Harvey R Alexander
Born, June 22, 1921
Place- Alton Illinois
(In his own words)
How many children were in your family?"
Harv: "I was the last of seven children 3 brothers 3 sisters, my oldest brother was killed before I was born. We moved to Decatur Illinois and I spent the rest of my life there until my wife Audrey and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to build a telephone system for Heritage USA in 1978."
How did you meet her?
Harv: "How did I meet my wife? That is a strange story. I met her in High school. I spotted her and I knew she was the one for me. The way I met her sure didn't make any points, because the way I met her, was seeing her bending over her locker, so I went by and shoved her in it....a great intro! she truly hated me, but I hung on and drove her back and forth to school; even though she didn't really want to ride with me."
"Things weren't going to well, but I had her mother on my side and that won the war for me! We went together off and on for almost 5 years before things got really serious. Anyway in spite of the bad beginning we eventually married, and that lasted for 50 + yrs."
"So it was during this time that you entered the Navy?"
Harv: "Yeah, in 1942, I volunteered for the navy (Aug 20, 1942) and went to Great Lakes naval training station. After a short training session, I went to diesel training school in Richmond Virginia."
"Then after diesel school?"
Harv: "When the training there was completed, I went to Norfolk Va. amphibious training base...then on to Portsmouth Va. after a few weeks of hard and fast training. Here I was assigned to U.S.S. LST flotilla 1, the USS LST 333 (flag ship). After bobbing around on the Atlantic for about 15 day's or so, our flotilla of only about thirty ships, twelve of which were LST'S and the rest mostly glamour ships ( you know, destroyers, gun ships, one cruiser) you name it!, we landed at a little port called Arzew, Algeria."
"Did you find any initial resistance?"
Harv: "We met practically no resistance at all. We just set up a naval repair and supply base in preparation for the invasion of Sicily." (Smiling) "Funny, I remembered a television series years later called "MASH", in which they had "Charlie", the North Korean pilot whom flew over every evening and dropped bombs that were never even close to their intended targets. In the same vein, we had the "Dumb Kraut Head" that acted as if he watched the episode and decided to mimic this Korean only years before! He never came close to our standing positions, and just seemed to annoy everyone with air raid warnings instead. It had gotten to the point that we wouldn't even waste ammo to shoot at him anymore. He might have been an Italian pilot for all we knew at that time."
"I think the Italians were more of an ally to us than the Germans ...."
"Hmmm...sounds like nothing stopped your progression then..."
Harv: "Nahh. Other than our regular visit each and every evening from our comical friend, things went as smooth as silk for our preparations. Myself and three other's were assigned to a special unit four or five day's before the invasion of Sicily....that even after all these years I find myself hard pressed to speak about.
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