O.G. Van Nuys was Rodger Young Village

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Photos courtesy of Housing Authority of Los Angeles
Photos courtesy of Housing Authority of Los Angeles

The original Valley people*, when they were rusticating in quonset huts in Griffith Park, just about where the Autry Museum and the Zoo are today. The Village lasted from 1946 to 1954.  Hat tip, longtime reader Chip Corbin.

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Rodger Young, Medal of Honor recipient, was from Green Springs, Ohio. He stood 5’2 and weighed 125 lbs, was going deaf, and near-sighted.  He slipped past the Army’s 4F screens by signing up for the National Guard in 1940, after dropping out of high school, because he was having difficulty following the lessons due to his hearing difficulty. He was killed in the Solomon Islands storming a Japanese machine gun nest, enabling his platoon to safely withdraw under fire. An ordinary man who became extraordinary in a fearless hour.

His gallantry was memorialized by the lyricist Frank Loesser:

Fellow Ohioan Robert Heinlein was also enamored of Young, baptizing the transport ship in Starship Troopers with his name. He also included his citation for bravery in an appendix to the novel.

*After the Tongva, the Franciscans, the Robber Barons, the Chinese, the Chandlers and Barbara Stanwyck. I refer here to the Valley in its bedroom community incarnation.

One thought on “O.G. Van Nuys was Rodger Young Village”

  1. Nice. You are the King of Research. I wonder if Roger Young ever imagined as he took those bullets that he’d be memorialized so. 70+ years on. I doubt that he did.

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