Illinois at War, 1941-1945
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives

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June 18, 1942

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The Illinois Selective Service inducted 604,033 men into the U.S. armed forces during the period November 11, 1940-June 30, 1945. Another 353,821 chose to enlist voluntarily in the service of their choice. Local selective service boards usually preferred to avoid drafting fathers but as quotas soared after 1942 these heads of households were exempted no longer. President Roosevelt signed the Servicemen's Dependents Allowance Act of June 23, 1942 to help families cope with the money problems caused by fathers going to war. By this law's provisions either the serviceman or his wife could file an application for the serviceman's dependents' financial support. The wife and one child were provided $40.00 a month plus $10.00 for each additional child. A portion of the serviceman's pay was deducted monthly for this purpose and to it was added a larger contribution made by the federal government. It became evident soon that this allowance was inadequate and Congress doubled the sum in October of 1943. Had Mrs. Garland or her husband made an application, she and her children would have received $60.00 a month in 1942. After October 1943 the monthly allotment would have been $120.00.

Governor Green's office replied to this letter on June 20. It stated that servicemen were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the War Department and suggested that she write either her husband's commanding officer or the Secretary of War in Washington, D.C.

The Great Lakes Training Center was the navy's largest instructional facility during the war. Over a million sailors, or one third of all WWII naval recruits, received training there. This base is located in Illinois on the shore of Lake Michigan, forty miles north of Chicago. Bingham, Illinois is situated in Fayette County in the south central part of the state, 252 miles south of the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

Points to Consider

Locate Bingham and the Great Lakes Naval Training Center on a map of Illinois.

Why would a man have enlisted in the navy to avoid being drafted into the army?

What responsibilities did local, state, and federal governments have for Floyd Garland's family?

Should a father of three infant children have been subject to the draft?

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