F-8 Crusader in USN, USMC and Aeronavale Service

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By the end of the war, nearly 70 percent of the soldiers were draftees. In August 1918 Congress authorized the Navy and Marines to resort to conscription, though they actually drafted few men. An important addition to the draft procedure was the "work or fight" order of May 1918, an amendment to the Selective Service regulations. It empowered draft boards to conscript every ablebodied man not effectively employed, regardless of classification or drawing number. It was issued because of public indignation at idlers who had been lucky in having their numbers come up near the last of the official drawings.

When George failed his physical examination, she stuck out her tongue at the board chairman. The Selective Service Act exempted as conscientious objectors only those men who were members of a "well recognized religious sect ... " Yet, in all cases, objectors were expected to accept alternative national service as stipulated by the War Department. Conscientious objectors numbered only 3,900, most of whom accepted the option of noncombatant service, furloughs to work on farms, or assignment to the Society of Friends Reconstruction Unit in France.

The Central powers considered the increasing American logistical support of the Allies to be equally as damaging as any potential use of American armed forces in Europe. Efforts to augment U-boat construction had been underway in Germany for some time, although submarine attacks on noncombatant ships had been restricted since the previous spring. To European capitals, Wilson's reelection in November signaled the prospects of further American assistance to the Allies and risks of full American belligerency.

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