No, Byrd worked in shipyards in Baltimore and Tampa during World War II, which raises a couple of interesting points:
First, how did a young man, supposedly in prime condition, avoid military service during the war? In the various articles I’ve read about Byrd, there is no mention of his draft status, or any physical conditions that might have disqualified him. Indeed, welding in a shipyard is hard work; if Byrd could handle those conditions, I’m guessing he was fit enough to serve—but didn’t. Remember, this is the same guy who derided George W. Bush as a “desk bound” president.
Additionally, the war years mark the same period when Byrd was most active in the KKK. We know he organized a chapter back in West Virginia, but what about his time in Tampa and Baltimore? I’m guessing that Bobby had some interaction with the chapters in those locations as well, but (naturally) the MSM never bothered to inquire about that chapter in “Sheets” long life and career.
Not that unusal in WWII if your job was deemed necessary for the war effort. My Grandfather was drafted but was an operator in a glass container factory that at the time ran most medicine bottles in the country. His plant manager sent a letter to the draft board and kept him from being drafted becuse of his skilled job necessary for the war effort.
“how did a young man, supposedly in prime condition, avoid military service during the war”
I believe that certain occupations deemed vital to the War Effort were exempt from the draft. Working in a shipyard could have been one of those jobs.