Over this Memorial Day weekend, Fold3 is allowing people to search military records for free! This was the perfect time for me to search for my grandfather’s (Harry Clemmons) draft card. Searching for the record was really easy, I just went to the web site and from the main page did a search on his name. I did add one filter, I put in his year of birth – 1918. Within seconds, I was greeted with his search results:
I could tell that the card was filled out by my grandfather. He only made it through the 8th grade in school, he never attended high school. It shows his date of birth and where he was born (Morehouse, Missouri). He listed his father as Mr. Earl Green Clemmons as the name of the person who will always know his address (I will come back to this in a bit). It shows that he is living in Barnhill, Illinois. On the backside, it shows his height as 5′-11″ and weighing 155 pounds. His serial number is 2035 and his order number is 1703.
Lisa Louis Cooke, on her blog, has a great description of how the serial numbers and the order numbers work.
The first number drawn of the 7,836 serial numbers that were printed on paper and placed in individual capsules was No. 158. This number belonged to Harry Robert Bell, a 21-year-old from Washington D.C.. The hundreds of men across the United States pulled in this first drawing were all given an order number of 1.
On the back of the card, Harry didn’t put the date he filled out the card so I am going to have to make some assumptions. He is listed as 22 years old, which would put the date that he filled out the card between June 17, 1940 and June 16, 1941. I also noticed that he listed his father as the person who will always know where he is. Harry got married to Edith Carter on December 22, 1940. I am assuming that he would have listed Edith if they would have been married already. This at least narrows down the time frame that he could have filled out the card to somewhere between June 17, 1940 and December 21, 1940.
One thing that I do not know about, is who Olney R Ryan is. Harry listed that as his current employer that was located in Fairfield, Illinois. I am going to have to take a look a bit further. I am wondering if this is one of the gas stations that he worked at when he was young.