Skip to main content

Harold Arthur Hedrick

T/SGT in Signal Co, Special : Inst & Maint; Telephone & Wire


Born 1908 in IN, Died 1985

County of residence at enlistment: Los Angeles County, CA
Other residence(s): Connersville, IN; Young America Township, IL; Long Beach, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Signal Hill, CA; Lakewood, CA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: skilled linemen and servicemen, telegraph, telephone, and power
Notes: Bronze Star; GO #17, Sec II, Hq 12th A Gp, 6 Nov 44. Meritorious Service: Communications Chief, France and Luxembourg, 1 Jul-10 Oct 44
Source: Awards and Decorations; photo from the Long Beach CA Press-Telegram, 12/21/44

Harold Hedrick was born on February 27, 1908 in Connersville, IN, the younger of two sons. His father worked as a boilermaker on the railroad.

By 1920 the family had moved to Young America Township, IL, and in 1922 they relocated to Long Beach, CA where Harold's father went to work as an auto mechanic.

Harold graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School (aka "Poly") in 1929 where he sang in the Glee Club; during his time there, Poly was the largest high school west of the Mississippi. He also met his future wife there, Mildred Blanche Godfrey, who, like Harold, had relocated to Long Beach from out of state—in her case, Rhode Island.

Harold first found work as an advertising salesman. But when he and Mildred married, in the summer of 1936, he was working at Western Pipe and Steel and the couple was living in Bakersfield, CA.

By the time of the 1940 census, Harold was back in Long Beach; he and Mildred were living with Mildred's parents and Harold was working as a salesman for an automobile club. But when he registered for the draft, on October 16, 1940, Harold was working for the phone company (at that time, Associated Telephone Company) as a splicer.

Harold enlisted (with the rank of T/5) on December 26, 1942 and with his phone company experience he was eventually assigned to the Signal Company Special. His occupation at the time of enlistment was in the category of skilled lineman and servicemen—telegraph, telephone, and power.

A December, 1944 newspaper article about his receipt of the Bronze Star uses language from the citation to describe his Ghost Army work: "For meritorious service in connection with military operations . . . in France and Luxembourg during the period July 1 to Oct. 10, in maintaining the highest standard of wire communication. In rain, at night, and under enemy action, he has consistently carried out his duties in a superior manner.

"In three operations against the enemy he installed wire communication with speed, originality, and courage, insuring good and consistent wire communication in all operations involving the 23rd Special Troops. His quiet, capable leadership is a constant source of strength to his platoon."

He actually received the Bronze Star in May of 1945 when he was convalescing at the Army general hospital at Camp Carson, CO. He was discharged from the Army on July 24, 1945 with the rank of T/SGT and went back to work for the phone company.

He and Mildred moved to Signal Hill, CA and became the parents of a daughter, Claudia, born about 1949. Harold was promoted to the position of telephone installer and later field engineer. By 1966, when he was recognized for completing 25 years with the phone company (now General Telephone) he was working as a plant inspector.

Harold died on August 25, 1985 in Long Beach and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, CA.


1910 census

1920 census

1930 census

1936 article in the Long Beach Sun (CA) about his wedding

1940 census

1940 draft card

1941 article in the Long Beach Sun (CA) about his mother's death (states when the family moved to California)

1942 enlistment record

1944 article in the Press-Telegram (Long Beach CA) re his earning the bronze star (with details)

1945 article in the Independent (Long Beach, CA) about his getting the Bronze Star

1950 census

1952 city directory for Lakewood, CA

1966 article in the Independent (Long Beach CA) re his employment

1985 VA death record

1985 Find a Grave record*1cl852o*_gcl_au*MjA2MzU5NTkyNC4xNjk4NjEzOTky*_ga*Njk5MzA3MzcxLjE2OTg2MTM5OTI.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MDYxNTZlNDQtODIwNi00OGYwLTgwMGItZWZkYTMyZTRjMDFlLjEzLjEuMTY5OTMwODg2OS40Ny4wLjA.*_ga_LMK6K2LSJH*MDYxNTZlNDQtODIwNi00OGYwLTgwMGItZWZkYTMyZTRjMDFlLjI0LjEuMTY5OTMwODg2OS4wLjAuMA..

Please Support Our Ongoing Efforts

The soldiers of The Ghost Army used inflatable tanks, sound effects, and imagination to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. The Ghost Army Legacy Project is ensuring that these men and their accomplishments are never forgotten.

Give via credit card by clicking the yellow “Donate” button.

Or, send a check to:

Ghost Army Legacy Project
1305 S. Michigan Ave. #1104
Chicago, IL 60605

All donations are tax-deductible!