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  • Can you imagine this happening today?

    Could this ever happen in the US or Great Britain today.


    U.S. Maritime Service to Accept 16 Year Olds for Training
    McDonnell -- Maritime 1055
    PR 1889(W)
    WAR SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION
    Washington
    For Immediate Release
    Wednesday, May 17, 1944
    Cleared and Issued
    Through Facilities of the
    Office of War Information
    The War Shipping Administration announces that, effective immediately, the United. States Maritime Service will enlist young men between the ages of 16 and 17 1/2 years for training for service in the Merchant Marine of the United States, with their parents' consent. Six weeks training is required for service as messmen and utility men in the stewards department, and 13 weeks training for service in the deck and engine departments. Upon completion of training, men will be assigned to merchant vessels within a few weeks. No men are being enrolled between the ages of 18 and 26 except those classified by Selective Service in any F or L classification or in 1-C, but all qualified men over the age of 26 and less than 35 1/2 for the deck and. engine departments, or less than 50 1/2 for the stewards department, are eligible for enlistment for training.
    A career at sea has always been attractive to young men. The Merchant Marine is playing a vital part in winning the war. Without it, supplies, equipment, and troops could not be transported to our battlefronts. Gen. Eisenhower, Gen. McArthur, Gen. Montgomery, Admiral King, and Admiral Nimitz have recognized the merchant seamen as part of our fighting team.
    Here is a way young men can volunteer for a part in the winning of the war, before they reach the age of registration under Selective Service.
    The United States Maritime Service maintains Enrolling Offices in most principal cities. Apply there, or write to the Commandant of the United. States Maritime Service, Training Organization, War Shipping Administration, National Theatre Building, Washington 25, D. C.

    http://www.usmm.org/16yearold.html
    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

  • #2
    A whole bunch of mommies would be down at the enlistment office protesting....during WW1 some kids as young as 14 enlisted...granted they phonied up their birth certificates......Didn't one of your hero's Audy Murphy enlist when he was 16...???

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bow View Post
      A whole bunch of mommies would be down at the enlistment office protesting....during WW1 some kids as young as 14 enlisted...granted they phonied up their birth certificates.....
      There was an MP kicked up a hell of a stink about under age lads serving in the trenches and he managed to get most if not all sent home. Lads of 14 or under served openly on RN ships on active service, some being KIA and Jack Cornwall was awarded a posthumous VC at age 16 at Jutland. Andrew Fitzgibbon Royal Hampshire Regiment won a VC at age 15 retrieving wounded under fire at the Taku Forts in 1860 he was the youngest recipient. Thomas Flynn of the North Staffs was also 15 but probably a few months older than Fitzgibbon when he was awarded a VC when as a drummer boy he took part in a charge agaist enemy artillery during the Indian Mutiny and engaged an enemy gunner in hand to hand combat. Unfortunately he later took to drink and was court martialed no fewer than 15 times.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
        Could this ever happen in the US or Great Britain today.


        U.S. Maritime Service to Accept 16 Year Olds for Training
        McDonnell -- Maritime 1055
        PR 1889(W)
        WAR SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION
        Washington
        For Immediate Release
        Wednesday, May 17, 1944
        Cleared and Issued
        Through Facilities of the
        Office of War Information
        The War Shipping Administration announces that, effective immediately, the United. States Maritime Service will enlist young men between the ages of 16 and 17 1/2 years for training for service in the Merchant Marine of the United States, with their parents' consent. Six weeks training is required for service as messmen and utility men in the stewards department, and 13 weeks training for service in the deck and engine departments. Upon completion of training, men will be assigned to merchant vessels within a few weeks. No men are being enrolled between the ages of 18 and 26 except those classified by Selective Service in any F or L classification or in 1-C, but all qualified men over the age of 26 and less than 35 1/2 for the deck and. engine departments, or less than 50 1/2 for the stewards department, are eligible for enlistment for training.
        A career at sea has always been attractive to young men. The Merchant Marine is playing a vital part in winning the war. Without it, supplies, equipment, and troops could not be transported to our battlefronts. Gen. Eisenhower, Gen. McArthur, Gen. Montgomery, Admiral King, and Admiral Nimitz have recognized the merchant seamen as part of our fighting team.
        Here is a way young men can volunteer for a part in the winning of the war, before they reach the age of registration under Selective Service.
        The United States Maritime Service maintains Enrolling Offices in most principal cities. Apply there, or write to the Commandant of the United. States Maritime Service, Training Organization, War Shipping Administration, National Theatre Building, Washington 25, D. C.

        http://www.usmm.org/16yearold.html
        Would I give my consent? With one of my three I might? May do him good. The other two I would certainly refuse.
        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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        • #5
          The British army have recruited 16 yo's since for ever,I joined at that age and found myself in Northern Ireland at 17 where they issued me empty magazines and a pick elve!

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          • #6
            In today's political atmosphere, at least here in the U.S. it would be very unlikely our government would openly recruit 16 year old kids.
            I'm not saying there wouldn't be some trying to get into the action.
            The MoH was awarded to Jack Lukas, a Marine who was 14 at the time.
            Leslie McNair was the youngest American solider killed in WWII, he was 12 at the time.
            Dan Bullock was 15 when he was KIA in Vietnam.
            The youngest American killed in Iraq was 18,
            Last edited by Urban hermit; 21 Jan 16, 23:03.
            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

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            • #7
              During WWII personnel in the US military had a lower casualty rate than in heavy industry. The 16 year old was probably safer in the Merchant Marine than in a steel mill.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NoPref View Post
                During WWII personnel in the US military had a lower casualty rate than in heavy industry. The 16 year old was probably safer in the Merchant Marine than in a steel mill.
                Slightly mis leading as a significant number of military personnel were in back areas away from enemy action. Those in a combat zone had a significantly higher chance of becoming a casualty. The safety or otherwise of a youngster in the merchant service would depend very much on where he was serving and the amount of u boat activity in that area.

                In the British army regulations were enforced in WW1 that whilst lads as young as 16 could serve they were not permitted on active service in a theatre of war until 19 or over. This was temporarily reduced to 18 for a few months in the middle of 1918 (but only provided that he had completed all his training) in response to the pressures of the German March offensives but by the time of the Battle of Amiens the 19 limit had been restored. Richard Van Emden has written extensively on the subject of under age soldiers and I attended a very informative lecture by him a couple of years ago. Boy soldiers in the trenches occurred in 1914 early 1915 mainly due to inadequate checks during the early enlistment rush. Birth Certificates were not required and some of the lads involved were quite big and burly for their age. Parents did indeed kick up a fuss and this resulted in some very pointed questions in the House of Commons. Orders went out to weed out under-age soldiers and send them home and by and large this was done. It should be remembered that in Britain most people had no documentary evidence of identity and there was considerable resistance to the introduction of any form of ID papers as an attack on personal liberty. Even if birth certificates had been required there was no means of checking that the certificate actually belonged to the person proffering it. This was less so in Germany and France where military service was in any case mandatory. Once conscription and call up was introduced in most of Britain the issue of spotting underage recruits vanished.
                Last edited by MarkV; 22 Jan 16, 05:11.
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Given that training someone in the skills for working in the maritime service would take more than a year, it seems reasonable to me. By the time they were trained to do the job they'd be close to or have reached 18 years of age.

                  Even with the most basic jobs listed above (messmen and stewards) they'd be close to 17 by the time they actually got on a ship and that ship is likely one that isn't going to be going into a really active war zone.
                  On the whole it seems quite reasonable to me.

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                  • #10
                    Well with the notion of women in combat roles I doubt it. We've a much larger pool to draw from than WW2. What I wonder is when are women going to be included in selective service? Can you imagine the uproar when some guys say 'Hey we're equal, why aren't the ladies included...'

                    Boy the dems/ libbies are really going to take a hit on that day...
                    Credo quia absurdum.


                    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                      'Hey we're equal, why aren't the ladies included...'
                      Answers provided by;

                      Feminists; "Because your are an evil stupid jerk , that's why!!!"

                      Drill Instructors; "Just shoot me instead, okay pal?"

                      Honest Politicians; "But who's going to do my laundry if there is a war?"

                      99.99% of Politicians; "Babble murmur baloney hem-haw because your are a racist, shuddup."

                      The Pentagon; "Please, define what you mean by "Ladies".... (summons 15 Lawyers while you ponder)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        Given that training someone in the skills for working in the maritime service would take more than a year, it seems reasonable to me. By the time they were trained to do the job they'd be close to or have reached 18 years of age.

                        Even with the most basic jobs listed above (messmen and stewards) they'd be close to 17 by the time they actually got on a ship and that ship is likely one that isn't going to be going into a really active war zone.
                        On the whole it seems quite reasonable to me.
                        Don't know how it works today but back in WW1 and WW2 in British merchant service a lot of training was " on the job" ie at sea. The RN had the rank of boy and in WW1 certainly a lot were at sea well before 15. There was a training school for the merchant service but that was mainly for lads destined to become ships officers and used by the larger lines. Lads entering the rusty funnel lines would do so as ships boys or cadets and go to sea. The RN opened a training school for boys who would enter the seamans branch of the service but still sent boys afloat as stewards, cabin boys etc in their early teens. I haven't much on the USN but AFAIK they did the same.
                        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bow View Post
                          A whole bunch of mommies would be down at the enlistment office protesting....during WW1 some kids as young as 14 enlisted...granted they phonied up their birth certificates......Didn't one of your hero's Audy Murphy enlist when he was 16...???
                          My grandfather shipped aboard a tramp steamer as a telegraphist at the age of 13. He enlisted in the Army during WWI at the age of 16. The latter he lied about.

                          Tuebor

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tuebor View Post
                            My grandfather shipped aboard a tramp steamer as a telegraphist at the age of 13. He enlisted in the Army during WWI at the age of 16. The latter he lied about.

                            Tuebor
                            My cousin lied about his age and joined the Marines, but that is not the point. Read the document carefully, this allowed those 16 to 18 who were not yet old enough to be drafted to serve legally,
                            That is a big step from lying about your age and getting in under the radar with the risk of being discovered and booted.
                            Another point, the training time for someone assigned to service on the deck or in the mess hall was only 6 weeks.
                            This means you could join when you were 16, serve in the Merchant Marines and still be drafted when you were 18, I'm sure many did just that.
                            It also points out that Those with a draft classification of F and S could serve.
                            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Junior leaders

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junior_Leaders

                              Paul
                              ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                              All human ills he can subdue,
                              Or with a bauble or medal
                              Can win mans heart for you;
                              And many a blessing know to stew
                              To make a megloamaniac bright;
                              Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                              The Pixie is a little shite.

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