Sunday, January 28, 2018

Boys of War

In 2007, the U.S. Veterans of Underage Military Service reported that most of their members had first served between the ages of 14 and 16, with twenty-nine active members entering service at 13. No report exists as to how many were in the so-called Young Allies, or as they were later and unofficially named, the Boy Commandos.

In 1941, after a few dedicated members of the Sentinels of Liberty (a patriotic youth organization and Captain America fan club) aided Bucky and Toro in defeating a group of would-be saboteurs in a Brooklyn shipyard, the United States government commissioned the formation of the “Young Allies,” a group of older youths that would help protect America’s shores against spies and saboteurs with there vigilance and prepare for military service should the need arise. A comic book was also commissioned that presented the boys in a more active role than they actually had (at least initially) and portrayed them as younger than they actually were for twofold propaganda purposes: to build support for war among young people and to ridicule the Axis powers by showing them defeated by children.

Not long after America’s entry into the war, members of the Young Allies were fighting overseas alongside Bucky and others, though their activities were directed more for publicity and propaganda purposes than military effectiveness. This “Boy Commando” unit (as it came to be called) was officially made up of boys of minimum legal military age. In fact, most were between 14 and 16, and conspicuously, all were orphans. This group allowed members from allied countries, including two from nations under German occupation.

Beyond the fictionalized incidents presented in comic books, a full accounting of the activities of these brave boy commandos has ever been given.


Scrap Princess said...

the fuck is blondie doing in that picture? Acting out a flashback where he pulled someones entrails out?

trey causey said...

I think he's remembering how much he hates the Nazis for overrunning his country (he's Dutch).

Scott Martin said...

Hugo Stiglitz Junior needs constant practice even at the dinner table.