|Fred Kahn and Joel Dirlam in 1938|
working on their dissertations
|Front of Discharge Certificate|
Joel was drafted into the in the Army in early 1944, being called up for induction on January 24, 1944. He was given through February 13 to attend to his affairs and entered service on February 14, 1944 at Rutland, Vermont, on his wife’s 29th birthday and three days after his first daughter’s first birthday, himself at the age of 28.
Although he listed his father’s address in Mansfield as his home, he was, at that time, researching in Washington, DC and his selective service registration had been filed with the DC board.
On March 23, 1944, during his basic training, he qualified as a sharp shooter on the M1 Garand 166 rifle, then on July 26, 1944, more than a month after the D-Day invasion of Normandy, he sailed for Europe, arriving on August 6, 1944. He is listed as having served in the Campaign of Northern France, authorized by General Order 33 by the War Department in 1945. The war in Europe officially ended on May 8, 1945, about nine months after Joel’s arrival there, but he continued to serve in Europe, with time in occupied Germany as well, as indicated by his letters home.
About ten months after the end of the war in Europe, he sailed for home on March 18, 1946, arriving on March 27, 1946. Five days later, on April 1, 1946, he received an honorable discharge, due to de-mobilization. He served for a total of 2 years, 1 month and 15 days, according to his discharge record, 5 months and 13 days in the US and 1 year, 8 months and 2 days in Europe.
In service, he received the EAME (European-African-Middle Eastern) Campaign Medal, established by President Roosevelt in 1942 by executive order to honor military who served in the European Theatre during the War.
He also received a Good Conduct Medal, normally only awarded after three years of active duty, but in March 1943 the criteria were amended to include military personnel who served one-year active duty during war.
Because he was on active duty at the war’s end, he received the World War II Victory Medal, which was issued to all military personnel who served active duty between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.
Joel, left, working on the oil supply chain in Paris
He was inducted into the US Army as a Private. At the time of his discharge, he was designated on the Detached Enlisted Men’s List, indicating that, although he was in the Army, he ended up serving in another branch. His final service was as a Technician Fifth Grade Statistical Clerk 055 (indicating that he was cleared to use an Adding Machine) in the Office of Military Government, which administered Germany and Allied Berlin soon after the end of the War.
However, the Army Regulation 615-365 governing the demobilization after the end of the war took effect some months later and he was repatriated with the designation “RR I-I”, which was his re-enlistment code, indicating that if he chose to re-enlist in the future, he would be readily accepted.
|Detail from top of form|
|Me, in Spain 1974|
|Joel's honorary degree from Université de Paris|