District War Bonds Officer
In accordance with a directive of the Secretary of the Navy that the Navy cooperate with the Government in the sale of Defense Savings Bonds and Stamps,1 the Commandant established on 13 October 1941 a District Headquarters General Committee, with himself as Chairman, to coordinate the program at Headquarters. The function of the committee was to bring the Defense Savings Campaign to the attention of employees and to encourage them to purchase Defense Savings Securities. It was directed that Group Agents be appointed by the various departments, with the understanding that their services were to be employed over an extended period. The District Legal Officer was charged with supervising the program.2
It was not until 21 September 1942, however, that a District Coordinator, War Savings Bonds, was ordered by the Chief of Naval Personnel to report to the Commandant for the purpose of coordinating the program throughout the district. His duty was to promote the sale of War Savings Bonds with emphasis on the Naval Allotment Program and the Civilian Payroll Reservation plans. He disseminated promotional material and information to War Bonds Officers at activities throughout the District. He also made visits to district activities in order to work with the local War Bonds Officers.
Traveling approximately every other week, he paid about three visits a year to each activity. He maintained liaison with the Coordinator for War Bonds, under the Secretary of the Navy, and with the War Bonds Issuing Agent and Certifying Officer at District Headquarters, who was under the District Disbursing Officer.
Beginning in December 1942, there were two cash War Bond Drives each year, on Independence Day and Pearl Harbor Day, and it was a function of the District War Bonds Officer to promote each of these campaigns. One step in sponsoring a drive was to prepare a promotional letter to the district activities for the Commandant to sign. The District Public Information Office always gave some aid, though newspapers seldom gave much space to promoting the drives. Various schemes were used for getting Navy personnel to sell bonds to civilians. Certificates of merit were given to activities that had over ninety percent of their personnel buy bonds, and the Commandant signed special certificates for personnel who bought $1,000 bonds. The Secretary of the Navy congratulated the Commandant in July 1944 on the Eighth Naval District's having led all Naval activities with over $4,900,000 in extra cash Independence Day bond purchases.3 In the Pearl Harbor drive of the same year the district invested over$5,000,000 in bonds.
Yet in proportion to the time and effort spent in promoting this, the cash drives did not bring such satisfactory results as the allotment plan. The District War Bonds Officer used various devices
to promote systematic investment of funds in bonds. When civilian employees at Naval activities got a general raise in July 1945, he had cards attached to their checks urging the investment of the additional cash in war bonds. The final figures on the allotment campaign completed among military personnel in February 1945 brought commendation from the Secretary of the Navy to the Eighth Naval District for being in first place with a final percentage of 78.8.4
With his mission practically completed, and with the Japanese "hanging on the ropes," the District War Bonds Officer was included in the ten percent reduction of personnel that was effected just before the war ended.
1. SecNav ltr. Ser. L12-2(410801), dtd. 1 Aug. 1941. 2. Dist. Hq. Order No. 20-41, dtd. 13 Oct. 1941. 3. Dist. Memo. No. 18-44, dtd. 20 July 1944. 4. Dist. Memo. No. 5-45, dtd. 18 Apr. 1945.
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