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What does WW2 US Army discharge code W.D. CIR 395, 1942 mean?

What does WW2 US Army discharge code W.D. CIR 395, 1942 mean?

My father was honorably discharged from the US Army in 1943. My question is what is W.D. Cir. 395, 1942? He served only 2 months and 8 days. His occupation at that time was listed as Turret Lathe Operator.


It would appear that the Army felt he would be more useful working in a factory than as a soldier. A Turret Lathe was an important class of machine tool at the time, and they were vitally important in the industrial mass-production effort for WWII.

Someone who was a skilled operator for turret lathes, but had a limited command of English, which is definitely part of what War Department Circular 395 is about, would be hard to train as a soldier, but would be very useful in almost any kind of arms factory. Forming large armies, without crippling industry for lack of skilled manpower, was one of the things that the Allied side did much better than the Axis in WWII.


According to the Office of Medical History , this was a "Discharge for the Convenience of the Government". The language on that page is a bit convoluted, and I'm not sure exactly if it summarizes all the provisions of War Department Circular 395, but it seems to say people who didn't know much English and who were not "useful" to the Army (in a certain technical sense) could be discharged this way.

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