On April 13, 1904 the Missouri was engaging in target practice when one of the ships 12" gun "flared back". As the breech was opened for reloading, hot gases were released into the turret, causing it to catch fire. The fire spread to a bag of propellant and from there it spread down to the ammunition handling chamber.
Cox along with 2 gunners mates contained the fire before it spread to other areas of the ship and in putting out the blaze.
The fire was eventually contained but before it was out 36 of the ship"s crew were dead. He died April 24, 1937 and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery Altoona, Pennsylvania.
His grave can be found in section F, lot 6.