Draft 1942, Enlistment, 1943

WIth a Friday Feb 19, 1943 date written on the 3 last press negative format boxes from that year, it somewhat hinted that Joel was preparing for another significant phase in his life.

Joel Pahl Dardis WWII Draft Card

Joel’s Draft Card is dated Feb 14, 1942. The draft required all men between 21 and 45 to register for military service. Registering for the draft was not an enlistment for service in the military, for many men registered but never served. Instead it was the idea that they could be called upon for service when needed.

Joel and his family know that there’s impending training with possible shipment to Europe or the Pacific to serve in WWII.

WIth some sleuthing, we also find the Enlistment Record online.

Joel P Dardis Enlistment Record, Feb 16, 1943.

Joel enlists on Tuesday Feb 16, 1943 in Sacramento. He and his family know that there’s impending training with possible shipment to Europe or the Pacific to serve in WWII.

We can only imagine what the discussions around the dinner table must have been those days. We also know from reading Pacific Review and Pacific Weekly, there were plenty of COP recruits.

Would Joel take a camera with him and where are the images ?

Going through Kodachrome boxes, I’ve been able to sketch some very basic itenary of Joel’s movements through parts of the journey.

It starts with three images dated June 6, 1943. It’s Joel’s birthday, he just became 22.

Aunt Amy (at left) and Joel’s mother, Clare M Pahl (at right)

To say the mood is somber would be an understatement. Next slides give away what this is all about. Joel is in uniform.

Joel and his mother, June 6, 1943
Joel and his mother, June 6, 1943

The numbers stamped on the slides are a consecutive 7, 8 and 9. It is not clear where slides 1-6 are or what they contain.

Actually, I take this back, while writing this draft, I came across another family image in a box that was postage labeled in 1947. See the image below, #6, reinforcing that there was more family or close friends involved.

Joel and Pahl family, June 6, 1943

Although we recognize Joel Dardis, Clara Mildred Pahl and Amy Pahl, it is not clear who the other 5 persons are in the image.

Next slides I found in this batch are still from June 6, 1943. This time the location is Camp Kohler in California. Joel started a new roll of Kodachromes, the first slide is very recognizable and there’s a different batch process number printed. We currently do not know when Joel started his training at Camp Kohler, but clearly somewhere between Feb and June 1943.

Joel at Camp KOHLER, CA, June 6, 1943
Camp KOHLER, June 6, 1943

Slide numbers in this batch are 1 and 5. It’s actually quite possible that Joel took these images before leaving to Stockton for his birthday celebration. We’ll never know for sure, but it is plausible in light of the numbering on the slides.

For an informative read on Camp Kohler, see attached PDF.

Next blogpost, we’ll try to reconstruct a timeline with locations for that summer based on found Kodachromes. We may come across other images related to Joel’s military service time when we dig deeper into the negatives.


The image at the top of the post is a photo from 1943 by the Army Corps of Engineers. (Not from Joel P. Dardis)

Cheers !


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