Harold Hudson was born on March 29, 1926 in Depew, Oklahoma to Mable Gould and Marvin Hudson. His father worked in the oilfields in charge of a tank building crew and his mother worked for a physician who also was the proprietor of a drug store. When the Depression hit in 1929 there was no work anywhere, so his father started farming; following in the footsteps of Harold’s grandparents on both sides of the family. In 1936, his father declared, “We can do better than this”, so the family migrated to California. They arrived in Sanger on a Sunday evening at seven P.M. and by noon the next day his father had a job as an equipment manager. They had a company house and were there for two years before moving to Orange Cove where Harold’s Dad went to work for a larger farm. Harold attended Old Highland School just east of Sanger, Orange Cove School, and completed his education at Reedley High School. Harold the oldest in the family had three brothers, all became Navy men, Marvin, Charles, and Chester. His two sisters were Violet and Daisy and are both deceased.

After graduating in 1943 Harold and a friend traveled to San Francisco to enlist in the Navy. Harold always enjoyed the ocean as the family would spend summers with his grandmother in Monterey. He passed the Navy’s physical and the recruiter told him it would be at least two months before he would be called. The recruiter advised Harold that the Merchant Marine needed men, so he signed up with them. Within a couple weeks Harold reported to their training base in San Francisco.

When asked what department he wanted to be trained, it didn't take Harold long to decide. After his father’s death, Harold would always help his mother cook, so what better job could there be. It didn't take him long though, to understand that it takes a lot more food and work to feed an entire ship’s crew then it did a family. After thirty days Harold was assigned to a new Liberty ship that went up the bay to Benicia. It took on a full load of ammo and sailed out of the harbor headed to New Guinea. It was a twenty one day cruise with no escorts, and the crew didn't see another ship till they arrived at their destination.

After the completion of the New Guinea trip Harold began working as cook, third class. Not long afterwards, he was asked if he wanted to go to an advanced Cook and Baker school; which of course, his reply was yes. He thought he must have done alright because they then asked if he wanted to go to Officers Candidate School in Palo Alto, California; and again, he said yes.

Harold spent most of his time during the war on troop transports. He landed in Pearl Harbor thirteen times during his tour and participated in several invasions in the South Pacific. Harold’s vessel was only the second troop ship to go into Manila, located in the Philippines. While getting ready for D-Day his ship was sent through the Panama Canal, and later sent back to prepare for the invasion of Japan. After the A Bomb was dropped, his ship was brought to San Francisco to unload troops and with a short crew, they sailed with empty cargo bays through the Panama Canal to Mobile, Alabama, where it was to be decommissioned. About a month later, Harold was assigned duty on another ship, and made two more trips across the Atlantic to Europe. World War II was coming to a halt and it was late 1946. Harold asked for a discharge and was happy to return to Fresno. In 1948 Harold married his sweetheart Vada Duvall, and they had two sons James and Keith. Son James is also a four year veteran of the Navy.

Harold has volunteered at the Veterans Memorial Museum “Home of the Legion of Valor” since 2008 and enjoys the camaraderie with his fellow docents.