The United States had entered World War II on December 7, 1941, when Japan attacked Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor. LeGrand was serving his mission in Montana at the time.
The family had moved back from Montana to Logan in early 1945. LeGrand entered the U.S. Army in May 1945, just in time for the war to end. (It ended as he was travelling across the Pacific to Japan.)
With the war over, Walt served in the Signal Corps of the Army of Occupation. Much of his time was spent in Nishinomiya (between Kobe and Osaka). In 1945 he sang Handel’s Messiah in a chorus at Takarazuka,
It was while serving in the Army that LeGrand began using his first name, Walter “Walt.” (In the Army they apparently call everyone by their first name.) New acquaintances generally called him “Walt” after that. (His parents, siblings and Erline generally continued to call him LeGrand.)
Second son William (who became known as “Bill” in junior high school) was born while Walt was in Japan.