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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.

Doug Odom, circa 1939

“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.

In a 1998 interview, Doug Odom spoke about how he was the first one drafted from Monhegan.

Next to wedding announcements and reports of Valentine’s Day celebrations, were also reports of men who received Selective Service papers.

Olga Stevens Scrapbook. 1941. p. 76.