WW2 Enlisted Mans pay scales


Firstly, please don't expect to be paid to re-enact, this information is only for interest. However it is handy when filling in the reproduction US Army pay books, so that everything is correct to the period. 

Modifiers to the table

Some Soldiers Earn Extra Pay. For every 3 years you spend in the service, your base pay is increased 5 percent. This is known as "longevity pay."

If you are awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, or the Soldier's Medal, you receive an additional $2 per month from the date of your act of heroism or extraordinary achievement. Each additional citation awarded in lieu of another medal brings an additional $2 per month.

If you are in the Air Corp and taking regular and frequent flights, you will receive additional pay amounting to 50 percent of your total base pay, longevity and foreign service pay, and any awards carrying compensation.

If you are a jumper in a parachute unit, either as a rated parachutist or as a student undergoing jump training and are not on flight-pay status, you will receive additional pay of $50 per month.

For foreign service, including Alaska, your base pay is increased 20 percent.


Soldiers on special assignments which make it impossible for them to eat at Army messes are given ration allowances. Men of the first three grades who choose to eat away from the post are given a monetary ration allowance; they may eat on the post, however, by paying for each meal.

Travel Pay is Allowed. If you are transferred on special orders and not as a member of a group in the charge of an officer, you will be given a travel order which you can exchange for a ticket. You will also be given meal tickets or an allowance in cash for meals.

"Stoppages" are Deductions. A "Stoppage" in your Army pay is a legal deduction. Stoppages are entered on the pay roll, and you can verify the amounts of your stoppages when you sign the pay roll.

The most common stoppages are deductions for laundry service and for the value of arms, equipment, or other Government property lost or destroyed through abuse or negligence, or for the cost of repairs of damages to such property. Forfeitures of pay through action by court martial are another example of pay stoppages.

If you fail to sign the pay roll or sign it incorrectly, you will be "red lined," which means that your name is crossed off the pay roll. You will not be paid at the regular time with the other men, but will have to wait until a later date.

Allotments of Pay (Class E)

A Class E allotment is a definite portion of your pay which you authorise to be paid to another person or to an institution, in a prescribed manner. (Do not confuse allotments with allowances. Allotments are purely voluntary on your part, and may be discontinued at any time you desire.)

Table A. Schedule of Initial Family Allowances.
Table B. Schedule of Monthly Family Allowances and Deductions.

Allowances Provide for Dependents

An allowance is money paid by the Government, plus an amount deducted from your own pay, provided for the support of your dependants.

Under the Servicemen's Allowance Act of 1942, as amended 25 October 1943, you may be entitled to a monthly allowance for persons who are dependent upon you for their main support. These may include a disabled husband, or children over 14 years of age who are dependent upon you, or parents to whom you have been the chief source of support. You will have to submit satisfactory evidence that they are chiefly dependent upon you.