Pearl Harbor

“Elizabeth and Nephi were very concerned. German warplanes were bombarding the southern portion of England. Germany was trying to blockade England’s ports in hopes of starving the country into submission. German U Boats were raiding cargo vessels in the Atlantic and Caribbean.” Elizabeth was naturally concerned about her family members in England.

Many changes were happening in our country as factories geared up to produce war materials. “Our battleships were convoying fleets of cargo across the Atlantic with orders to fire upon enemy vessels that interfered.” The United States was in an undeclared war.

JN,Elizabeth,&Calvin Hutchings
Calvin in his naval uniform with his mother, Elizabeth Bird, and father, Joseph Nephi Hutchings

“Stanley and Velma moved to Downey, Idaho where Stanley had secured employment at the high school to teach aeronautics and other subjects. They were expecting their first child. Calvin was a senior at Jordan High. He was 18 years of age. In the event of war both Stanley and Calvin would be subject to the first draft. ..”

“On October 17th German torpedoes sank the destroyer Kearney; two weeks later they sank the ship Reuben James. A total of 115 lives were lost. On December 7, 1941 at 7:49 a.m. Japanese warplanes bombed Pearl Harbor. Seven battleships were damaged or sunk. One hundred and eighty eight aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 lives were lost and 1,178 people were wounded in the attack. America was shocked. Roosevelt asked congress to declare war against Japan. He said, ‘Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy…’ Then he rallied the nation with these words, ‘With confidence in our armed forces, with the undoubting determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.’ On this dark and gloomy day, Velma gave birth to Dennis.”

As the armed forces recruited men, Stanley was deferred since he was teaching aeronautics. Calvin enlisted in the V-1 Naval program, which permitted him to continue his education. He graduated from Jordan High School in 1942 and entered Brigham Young University in June. He chose to study pre-med which would qualify him for entrance into dental school. When he finished his studies at Brigham Young in the summer of 1943, he was ordered to go to Portland, Oregon to attend dental school. He and the other midshipmen had to find their own living quarters as the navy had no facilities in Portland. After six months Calvin was transferred to the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He was on the V-12 program as well as a dental student…”

Read about how World War II affected Calvin’s future wife, Margaret Clark.

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