They Also Served --- Office of War Training
After the United States entered World War II, civil defense workers and other civilians required specific, accurate training to handle the variety of tasks needed to deal with the possible threats facing New Yorkers. Thus, the Office of War Training was formed on June 15, 1942 to act as a comprehensive service agency for planning statewide civilian training, including the acquisition or production of instructional materials and films. The office also developed and maintained standards for civilian war instruction and assisted in coordinating and supervising all war training programs. From its inception until it was discontinued in March 1944, Albert H. Hall served as the office's director.
The office worked for numerous State and War Council agencies, developing programs for fire defense, plant protection, air raid wardens, block leaders, civilian defense drivers, school bus drivers, emergency sanitation and water services, child care, gas reconnaissance officers, and war gas protection. The office would consult with the agency requesting training, package information for instructor training, then bring together persons from around the state for instruction on specific topics and teaching methods. These persons then served as instructors in their local communities. The biggest projects involved plant protection, war gas training, and other projects concentrating on protection of life and property.