Saturday, July 1, 2017

Selective Service Draft Records

I have been indexing the Selective Service information from World War II that was done in California.  It is some of the best information I have seen on any individual in all the indexing information I have put into the Family Search records.  In the Draft Registration information they list the name of the man enrolling, where he is living at the time he gave the information, where he was born, his age and his birth date.  He had to put the name of the person who would always know where to reach him and their relationship to him.  He also had to list the name of the company or business he was working at.  Included on the form was his height, weight, complexion, eye color, hair color, and then any scars or marks on his body (such as a tattoo).  If you have a relative who signed up for the draft in the 1940s you will soon be able see all the information that I have talked about.

It has been interesting to think about this collected information meant to so many families.  Did they actually get drafted, did they survive?  What horrendous things did they see during the various battles they may have been involved in. The ages of those I have indexed have been from 18 to 42.  Can you imagine being drafted when you were in your 40s with a family that you will leave behind?  Can you imagine the false bravado of these young 18 year olds sure that they would save the world but entered a frightening experience that they had not been prepared for.  I was touched by the number of young men who listed their grandmothers as the person who would always know where they were.  The sad ones were the those who didn't list anyone who would know where they were or who could be notified if something happened to them.. A number of men were born in other countries but were now American citizens and willing to fight for their new country.  I hope they all came home and continued living the lives they had envisioned before this terrible war changed everything.  Only their families will know the answer to that!

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