died on January 20, 1944. He continues to be
missed by his family Peggy (loving wife), Butch (proud step son), Penny Sue (loving daughter), Chuck,
Rick, and Scott (grandsons), Mandy (granddaughter), Lawson Charles and Charles Hopkins (great grandsons
named for him). Also Roderick Hopkins at 19 years old at the time of Junior's death will always remember
his big brother. He also served our Country during the war and was in the Battle of the Bulge.
Always Remembered By His