U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Military Life and Issues
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-28-2009, 12:08 AM
 
415 posts, read 919,715 times
Reputation: 175
Default WWII Draft?

I recently met two 86 year old men. One told me that he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 after his first year of college. He was in the Pacific Theater for 5 years and after the war, left the military and became a medical doctor. The second 86 year old man told me he was in the Army for 20 years, achieving the rank of SFC (E-7). I went to the National Archives and searched both people's names and only the first guy's name came up under WWII enlistment records. I didn't ask the second guy's occupation or when he was in the Army but I'm wondering, is there a chance that he wasn't drafted or enlisted? Could he have served his 20 years in the Army after WWII ended? I thought that pretty much all men (especially those between 18-25 like these two) served in the military during WWII. Is SFC after 20 years a pretty high rank? I didn't ask this guy about any other occupations he might have had, but maybe in those days, after 20 years in the Army someone could retire comfortably with good benefits and not work again.

Thanks for any help you can provide to his military novice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-28-2009, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,272 posts, read 7,757,961 times
Reputation: 3188
I wouldn't call the records as a major event in accuracy. They have had a lot of errors in them as years past, most were hand written onto cards and then about twenty years ago, they were started to be added into a computer systems with lots of errors.

The guy that made it to E-7 was a respectible rank for retirement, his pay isn't all that great, but he could live on it if he watched his "P and Q's".

Not very many of those types left now, they are disappearing fast. Lost my Father in Law a few years back, he went in during "D-Day" and walked all the way to Berlin... Hell of a guy too!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 03:51 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
16,650 posts, read 15,638,179 times
Reputation: 15831
There was also a fire, I think in the 70's, that destroyed a lot of records at the main facility, I believe in Kansas City.
Not all men were drafted in WW II. Some farmers were exempted as were others in some critical defense related industries. My dad wasn't drafted until late 1943, farmer and age (mid/late 20's) played a part.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Norwood, MN
1,828 posts, read 2,309,601 times
Reputation: 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happs View Post
I recently met two 86 year old men. One told me that he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 after his first year of college. He was in the Pacific Theater for 5 years and after the war, left the military and became a medical doctor. The second 86 year old man told me he was in the Army for 20 years, achieving the rank of SFC (E-7). I went to the National Archives and searched both people's names and only the first guy's name came up under WWII enlistment records. I didn't ask the second guy's occupation or when he was in the Army but I'm wondering, is there a chance that he wasn't drafted or enlisted? Could he have served his 20 years in the Army after WWII ended? I thought that pretty much all men (especially those between 18-25 like these two) served in the military during WWII. Is SFC after 20 years a pretty high rank? I didn't ask this guy about any other occupations he might have had, but maybe in those days, after 20 years in the Army someone could retire comfortably with good benefits and not work again.

Thanks for any help you can provide to his military novice.
SFC is the average rank for a 20 year man. Unless things have changed since I was in the army in the 1970's, there werent that many E-8 (Sargeant Major) or E-9 (Supreme Sargeant Major, I believe it was) spots available to be filled.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,170 posts, read 4,536,716 times
Reputation: 1308
E-8 is Master Sergeant and E-9 is Sergeant Major
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 08:30 AM
 
2,790 posts, read 3,981,348 times
Reputation: 1834
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
There was also a fire, I think in the 70's, that destroyed a lot of records at the main facility, I believe in Kansas City.
Not all men were drafted in WW II. Some farmers were exempted as were others in some critical defense related industries. My dad wasn't drafted until late 1943, farmer and age (mid/late 20's) played a part.
I thought the warehouse was in St. Louis, but yes, you are right. The section of the building damaged was where WWII records were housed.

My dad tried to join, but was exempted because projects he was working on at the U-M were deemed too important for the war effort.

If you can garner any information about the gentleman, try looking on the internet. My FIL was part of the unit that trained to drop The Bomb. We have very little info on him, but my son had just enough to find to do an internet search. He found a site run by an attorney who is interested in this unit for whatever reason. Lo, and behold, there were pictures of my FIL.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 08:51 AM
 
846 posts, read 787,657 times
Reputation: 274
My DD-214 discharged me through St Louis. I think everyone's does. I'm guessing that is where the records are kept.

E-8 is Master Sergeant and E-9 is Sergeant Major. E-8 can also be First Sergeant and E-9 can also be Command Sergeant Major.

If I had stayed in 20 I would not be upset by only getting to E-7. Most people have zero chance at making E-7. Although, I did run into a few people that made E-8 in as little as 12 years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 09:04 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,199 posts, read 9,921,674 times
Reputation: 3924
The fire/water did destroy some of the records pertaining the beginning of the alphabet. When I applied to the VA for a Medical ID for health care they did not have any of my service info.

Fortunately I still had my original DD214 which is a paper of my separation from the military that showed my service record of days served in combat (Korea)...ribbons etc. This helped them to re enter the info that was lost. That paper is like gold when it comes to the military. That was the first thing they asked for at the VA Hospital.

I'm also a vet from WW11 having served in the Canadian Reserve Army 1944-47. A Sgt sometimes was referred to as SIR. They had lot of power. If you were to view a English military movie a person would see what I mean.

In England a Sgt was a pilot in the Airforce during the war. Thy do not hand out service ribbons like the US military does.

By coincidence my FIL (US Airforce 26 ys MSGT) was at the initial test bombing at Yucca Flats. When I asked about what occurred, he said they were sworn to secrecy and could not talk about it.

Best to let dying dogs be.

Steve
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 10:46 AM
 
Location: New Mexico USA
17,140 posts, read 17,839,317 times
Reputation: 19770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happs View Post
The second 86 year old man told me he was in the Army for 20 years, achieving the rank of SFC (E-7). I went to the National Archives and searched both people's names and only the first guy's name came up under WWII enlistment records. I didn't ask the second guy's occupation or when he was in the Army but I'm wondering, is there a chance that he wasn't drafted or enlisted?
I don't really know what the enlistment records you mentioned would contain. During that period you could be inducted (Drafted) or you could enlist. I suppose you could have gotten a direct commission as an officer and later be "RIFed" Reduction in Force to enlisted, I have met several people in that situation. He could have entered the "Reserve Corps" and been brought to active duty. The records could have been lost. There are just too many possibilities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happs View Post
Thanks for any help you can provide to his military novice.
Briefly there is "Rank" and "Pay Grade", currently in the US Military in the Enlisted Ranks there are nine Pay Grades E-1 to E-9. In the Army the Pay Grade of E-7 is typically a rank of SFC (Sergeant First Class), but it could have been ranks of Platoon Sergeant (PSG), Specialist 7th Class (SP7) or Technical Sergeant (T/Sgt). Each service has some variations in "Ranks"

The individual could he have served his 20 years in the Army after WWII ended. I was drafted in to the US Army in 1968, we had some soldiers still on active duty who served in WWII, Korean War and the VietNam War". You usually retire in the US Military at 20 years up to 30 years active duty (There are some exceptions).

Many enlisted soldiers retire as E-7 in the Army, some higher and some lower. I don't know what the percentages are. I retired in 1990 but the retirement system has changed, but assuming your were an E-7, retiring today, using the system which was in place in 1990 you would retire at $1,997.70 ($23,972 per year). If you stuck it out till 30 years, your retirement would have been about $40,689. If you entered the military at age 17 you could be retired at age 37 and working on your second career.

Not all men served in the military during WWII. I don't know what the percentages are. Some had exemptions for various reasons, medical, age, family obligations, defense related job, etc...
Rich
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2009, 03:35 PM
 
415 posts, read 919,715 times
Reputation: 175
Thanks for all your help and information. The records I searched were those of the national archives at this link: NARA - AAD - List of Series - Genealogy/ Personal History: Military Personnel



Poncho_NM: Do the retirement payouts have a cost of living adjustment or increase every year because $23,792 a year now is worth a lot less than in 1990.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Military Life and Issues
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top