4th Draft, World War II

November 15th, 2010

As time marches on, more and more records are made public. Several years ago, the records of the 4th draft (commonly called the “Old Man’s Draft”) were made available. This draft occurred on 27 April 1942 for men born between 27 April 1877 and 16 February 1897. “This draft registration was not intended to be used for military service but to provide a complete inventory of manpower resources in the United States that could be used for national service during World War II” [Trevor K. Plante, Military Service Records at the National Archives, Reference Information Paper 109 (Washington, D.C.: NARA, 2009), 72].

Typically, the original records are in possession of the regional National Archives facilities and in many instances the draft cards have been microfilmed. When the National Archives in East Point, Georgia, acquired the records the draft cards were not classified as permanent. After some discussion and weighing of details the draft cards were destroyed due to lack of storage space.

Readers who are interested in draft registrations from the time to the Civil War (for the Union Army) will find the chapter, “Draft Records and Selective Service,” located within the Reference Information Paper 109 (Military Service Records at the National Archives) of interest. The chapter is available online at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ref-info-papers/109/draft-records.pdf, while the entire information paper is available at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ref-info-papers/109/index.pdf.

(c) 2010 Linda Woodward Geiger, All Rights Reserved.

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