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Grit: February 14, 1943 – Planes to Assist in Air Raid Test

Realistic war conditions will mark a two-hour air raid test this afternoon in the area covered by the Williamsport Control District.

Weather permitting, a squadron of planes will fly over twice during the test, which is to be held between three and five o’clock. One flight is scheduled for shortly after three o’clock from one end of the city to the other and the other at 4 o’clock from the opposite direction.

Civilian defense personnel will cope with “major” and “minor” incidents during the “bombing,” control officials said yesterday.

John S. Stahlnecker, group commander of the Civil Air Patrol and Lt. William Anderson, Williamsport squadron leader will lead the “attack.”

Defense officials have requested that all control centers in the city be manned during this afternoon’s test and that incidents be scheduled in various areas. No audible signals we be given for the test.

Cooperation by the public during the drill is requested. Motorists may be stopped and delayed, but only for a short time. No effort will be made to keep pedestrians off the street, and residents may witness the incidents and other work carried out.

Meanwhile, it was announced that that the first signal for the initial air raid drill in Pennsylvania will sound at 10:30 o’clock this Wednesday morning.

The first warning — the blue warning — will be a steady blast lasting about two minutes. It will be followed at 11 o’clock with a red warning. 11:05 by the second blue waning and at 11:15 with the white or “all clear,” which will be given over radio station WRAK.

Full mobilization of defense personnel is required during the test. Traffic will be stopped, and pedestrians will be required to seek shelter but no incidents will be staged.

The drill will be held simultaneously in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia to acquaint the public with the new alarm system.

Compiled by Lou Hunsinger Jr