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April 12, 1943

To: All residents of Old Deerfield, East Deerfield, West Deerfield, and Wapping.
From: Old Deerfield Report Center- Henry B. Poor
Subject: Surprise blackout test this week, April 12th through 16th.

Any day or night, from today through Friday, we may expect a surprise blackout test. It will probably take place during the evening. There will be no incidents, but we are asked to mobilize all our Civilian Defense workers.

This test's purpose is to try out recent changes which have seemed advisable because of the confusion noted in the February test. Audible signals will be sounded now on all signals except the first, which is used only to mobilize workers. Each siren signal will be repeated three times, at 15-second intervals. Street lights will now become another signal to residents, for all buildings must be blacked out when the street lights go out, remaining blacked out until they come on again.

It is with regret that signals have been changed from time to time, but we hope the present system will prove both simple and effective. Civilian Defense workers are asked to telephone Greenfield 3618 right after the test about any confusion or violations. Please help spread the word about the present signals. Occasional tests must be held if we are to stay alert, and we must stay alert so long as war continues. The help and co-operation of our townspeople has been remarkable, and is always greatly appreciated.

The following general instructions should be saved for this and future tests.

GREEN 1 (if testing) YELLOW (if serious) Air raid possibility
No audible signal.
All workers will be telephoned to mobilize at once.

GREEN 2 (if testing) BLUE (if serious) Air raid approaching
Sirens sound two blasts.
Air raid wardens will be advised by telephone.
All buildings black out and street lights go out.
Pedestrians and traffic still move.

GREEN 3 (if testing) RED (if serious) Air raid now
Sirens sound three blasts. Church bells ring.
Air raid wardens will be advised by telephone.
Pedestrians take cover, and all traffic stops except for
emergency vehicles on low-beam headlights.

GREEN 2 (if testing) BLUE (if serious) Air raid past but may return
Sirens sound two blasts.
Air raid wardens will be advised by telephone.
All buildings remain blacked out and street lights remain out.
Pedestrians and traffic move again.

GREEN 4 (if testing) WHITE (if serious) All clear
Sirens sound four blasts. Wardens may use auto horns, etc.
Street lights come on, and all restrictions end.
All workers will be telephoned to demobilize.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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label levels:

There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: Concerned about the threat of coastal enemy invasions, the government created the Civilian Air Patrol (CAP) to patrol the east coast with ships and small planes. In March of 1942, by military order, "blackouts" began, requiring that no rays of light be emitted on the eastern shore, and inland for 12-16 miles. Magazines offered suggestions on how to comply with the blackout in style. House and Garden magazine proclaimed "Bedrooms need not go into mourning," and "Make a blackout shade by seaming together two pieces of fabric, one black and one to match your curtain." Those who did not comply with blackout orders were subject to arrest. This is a blackout memo addressed to the residents of Deerfield, Massachusetts. It announced a surprise blackout test during the week of April 12-16, 1943 and announced that street lights were now added to the signaling system, in addition to sirens, in an ongoing attempt to make the system simpler and more effective. The street light system was designed to alert people to an air raid possibility; an approaching air raid; an air raid in progress; an air raid past, but with the possibility of a return; and an all clear.


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WWII Blackout Memo Deerfield Residents

author   Henry B. Poor (1888-1965)
date   Apr 12, 1943
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
width   8.0"
height   11.0"
process/materials   typescript
item type   Personal Documents/Letter
accession #   #L05.168

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See Also...

WWII CD Warden's Report Form

WWII Air Raid Warning Instructions Card

WWII Air Raid Warning Instructions

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