Henry K. “Hal” Love ’44

Navy, Storekeeper First Class

Submitted by his wife, Patsy

Love '44

Henry Love '44, middle row, second from right

Students in the Class of 1944 were in a dilemma. Those whose birthdays were before June 1944 could be called to join the Armed Forces at age 18, whether they had graduated or not. Several left [campus] in the fall of 1943 to graduate from schools that were more flexible with credits. Hal had a December birthday, went back to Seattle, and graduated from Lakeside School (Bill Gates’s alma mater). He was called to join the Navy ROTC in February 1944 [and spent] two years in the Navy.

Wartime correspondence between Hal Love and friend Patsy shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor:

December 8, 1941

Dear Hal,

War was declared this morning. I feel morbid. Seattle is going to have a blackout this evening from 11 p.m. to one half an hour after daylight. The news just said the blackout extends to Roseburg, Oregon. There are quite a few Japanese American kids at school, you know. I noticed no hard feelings yet. We talk to them about it, too. Some said their parents are very surprised and disgusted with the situation. Many kids have friends and relatives in Japan, and quite a few girls at school have boyfriends in Honolulu on battleships there. I said I was lucky because my boyfriend was on the East Coast, and I was nearer to this war than he was.

December 12, 1941

Dear Patsy,

Well, the war is not as near here as it is there; but nevertheless, we have already had a surprise air-raid warning. There was supposedly ten German bombers two hours out of Boston. The sirens and whistles blew, and there wasn’t a living thing outside, save police cars. It was indeed weird.

Patsy’s memories of the time:

December 12, 1941—Seattle: A week later in the cold December rain, a company of soldiers arrived in Army trucks, making camp in a muddy park playfield. Their job was to install a Barrage Balloon. It was an ideal spot on top of a hill.

February 1942—President signed an Executive Order for the removal of anyone of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, regardless of whether they are citizens.

May 14, 1942—The Japanese and Japanese Americans were bussed to the Puyallup Fairgrounds and found a 10-foot chain-link fence topped with barbed wire surrounding the area. A soldier with a bayonet was standing guard. He was enjoying his duty— flirting with the cute Japanese girls inside the compound. Students from their former high school came to visit; many felt this treatment was wrong. One visiting classmate was called into the high school vice principal’s office and told to never go to the fairgrounds again, as it was unpatriotic.

July 1942—The Japanese from the Puyallup Fairgrounds were transported to the more permanent internment, Camp Minidoka [in] Idaho.

1943—Boys 18 years and older could leave camp to join the Army—the famous 442nd, and were sent to the European Theater. Girls could leave camp to continue their educations in the Midwest if they could pass the FBI clearance.

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