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Hurd was born in Woodhall, New York to parents who were farmers. When he was 16 years old he was forced to quit school to help support his family. He worked for Corning Glass Works to help support his brother and two sisters.Hurd doesn't remember much from the depression. His father worked on a farm for others. He had his own equipment but did not have a farm of his own. He worked at Ingersoll-Rand for a time.Hurd doesn't recall where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was drafted and inducted at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania. He was drafted on 27 January 1943.From Indiantown Gap, he was sent to Camp Swift near Austin, Texas. While on maneuvers in Louisiana he was given a ten day furlough. He took a train to Williamsport, Pennsylvania then hitch-hiked home. The following morning his mother told him she had a telegram for him ordering him to report back to his outfit. He returned to Louisiana the next day.From Louisiana he went by train to Taunton, Massachusetts [Annotator's Note: Hurd's unit was deploying from Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts] for embarkation. They boarded a boat but didn't know where they were going. It turned out to be a Liberty ship which took them to England.The trip took 13 days from Massachusetts to Liverpool, England. There were 653 men in Hurd's outfit. The men had to share bunks. They ate out of their mess kits or their steel helmets. There were a lot of sick guys on the ship.Hurd spent 8 or 10 months in England before the invasion. In England they built huts for other troops and learned to build the Bailey Bridges [Annotator's Note: a prefabricated bridge developed by the British during World War II].
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