Armand Houde was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1927. He served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Gage and took part in the Battle of Iwo Jima, receiving a WWII Victory Medal, American Theatre Ribbon, and Asiatic Pacific Area Ribbon with Star, and various other medals. Houde continued in the Coast Guard after World War II and served at several shore stations and on several vessels, including the Handkerchief Shoal Lightship, before coming to Portland Head Light Station in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
He was at Portland Head from March 1963 to October 1965, and then served as keeper at Annisquam Light Station in Gloucester, Massachusetts, from October 1965 to November 1967. His later Coast Guard experience included more time on lightships and at stations on Cape Cod. Armand Houde retired from the Coast Guard in 1978, and he died in August 2000 in Pompano Beach, Florida.
In this interview, Houde’s children Janice Reynolds and Ed Houde recall their family’s time living at light stations and other aspects of their father’s career.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org