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Series VI: Selective Service
This series is comprised of an alphabetical file of correspondence, affidavits,
forms and applications and memos regarding individuals (ca.1943-1945) who were
considered vital to the university and were requesting deferment from military
service (“occupational deferment”). Most correspondence is with Frank D.
Fackenthal, Provost of the University, and local draft boards, though there are
often letters from deans of schools (e.g., James Kip Finch of the School of
Engineering, N.M. McKnight of Columbia College) advocating on behalf of a specific
staff or faculty member. Correspondence pleads the cases of these individuals,
arguing the importance of their work to the university and that their skills would
be irreplaceable if drafted. Within the correspondence, there are often references
to standard forms which are not necessarily attached to the cover letters (most of
which are carbon copies of the original correspondence). Materials are arranged
alphabetically within each folder.
Amongst the people applying for deferments were notable Columbia personalities
such as Jacques Barzun, Karl Menges and Mario Salvadori. But not only professors
and researchers were asking for deferments. Mr. Peter Mouzakis, First Cook who
worked in John Jay Hall Dining Room was recommended for deferment by Thomas A.
McGoey, director of University Residence Halls due to his “experience in handling
the food preparation problem of 2,000 Midshipmen and trainees who are stationed at
Columbia University.” (letter, March 24, 1945). He was still classified as 1A
(available immediately for military service) by his local Selective Service
A second set of alphabetical files contains correspondence, applications, forms,
and memos for specific individuals seeking educational deferments in the immediate
post-war period (1946-1947). Most of this correspondence is with Albert Jacobs,
Assistant to Acting President Frank D. Fackenthal. Also included in this series
are files with information and forms distributed to Columbia College students
regarding selective service as well as files containing general policies and
regulations of the Faculty Deferment Section of the U.S. Office of Education
regarding such deferments from Selective Service (see article from New York Sun 6
August 1946). For instance, people involved in physics and engineering were
considered important enough to avoid the draft; there were apparent successful
attempts to broaden the definition of “important and indispensable” to educators
in other fields, since there were so many GI’s going back to school.
Selective Service Classifications encountered in this series: 1A: Available
immediately for military service 2A: Deferred in support of national health,
safety or interest 2B: Deferred in support of war production 4F: Registrants not
acceptable for military service. Rejected for physical, mental or moral reasons
Policies, Instructions, Memos, 1946-1947
Employer's List of Registrants, c.
Selected Service—Assorted Materials, 1940-1942
University Committee on National Defense—Information Bulletins,