Harlan Fred Woody was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Hollywood HIgh School in Los Angeles.
He enlisted in the Navy on March 11, 1941 — soon after his 17th birthday — and was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Mr. Woody was born Feb. 26, 1924, in Los Angeles County to John L. Woody and Helen Doris Alley Woody. Their marriage was brief, and the son lived with his mother until he enlisted.
The elder Mr. Woody was a Navy veteran of World War I.
Mrs. Woody, who had been an office worker and a saleswoman at a dress shop, joined the Eaglet Squadron after her son’s death. She signed up for the communications division of the Los Angeles group, which formed to help the Army and Navy. The idea was to have women pilots ferry military airplanes and do other jobs that would permit men to stick to combat. The government officially agreed to that in the fall of 1942. The national organization became best known as the WACS — Women Airforce Service Pilots.
Sources: The Los Angeles Times; California birth record; Census; Navy muster roll; Application for Military Headstone or Marker; 1939 Hollywood High School yearbook. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.