DOCUMENTS

While the federal Office of Civil Defense effectively directed the civil defense program throughout the country, many cities and towns had their own Civil Defense departments to direct the program within their own municipality.

Naturally, hundreds (if not thousands) of documents were produced by these departments during the course of the civil defense program.

Below are some documents and records that came from the Boston Civil Defense Department (located at Fire Department Headquarters, 115 Southampton Street) and the Massachusetts Civil Defense Agency, located at 143 Speen Street in Natick.

Special thanks to the City of Boston Archives and Records, who owns most of these documents. Specific sources below.

PDF files created and owned by Fallout Five Zero. ©2014
Updated June 5, 2014

 


 

A letter, dated July 31, 1962 from Boston Civil Defense deputy director Waldo Pisco to Boston Mayor John F. Collins, showing Mayor Collins the letters and licenses being mailed to designated public fallout shelter areas in the City of Boston.

Boston Fallout Shelter License Letter

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


The letter that was mailed from the Boston Civil Defense Department to building managers/owners whose buildings were designated as public fallout shelters.

Boston Fallout Shelter Owner Letter

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


This paper, it seems, was mailed with the letters to shelter managers/owners and has information on shelter types and protection factors for public fallout shelters.

Boston Civil Defense FS Protection Factors

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


A fact sheet from the Boston Civil Defense Department on the role and responsibilities of building owners as related to the National Fallout Shelter Program.

Boston CD Shelter Owner Fact Sheet

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


A letter from Waldo Pisco, deputy director of the Boston Civil Defense Department, to the mayor’s office regarding the architectural firm hired to complete Phase 1B of the National Fallout Shelter Survey in the South Boston, Dorchester, and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Boston.

Boston CD Shelter Survey Phase 1B

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


This picture, from the March 1963 Massachusetts Civil Defense News, shows then Quincy mayor Amelio Della Chiesa posting a Fallout Shelter Sign on the outside of Quincy City Hospital (now Quincy Medical Center) as Quincy Civil Defense deputy director John Schmock looks on.

Posting a Fallout Shelter Sign at Quincy City Hospital

Source: Massachusetts Civil Defense News, March 1963. Kept in the Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


A bulletin from the Massachusetts Civil Defense Agency regarding a statewide test of the attack warning system that was to take place on Friday, April 28, 1961.

Massachusetts Attack Warning System Test, Page 1

Massachusetts Attack Warning System Test, Page 2

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


A list of retails stores in Downtown Boston that were designated as public fallout shelters.

Downtown Boston retail store Fallout Shelter list

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


 

An excerpt from the Boston Public Schools Superintendent’s Circular from 1964 with Civil Defense instructions for Boston Public Schools.

Note: While this bulletin says designated shelter areas were established in all schools, it is unknown if all of these were considered public or if these designated areas were for students and staff. Therefore, all public schools that existed in 1964 are not listed on the Boston Fallout Shelter list on this site. I only listed schools that I knew had fallout shelter signs. 

Boston Public Schools Civil Defense Information

Source: Boston Public Schools, Superintendent’s Circulars, Circular # 87, 1964. City of Boston Archives and Records.


 

A flyer from the Massachusetts Civil Defense Agency regarding air raid procedures, and instructions to turn to Conelrad.

Massachusetts Civil Defense Air Raid Instructions

Source: Massachusetts Civil Defense Agency; kept in the John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


 

This letter from Laurie Cormier, regional Civil Defense director for Region One (which included Boston), was sent to Mayor John F. Collins and dated January 22, 1965. The letter is an inquiry as to why public fallout shelters in Boston had not been stocked since August 11, 1964, and includes an illegible but direct note on the bottom from Mayor Collins himself asking why the task had not been completed.

Boston Civil Defense shelter stocking inquiry letter


This document from the Boston Civil Defense Department, dated November 29, 1965 answers questions regarding Boston’s air raid warning capabilities and shows that Boston had 132 active air raid sirens at that time.

Boston Air Raid Warning Information

 

REQUESTS FOR FALLOUT SHELTER INFORMATION

It seems that after public fallout shelter surveying and marking began, that requests for information on certain shelters or locations of shelters in Boston neighborhoods began coming into the Mayor’s office, and were subsequently answered by the Boston Civil Defense Department.

Below are some of the requests and letters for information on public fallout shelters received by the Boston mayor’s office

 


 

EAST BOSTON

Mary Clifford, an East Boston resident, wrote a letter to the city asking for information on public fallout shelters in East Boston.

Here is the letter sent back to her from Boston Civil Defense director Charles Sweeney:

East Boston Fallout Shelter request reply

The list he enclosed:

East Boston Fallout Shelter list

Note: Some of the locations and addresses here differ from actual data I have provided on the Boston Fallout Shelter list. As well, some shelters, such as Boston Fire Department Engine 40 on Sumner Street, were not included on his list, as they may not have been designated yet.

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


 

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHURCH

Boston resident Joseph Fenno wrote the city asking why the Christian Science Church was not designated as a public fallout shelter. His letter is undated.

Letter from Joseph Fenno regarding Christian Science Church

The reply, which came from Boston Civil Defense director Charles Sweeney and was dated November 30, 1962, informs Mr. Fenno that the building was in fact designated as a shelter, but had not yet been marked and stocked.

Reply regarding fallout shelter space at Christian Science Church

Source: Mayor John F. Collins papers, City of Boston Archives and Records


 

BOSTON COMMON GARAGE 

Mr. Kimball A. McMullin of Webster, Massachusetts wrote Mayor John F. Collins on September 20, 1961 asking if the Boston Common Garage (which is underground) could be used as a public fallout shelter.

Request from Kimball McMullin regarding Boston Common Garage

Boston Civil Defense deputy director Waldo Pisco replied to Mr. McMullin, telling him that the Boston Common Garage was not considered appropriate space as a public fallout shelter.

Reply from Boston Civil Defense department regarding Boston Common Garage

 

 

 

One thought on “DOCUMENTS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s