How many, or what percentage of eligible inductees were excused by way of a 2-D or 4-D during WWII?

  • 2
    Are you talking about the draft classifications that are listed as "deferred"? There are actually rather a lot of them, but there was no "II-D" among them.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 27, 2017 at 4:16
  • @T.E.D. I would guess the OP misapplied the post 1948 classes, which does have 2-D and 4-D for these types of deferments. There's a IV-D deferment for ministers and divinity students in WW2 though.
    – Semaphore
    Dec 27, 2017 at 8:07
  • Somewhere, I found those designations—maybe from Korea or Viet Nam?—that indicated being in college (II-S) or seminary (II-D) and IV-D, for actual ministers. I guess the latter belongs in Classification V, according to this. What I need to know is how many of these not-enlisted people there were during WWII (or during the selective service period from 1940-'48). Thank you for this, though.
    – winonaww
    Dec 28, 2017 at 5:28
  • Well, to give one example, one of my grandfathers got deferred due to being employed in a vital wartime industry (the oil industry). That's a deferral, but not one of those two classes you are asking about. So are you interested in all deferrals, or just certain types of them.?
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 28, 2017 at 6:43

1 Answer 1


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25 MILITARY CLASSIFICATIONS For Draftees for WW2 through 1947.
used by Selective Service.

Five major catagories.

I - Liable to military service in the order determined by the national drawing

II - Temporary (dependency) discharge from draft; effective until Class I in the jurisdiction of the same Local Board was exhausted; registrants with both wife & children, or any father of motherless children, where such wife & children were not mainly dependent upon the registrant’s labor for support; also, registrants whose wives could support themselves through employment

III - Temporary (dependency) discharge from draft; effective until Classes I & II in the jurisdiction of the same Local Board was exhausted; registrants who were responsible forchildren not their own & who were dependent on registrant’s labor for support; registrants who had aged, inform or invalid parents or grandparents mainly dependent on registrants' government employees

IV - Temporary (dependency) discharge from draft; effective until Classes I, II & III in the jurisdiction of the same Local Board was exhausted; any married registrant whose wife or children were mainly dependent on registrant’s labor for support; also included mariners employed in sea service

V - Exemption or discharge from draft; including:
- ordained ministers
- students who on May 18, 1917 had been prepared for ministry in a recognized theological or divinity school
- persons in the military or naval service of the United States (officers & enlisted men)
- alien enemies - resident aliens
- persons found to be totally & permanently physically or mentally unfit for military service
- persons show to have been convicted of any crime designated as treason or felony, or an “infamous” crime
- licensed pilots actually employed in the pursuit of his vocation

You can get copies of the Selective Service Records from the national archives here.

The following shows the numbers of men who entered military service through the Selective Service System during WWII

Number of Inductions: 10,110,104

By year.

below taken from wikipedia's US conscription article

  • 72,000 men registered as CO (conscientious objectors)
  • 52,000 of those received CO status

  • 25,000 of those entered the military in non combat roles.

  • 12,000 went to civilian work camps
  • 6,000 went to prison.

Draft evasion accounted for 4% of the total draftees.

  • 373,000 evaders were investigated
  • 16,000 were imprisoned.
  • This is getting close to what I need—thank you. I guess I can go to the national archives for what I'm looking for. I need the number of IV-D and II-D exemptions (I guess "deferment" was the wrong term).
    – winonaww
    Dec 28, 2017 at 5:15
  • @winonaww - Which again will be quite difficult, as there was no such thing as II-D during WWII
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 28, 2017 at 19:08

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