GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2000-02 > 0951228415
Subject: Re: [GM-L] Air Raid Wardens
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 08:06:55 -0600
Not only do we have ancestors is common but what one of our ancestors, our
fathers, did in common. My father was in the army air force during WWI.
During WWII he was in charge of the Airplane Spotters in Southbridge, MA,
as well as taking a shift himself.
>Serious as the duties were, they were not without levity.
another one: On the night of May 30th, 1942, he was on duty from like 8pm
to midnight. When he got home he found my mother had started labor - me! As
they were going out the door at around 12:30 the air raid sirens went off.
They had to drive to the hospital without the headlights creeping along at
about 5 miles an hour with their heads out the windows. They made it in time.
The next evening he stopped in to see the 12 midnight shift - the spotters
were located on the roof of the YMCA building (tallest building in downtown
Southbridge at that time). He started berating them saying they missed
reporting a plane at round 2 AM the night before. They were aghast with
where, what....!!! He said it dropped off a baby girl for me at the
hospital, then handed out cigars all around.
As to the original question on Air Raid Wardens, many have already
explained their role in life on going around their assigned area making
sure no light was creeping out of any houses. They needed to be tough and
had quite a bit of power. Air raids were done to cut down on sky glare
along coasts. Ships cruising along the coast could easily be spotted by
submarines if they were silhouetted against sky glow on land. Many ships
were torpedoed off our eastern seaboard. Also they were done because of
fear of bombing raids. At that time we weren't sure of the capabilities of
Japan and Germany. There was always a fear of invasion. My parents made
plans to take us kids to our grandparents farm in NE CT if invaded because
they had a well.