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About The Family

Harvey R Alexander
Born, June 22, 1921
Place- Alton Illinois
(In his own words)

Listen to Harv talk about one of his early "fixer uppers" as a little boy:

“Thanks for taking the time out of your, “busy” schedule in order that we may chat a few minutes about your family during the war…(laughs).”

Harv: “Well, here I am again doing something on shipmates and friends, due to a lot of pressure and dire threats from my daughter and son-in-law! They want to know about the folks back home during WW2.”

“Yes, we do, mainly because I don’t believe enough has been said about the people behind the legends….”

Harv: “Ohhhhh go on!” (smiles)

 “No, seriously, it behooves me to think that years pass bye, people move on in life and leave this earth, and then simply forgotten for all the accomplishments they did in order to keep us truly free.”

Harv: “Ok, as long as you put it that way, I will try to let you know about my folks, My Mother and Dad were well into their 60`s when the war broke out and I went into the Navy.”

“Did they start out supporting the effort as soon as the war began, or did it take some time to reach them?”

Harv: “I would say it was almost a year and a half before I found that my Mother went to work at a Navy ordinance plant at a little town about nine miles from our home, called Illiopolis, Il.

“This must have been some shock to her, to come from a simple life like housekeeping to a giant plant such as this?”

Harv: “Oh yes, she had never worked at anything other than being a Mother and home keeper before.  Basically, after I joined the Navy she decided to go to work and make the ammunition that she thought that I might need.”  

“Like I said, a true hero behind the legend…”  

Harv: “Ok, if that’s the way you wish to put it.” 

(smiling proudly) “It is.”  

Harv: “Well then at this plant they made shells, bombs and torpedoes for the Navy.”  





“What kind of hours are we talking about?”


Harv: “Ohh I would say she worked any where between 12 to 16 hours a day and she told me she loved every minute of it because she thought she was helping in the war effort.”


“And you wonder why I call her a hero!”


Harv: “Well here’s another…Later my Dad decided that he could work his day job at the furniture store and then go to work at least a half shift at the plant, so both Mom and Dad were working to help the war effort at this point.”


 “It must have been very hard on the family  during those years Harv.”


Harv: “Yeah, but you made due with what you had, and that was the end of it. People today take for granted the many freedoms they enjoy. They think that a 40-hour week is too much and they complain that their lives are not worth living unless they take 4 weeks vacation every year. I even had a sister who was five years older than I am, and she also went to work at the plant.”


Harv: “They worked hard and made sure that our Boys had the various material necessary to sustain a long and terrible war.”


“Other than Mom, Dad and your Sister, was there anyone else during this time that put in for the war effort?”


Harv:  (Thinking) “Yeah, I have brother that was seven years older than I was, but he joined the Navy and became an Aviation "Meck” (slang for Mechanic).  


(Harv with Mother Circa 1940's)


“Where did he serve?


Harv: “He served at the Arlington Va. Naval base, and was cited for his excellent work at the base keeping our aircraft in good working order.”


 “You must have been very proud of him at the time.”


Harv: “Well, he did his job…there were many that did you know.”


 “Yes, that is true, and it looks like there were many that did their job in your family as well.”








GO TO PG2 | From Harv


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