The American War Dads was a non-profit group started May 12, 1942 in Kansas City, Missouri, by Nat Milgrim, a grocery store executive. He got the inspiration for the group during a visit to his son at Camp Lee, Virginia. All of the men in his son's unit donated $1.25 from their pay to buy war bonds, an inspiration to Milgram.
"When I saw those boys do that, knowing they didn't have much left over after odds and ends are taken care of, I made up my mind fathers can give the boys some encouragement they aren't getting from anyone else," Milgram said in an AP wire news story dated May 12, 1942.
Milgrim's plan for the group was various volunteer opportunities to include letter-writing campaigns and care packages for servicemembers. He also hoped to ensure that inductees received a "rousing send-off" to camp. The only requirement for membership was one must have had a son or foster son serving in the military.
I have not been able to find much information on the organization online. However, it is clear that it was a popular idea as local chapters begun to spring up all over the United States. Based on various newspaper articles from the time it appears that the group turned in to a major national organization and it still has active chapters today, though I do not believe that the national headquarters still exists.
Pleasant Hill Historical Society, Pleasant Hill, Missouri and asked if they were familiar with the group. They found some articles on it in their files and will be sending me copies.
Is anyone familiar with the American War Dads? I would love to find out more so please share your stories.