THE RARE BREED |
Recognizing Area Veterans Of World War II
James Malven at Camp Hulen
Dec. 7, 1941; Shipped Out That Night
James G. Malven isn¹t from the Palacios area, nor does he live in the area (unless you count Houston as a suburb), but he was at Camp Hulen for a year before, and at the time of, Pearl Harbor. He submitted his information for this series, just in case someone might remember him.
Malven had enlisted in the Louisiana National Guard in the spring of 1940, during his senior year at C.E. Bird High School in Shreveport. The Guard was called into service on Jan. 6, 1941 and Malven arrived at Camp Hulen via train as a Technician, third grade (T3) in the 204th Anti-Aircraft Regiment.
Although a resident of Shreveport, La., when he entered service, Malven had been born in Omaha, Nebraska on Sept. 20, 1922 to George and Edith Goodhue Malven.
Malven recalls that on Dec. 7, 1941, the day when Japan sneak-attacked Pearl Harbor, ³I had showered, dressed for Sunday and gone to the Camp Hulen PX for milk and cake. A loud speaker announcement advised of the Pearl Harbor attack and ordered our immediate return to our regiment for further instructions.
³We packed and were taken to Houston Sunday night, where we boarded a train early Monday morning for the West Coast.²
For the next 2 1/2 years, his outfit was deployed for the coastal defense in southern California, with headquarters at San Diego. He was then transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas for a year, then it was to The Philippines for eight months.
After five years and 16 days of active service, he received his discharge at Camp Fannin, Texas on Jan. 22, 1946, at the rank of T3.
On his first furlough, back in early 1943, Malven returned home to Shreveport where two friends arranged a date for him with Mae Bell Morefield.
³We already knew each other from being in the high school band at the same time. She played string bass and I played trombone.²
Malven says the date ³clicked and upon my return to San Diego, I called her and proposed.² They were married in El Paso on Nov. 10, 1944.
Now residents of Houston, Jim and Mae Bell have two children. Daughter Nancy Ellen is an administrative assistant. Son William Charles is a senior technician. Both also live in Houston.
Malven still keeps in touch with Palacios, thru the Beacon¹s website.
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