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"Exempt" Pin


Capt.Confederacy
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Capt.Confederacy

There's a pin at a local flea market that I've seen and was wondering if anyone else might have seen a similar one.

 

It's a small, circular pin obviously designed to be worn on the lapel (the device on the back is like the ones on Ruptured Duck Lapel pins given in WWII), and it has a bronze-like finish similar to those of WWI era collar discs. In the middle of the button is a 13 star shield with "Exempt" over it and "US" under it.

 

My first inclination is to say it's WWI era and "Exempt" meaning "Exempt from the Draft". Has anyone heard of any buttons like this?

 

Thanks.

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Capt.Confederacy
I don't recall any reference to it, but I have a couple and assume the same meaning as you.

BKW

 

Thanks. That's the only explanation I can think of for that sort of pin. I had read that guys in that time period were frowned upon if they weren't in uniform or could produce a draft registration card if they looked healthy. I would imagine that that sort of "Exempt" pin could deflect that sort of attention.

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The book World War I By Jennifer D. Keene has a good explanation of why you'd want such a pin:

 

 

draft1.jpg

 

draft2.jpg

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Capt.Confederacy
The book World War I By Jennifer D. Keene has a good explanation of why you'd want such a pin:

post-214-1236798555.jpg

 

post-214-1236798567.jpg

 

 

Thanks for the info. I guess "frowned upon" wasn't a strong enough term for what happened. No wonder "Exempt" buttons were made.

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It should be remebered that MANY people were exempt from service during the war by virtue of their civilain jobs.

 

My father tried to enlist sometime after Pearl Harbor but they wouldn't take him. He worked for BETHLEHEM STEEL in the steel rolling mill and was considered an Essential War Worker.

 

This held true for numerous occupations thru-out WWII. The theory was basically we can get lots of guys to tote a rifle but certain skills are vital to the war effort.

 

I've been collecting for over 50 years and have never seen the aforementioned pin. It's always a pleasure to learn something new here.

 

regards,

Bob Frey

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  • 13 years later...

Here's what the pin looks like. And I added one from Canada. Interesting the Canadian one has a penalty for wearing it with authority.  It is the same penalty as Service At The Front pin that was given out.

20220319_102107.jpg

20220319_102256.jpg

20220320_140944.jpg

20220320_141124.jpg

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Anyone know of other countries that gave these pins out? Would like to see pics of them. I started a thread on our sister site with the Canadian pin. I would guess there are British and Australian ones as well. I imagine they are scarce, I'll bet most were tossed after the war. 

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  • 3 months later...
On 3/12/2009 at 12:47 AM, RTFREY said:

It should be remebered that MANY people were exempt from service during the war by virtue of their civilain jobs.

 

My father tried to enlist sometime after Pearl Harbor but they wouldn't take him. He worked for BETHLEHEM STEEL in the steel rolling mill and was considered an Essential War Worker.

 

This held true for numerous occupations thru-out WWII. The theory was basically we can get lots of guys to tote a rifle but certain skills are vital to the war effort.

....

 

regards,

Bob Frey

My grandfather was exempted, because he worked at Armco (American Rolling Mills- later AK Steel) in Middletown, Ohio. They would not take experienced, skilled workers. That he was married with two young kids and helped support his chronically ill father, stepmother, a younger brother that was still a minor when the war started, and two half-siblings the same age as his own young kids probably added to it. His next younger brother was much the same- married, kids, helped out their dad's family, and was a machinist at Frigidaire and made M2's.

  The other two did enlist. One was an MP and spent a good part of his time in the brig. How he was an MP when he'd been in FEDERAL prison for bootlegging in the 1930's is beyond me. The youngest was a tail gunner, that came home jumpy and wouldn't talk about it.

  I love the Ruptured Duck and probably have 25-30 in cloth and metal and would definitely love to add some of these to them.

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