topic 1941

WRITER May Reulet Gravois Earl Pearl Harbor 1941 Dec 6

   It was on Saturday, December 6, 1941 that a good many of the family had gathered at the railroad station in Vacherie to tell Earl ,"Goodbye" as he was leaving on a long journey to go for a job in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

   He had taken some training here in New Orleans at the NYA, National Youth administration, which was located at Moss Street and Esplanade Avenue. It is now the location for the Police Academy for training policemen.

topic 1941

O'Neil Bourgeois

   So Earl was on his way to San Francisco for a few weeks before departing for Pearl Harbor. The next afternoon while some of us were sitting outdoors in the pleasant sunny weather, O'Neil Bourgeois came in to talk to us which was his custom to visit when he came in from New Orleans, where he lived. But the news he gave us that time was shocking, scary, and almost unbelievable. We just could not get it all together for some moments and for days afterward.

   The Japanese had attacked PEARL HARBOR with a very powerful and destructive force catching all our military forces by surprise and shock! There was widespread terror and fright.

   By that time Earl and his comrades were in Fort Worth, Texas where they received the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor and they continued on their journey. At that time Earl made a promise that from now on he would always try his best to spend Christmas with his mother and father as much as he possibly could.

topic 1941

San Francisco Earl

   When he reached San Francisco he reported to his station and performed whatever work he was required to do. When he had time off, he went to visit a cousin who was living in that big city. I knew she had a wonderful personality and with her hospitality, Earl felt most welcome. He accompanied her for Sunday Mass. Mama said that she saw him praying his Rosary.

   He remained in San Francisco for a few weeks and then shipped out for his planned destination. He had plenty of work in Pearl Harbor and he was well paid. Of course we were now at war with Japan,which was going to last 4 years. It ended August 14 1945.

   During that time he met many young men from the states who had volunteered or had been drafted to serve their country in war. Earl befriended many of them. He felt he should be with them fighting and we had to talk him out of it. We wrote letters every week and we advised him to stay where he was, that he was doing a very essential work that was helping our country. We told him we have Lewis, John, and Woodrow in the service and that was ENOUGH.

topic 1946-1955

Earl Hot August LSU

   He did get passes to come visit his family,usually in August, and August is usually a very hot month, so he complained about and couldn't understand why we lived here, It was so much cooler in Hawaii. But we did not listen to that. He would visit everybody he knew. He made a trip to LSU (which he attended one year and had a good time!) He made his way to the LSU radio station and gave talks to the LSU students about the conditions in Pearl Harbor.

   When he had completed his work ,he volunteered to go on Army Transport to retrieve the bodies of our fallen heroes to bring them HOME. He had fallen in love with this beautiful island and he went back many years later to visit and then decided to come back HOME!

topic 1996

Earl diabetes Earl blindness

   Dear Earl died from complications from diabetes on MAY 31,1996. His body was given to the LSU Medical School. The remains were later cremated and returned to Nell. His box of ashes were then placed in a larger wooden box and we buried him in the cemetery of Our Lady of Peace Church right next to his brother Vic and also where the aunts, and great uncles were buried,also the grandfather and grandmother. God bless you!,Earl. He had made his peace with God. He was a devoted son and brother, and he loved his family. He was a fine and decent man. Although he had lost his vision completely, he never complained. He accepted his trials with dignity and courage.

   Earl,we love you and may God bless you!

   By your sister,

   May Reulet Gravois