War Begins: Islanders in the Service
With a population of only 97 people in the 1940 census, over fifteen percent of the community served in the armed forces during the war. Monhegan had the rare good fortune to welcome home all of those who served once the war was over.
“Next was the Selective Service registration of all young men in the country who were eligible to serve in the armed forces. This meant the island youth, too. As town clerk, it was my job to register them. On the appointed day, Charlotte Stanley and I were at the schoolhouse. A war was being fought, and these island men would, if physically fit, serve somewhere for Uncle Sam. I think Dint Day was the first to appear. There was obvious nervousness as he and the others showed up during the day to register. It was not a particularly enjoyable occasion for any of us, and I was relieved when it was over. My job was done, but the island men faced an uncertain future.” Burton, Clara. “World War II.” Monhegan Memories, Impatiens Press, 1998, p. 79.
Doug Odom: First one drafted
In a 1998 interview, Doug Odom spoke about how he was the first one drafted from Monhegan.
Alfred Stanley, Ferdinand “Dint” Day and Vernon Burton at the Fisherman’s Memorial in Gloucester, MA. 1943
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Vernon Burton (1919-1997), Army
Ferdinand ‘Dint’ Day (1912-1997), Naval Reserves
Earl Field, Jr., (1918-1986 ), Naval Reserves
George Green, Jr. (1925-1984), Navy
Adolph ‘Ade’ Mersfelder (1919-2014 ), Navy
Laurice Christian ‘Chris’ Nicholson (1896-1991), Merchant Marines
Richard ‘Dick’ Tribler Nunan (1917-2004), Navy
Harry Odom (1916- 2008), Army
Douglas Odom (1914-2005), Navy
Raymond Orne (1918-1985), Navy
Thomas Orne (1922-1996 ), Marines
William Orne (1926-1959), Marines
Alfred Stanley (1921- 2014), Navy
Sherman Stanley (1925- 2019), Navy
Winifred Thomas (Burton) (1923-2011), Women’s Army Corps
Next to wedding announcements and reports of Valentine’s Day celebrations, were also reports of men who received Selective Service papers.