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Indiana State Library

Library > Collections & Services > Collections > Rare Books & Manuscripts > World War II - Online Exhibit > Civilian Defense Civilian Defense

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Civil Defense

Indiana's Civil Defense

The Indiana General Assembly passed the Indiana State Defense Act on March 10, 1941. The Act declared a period of emergency for defense purposes and created the Indiana Defense Council. $200,000 was appropriated for two years to finance the Council. The Act specified that the Council should consist of two bodies, the Advisory Defense Council and the Administrative Defense Council.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Office of Civilian Defense by executive order in May 1941. President Roosevelt gave the agency the authority to meet a wide range of needs including the protection of the civilian population, the maintenance of morale, and the promotion of volunteer involvement in defense. It was also charged with ensuring that federal agencies responded to community needs resulting from the war.

Under the Civilian Protection section of President Roosevelt's plan the following volunteer services and functions were created:

Air Raid Wardens Rescue Party
Auxiliary Police Medical Corps
Bomb Squad Nurses' Aides Corps
Auxiliary Firemen Messengers
Fire Watchers Drivers Corps
Road Repair Crew Emergency Food and Housing
Decontamination Corps Demolition and Clearance Crew

Indiana was part of the Fifth OCD Region, which also consisted of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.

In June of 1944 the nine regional offices that coordinated the work of state and local defense organizations were closed. An executive order on June 4, 1945 terminated the Office of Civilian Defense.

Civilian Defense Flyer

Defense News Letter
17 Mar. 1943

Memo from the Office of Civilian Defense

Pamphlet from the Office of Civilian Defense

First Indiana Civilian Defense Manual

Message from Gov. Henry Schricker

Chart of the Indiana Civilian Defense

Staff of the Indiana State Defense Council

Suggested Local Committees

Civilian Defense Questionnaire

Air Raid Precautions for the Indiana State Library Building

Air Raid Instructions for Householders

Air Raid Information

Air Raid Warden System

Indiana Civil Air Patrol

Indiana Civil Air Patrol Groups

All images are provided for the personal use of patrons and researchers and may not be incorporated into publications, websites, or exhibits without written permission of the Indiana State Library or other appropriate copyright holder.

The images came from the Indiana War History Commission Collection, Box 38, located in the Manuscript Section of the Indiana State Library.

Text Sources:

Text for the images comes from the Indiana War History Commission Collection, Box 38, located in the Manuscript Section of the Indiana State Library.

Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. "Office of Civilian Defense." Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt, ed. by Allida Black, June Hopkins, et. al. (Hyde Park, New York: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, 2003). 17 February 2005 .
Indiana Defense Council. Civilian Defense in Indiana, Manual no. 1. Indianapolis, IN, 1941.

RBM BA 8-14-2013