The biography of J.D. Manning tells the story of the first man drafted in the United States at the dawn of World War II. Growing up, he lived an ordinary, small-town life in Washburn, Wisconsin. However, due to a clerical error, by the time he was inducted into the military, J.D. had assumed a second identity. While listed under a different name throughout his military service, J.D. decided to turn the military into a career. He extended his service and went on to Officer Candidate School before serving in the war. Ultimately, J.D. died in the Battle of Cherbourg. His story outlines the importance of humanizing war at a time when statistics and numbers tend to impersonalize such a large, historical event. J.D.'s biography provides an understanding of how even the most ordinary, typical life of a drafted solider during WWII can produce an extraordinary story. J.D. was not special. He was but one death in a body count of over 400,000 American soldiers during the war. Yet, his story teaches us that one does not have to be special to be important. Every American soldier has made a contribution to our country, yet only a select few have ever had their stories told. This biography of J.D. will add one more story to the limited collection existing today.
- J.D. Manning: The Life of a WWII Draftee