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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Willis

Birthplace: Beaumont, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Fountain

Date of Birth: 23 July 1918

Date of Death: 16 March 1993

Rank or Rate: Commander

Years Served:
Charles Fountain Willis, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Charles Fountain Willis, Jr.
Commander, U.S. Navy

Charles Fountain Willis, Jr. was born on 23 July 1918 in Beaumont, TX. He earned a B.A. degree from the University of Florida in 1939.

During World War II, Commander Willis was a Naval Aviator. He served as a patrol pilot, a bomber pilot, and a fighter pilot.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Flying Cross (3 Awards)
Air Medal (3 Awards)
Purple Heart

Post-Military Life

Following the end of the war, in 1946 Willis entered private industry and founded Willis Air Service. In 1951, Willis and Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr. cofounded the "Citizens for Eisenhower" movement in an attempt to secure the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Willis continued his work for the Eisenhower campaign in 1952 by joining the campaign staff. He is credited with coining the iconic political slogan, "I Like Ike."

After Eisenhower's election in late 1952, Willis joined Eisenhower's staff and served as Assistant to the Assistant to the President from 23 January 1953 until 30 June 1955. Following Willis' departure from the White House, he served as Assistant to the Chairman of W.R. Grace and Company until 1957, when he became president of Alaska Airlines.

Death and Burial

Commander Charles Fountain Willis, Jr. died on 16 March 1993. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 3231   Created by: MHOH




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