With the outbreak of World War II, Caniff attempted to create a military version of Terry for the Camp Newspaper Service, a military syndicate that supplied features to small armed forces publications. Business complications prevented this, so Caniff created a new comic strip titled
Male Call. Its protagonist was Miss Lace, a shapely young woman who preferred enlisted men to officers.
This humorous weekly strip constantly stretched the tolerance of military censors and gave Caniff a special relationship with noncoms. He wrote and drew Male Call for four years without pay as his contribution to the war effort, because he had been classified 4F, unable to serve due to health reasons.