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WWII Conscription Cartoons

Published: November 3, 2016

During World War II men ages 18-65 were required to register with selective service. Across the country, American men waited for the “lottery” to call their number. Like other World War II conventions, conscription became a target in The Saturday Evening Post cartoons of the 1940s. Our cartoonists searched for the lighter side of local draft boards, draft classifications, and the dreaded rejection!

Men being examined by military doctors

“We’ve relaxed our requirements just a bit.”


Misha Richter; December 19, 1942




A woman having her future told by a man in stereotypical Middle-eastern dress

“Friends of the family? Oh, no, sir — we were just passing by.”


Al Ross; January 16, 1943




Men talking at a bar

“I’ve been trying for 15 years to get my affairs in order, and now my draft board expects me to do it in 10 days.”


June 5, 1943




Man walking into a suprise party

“I was rejected.”


Bill King; October 16, 1943




Father looking angry at his son, who knocked over a vase.


Bill Ruble; November 13, 1943




Man in a room


Mischa Richter; February 19, 1944




Woman examining photos on a fireplace mantle

“He was recalled to duty just as the picture was taken!”


Lawrence Lariar; December 9, 1944


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  • Jennifer Bortel

    Dick, thank you for drawing our attention to the errors. They have been corrected.

  • Dick Buchanan

    The first cartoon in this section is by Misha Richter not Fred Price and the second one not by O”Malley but by Al Ross.
    Both are clearly signed by these two cartoonists who toiled for The Post, Collier’s and most famously The New Yorker.