By Jane Feehan
Featured at left is part of a notice posted in the Fort Lauderdale Times (Apr. 22, 1942) about where men ages 45-65 would (notice it's not could) register for noncombatant service. (Men 18-45 were eligible for immediate induction.)
Many who winced about the draft during the Vietnam era were not aware of draftee ages during World War II. It’s also interesting to note the separation of races for registration; the armed forces were not integrated until 1948 under President Harry Truman.
A notice of the day reads:
For District 1: Central High School in Fort Lauderdale – white [Fort Lauderdale High]; Pompano High School in Pompano – white; City Hall in Deerfield – white
Negroes will register at the Pompano colored school and at the Fort Lauderdale colored school.
U.S. military ages over the years have differed: the average age of a soldier during World War II was 26.5; the average age during the Vietnam era was 19; the average age of today’s soldier has been reported anywhere from 19-30. Since many are more educated, hold more college degrees than those of the past, they are, most likely, older than 19. The average age may not yet be officially published. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.
Tags: South Florida during WWII, WWII draft in Florida, U.S soldier's ages, Fort Lauderdale during World War II, film researcher