Howard County

Joseph Victor Houdek



No. 7 of a Series

Joseph Victor Houdek, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Houdek of Protivin, Iowa, enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 20, 1941. He received his preliminary training at the Great Lakes Training Station, Great Lakes, Ill. He was transferred to the Norfolk, Va. Training Station on December 14, 1941.

He started as a 3rd class Fireman. He is now 1st class Fireman aboard the USS Idaho and is one of three men on his ship who have charge of the ship’s motors.

Joe was born at Spillville, Iowa, October 10, 1909. He received an eighth grade education at Spillville, Iowa. He farmed with his parents northeast of Protivin for four years. He was employed by James Andera, Protivin road contractor for fourteen years as a mechanic and caterpillar operator. The year previous to his enlistment was spent working in his mother’s café in Lime Springs.

His present address is: Joseph Victor Houdek, USS Idaho, c/o Fleet Postmaster, Division B, San Francisco, Calif.

Source: Lime Springs Herald, Thursday, June 4, 1942 (photo included)

Joseph Victor Houdek was born Oct. 10, 1908 to Louis and Anne Novak Houdek. He died Oct. 30, 1944, was buried at sea, and is memorialized at the Walls of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery, Taguig City, Philippines and has a cenotaph in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Protivin, IA.

Petty Officer Houdek served in World War II with the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Idaho (BB-42) and later aboard the USS Eversole (DE-404) where he was KIA when that vessel was torpedoed. He was awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart.