A4311. Director's General Administrative Files, 1942-1945. 13.5 cu. ft.
Arrangement:Arranged by topic.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, publications, regulations, and photographs documenting the director's administration of the Office of Civilian Protection with local war councils and other agencies involved in civil defense work. A significant amount of material details the initial organization of the office and the materials required to supply the various civil defense activities and stockpiles. Subordinate and related agencies represented in this series include American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Emergency Medical Service, Highway Repair and Debris Clearance Committee, and the federal Office of Civilian Defense. Also found is information regarding the protection of New York State's war industries.
Finding aids: Folder list.
A4300. Director's Correspondence with Local Civilian Protection Organizations, 1942-1945. 4 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by city or county.
This series contains correspondence between the director of the Office of Civilian Protection and officers of local civilian protection organizations concerning the administration of civil defense programs in order to coordinate the protection of life and property from possible bomb attacks. The letters discuss procedural and organizational issues.
Civil defense topics such as air raid drills, sabotage, blackouts, observation posts and airplane spotters, and communication methods are discussed, and organizational issues such as personnel changes, funding, and regulations are detailed. Some county directors included monthly reports detailing their unit's activities. Many letters were requests for civil defense pamphlets published by the War Council or the federal government and distributed by the Office of Civilian Protection. Correspondence with civil defense organizations in Maryland and Michigan is also found. During the early part of the war, many letters detail blackouts (scheduling, communication between civil protection directors, regulations, results, and local directors' frustration with the few number of practices held). Near the war's end, questions regarding the appropriateness of continued civil defense activities are discussed. The outgoing letters were signed by Director William N. Haskell, his successor Edward C. O. Thomas, or one of their assistants.
Finding aids: Folder list.
A4305. Director's Defense Preparedness Coordination Correspondence, 1941-1945. 2.95 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject.
This series contains correspondence, pamphlets, and posters sent between the Office of Civilian Protection's director and local, State, and federal organizations involved in civil defense and documents the director's work in coordinating defense preparations. Topics covered include air raids (regulations, warning systems), blackouts, evacuation (plans, procedures), insignia for volunteers, and medical contingencies. Individual report sheets from each community detail actions during practice air raids including responsiveness, personnel present, traffic movement, telephone service, accidents, and first aid status. Also found are drafts of a civil defense manual for New York State discussing the role of local war councils, police, and fire fighters, water and power supplies, emergency food and shelter, and air raids. Periodic reports from local civil defense operations of the OCP usually detail local defense director's name; address of operations center; projects undertaken; volunteers registered; problems encountered; assistance required; and training sessions conducted.
Finding aids: Folder list.
A4308. Eastern and Western District Deputy Directors' Local War Council Correspondence and Directives, 1941-1945. 6.75 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Organized into two subseries: Subseries 1, Western District Deputy Director's Correspondence and Directives, 1942-1945, 3.75 cu. ft., is alphabetical by city or county. Subseries 2, Eastern District Deputy Director's Correspondence and Directives, 1941-1945, 3 cu. ft., is alphabetical by city or county or by topic.
The Office of Civilian Protection (OCP) divided the state into three districts. John J. Farrell was deputy director of the Eastern District (initially called the Northern District) covering the area from Clinton County south to Dutchess County and west to Oneida County.E. G. Ziegler was in charge of the Western District, including everything west of Oneida County. Metropolitan New York City and Long Island formed the third district. The deputy directors acted as supervisors and liaisons between the federal and State directors of civil defense activities and the local war councils.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, telegrams, directives, and informational releases documenting the deputy directors' supervision of and assistance to local war councils. Topics include air observation posts, blackouts, and organizational and procedural issues. Correspondence from the United States Office of Civilian Defense, the OCP's director, members of the State War Council, and other organizations involved in civil defense work is also found in this series. Correspondence with, and directives to, the local war councils cover topics such as the explanation of regulations and their pertinence to specific situations; operational problems; some organizations' exemptions from blackout drills; organizational and personnel changes; volunteer recruitment and training; local war councils' responsibilities to inspect local facilities for defense readiness; and disaster response.
Finding aids: Folder list.
A3090. Printed Copies of Regulations Issued, 1942-1944. 1 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Chronological by date issued.
The director was empowered to issue necessary regulations to enforce rules adopted by the War Council. The regulations list procedures and rules to be followed, duration, and effective date. They deal primarily with conditions during air raid drills and blackouts. Occasionally pre-publication copies of printed regulations are included.
A4383. Civil Defense Issues Correspondence with Other States, 1941- 1945. 1 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by state or subject heading.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, pamphlets, maps, and newspapers exchanged between the Office of Civilian Protection and other states' civil defense organizations in order to share information on operations, regulations, and issues such as blackouts and airplane spotting. A collection of civil defense newspapers from various states constitutes a large part of the series, as do correspondence and other materials exchanged with Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Civil defense annual or special reports are frequently found, as well as newspaper clippings about civil defense activities and correspondence posing or responding to questions concerning civil defense activities. Other states represented in this series include Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Also found in this series is a mailing list of New York defense councils.
A4409. Correspondence with the Federal Office of Civilian Defense, 1942-1945. 8 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Arranged by topic.
This series contains correspondence, pamphlets, bulletins, manuals, and posters sent between the Office of Civilian Protection (OCP) and the federal Office of Civilian Defense (OCD). The records document the OCP's work in coordinating defense preparations. Topics covered by the records include air raids (regulations, warning systems); blackouts; evacuation (plans, procedures); fire defense; industrial plant protection; insignia for volunteers; medical contingencies; practice drills; rescue squads; traffic control; and volunteer training and appraisal. Monthly statistics concerning OCP activities reported to the OCD are also found in this series, as well as small amounts of correspondence with other organizations involved in civil defense activities.
A4384. Volunteers Fingerprint Identification Correspondence Files, 1942-1945. 1 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by county, then by municipality.General correspondence, arranged by topic, follows these records.
Because civil defense was considered a national security issue, civil defense volunteers were required to be fingerprinted. This allowed the Office of Civilian Protection to screen for criminals and would also allow for identification in case of catastrophe. The actual work of identifying the fingerprints was conducted by the New York State Department of Corrections' Division of Identification. This series contains correspondence, monthly reports, and memoranda concerning the procedures and operation of the fingerprint identification program. Most of the correspondence consists of routine transmittal letters from local war councils to the Division of Identification requesting fingerprint identification or forms. The series also includes correspondence between the division and both the State War Council and the local war councils detailing the procedures, personnel, and finances involved in the division's operation. Also found are monthly reports listing the total number of prints received and from what organizations, including local war councils and military bases in and out of State.
A4385. Awards Committee Case Files, 1943-1944. 1 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Numerical by case number.
While none of the Office of Civilian Protection units were required to respond to an enemy bombing attack during the war, many did respond to other emergencies such as train wrecks, flooding, and severe winter storms. In these crises, the OCP units responded in much the same way as they would have in the case of enemy attack: providing first aid, responding to fires, providing emergency shelter, and assisting with the other exigencies of disasters. This series contains correspondence and other materials sent to the OCP's Committee on Awards from local volunteers who nominated individuals for letters of commendation in recognition of actions taken during emergencies. Case files contain letters, memoranda, photographs, and newspaper clippings documenting the reasons for each nomination, along with a letter containing the committee's decision. The committee could issue a letter or recommend that a local chairman issue a letter, as well as reject the nomination altogether.
A4386. War Plant Protection Instructional Materials, 1942-1943. 0.5 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Organized by topic or geographic area.
This series contains lecture transcripts, syllabi,correspondence, memoranda, maps, and a test with answer key documenting the Office of Civilian Protection's two-day training institutes held throughout the State to instruct war industry plant managers in basic defense procedures to avoid damage from enemy attacks. The materials discuss issues such as training personnel to respond to emergencies; reducing work place hazards such as fires and accidents; preventing espionage and sabotage; fighting fires from incendiary and other bombs; protection from gas attacks; building camouflage; and in-plant bomb shelters. Sessions were held throughout the State, and a folder is found for each of the following locations: Buffalo, Elmira, Hempstead, Jamestown, New York City, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Utica, and White Plains.
A4387. Local War Council Volunteer Participation Information and Statistics, 1942-1944. 1.2 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Chronological by month.
This series contains carbon copies of monthly report forms compiled by the State and local war councils and sent to the United States Office of Civil Defense Statistics Section. The local war councils would send their forms to the Office of Civilian Protection, which compiled the totals for a consolidated report, and then sent the originals to the federal office.
The local and State report forms are nearly identical in layout, with both entitled "Civilian Defense Report." The local report form provides name of local war council, address, population of area served, and names of all subsidiary councils. Both forms provide the number of full and part-time staff; staff who are paid, volunteer, or on loan from another agency; total volunteer personnel; civil defense volunteers; and "service corps" volunteers (all non-civil defense programs such as child care, salvage, health, and housing). For the civil defense and "service corps" volunteers, the number of members trained and in-training is also listed. A last section reports on the readiness of air raid and blackout systems. Many local war council forms are incomplete, while others are accompanied by correspondence or memoranda expanding on the numbers in the reports and circumstances which affected activities. Reports span August 1942 through October 1943 (with the exception of March 1943), and March 1944.
A4388. War Plant Blackout Practice Exemption and Inspection Correspondence, 1942-1944. 0.5 cu. ft.
Arrangement: By topic.
This series contains correspondence to the Office of Civilian Protection (OCP) from war plants requesting exemptions from blackout practices and correspondence from the U.S. War Department listing which plants the OCP was responsible to inspect for civil defense purposes. Exemptions were granted to industrial plants involved in war manufacturing for which the blackout practice would interrupt production. The OCP shared industrial plant inspection with the War Department, usually reviewing the facilities of smaller, less sensitive plants for civil defense readiness which included blackout procedures and equipment, camouflage, and evacuation plans.
A4389. Local Water Companies Survey and Equipment Inventory, ca. 1942. 0.4 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Numerical by zone, then alphabetical by municipality.
This series contains surveys of local water companies detailing personnel, equipment, supplies, and facilities. This information was collected by the Office of Civilian Protection to prepare for the needs caused by possible enemy bombing including fires and the destruction of water supplies. Each 36-page survey form lists the total number of personnel of each water company involved in operations and pipe laying, as well as the number and type of supplies. The form also includes the names and addresses of water superintendents; water works experts, and consultants, as well as laboratories which could test for bacteriological and chemical purity; chlorinators at private facilities, reservoirs and elevated tanks; and pumping stations. Also discussed or found in the form are brief descriptions of possible sabotage threats.
A4390. Newspaper Clippings, 1941-1944. 1 cu. ft.
Arrangement: By topic.
This series contains newspaper clippings documenting the activities of the Office of Civilian Protection (OCP) in its efforts to instruct people on civil defense procedures to be used in the event of enemy attack. The clippings discuss air raids (drills and results); blackouts (notices of practice and results); county war council civil defense issues; and OCP administrators' meetings with civilians to discuss civil defense issues.
A4393. Deputy Directors' Correspondence, 1942-1944. 1 cu. ft.
Arrangement: Alphabetical by topic.
This series contains copies of correspondence between the Office of Civilian Protection's deputy directors and individuals and organizations involved in civil defense work. The copies were sent to the OCP's director to keep him informed of activities and programs. In some cases, the deputy directors responded to correspondence sent to the director. Topics discussed include blackout practices, blood plasma collection, Civil Air Patrol, disasters to which the OCP responded, and local personnel.
Finding aids: Folder list.
A4394. General Administrative Files, 1942-1945. 7 cu. ft.
Arrangement: By topic.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, booklets, and reports documenting the Office of Civilian Protection's efforts to establish and monitor adequate civil defense measures for New York State. This series contains correspondence with local war councils documenting personnel, activities, and equipment inventory; monthly reports from deputy directors on local war councils' civil defense organization and status; bulletins, regulations, and memoranda from the OCP's director to local civil defense directors, including Official Memoranda Numbers 1-24 and 38-91; "white sheets" documenting air raid drill practices and listing the stations, persons receiving the calls, and the date and time the call was placed; a secret report discussing civil defense preparations in Germany; a complete organization and program manual from the United States Office of Civilian Defense; a booklet from the New York City Citizens Defense Corps entitled "Manual for Public Works Officers;" and New York City precinct maps.
Correspondence found in this series discusses airplane spotting; awards and commendations; blackout practices; blood plasma collection; cooperative civil defense efforts with Canadians; equipment distribution; medical personnel and equipment requirements; personnel address changes; volunteer recruitment and training; war industry plant protection; and the Wayland train wreck of 1943 in which the OCP's local unit provided emergency medical assistance.