Alva C. Rast
Warrant Officer J. G.
U. S. Army Air Corps
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 04/29/1941 - 11/22/1945
Signal Supply Officer, Signal Corps

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Alva grew up in Holly Hill, a small town in the coastal plain. He apprenticed under his father in construction and later worked as a carpenter, earning $2.50 an hour. Alva was drafted before Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was placed in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army Air Corps and sent to the Pacific as part of the Thirty-Ninth Air Base Group, Eighth Service Command. Alva worked in receiving and shipping supplies at Guadalcanal for about six months. Suffering from malaria, pneumonia, and yellow jaundice, he was sent to a hospital in New Zealand where he also had his appendix removed. He notes that his aunt, Catherine Dollanson, was MacArthur's nurse in the Philippines. The general urged her to leave early with him and his family early in 1942. She stayed and was captured by the Japanese, who incarcerated her in Santo Tomas University prison in Manila for thirty-seven months. From New Zealand, Alva was sent to Harmon General Hospital in Longview, Texas, where he stayed three months. After he recovered he was ordered to Camp Bowie in Brownwood, Texas, where he was placed in charge of the photography lab. He was discharged in 1945. After the war, he earned degrees from Centenary College, Northwestern State College, Louisiana State University, and Louisiana Tech University. Beginning in 1948 he taught cabinet and furniture making at a vocational-technical school in Shreveport, becoming its director in 1966. He retired in 1979 and went into the crafts business. He built his own home and all its furniture.