Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: 1942 Volume 5 Number 1, Page 5

Our citizen air raid defense wardens

Page 5

Since America will never learn to prepare for war in time of peace, we are now belatedly setting up a gigantic citizens' defense system. It is hoped that, after the organization, equipment, and training of the actual Wardens has become an accomplished fact, the almost endless train of nominal officials may not develop the top-heaviness, red-tape, and inefficiency that often characterize such organizations.

It is argued that, should the enemy attempt to bomb the urban area, which is a perfect target situated in the fork of two rivers, and the defense prove strong, then there might be a possibility that the alternative be the destruction of the chief lines of communication, viz: the P. R. R., Trenton Cut-Off, Lincoln Highway, and Route 202. We of the Main Line suburban area would then be in the theoretical danger zone where anything might happen in this war-crazed world. God grant that we may meet all eventualities with the spirit worthy of free men and women!

Admiral Towers, Chief of the U. S. Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics, gives assurance to the timorous that the chances of an enemy raid on the Atlantic Coast appear remote. However, he admits that a few planes could be sent over here with a few snail bombs to be dropped without the possibility of the planes getting back, and personally he would not like to see us cease our efforts in these defensive measures, even though they be of doubtful necessity.

Badge of Sleeve Band for Warden

The organization doubtless follows the English method. Judge Butler Windle is Chief Warden for Chester County, which has been divided into zones. The Chief Warden for Zone 3, which includes the Eastern Section of the County west to Coatesville, is Dr. J. A. Kelly, and the Sector Warden for Tredyffrin, Easttown, and Willistown with 19 Posts, is R. D. Perry, with Assistant Sector Warden T, B. Rogers for the following Posts: 10, North Berwyn from Irish Road to Contention Lane, C. W. Leighton; 11, North Devon, Joseph Missimer, Jr.; 14, Western Easttown, S. L. Meade; 15, Berwyn, Devon, and Strafford between the P. R. R. and Sugartown Road, E. J. Kehoe; 18, South Easttown from Sugartown Road to Newtown Line, Thomas Neilson; 19, Part of Devon north of P. R, R., B. B. Kane.

It being impossible to name here all the actual working Wardens, we will cite as examples the North Berwyn, No. 10, appointments: Fred Steuber, W. E. Coulter, Paul Reiben, L. J. Usher, and Joseph Kelley, also the South Berwyn, Devon, and Strafford, No. 15, area, in which Post Warden Kehoe has named the following Wardens: tract lying between First Avenue, Waterloo, Sugartown, and Leopard Roads, Berwyn, H. C. Potts; 2, tract between P. R. R., Knox, Potter, and Leopard Roads, Samuel Litchenfeldt; 3, P. R. R., Woodside, First, and Knox Avenues, W. H. Davis; 4, P. R. R., W. Arlington, Sugartown, and Waterloo Roads, Thomas Caprioli; 5, P. R, R., Valley Forge, Sugartown, and W. Arlington Roads, Devon, Marshall Jarvis; 6, P. R. R., County Line, and Sugartown and Valley Forge Roads, Strafford, Capt. C. M. Clancy; all with the assistance of additional wardens.

Page 6

There is a Tri-Township Council of Defense, or Co-ordinators, consisting of W. G. Ward, Chairman; W, C. Eves, Vice Chairman; H. C. Weaver, Treasurer; Francis McAdams, Secretary; Dr. T. G. Aiken; E. F. Bracken, Housing; Mrs. G. B. Lucas, Red Cross; R. D. Perry, Chief Sector Air Raid Warden; R. E. Thompson, Chief Auxiliary Police; David Wilson, Agriculture and Food Supply; nearly all from Paoli.

The Schools, Manufactories, Hospitals, and Theaters are not included under the jurisdiction of the foregoing Post Wardens, but have a Warden System of their own. Linked to the cooperative plan, there are the well-equipped Berwyn, Paoli, and Malvern Volunteer Fire Companies, the Auxiliary Firemen and Police, the latter of 68 men to work singly, in squads, or all together; also the Canteen, Ambulance, and First Aid Squads of the Red Cross, and should the telephone wire be out of commission, the services of the Boy Scouts, Paoli No. 1, and Berwyn No, 11, may be required as runners or for other services.

The trial blackout from 10:30 to 10:45 p m. of February 3, under a moonlit sky, was a success insofar as the instructions were followed by the public, for in the local area, including 587 homes, there was but one violation.

On the evening of February 13, there was a citizens' Defense Rally at the High School, sponsored by the Paoli Branch of the American Red Cross and the Tri- Township Council of Defense, where the citizens at large met to observe what it is all about and to sense the grim determination of our volunteers for public service.


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