My brother, Theodore Navarro (Ted), was drafted into the U.S. Military in October of 1941. The day he actually left home was on October 22nd. He has told me that he boarded the train in Fullerton which took the inductees to Los Angeles. He remembers that the train cars were black with big white oranges painted on the sides.
Upon arriving in Los Angeles the troops were boarded on a bus and the destination was Fort McArthur in San Pedro. The troops were then bussed again. The destination this time was Camp Roberts in Paso Robles. I understand the bus driver lost his way and ended up in San Luis Obispo where he had to find out how to get to the army camp.
Ted was issued week-end passes and he and Wally Teed, another fellow from Yorba Linda who was stationed with him, would drive down on Friday nights in a 1936 Ford that belonged to Wally. They would return to camp on Sunday evening.
Six weeks after Ted was inducted into the Army, he was home on a week-end pass. The date was December 7, 1941. It was a very special day at our home. We were having a party! My cousin, Norma Martinez, had been baptized that morning at St. Joseph' s Church in Placentia. Her Godmother was Rosa Navarro Garcia and her Godfather was Rosa's husband, Vito Garcia.
My mom, Carolina Navarro, had fixed a big dinner and we were all enjoying the festivities of the day when my dad, Ralph Navarro, received a phone call telling him to turn on the radio and listen to the news. Pearl Harbor had been bombed. The Japanese had attacked without warning. All service men home on leave must leave immediately and return to their base.
Mother was a very strong person. I had never seen her cry until that day. I remember her standing on the porch hugging Ted, with the tears flowing down her face and how heart-wrenching the whole scene was to me. I was eleven years old.
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