Air Raid Drills!

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by William DeFox, Dec 7, 2018 at 8:10 AM.

  1. William DeFox

    William DeFox Member
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    In the 1950's and early 1960's, the specter of nuclear war was widespread, and so many American schools conducted Air Raid Drills. This was either done by having students duck-and-cover under their desks, or by having them assume a similar posture against an interior wall. In retrospect, the assumption now seems strange that a student desk could protect against the deployment of a nuclear weapon. I can remember being taken into the basement of my elementary school building to practice cowering against a wall. Do any of you have similar memories?

    Today, Air Raid Drills are largely a memory. Sadly, Active Shooter Drills seem to have replaced them in schools as a sign of our times...
     
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  2. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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  3. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  4. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Yeah, air raid drills were indeed a part of the 50’s-60’s culture but for me, it didn’t end there.
    Of course, I expected to hear the sirens go off at least once a week when I was at base camp in the Nam, but here?
    Yup, every first Wednesday of the month at 12:00 noon all of the different sirens are tested on the post to make sure they work properly.
    I know the tornado warning and the air raid warning but I have never found out (nor actually checked) to see what the other 3 or 4 sirens are for.

    I don’t know if it really applies here but when I lived in Lathrop Wells, Nevada, a guy would show up every so often and hand out radiation detectors in the form of badges to all 36 residents and the 20 or so ladies of dubious dignity at the cat house. We were warned that there was going to be an underground nuclear test and if the badges changed color then we were to report it.
     
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  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    ......allowing them to complete their "off color" report.
     
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  7. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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  8. Tex Dennis

    Tex Dennis Well-Known Member
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    I had a barrel of survival candy we ate that stud for over a year, honestly it was not bad!! I have not seen it since, marked CD stores.
     
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    When I worked with the Boise Rescue Mission, we had a couple hundred cases of Y2K products donated to us.
    It really wasn’t too bad, that is, once I learned to parcel the stuff into recipes that would hide it. For example:
    the dehydrated beef was soya beef so I added it to the real beef stew and stretched it enough to feed everyone a little extra and it seemed like everyone liked it.
     
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  10. Mary Robi

    Mary Robi Well-Known Member
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    Oh, yes, cowering under our desks as if that was going to save us. We also had tornado drills but at least we got to go to the school basement for those.

    We were stationed at a "listening station" in Turkey in the late 1970's/early 1980's.

    There was a "new wife's orientation" in the base theater once a month. The sergeant who ran it was very to-the-point: " Keep a suitcase packed and by the door. If there's an attack, you ladies who live out in town (we did for the first year and a half) try to get to the base. Everybody come to the base theater. Ladies, you're on your own; your husbands won't be coming to get you and the kids. Understand clearly, you are lowest priority to get off this base; be prepared for the worst. So, have a good day and go check on the sale on sweaters over at the AFEX!" There would always be a couple of wives who would go back to the states after that.

    The drills were sort of a laugh. Everybody knew when they were going to occur so nobody paid much attention. I supposed that if war HAD broken out between the US and Russia, they'd just hang a POW CAMP sign on the front gates and we would be there for the duration. I hated hearing that siren, though, knowing how close we were to Russia and how the installation would be high on the list of things to be bombed in the area.
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Theoretically, crouching under a desk could protect you from being killed by pieces of the ceiling that might collapse but, of course, it wouldn't provide anything in the way of protection against a nuclear attack. As far as I can remember, we only did the attack drill once, perhaps because we were in a very rural area, unlikely to be a target, but I prefer to believe that it was because they realized we were smart enough that we didn't need to practice it twice. I don't think we were told that it was for protection against a nuclear attack, however.

    As for survival foods, the newer survival foods aren't bad at all.
     
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  12. Lulu Moppet

    Lulu Moppet Active Member
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    There is a sign by the basement door of my apartment building which reads FALLOUT SHELTER. I think it's still up for irony's sake. I remember the 'duck & cover' drills, which we had about 10 times or more a year. Of course I grew up in NYC, so we have always been a target. 9-11 anyone? We knew what it was for. We still have 'drills' on TV, cable included,alarms with a voice saying "This is a test, this is only a test, if the emergency were real you would be instructed where to tune in for information." Very annoying, do any of you have that? If so, I'll bet not with the frequency we have.

    When I was a kid, I was never afraid of the nuclear bomb, nor did the drills cause any trauma. If something like that would actually happen, I always knew it was completely out of my control. I only sweat the small stuff!
     
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  13. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I was a child in suburban NYC in the 1950s, and the drill caused me no trauma. Our neighbors all had turns on Civil Defense spotting duty to watch for Russian planes.
     
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  14. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    We had them in High School during the early 1950's too.

    The teacher would yell "DROP" in the middle of a lesson, and we'd all scramble under our desks.

    Hal
     
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  15. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    [​IMG]
    The cartoon above is from "Male Call", a wartime strip for military publications drawn by "Terry and the Pirates" creator, Milton Caniff.
     
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