Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pelham Goes To War: Pelham's Reaction to the Attack on Pearl Harbor, "A Date Which Will Live In Infamy"

By the evening of Sunday, December 7, 1941, the shocking news that a dastardly sneak attack had decimated the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii earlier in the day circulated throughout Pelham.  Anger and patriotic fervor blossomed in the breast of every citizen in the Town.  Everyone knew that a declaration of War against Japan was imminent and that the nation was about to enter another World War.  

Events in Pelham during the days immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor proceeded at a fast and furious pace.  The evening of December 7, as many residents were first learning of the attack, Pelham Police were identifying Japanese Nationals who resided in Pelham.  When they learned that one of those residents was making an effort to depart the country, they alerted authorities.  By midnight, the FBI picked up that resident and took him to Ellis Island where other Japanese Nationals were being held.  Other Japanese Nationals living in Pelham were instructed to remain in their homes.

The next day, President Roosevelt delivered his famous "A Date Which Will Live In Infamy" speech.  The residents of Pelham were glued to their radios to hear the address.  Barely an hour later, the United States Congress declared war against Japan.

On Tuesday, December 9, air raid jitters gripped the New York metropolitan area and shook Pelham to its core.  Some newspapers issued "Extra" editions claiming that enemy aircraft were approaching New York.  The fear in Pelham was so overwhelming that Pelham schools declared an emergency and emptied as students rushed home to their families.  Air raid wardens were activated for the first time, although the "all clear" was sounded before the Wardens had to take any significant actions. 

On Wednesday, December 10, some worried Pelham families began to receive news they had awaited since Sunday.  There were Pelhamites at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. The first word was received directly from one of several Pelhamites who were present at Pearl Harbor during the attack when Lieutenant Commander Guy P. Garland of the U.S. Navy sent a cable to his mother, Mrs. Thomas L. Byrne of the Pelham-Biltmore that he, his wife and nine-month-old baby were unharmed. 

Like other communities, Pelham already had been preparing for war for many months.   For example, in anticipation of War, the Town of Pelham previously had created a Defense Council to coordinate efforts to defend the Town as necessary.  In fact, the Defense Council already was in the process of opening a local "Defense Headquarters" at 35 Fifth Avenue across the street from Town Hall from which emergency efforts would be directed if necessary.  (The first meeting of the Defense Council in its new headquarters building was held on Tuesday, December 9.)

In the days immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Town of Pelham put its defense efforts into overdrive.  By the end of the week, many, many steps had been undertaken to prepare Pelham for the onset of war.  

The Town was divided into four zones.  Officials designated Air Raid Zone Wardens for each zone.  The Town also published an appeal for volunteers willing to serve as Air Raid Wardens, asking interested persons to submit their names to their local Zone Warden.  Local Air Raid Zone Wardens, in turn, designated Sector Air Raid Wardens who were assigned to various sectors within each Zone.  Air raid drills were held in local schools to begin to work out the tactics for moving large numbers of young people to safety.  

The chairman of the local Health Committee, Walter Brundage, established and equipped three first aid stations at the Pelham Manor Fire Department, the Pelham Heights Police Station, and the Village of North Pelham Fire Department building.  

Authorities published instructions in the local paper on what to do when a "blackout" is called.  They also published instructions regarding the use of the local fire department whistles as air raid sirens and the steps to be taken in case of an air raid alarm.

Officials also appointed a new head of the auxiliary fire fighting units to co-operate with the fire chiefs in expanding forces to fight emergency fires.  Pelham volunteers readied Red Cross and Defense Council ambulance units for emergency service.  The Pelham Branch of the American Red Cross issued a "Mobilization Call" seeking volunteers and funds, hoping to raise $14,000. 

Worried Pelham officials instructed residents to keep fire extinguishers and fire-fighting equipment readily available. Sand also was stockpiled and stored in public spaces for firefighting purposes.  The Town Defense Council created a Civilian Defense Volunteer Office to receive applications for enrollment in associated civil defense training courses.   

As one would expect, the lead story in the first issue of The Pelham Sun published after the dastardly attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii addressed the attack and the Town's efforts to prepare for war.  The article is transcribed below, followed by a host of additional articles from the same issue of the newspaper published on December 12, 1941 -- five days after the date which will, forever, live in infamy.

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I have written before of Pelham's reaction to what its local paper described as "murderous attack without warning upon United States naval forces in Hawaii," including transcribing one of the many articles transcribed below.  See  Fri., Aug. 26, 2005:  Pelham's Reaction to the "Date Which Will Live in Infamy": December 7, 1941.  Below are transcriptions of a host of newspaper articles that appeared in The Pelham Sun in its first issue after the attack.

The USS Arizona Burning After the Japanese Attack on Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Source:  Wikimedia Commons.

Registration For Defense Activities Rises Rapidly
Reassuring Reports Received From Pelham Men At Pearl Harbor Naval Base; Citizens Will Be Informed Of Service That They Can Render In Civilian Defense; Pelham Girds for War.

The news of the passing week is historic.  On Sunday a murderous attack without warning upon United States naval forces in Hawaii.  On Monday news of our losses of ships and men and the loss of two major British ships in the fighting with Japan.  On Tuesday an air raid alarm which caused some newspapers to issue extras declaring that enemy planes were approaching New York, caused Pelham schools to be emptied in emergency fashion.  On Thursday Italy and Germany both declared war upon the United States.

In common with the rest of the United States the news of Sunday's treacherous attack aroused both national anger and national patriotic fervor.  Registrations in all classes of local defense units rose rapidly.  On Tuesday night the defense council met and reviewed the plans made for defensive measures.  Auxiliary police forces reported by Robert Shaw as ready.  The force of wardens under Harry D. Wright is perfecting its final steps.  Kenneth R. Kelly was appointed head of the auxiliary fire fighting units to co-operate with the fire chiefs in expanding forces.  Pamphlets and bulletins of information will be issued instructing citizens what to do in event of air raids.

Red Cross and defense council ambulance units are ready for service.  Residents have been advised to keep fire extinguishing utensils handy.  Loads of sand will be delivered to public places where it may be obtained.  Anxious parents with sons in the armed forces in Hawaii hearing casualties were heavy sought information.  Up to the present no Pelham casualties have been reported.

Cable Received from Lieut. Garland at Pearl Harbor

The first word received from a Pelhamite in the Pacific war zone was received here by cable on Wednesday.  Lieut. Commander Guy P. Garland, U.S.N. sent word to his mother, Mrs. Thomas L. Byrne of Pelham-Biltmore that he, his wife and nine-months-old baby were unharmed.  Commander Garland is stationed at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base.  He was a member of the Class of 1929 at the United States Naval Academy and was recently promoted to Lieut. Commander.

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'Don't Worry', Cablegram From Wife of Lieut. Harris

'Don't worry,' was the text of a cablegram received on Wednesday from the wife of Lieut. David Harris, U.S.N., stationed at Honolulu.  The cablegram was received by Mrs. Galen M. Harris of No. 420 Fowler avenue, Pelham Manor, mother of Lieut. Harris.

Lieut. David Harris is stationed aboard the U.S.S. Destroyer Flusser, at Pearl Harbor. His wife and child are living at Pearl Harbor. Lieut. Harris was graduated from the Naval Academy, Annapolis in 1938. 

 Ensign Warren Flynn, son of Mr. and Mrs. David G. Flynn of Wynnewood Road, is stationed aboard the Battleship Maryland at Pearl Harbor. Ensign Flynn had been aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma now reported sunk, but was transferred to his present ship on Oct. 20. Ensign Flynn received his commission in June. In a letter recently received by his mother, Ensign Flynn told of having dinner at Honolulu with Lieut. and Mrs. Harris.  

Mr. and Mrs. Purnell Jr., Safe in Hawaii  

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Balet of Pelham Heights received word by cable yesterday "All is well," from their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Purnell jr., of Honolulu.  Mrs. Purnell jr., the former Miss Marie V. Balet was married in Honolulu on Oct. 8 last. Her husband is the son of Captain and Mrs. William R. Purnell of Honolulu. Capt. Purnell is with the Asiatic Fleet.  

Three Enlisted Men Stationed in Hawaii  

Sergt. H. Richard Spurway is attached to Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 97th Coast Artillery, Fort Weaver, Honolulu. His mother, Mrs. Hubert V. Spurway, of No. 174 Sparks avenue, Pelham Heights, received a letter from him last week.  

Pvt. Roy Sainburg is attached to Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 97th Coast Artillery, Anti-Aircraft, Fort Weaver, Honolulu. His family received a letter from him on Monday.  

Pvt. Harry Resner, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Resner of No. 580 Sixth avenue is another Pelhamite who has been stationed on Hawaii. Resner, who volunteered in the U.S. Army more than a year ago is a member of Co. C. Ninth Inf. at Schofield Barracks.  

Sergt. Paul Farrell Enroute to Manila  

No word has been received from Sergt. Paul Farrell, son of Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Farrell of No. 121 Fifth avenue, who sailed for Manila from California on Dec. 3. Sergt. Farrell, who was drafted on May 28, recently visited with his parents before returning to Fort Ord, Calif., from which post he was to be transferred to Manilla. On his arrival at Fort Ord last week he notified his parents that they would not hear from him until he had reached a permanent post in the Philippines.  

In order to relieve anxiety of friends, readers of The Pelham Sun are urged to notify this newspaper whenever they receive information relative to Pelhamites or other members of their families in the War Zone.  

If New Rochelle or Mount Vernon stage test blackouts, the Pelhams will participate in the program, village officials have signified. "It will be good practise for us to black out at the same time that our neighboring communities do so," said Mayor Dominic Amato of North Pelham. "I think that whenever New York City stages a blackout, all of Westchester should participate, also. 

Pelham's first actual war defense call was received here at 1.45 p.m. on Tuesday when the police departments were notified to summon all Air Raid Wardens to be prepared for duty. Chief Warden Harry D. Wright was notified, but the "all clear" notice came before any action was taken.  Pelham school children were dismissed from schools at 2.30 o'clock.  

It was announced that the "alert" was a precautionary test rehearsal.  The Board of Education last night authorized Supt. of Schools, Joseph C. Brown, to purchase metal buckets for sand and a supply of flashlights for possible emergency use in the local schools. The buckets and flashlights will be stored at strategic points in the school buildings. 

The Pelhamwood Association at the meeting held last night in the Town Hall pledged all possible co-operation with local school officials in completing and carrying out emergency plans and drills in the schools.  

The first meeting which the Town of Pelham Defense Council has held in its new headquarters, No. 35 Fifth avenue, took place Tuesday evening, with a large attendance and lively interest. Mayor Dominic Amato, of North Pelham, and Mayor Lester W. Du Bois, of Pelham Manor, with members of the staffs of the three village governments, were present and took part in some of the discussions. Supervisor-elect, Thos. B. Fenlon was present as an interested spectator at this stage.  

On the invitation of President William L. Chenery of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Joseph C. Brown met with the Council to discuss plans for adequate systems for giving community warnings in the event of bonafide air raid alarms or other emergencies. He and President Chenery discussed the events of the day, and the confusion which had resulted from messages sent out by New York City police and other public authorities, by radio.  

Mayors Amato and Du Bois referred to the County Defense Council's "report center" and the messages received on the teletypes of the local police departments.  

At the suggestion of Chairman Ransom of the Defense Council, a committee of three, with former to act, was authorized to confer with the Mayors of the three villages, designate an official "report center" for the town, and establish a suitable system of warnings by sirens, as well as communication with the public schools and the Chief Warden. Chairman Ransom named as such Committee from the Council, Messrs. Clarence L. Law, William L. Chenery and Robert H. Shaw, who went into conference with the Village Mayors.  

Chief Warden Harry D. Wright reported the selection of Zone and Sector Wardens and many of the post Wardens, but regretted the unwillingness of many citizens to give the time necessary to take the training and do the work. "I have had a hard job finding the right men and women for these important places," he said, "particularly in finding people who are in Pelham by day and are able and willing to give the time necessary for training as Wardens." He asked that all citizens be urged to respond to requests that they serve their community as Wardens.  

The completion of the training of the first class of Police reserves and Auxiliaries was reported by Chairman Robert H. Shaw in charge of that division. About 45 will receive their certificates on Dec. 15th, but may continue in training, so as to be fit and available when needed. A new class will be started soon.  

Dr. Walter H. Brundage, chairman of the Health Committee, reported the establishment and equipment [sic] of three first aid stations, at the Fire Department in Pelham Manor, the Police Station in Pelham Heights, and the Fire District building in North Pelham. He discussed other phases of the plans for the medical handling of emergencies if they arise.  

On the certification of the Westchester County Medical Association, Dr. Brundage was elected Chief of the Emergency Medical Service, under the Town Defense Council.  

Kenneth R. Kelly was elected Chairman of the Council's Division B., for the training of firefighting auxiliaries and reserves, in place of George R. Martin, resigned. Harold W. Garton and Clements Boyer will be Vice Chairmen. Training classes for these auxiliaries will be conducted Friday evening, Dec. 19, by Fire Chiefs John J. Brennan and James T. Bollettieri as instructors, at the fire houses in Pelham Manor and North Pelham. Enrollment of those willing to serve is invited, particularly those with some fire department experience.  

Martin J. Alger, vice-chairman, was elected Chairman of Division D., on Transportation and Communications, in the place of Alfred Coates, resigned. The Council adjourned to listen to President Roosevelt's address to the Nation. Announcements of other plans and emergency provisions by the Town Defense Council in cooperation with the village authorities will be found elsewhere in this issue.  Colonel Frederick L. Devereux chairman of the Westchester County Defense Council, has warned against undue excitement and hysteria resulting from radio reports or rumors of impending air attacks.  

He stated that the Westchester County Defense Council had its Control Room in operation and would receive directly from the Army Information Center appropriate warnings. In the event of impending air attack, the Defense Council will notify each community in the county. All necessary instructions for the guidance of the public will be issued by local municipal authorities.  

It is necessary that telephone lines be kept open for official business and that no unnecessary telephone calls be made to police departments, municipal offices or defense councils. 

It is imperative that the civilian population continue to go about its business as usual and refrain from excitement."  

Source: War Declaration Finds Town Ready For Defense Service, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, cols. 5-8 & p. 4, cols. 1-4.

"Police Nab Japanese Ready To Leave; Information Supplied By Countryman-----

Pelham police lost no time in checking up on Japanese nationals when it became known that Japan had attacked U.S. Pacific territory.  Early on Sunday evening the police had ascertained that there were only three Japanese families residing in the town, all of them in Pelham Manor.  From one of those individuals the Pelham Manor police gained information that J. Tomohiko Midzuno, of No. 472 Manor Lane, was making plans to return to Japan.  Chief James McCaffrey immediately notified the sheriff's office, and shortly after midnight, two Federal Bureau of Investigation men came to Pelham to pick him up.  In company with Lieut. Lawrence Fowler and Sergt. Charles P. Barmley the F.B.I. men took Midzuno into custody at his home, and took him to Ellis Island.

Midzuno, who is listed as general manager of the New York office of the importing firm of Morimura Bros., is said to be associated with the Japanese Consulate in New York City.

In accordance with the orders issued by Governor Herbert Lehman, the police have advised the members of the Japanese families to remain in their homes."

Source:  Police Nab Japanese Ready To Leave; Information Supplied By Countryman, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, cols. 7-8.  

Harry D. Wright is Chief Warden; Plan is Outlined for information of Pelhamites.

An Air Raid Warden System is now in course of organization in the Town of Pelham.  The local Defense Council has appointed Harry D. Wright of No. 640 Esplanade as Chief Warden.  The town has been divided into zones as follows:

Zone 1.  Village of North Pelham.  Zone Warden, Edward B. Harder, No. 401 Third avenue.

Zone 2.  Village of Pelham; Zone Warden, Ralph Neumuller, No. 219 Boulevard. 

Zone 3.  Village of Pelham Manor, north of Boston Post Road; Zone Warden, Clifford T. Weihman, No. 410 Monterey avenue.

Zone 4.  Village of Pelham Manor, south of the Boston Post Road; Zone Warden, G. Hoyle Wright, No. 1333 Manor Circle.

Each zone has been divided into a number of sectors which in turn are subdivided into Warden Posts, all of which are under the supervision of a Post Warden.  The names and addresses of all Ward-

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ens will be published as soon as lists are completed.  It is important that the Wardens become acquainted as soon as possible with the persons residing on their posts.

Briefly the function of an Air Raid Warden is primarily to act as a liaison between the persons living on his post, and the constituted village authorities, and the town Defense Council.  In times of disaster or emergency it is the Warden's duty to immediately notify the local defense headquarters of any situation which may arise.

Headquarters will then immediately dispatch to the appointed place the necessary equipment to deal with the emergency, such as police, fire or health services.  When the duly constituted authorities arrive, the Warden's primary responsibility is at an end, but he will of course assist in any way as directed by the proper authorities.

The specific duties of a Warden are as follows:

1.  Notify proper authorities of the existence and probable extent of an emergency.  

2.  Warn people placed in jeopardy by the emergency.  

3.  Control the movement of people in his area.

4.  In the event of an air raid, protect against danger by cutting off gas, water and electric services where necessary.  

5.  Serve as liaison between the public and the services (principally the Police and Fire Departments) normally responsible for public safety and at all times cooperate with these services and with the Defense Council.

The Defense Council has planned training courses for all Wardens in order that they may become proficient in their duties.

The Warden service is of course voluntary and it is possible that one may be temporarily absent from his post at the precise time of an emergency, and therefore it would be advisable for anyone who is present at the scene of an emergency to immediately telephone the police or fire headquarters in their respective village.  

All those wishing to volunteer as Air Raid Wardens should send their names to the Zone Warden of their village area, or communicate with Defense Headquarters, No. 35 Fifth avenue, in the Pelham Branch Bank building."

Source:  TOWN ZONED IN WARDENS' PLAN, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, col. 2 & p. 8, cols. 3-4.  

Pending the completion and distribution of a detailed pamphlet to all householders, the Town of Pelham Defense Council has asked the Pelham Sun to give conspicuous place to the following information:

Official  warning of any air raid will be given on the Pelham Manor and North Pelham fire whistles.  The number and nature of the blasts, for a County-wide system of warnings will be decided at a conference of municipal authorities and Defense Council chairmen, in White Plains tonight and will be announced in special bulletins by the Pelham Sun.

The Control Room in White Plains is manned 24 hours a day, to receive air raid warnings from the Army Information Service.  Warnings received will be sent immediately to local police and Defense Council authorities by teletype.  If a warning is received in Pelham from White Plains, it will go first to the Pelham High School and then to Chief Warden Harry D. Wright.

We believe that arrangements have been made by Army, Navy, and Air forces since Tuesday, to eliminate false alarms through misunderstanding and to check against false information.

If an alarm comes, the things to do are:

Do not get panicky and do not permit anyone to cause confusion or fear.  Above all, be calm.


Get off the streets but don't run -- walk.

If within five minutes of home go there.  If at home stay there.  Home is the safest place.  Don't mingle with crowds.

If more than five minutes from home seek shelter in the  

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center portions of nearest building.  Avoid top and lower stories of buildings.  Stay away from windows and outside walls.  Avoid elevators.

Motorists should park cars and seek shelter.  Put out lights.  Avoid use of telephone.


Close windows tightly.  Pull down shades.

Shut off all gas ranges, heaters and furnaces.  Turn off gas and electric connections if you can.

Fill bathtub and buckets for use of firemen if main breaks.

Go to room with fewest windows and lie down.  Keep radio turned on.  Leave at least one window open.  

If incendiary bombs fall, spray water on them.  Never use splash or stream of water, as the bomb will explode.  Bomb will burn fifteen minutes if left alone, only two minutes if sprayed.  Don't use a chemical fire extinguisher on bombs.  

Co-operate with air-raid wardens and with regular and auxiliary police.  Obey instructions.  Do not get excited.  The dangerous thing in emergency is confusion; uncertainty; panic.


Telephone immediately any events you see to your Village police station.  

Your Village and Town authorities, your Chief of Emergency Medical Service (Dr. Walter H. Brundage), your Air Raid Wardens (Harry D. Wright, Chief Warden), and your Town Defense Council, are continuously on the job, to do what may be needed in any emergency."

Source:  NOTICE TO ALL PELHAMITES, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, cols. 2-3 & p. 8, cols. 3-4.  


In view of the fact that 'blackouts' may at any time be ordered by the Westchester County Defense Council or by the Town of Pelham Defense Council in cooperation with the authorities of the three villages, the following information to all residents of the Pelhams has been issued by the Town Defense Council at the request of the County Defense Council.  All residents of the Pelhams are asked to read, and to be ready to carry out their part in the following, during any called blackout or in the event of actual emergency because of air raids.

In the event of a blackout the Westchester Lighting Co. has arranged to at once extinguish all street and highway lighting.  

Owners of all public buildings, stores, apartment houses, illuminated signs, and occupants of private residences will be held responsible for blackout enforcement.  All window skylights and doors ought to be masked with dark blinds, curtains, shades or other means so that no light inside such premises can be visible from the outside.  Owners should view their houses, etc., from the outside to see how effective their blackout is.

Illuminated Signs or Advertising Billboards:

All illuminated advertisements and signs other than those installed specifically for air raid protection purposes will be prohibited during the blackout.  

For your information the most effective procedure is hereby given:

Inside Lights

All indoor lights should be restricted to the minimum necessary to carry on normal activities within the building; and steps should be taken, in the case of all homes and business premises, to mask all windows, doors, and skylights so no light is visible from outside.


Windows can be masked by opaque blinds or curtains which may consist of dark blue or green glazed cloth, or thick black or brown paper.  Blinds should overlap the whole window opening and should be mounted on rods secured in guides or by [illegible] that they will not be displaced by wind when the window is broken or open.  It is important that no light should show around the edges of the blinds.  This can be accomplished by painting the edges with dark paint about 1 inch around.

Where the light from a window may be dispensed with, the window may be made lightproof by closing it with a screen made of timber, tin plate, plywood, corrugated paper, etc. Althernatively, the glass may be coated with a dark opaque paint, provided that blankets or tarpaulins are kept in reserve as temporary covers to prevent exposure of light if the glass is broken.  

It is often impractical to arrange lightproof blinds for skylights and other horizontal glass surfaces.  In some cases, movable screens independently supported are a satisfactory means of preventing the escape of light through skylights.  In other cases, internally fixed tarpaulins or externally constructed  movable screens may solve the problem.  It is imperative that the escape of light through opened doors be prevented and a heavily internally hung curtain or blanking may be used or a vestibule with double doors so that one could always be closed.

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Shading Indoor Lights

Since lightproof windows, skylights, and doors may be shattered by high explosive bombs, it is important that all indoor lights in homes and business premises be shaded so as to prevent direct light from being cast above the horizontal, and to confine it to the smallest area required to be lighted.  In addition, all lights should be connected to a single switch, so that they can be instantly extinguished in the event of damage causing exposure of lighting.

Road Vehicles

Restrictions will be imposed on all lights carried by road vehicles during the blackout.  Automobile headlights will only be allowed when heavily screened and dimmed so as to be invisible from the air.  This can be accomplished by the use of heavily screened hoods or masks which may be purchased.  For the immediate emergency automobile headlights should be painted black from the top halfway down the glass, causing the light to be thrown on the ground instead of up.  Interior lighting in public vehicles will be prohibited if it cannot be obscured for the duration of the blackout.  

Aids to Traffic Moements

Adequate means for aiding movement of vehicles will be required in all streets likely to carry considerable volume of traffic.

Such aids to traffic movement under blackout conditions comprise the following:  1.  Screened traffic signals; 2.  Warning and directional signs; 3.  Painting on street curbs, trees, posts and pavements; 4.  Lighting of obstruction.

Traffic signal lights are kept in operation but are masked by opaque paint, leaving an opening for the emission of light in the form of a Maltese cross, 3 in. long and 1/4 inch wide.

Traffic signs, such as 'One Way Only' and 'No Left Turn,' route numbers and advance direction signs are also kept in operation but they are screened from above and are so dimmed as to be legible under blackout conditions, at a distance of 100 ft. horizontally but are not noticeable a few hundred feet above the street.

White or luminous paint and dim, well-screened indicator lights are used to mark curbs, trees and posts that flank streets and roadways and also to indicate the line of the road, obstructions, and danger points.  

Obstructions on all streets and roadways, such as safety islands, trees, etc., must be indicated by dimmed and well-screened lights that are not noticeable a few hundred feet above the street.

Lighting restrictions and blackouts are an important feature of precautionary measures against air attack, and they are effective only to the extent that the public wholeheartedly cooperates with the authorities in following the regulations and the ARW and police are vigilant in seeing that violations of the regulations are promptly corrected.

Chairman Westchester Defense Council"

Source:  WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF "BLACKOUT," The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, cols. 2-6 & p. 8, cols.  2-3.

"Teachers Accompany  Grade School Pupils Home When Raid Alarm Sounds

Supt. of Schools Joseph C. Brown yesterday announced that air raid precautionary measures in the local schools had already been successfully tried out in two elementary schools.  More than 500 pupils and teachers in Colonial and Siwanoy Schools participated in drills yesterday.  

Teachers have been assigned to resident zones, and at noon yesterday the pupils in each of these zones were accompanied to their homes by these teacher supervisors.

The air raid plans provide that immediately on receipt of an air raid alarm, North Pelham Police Headquarters will notify the office of Supt. Brown.  The alarm will be sounded in the schools.  The grade school pupils will proceed to gather at designated points outside their school building.  The assigned teachers will join each group, quickly take attendance and accompany the children to their home areas on foot.

In Memorial High School pupils will first go to their locker rooms and then join their respective resident area groups at designated points outside of the school building.  They will proceed to their home areas in these groups.

The pupils of the Hutchinson and Prospect Hill Schools will have air raid drill during the next week.

Supt. Brown will send outlines of the school air raid precaution plans to parents within a few days.  

Plans for the evacuation of St. Catherine's [sic] Parochial School in North Pelham have been prepared which provide for supervised conveyance of children to their homes, by members of the school factulty and a volunteer committee of the Mother's Club.  Those who reside at a distance from the school will be transported in automobiles."

Source:  Teachers Accompany Grade School Pupils Home When Raid Alarm Sounds,
The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, cols. 5-6.


A Civilian Defense Volunteer Office for the receiving of applications for enrollment in any of the defense training courses (except police, fire and warden's courses) is being set up under the Town of Pelham Defense Council at its headquarters, No. 35 Fifth avenue, North Pelham, next door to the Pelham Branch Bank opposite the Town Hall.

Residents of Pelham who wish to volunteer for defense or community service, or who wish to take any of the many training courses, being offered, may come to the headquarters for an interview on any day, Monday through Friday, after Tuesday, Dec. 16th.  The Volunteer Office will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, on those days.  Person who cannot report for enrollment between those hours may call at headquarters evenings or at other hours when it is open, and may make a special appointment with one of the volunteer interviewers.  A personal interview is necessary before assignment to a class or placement for work can be made.  

Miss Janet Swayne, Director of Training and Placement, will be in charge of the volunteer group of interviewers under the general supervision of the Council's Committee on Welfare and Women's participation, of which Mrs. Victor W. Henningsen is chairman."

Source:  REGISTER NOW FOR CIVILIAN DEFENSE WORK, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, col. 7. 

Mrs. R. Clifford Black and William L. Ransom are Honorary Chairmen for Campaign in Town.

Mrs. James F. Longley, Chairman of the Pelham Branch of the American Red Cross has issued a 'Mobolization [sic] Call' as a result of the war emergency and the appeal of the President of the United States for support of the American Red Cross in its campaign to raise $50,000,000.

'We need both service and funds' said Mrs. Longley.  'On Monday night Norman Davis, president of the American Red Cross appealed to the people of the United States for $50,000,000 to finance the program of the Red Cross in its work in the new World War.  The quota for Westchester County [illegible].

'We in the Pelhams have been asked to raise $14,000.  I know that our answers will be 'Pelham will do its share, and now.''

Mrs. R. Clifford Black and William L Ransom have been appointed Honorary Chairmen for the Mobolization [sic] in the Pelhams.  The active head [illegible].  He has called a meeting of the Executive Committee at his home, No. 215 Loring avenue tomorrow.  A broad Citizens' Committee is being formed which already includes outstanding representatives of each of the three villages."

The Pelham Sun, Dec. 12, 1941, Vol. 31, No. 37, p. 1, col. 1. 

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