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World War II & West End High School

World War II began for the United States when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and ended with the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945. All men between the ages of eighteen and sixty-five were required to register, and those eighteen to forty-five were immediately liable for induction.

It was, however, possible for younger males to volunteer. Young men of seventeen could volunteer if they had parental consent. At the war’s outset, they could volunteer for any service. By December 1942, the army would allow only draftees of eighteen or older, but the navy and marine corps would accept seventeen-year-old volunteers. Youngsters who lied about their age would sometimes evade these age restrictions. Those who joined found themselves in the service for the duration of the war plus six months.

More than a few WEHS students volunteered to serve while still students. Some returned to WEHS after the war to finish their classwork and graduate with a later class. Others qualified for WEHS graduation by completion of coursework after joining the military. Others got some form of equivalency degree. Still others did not finish high school.  All are worthy of our respect and admiration for their desire to serve their country in a time of great need.

Let’s meet the young men of WEHS, who fought not only to protect our country’s physical existence but also its ideals and way of life.

Carter, Robert W. “Bob”  ’44

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