Source Information

Ancestry.com. U.S., Alien Draft Registrations, Selected States, 1940-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Alien Registration Forms, compiled 1940–1946. Selective Service System, Arkansas State Headquarters. ARC ID: 576612. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926–1975, Record Group 147. The National Archives at Fort Worth. Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

Alien Registration Forms, compiled 1940–1946. Selective Service System, Louisiana State Headquarters. ARC ID: 576614. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926–1975, Record Group 147. The National Archives at Fort Worth. Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

Alien Registration Forms, compiled 1940–1946. Selective Service System, Oklahoma State Headquarters. ARC ID: 576616. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926–1975, Record Group 147. The National Archives at Fort Worth. Forth Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

Alien Registration Forms, compiled 1940–1946. Selective Service System, Texas State Headquarters. ARC ID: 576580. Records of the Selective Service System, 1926–1975, Record Group 147. The National Archives at Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

About U.S., Alien Draft Registrations, Selected States, 1940-1946

With the Second World War already raging in Europe, in September of 1940 Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 into law—the first peacetime conscription in U.S. history. The conscription included both native-born male citizens and aliens between the ages of 21 and 35 residing in the U.S. This collection contains copies of Records Relating to Aliens' Personal Histories and Statements (DSS Form 304), Applications by Aliens for Relief from Military Service, compiled 1942–1946 (DSS Form 301), and related correspondence. These forms were filled out by aliens in the U.S. who were subject to the draft.

Scope

Currently, this collection includes records from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The Forms

DSS Form 301: Defense Security Service (DSS) Form 301 was used by male aliens who were liable for, but wanted to apply for relief from, military training and service. If an alien took this action, however, he was forever barred from becoming a U.S. citizen.

DSS Form 304: Defense Security Service (DSS) Form 304, Alien's Personal History and Statement, includes supporting documentation regarding eligibility of aliens for the draft during World War II. The form was used by male aliens who were visiting the United States for short periods as well as those who planned to reside in the U.S. permanently. These documents are rich in detail and typically include the following:

  • name (as well as professional names, nicknames, and aliases)
  • alien registration number
  • addresses (current and past in the U.S.)
  • residences in past five years (city and country)
  • birthplace and date
  • marital status
  • physical description
  • citizenship and U.S. naturalization status
  • most recent arrival (date, port, ship, and why)
  • expected duration of stay in the U.S.
  • whether deported and why
  • education (location, years attended, and degrees)
  • occupation (status, usual and present jobs, present employer and business address, and employment history past five years)
  • military service of the immigrant and immigrant's relatives (living and deceased)
  • names of immediate family, places of birth, addresses, and occupations
  • arrest record
  • organizational affiliations
  • political beliefs
  • whether alien objects to service in U.S. armed forces and U.S. allegiance
  • signature

DSS Form 304a: In addition to the information gathered on form DSS 304, male U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry filled out DSS 304a, Statements of U.S. Citizens of Japanese Ancestry. Here they were required to supply information regarding voter status (when and where they first registered); if married, their wife's ancestry; the names and addresses of all relatives living in the United States; the names as addresses of all relatives living in Japan; whether or not their birth was registered in Japan; and whether they had ever applied for repatriation. In addition, registrants were asked whether they were willing to serve in the U.S. military and whether they were willing to swear allegiance to the United States.

These last two questions were particularly painful to many Japanese-Americans who had been relocated to internment camps. Feeling betrayed by the country in which they lived, some understandably replied "no" to the last two questions about serving in the U.S. armed forces, thereby gaining the nickname "No-nos" or "No-no boys." Answering "no" meant that they would be shipped to the maximum security detention center at Tule Lake.

Alien registration also occurred in the United States during 1917 and 1918, following the onset of World War I. Unfortunately, many of these records have been destroyed through the years, but a number of scattered records are held in state archives and other repositories across the United States. Some can be found online.