Apr 18, 2013

Sun, Apr 11, 1943: a popular boy

"It gets awful hot down here.  I hate to think how hot it will be in another month.  Do you know yet how soon V1 & V7 will be called out?  Are you still hitting it off with Broadie?  I imagine you are quite a popular boy around there now with all the boys gone.  How I envy you.  I am telling you I sure miss the gals….

"I know how you are about writing, bad as I used to be.  When you get in the army what you really appreciate is a letter.  Get the hint?”
-- Letter from Everett “Sammy” Samuelson (a friend from college), Camp Hood, Tex., to my father, Southwestern College, Winfield, Kans., Sunday, April 11, 1943.
V1 and V7 were naval officer training programs, which kept enlisted men in college while preparing them for Midshipmen’s School.  My father would join a different such naval program, V12, in July 1943, but he may have initially thought he'd be called out with V1 or V7.  The enrollment of both men and women in college declined during World War II.  The enrollment of men declined by 68.7% from 1939-40 to 1943-44 school years.  Women were not subject to the draft.  However, their enrollment declined by 11.7% as they volunteered for the military or took civilian defense jobs.  When my mother arrived at Southwestern College in the fall of 1944, the student body included 137 women and 13 men.  The men there were exempted from military service, as farmers, or ministerial students, or were physically or mentally ineligible (4-F).
            (Sources: V. R.Cardozier, Colleges and Universities in World War II [Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1993], 116-17; Henry C. Herge, Sr. Navy V-12 [Peducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1996], 21-22.)

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