Charles Francis Acord

Is Navy Veteran at 16; Will Receive Honorable Discharge
Charles Francis Acord, 16, son of Mrs. Verna Burke, 721 Gilbert Avenue, who returned home last month after serving close to 18 months in the U.S. Navy, in which he enlisted when but 14 years old, is to receive an honorable discharge from the Navy, according to an announcement made Monday at Washington, DC, by U.S. Senator Alexander Wiley, who had taken up the matter of the lad's "yellow certificate" discharge with the Navy Department.

When the Navy discovered that the boy was under age, he was given his discharge, a so-called "yellow certificate" discharge--not an honorable one. This was given to him at San Diego, CA, where he had been stationed since his enlistment, close to two years ago. At the time, the boy thought that that was the only kind of a discharge to which he was entitled, and made no protest.

He was discharged from the Navy on March 24, this year, and arrived here April 1.

When he sought employment at the U.S. Employment Office here, his attention was called to the nature of the discharge given him, only a step from a dishonorable discharge.

Service Officer Gets Busy
The matter was called to the attention of Frank C. Eller, County Service Officer, who was familiar with the rules of the Armed Forces as to discharges. Under both Army and Navy rules, no changes will be made in the nature of discharges given sailors or soldiers, and Eller, knowing this, made a careful investigation of the case and found that the boy had been discharged on the grounds of "unsuitability owing to immaturity," grounds not warranting a "yellow certificate" discharge, closely akin to a dishonorable discharge.

After assembling all the records and evidence in the matter, Eller forwarded the entire mass of material to Senator Wiley and, "believe me," said Eller, "our senator got quick action on it, and the boy is now on his way to get the right kind of a discharge, under which he will be eligible to mustering out pay and other things, to which he is not eligible under the 'yellow certificate' discharge given him."

The boy is now employed in the stencil department of the Sterling Pulp and Paper Company, under a work permit issued by the Eau Claire Vocational School.

Honorable Navy Discharge to Another Under-Age City Boy
Chas. Acord, 16, First Given Yellow Slip
WASHINGTON, May 8 (AP) Senator Wiley (R-WI) reported today that everything has now been straightened out in the case of a Wisconsin boy who enlisted in the Navy at the age of 14, served almost 18 months, and then got a "yellow certificate" discharge--not an honorable one.

This type of certificate, he said, differed only from a dishonorable discharge in that the young ex-sailor was not disfranchised--and he still is too young to vote.

The boy is Charles Francis Acord, now 16, of Eau Claire, WI. His file shows he enlisted at New Orleans in November 1942, while visiting a sister, and his actual age was not disclosed until after he had been in for a year, five months, and eight days.

Wiley took the matter up with the Navy, which reported that, actually, Acord was discharged under honorable conditions and "unsuitability owing to immaturity."

If the boy will write in, said the Navy, he can get the proper discharge form and also can get the World War II discharge button to show he's a veteran.

Note. Charles Francis Acord, now 16, lives with his mother, Mrs. Verna Burke, at 721 Gilbert Street, and is employed in the stencil department at the Sterling Pulp and Paper Company here, under the special work permit issued by the Eau Claire Vocational School.

Mrs. Burke said she had known nothing of her son's intention to enlist in the Navy before taking that step, and the first she knew of it was after he had enlisted in the Navy and had been sent to San Diego, CA.

He received his discharge when he received the "yellow certificate," she said, on March 22 and returned to Eau Claire on April 1. He enrolled in the Eau Claire Vocational School and, later, under a permit issued by the school, he entered the employ of the Schwahn-Seyberth Company and, after a short period of employment there, went to the paper mill, where he has since been working.

At the time he received his "yellow certificate" of discharge from the Navy, Mrs. Burke said, her son thought that was the only discharge he was entitled to under the circumstances. It was after he applied for employment at the employment office here that he was entitled to an honorable discharge, and the matter was referred to Frank C. Eller, Local Service Officer, who took the matter up with Washington. 

Her son did not see any service outside the continental U.S., Mrs. Burke said, having spent all his time, while in the Navy, at San Diego.

Discharged "Vet" Rejoins Navy on His 17th Birthday

Charles Francis Acord, Route 3, Eau Claire, celebrated his 17th birthday February 2 by re-enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He enlisted in Minneapolis and was sent to Great Lakes, IL for training.

Acord enlisted for the first time in New Orleans, LA on November 12, 1942, when he was 14 year old. He received his "boot" training and served for 18 months at San Diego, CA, before Navy officials discovered that he was underage. He was given an honorable discharge and returned to his home in this city in April last year.

The youth, the son of Mrs. Verna Burke, had run away from home after a disagreement with his stepfather, according to his mother.

Since his return home, he has been the sole support of his mother, a widow for the second time, and three small brothers. He worked at the paper mill and, for the past five months, at the National Pressure Company plant. He joined the American Legion and is one of its youngest members.

Charles Francis Acord, Seaman Second Class, is spending a nine-day leave from the Great Lakes Naval Training Station at his home, 934 Cedar Street. He has completed "boot" training and expects a new assignment when he reports back at Great Lakes.

Acord enlisted in the Navy when 14 years of age and served 14 months, before Navy officials discovered he was under age and gave him an honorable discharge a year ago in April.

On his 17th birthday, February 2, last, he reenlisted.

Charels F. Acord, in the Naval Training Corps at San Diego, CA, and his mother, Mrs. J. J. Burke, are visiting at the home of Acord's grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. G. I. Brown, 721 Gilbert Avenue.