29 May 2018

Wallace B. Dixon : WWII Deferment Classifications

Selective Service Registration Certificate, WWII, Wallace B. Dixon, 1940.
Selective Service Registration Certificate, 1940

Wallace B. Dixon registered for the Draft on 16 October 1940 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. (1) He was 35 years old, and was living at 763 S. Broad St. with his wife Sophie, and their children, Wally, Jr. and Mary.

As noted in my previous post, my grandfather was issued an ID card in 1942, by the US Coast Guard, indicating his work for Standard Oil of NJ, which involved transport and storage of oil.

Notice of classification, 22 Sept 1943, Wallace B. Dixon, Class 3-A.
1943 Notice of Classification, 3-A, men with dependants,
not engaged in work essential to national defense.

I don't know what his classification was from his draft registration in 1940 until 1942, but I have his classification cards from 1943 and 1944. [I'll update this post when I've recieved his classification files from NARA.]

On 22 September 1943, the local Draft Board determined that Wally be classified as 3-A, which is "Men with dependents, not engaged in work essential to national defense."(2) (3)

In 1943, Wally and his family were still living at the S. Broad St. address.(4) His son, Wally, Jr., would not graduate from high school until the following year. His daughter, Mary, would graduate in 1945.(5)

According to a note written by Wally, and a copious number of photographs, he and possibly Sophie, and certainly Wally, Jr. spent time between 1943 and 1945 living in Miami, Florida.(6) It seems likely that Mary remained in Elizabeth, living either with her mother or her maternal grandparents, Constantine and Alice (Rimkus) Karvoius.

Two other pieces of official ephemera also prove that, at least starting on 13 March 1944, Wally was living at 340 NE 17th Terrace in Miami, and continued to do so until some time after 28 September 1944. Both of these State of Florida driver's licenses list that address, and also give an occupation of "inspector." (7)

Florida Driver's License issued 13 March 1944 to Wallace B. Dixon, "inspector," living in Miami.
1944 Florida Driver's License
Florida Driver's License issued to Wallace B. Dixon on 20 Sept 1945, "inspector," living in Miami.
1945 Florida Driver's License

I had always assumed that the time my grandparents spent in Florida was related to some health issues, but I think now that they were related to his job, "inspector"[?], with Standard Oil. None of the classification cards indicate deferrment based on health issues.

Selective Service Notice of Classification for Wallace B. Dixon, 25 October 1944, Class 4-A.
October 1944 Notice of Classification, 4-A,
men who have completed service, OR deferred by
reason of age.

The first of two classification cards issued in 1944, on March 3, shows a change of classifications to 2-B. (8) Class 2 deferrments were based on occupational status, and 2-B indicates "men necessary to national defense." (3) 

Selective Service Notice of Classification for Wallace B. Dixon, 3 March 1944, Class 2-B.
March 1944 Notice of Classification, 2-B,
men necessary to national defense.

The second card issued in October of that year classifies Wally as 4-A.(9)  Category 4 is for men "deferred specifically by law or because unfit for military service." His categorization as 4-A, which is "men who have completed service," was generally not considered at time of war according to one source (3), is also listed as "man deferred by reason of age" in another source. After 31 August 1945, that included men who were age 26 or older. (10) 

Either way, his deferrment from active military duty lasted for the duration of World War II.


(1) Defense Security Service D. S. S. registration certificate, D.S.S. Form 2, 16 October 1940; privately held by Elizabeth Traina Ackermann, 2018. Wallace Bernard Dixon, 763 S. Broad St Elizabeth Union N.J. has been duly registered on this 16th day of October 1940.

(2) Local Board No. 11, Elizabeth, NJ Selective Service Classification Card, 22 September 1943; privately held by Elizabeth Traina Ackermann, 2018.  DSS Form 57. Wallace Bernard Dixon, Order No. 1585 has been classified  in Class 3-A (H).

(3) "Military Classifications for Draftees." Compiled by Anne Yoder, Archivist, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2007. [http://www.swarthmore.edu/library/peace/conscientiousobjection/MilitaryClassifications.htm] Updated 2011 and 2014. Viewed 28 May 2018.

(4) Wallace Bernard Dixon (Roselle, New Jersey), "Handwritten list compiled by writer", After 1974; privately held by Elizabeth Traina Ackermann, 2018.  List of cars owned and residence addresses. 153 Clark Place 1925-1929. 239 Marshal St Store 1929-1934. Garfield St. Li[nden] 1934-1934. 763 So. Broad St. 1934-1943. 340 NE 17th Terr [Miami, FL] 1943-1945. 214 Inslee Place 1945-1952. 1023 Thompson Ave Ro.[selle] 1952-.

(5) Yearbook Staff, TeeJay: Yearbook of Thomas Jefferson High School (Elizabeth, New Jersey: Senior Class of Thomas Jefferson High School, 1944), no page numbers; Senior Class Photos; Class Will; Class Mirror.

Battin Hish School, "Commencement Program 1945", (N.p.; left center page). Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey. 1945.  Elizabeth Traina Ackermann, 2018; inherited from her mother, Mary E. (Dixon) Traina. Mary E. Dixon is listed among the graduates.

(6) "Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations", digital image, The National Archives, Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Multiple Registrations. NARA Record Group 147. Draft Registration Cards for Florida, 10/16/1940 - 03/31/1947.  Fold3.com (https://www.fold3.com/image/607556630). Downloaded 9 December 2017. Wallace Andrew Dixon, living in Miami, Dade, Florida. Registration dated 8 July 1944.

(7) State of Florida Driver's Licenses, issued in 1944 and 1945 to Wallace B. Dixon; privately held by Elizabeth Ackermann, [address for private use], 2018. Inherited by his daughter, Mary E. Dixon Traina, and then by her daughter, E. Ackermann. Licenses give birth date, physical description, occupation [Inspector] and address of Wallace B. Dixon.

(8) Local Board No. 11, Union County Selective Service Classification Notice, 3 March 1944; privately held by Elizabeth Traina Ackermann, 2018.  DSS Form 57. Wallace Bernard Dixon, Order No. 1585, Class 2-B.

(9) Local Board No. 11 Selective Service Classification Certificate, 25 Oct 1944; privately held by Elizabeth Traina Ackermann, Christiansburg, Virginia, 2018.  DSS Form 57. Local Board No. 11, Union County, NJ, Old City Hall, Elizabeth. Wallace Bernard Dixon, Order No. 1585 has been classified in Class 4-A.

(10)" Selective Service System Classifications for WWI, WWII, and PWWII through 1976."  Computer UFO Network [http://www.cufon.org/CRG/memo/74911231.html], 28 May 2018. This is, admitedly, a website dedicated to providing "accurate" information on unidentified flying objects. They don't indicate a source for their information, but it seems to mostly agree with the list from Swarthmore, source number 3 on this page.

27 May 2018

Wallace B. Dixon : Shift Breaker 1942

My Grandfather didn't serve in the Military during WWII. But that's not to say that he didn't serve his country. As an employee of the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, Gramps was involved with oil transport and storage – a vital war-time function.

This identification card (1) issued by the US Coast Guard and signed by the Captian of the Port of New York, is a treasure, as it gives a glimpst at his service in 1942, and also includes a photo and a physical description.

Wallace B. Dixon, employed by Standard Oil of N.J., was issued an ID card by the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New York in 1942.
Wallace B. Dixon's US Coast Guard ID card, 1942. (1)
Wallace B. Dixon pictured on reverse of US Coast Guard ID card, issued in 1942 when he was employed by Standard Oil of NJ
The back of the Coast Guard ID card.
My Grandfather was 37 years old when this photo was taken.

A "shift breaker," according to the Petroleum Dictionary by Lalia Phipps Boone, is also sometimes known as a "swing man."
A worker who replaces other operators when they are off duty. The rotating shift causes a gap in the regular line-up, and since operation in a refinery must be continuous, a worker must be employed who is trained for several positions. He is next in line for promotion, and since he is qualified for more than one position, he is a very valuable employee. (2)


1. Captain of the Port of New York, United States Coast Guard identification card, 28 Apr 1942; privately held by Elizabeth Traina Ackermann, Christiansburg, Virginia, 2018.  Card 0?1, Serial Number 427664. Wallace Bernard Dixon, Shift Breaker, Oil Move. & Stor.; Employed or sponsored by Standard Oil Co. of N.J.

2. Boon, Lalia Phipps. The Petroleum Dictionary. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman,  Oklahoma. 1952. p. 300. Viewed on Archive.org [ https://archive.org/stream/petroleumdiction00boon/petroleumdiction00boon_djvu.txt], 27 May 2018. 

11 May 2018

My Great-Grandmother Owned a Monkey

Not my grandma, not her monkey!

See the original on the fascinating
Tumbler Blog
"An Unnatural History."

Oh, how I wish I had a photo of Mary Elizabeth (Klein) Dixon Payne and her monkey to share with you. [If, by chance, you have one, I hope you'll share it with me!] This Fun Family Fact comes courtesy of of a step-cousin, who's father, Thomas Payne, Jr. brought the monkey back from his Navy travels and gave it to his step-mother.

Just another example of the treasures you find when you contact cousins, and step-cousins, you've never met. This particular step-cousin has shared some great information about the Payne family, and has helped me identify some photos. Love it!

Did anyone in your family have unusual pets?