Attack on Pearl Harbor

Changes in Society

Entrance into Service Postwar


Rudy Huval was born in Covington, Louisiana in February 1934. There were nine children in the family. His father was a farmer. He had six brothers and three sisters. He is the youngest in the family. [Annotator’s Note: Huval is with his older brother in the video.] One of his brothers joined the Navy. This brother was aboard the USS Arizona [Annotator’s Note: USS Arizona (BB-39)] and died during the attack on Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941]. He was 19 years old. He would write home to their sister. In his letters, he would describe how they were going to be going to war soon. He was supposed to go home that Christmas, but he did not because of the attack on 7 December. He really liked Hawaii. Huval was outside playing when his father heard about Pearl Harbor on the radio. His father called all the children in and told them what had happened. Two weeks later, they received a telegram in the mail telling them that his brother was missing in action. A couple of weeks later, they received word that he was killed in action.


Rudy Huval and his four brothers went into the service. Ivan was the oldest brother [Annotator’s Note: Ivan was killed at the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 while serving on the USS Arizona (BB-39)]. Gasoline, sugar, and tires were rationed. They had to collect scrap iron and take it to school. They would flag down Army trucks and show them where the scrap iron was. Many people worked in the Higgins Shipyard [Annotator’s Note: Higgins Shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana]. An elderly gentleman drove a bus to Higgins every day to take people to work. Most people did not have electricity. [Annotator’s Note: A third gentleman joins the discussion off camera]. Everyone at home helped the men on the front. The end of the war was a very happy time. Huval kept up with school like usual.


Rudy Huval was drafted into the Navy in 1955. He was in the Navy for two years. They would refuel ships at sea. They refueled a lot of aircraft carriers. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii]. The bombs killed a lot of people in Nagasaki and Hiroshima [Annotator's Note: nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, 6 and 9 August 1945]. Huval thinks it is important for young people to be able to come out and see the history of the war. They received a Purple Heart [Annotator's Note: the Purple Heart Medal is an award bestowed upon a United States service member who has been wounded as a result of combat actions against an armed enemy] for their brother who died serving on the USS Arizona (BB-39).

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