21-year-olds to register for draft on Tuesday (6-29-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (June 29, 1941)


10,000 Allegheny County young men who have just become 21 will troop from their homes to local registration stations Tuesday to sign up with Uncle Sam for possible military service.

The occasion will be the nation’s second R-Day in peacetime history, and all men born between Oct. 17, 1919 and July 1, 1920, inclusive, will be required to enroll.

Although authorities have announced that a national lottery similar to the one held last October will be staged about mid-July, draft officials have failed to specify whether the new registrants will be tacked on to the present lists or whether their names will be distributed among those still remaining on call.

Should they be interspersed throughout the present lists, possibilities are that the bulk of the 10,000 – most of whom are not expected to have dependents or hold vital jobs – will be called to duty within the next year.

On the other hand, tacking them on the bottom of the old lists would, in most cases, automatically grant the new registrants deferment for as long as two years – something which the Army, eager for younger blood, is seeking to avoid.

71 registration depots, including […] each of the 61 local-board headquarters, will remain open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday to register the new crop of “21-year-olds.”

All schools in summer session will be closed all day under a proclamation by Gov. Arthur H. James, but the engineering defense-training courses will go on uninterrupted.

Taprooms will be closed during the 14-hour period.

Approximately 400 volunteer registrars, most of whom are now employed as clerks by the local draft boards, will man the stations.

Besides those who have reached 21 since last Oct. 16, all aliens who have entered the country since then and have as yet failed to register must also present themselves at a registration depot.

Under the law, however, only those who have signified their intention to become citizens will be subject to call.

Although indicating he expected no trouble, Dr. William Mather Lewis, state draft chief, warned that “obstructors and recalcitrants will be dealt with promptly and firmly” and cited the penalty for failure to register was five years’ imprisonment and $10,000 fine.

Home board urged

The men were urged, if at all possible, to register with the local board having jurisdiction over their place of residence, but in accordance with regulations Dr. Lewis said they will be permitted to sign up at any station in the country.

To accommodate college graduates who have just completed their studies and obtained jobs outside their home communities, the registrant himself will be permitted to choose the local board to which he wishes his card to be sent.

Thus, the registrant will be required to specify his “mailing address” as well as his “place of residence.”

Registrants with R. F. D. mailing addresses must supply detailed information on their “place of residence,” Dr. Lewis said, to avoid “raiding” od one board’s lists by another and to facilitate the location of registrants.

Th3e men will also have to supply their name, telephone number, ahe, date and place of birth, occupation, name of someone who will always know their address, employer’s name and address, place of employment or business, race, height, weight, color of eyes and hair, complexion and obvious physical defects.

Unlike those who enrolled last fall, the new 21-year-old class will be given melon-colored registration cards, instead of white-colored ones, which they must carry on their person at all times.

White cards, however, will be distributed to aliens and their names will be added to the present board lists as “late registrants.”

Underage volunteers who have become 21 since they enlisted for a year’s “hitch” in the Army but have not yet been called also must register and be assigned serial numbers, which will run consevutvely from “S-1” to “S-2” and so on through the list.

To get numbers

The serial numbers will be assigned by each local board on July 9, after the cards have been shuffled in a miniature lottery similar to the ones held following the first R-Day on Oct. 16.

Sorting of the cards to distribute them to the proper boards will take place Wednesday.

Persons subject to registration Tuesday who may be in jail, reformatory or asylum must sign up the day they leave this institution. Persons at home who are unable because of illness or other incapacity to appear at a registration depot will be enrolled by special roving registrars upon request.

Of the 71 stations in Allegheny County, 32 will be located in Pittsburgh, 3 in McKeesport and 2 in Stowe Township. The other 34 will be spotted in as many communities throughout the county.