Bart, this inspired me to
do some research on which Presidents served in World War II, and here's
the tally for you.
Seven definitely served in WW II: Bush I, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, Johnson,
Kennedy, Eisenhower, with the caveat that
Reagan only served stateside. Two -- Truman and FDR -- arguably served
via their roles as Commander-in-Chief during the war.
Three are too young -
Clinton, Bush II, Obama. One tried, but was denied - Hoover. One was in
the Navy, but only
after the war - Carter. The other six twentieth century presidents died
before the war began. Strangely, the Navy seems
to have been very popular with future presidents. Incidentally, LBJ was
the only one to sign up after he'd been elected
to office. More elected officials need to learn from that example.
Too young or too old to serve:
Barack Obama - born 1961
George W. Bush - born 1946
Bill Clinton - born 1946
Jimmy Carter - did not join Navy until 1947; resigned 1953 (was 21 when
the war ended)
Herbert Hoover - Volunteered to FDR's administration to serve in any
capacity necessary; was not accepted. (Was 67 when the war began)
Calvin Coolidge - Died, 1933.
Warren G. Harding - Died, 1923.
Woodrow Wilson - Died, 1924.
William Howard Taft - Died, 1930.
Theodore Roosevelt - Died, 1919.
William McKinley - Died, 1901
Served in WW II:
George H.W. Bush - Enlisted, 1942
Ronald Reagan - Enlisted (Reserve) 1937. Served stateside from 1942.
(Eyesight exemption to overseas duty)
Gerald Ford - Commissioned to Naval Reserve, 1942. Served on USS
Monterey from 1943 to 1944 in the Pacific.
Richard Nixon - Although he could have been exempted as a Quaker, Nixon
was commissioned into the Navy in 1942.
Lyndon Johnson - became a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve
while a sitting Congressman; served under FDR reporting conditions in
the South Pacific first hand.
John F. Kennedy - accepted by the Navy after being rejected for
enlistment to the army in 1941. PT-109. 'Nuff said.
Dwight Eisenhower - Deputy Chief in Charge of Pacific Defenses, WW II,
later Commanding General, European Theatre.
Technically served in WW II:
Harry S. Truman - Served in WW I. Served in WW II as Commander-in-Chief.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - See above; Commander-in-Chief throughout WW
Jon, thanks for that.
Back to Bartcop.com