Henry Hodulik was born in 1922 and grew up on a small farm in Dunellen, New Jersey, the son of Slovak parents who immigrated to the United States in the previous decade.  After graduation from high school in 1940, Hodulik worked various jobs before enlisting in the Army Air Corps at the outbreak of World War II.  After his initial training in the United States, Hodulik became a radio operator on a B-26 and was tasked with flying bombing missions in France in May 1944.  On his sixth mission, Hodulik was forced to bail out of his airplane, and upon landing, was taken in by French civilians who protected him from the Germans until Polish and Canadian forces liberated the area months later.  After making his way back to England, Hodulik was given various roles in the United States until his discharge.  After the war, Hodulik would complete his degree at Rutgers University and raise a family in New Jersey.