Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
John Reynolds Ernest was a Newark, Delaware, resident who was actively involved with the Civil Defense program in the Newark area during World War II. In 1942 at the age of 51, he resided at 45 West Park Place. Ernest was a section warden for Air Raid Zone 7 (or occasionally number 3) of Newark. Zone 7 included the area bordered by Main Street on the North, West Park Place on the South, South College on the East, and Elkton Road on the West (see map in F11). Ernest's post was the corner of Orchard Road and West Park Place.
This collection includes several identification cards belonging to John R. Ernest, including an Aircraft Warning Service card which bears a photograph of Ernest (F47).
The collection also includes several items contributed by William Ditto Lewis, University Librarian at Delaware from 1930-1958 (F45, F47).
Biographical information is derived from the collection.
The collection consists of a variety of letters, bulletins, documents, and memorabilia relating to the United States Army Aircraft Warning Service and the Newark Council for Civilian Defense for the period 1941-1944. Gathered by John R. Ernest, who served in these programs, the papers consist primarily of letters, memoranda, schedules, and training material directed to John Reynolds Ernest and others in their official capacity with the United States Army Aircraft Warning Service and with the Newark Council for Civilian Defense.
Individuals whose names appear with frequency in the material include Ernest, who served as a Newark Air Raid Warden; T. Russell Silk, Personnel Director for the Newark Council for Civilian Defense; Almar A. Reiff, Jr., Senior Air Raid Warden for Newark; F. Allyn Cooch, Chief Observer for observation post #10-A at Newark; and John R. Fader, District Director, First Fighter Command, Ground Observation Section, Philadelphia Fighter Wing.
Also included in the Ernest papers are an assortment of government training publications and ephemeral material related to civilian defense, war bonds, and rationing during World War II.
The collection documents the Civil Defense activities in Newark, Delaware, during World War II and serves as a good example of the Civil Defense activities which were taking place throughout the United States during this period. As a coastal area, Delaware and the surrounding region was regarded as a potential target for enemy air strikes, and the papers reflect the seriousness with which this potential threat was taken by regional residents and national civil defense coordinators.
Boxes 1-3: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes
Box 4: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
Processed in July 1988 by Eric Wittkoff and revised by Anita Wellner April 1993. Encoded by Special Collections staff, 2017.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 June 26
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S.Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec
Primarily internal in nature, this series includes items directed to John Reynolds Ernest and others in their official capacity with the United States Army Aircraft Warning Service and the Newark Council for Civilian Defense. Documents in the series detail the procedures to be observed during the formation and functioning of these organizations and the administration of their activities, which included meetings, training and drills, fundraising, public relations, and various personnel issues.
Address delivered at State Educational Conference for High Schools titled "Fitness for the National Emergency."Physical Description
Information on radio programs pertaining to air defense exercises and the American Legion.Physical Description
Contains instructions related to the organization of an aircraft observation post for observers and a list of the Newark civilian observers.Physical Description
Record of flash messages sent in OctoberPhysical Description
Includes article and paper relating to incendiary bombs and the observers' schedule for the Chestnut Hill PostPhysical Description
Includes material on air raid signals, lists of air raid wardens for Zones 5 and 7Physical Description
Includes U.S. Army Aircraft Warning Service Assistant Chief Observer Identification Card and list of eligible Newark observers.Physical Description
Includes operating manual for section nine of the Mount Pleasant Defense Council, New Castle County, Delaware and a list of the Messenger Force for Newark.Physical Description
Includes memoranda regarding problems in the Newark organization and operation.Physical Description
Information about Zone 1Physical Description
Information about Zones 2, 3 (7), and 4.Physical Description
Information about Zone 7 (3)Physical Description
Information about Zones 10 and 11.Physical Description
Information about Zones 12, 13, and 14Physical Description
Includes National Liberty Insurance Company Fire Insurance Policy for Newark Observation Post #10-A and a list of auxiliary police.Physical Description
Includes "Instructions for Chief Observers" and fund raising materials.Physical Description
Financial documents pertaining to Newark Aircraft Warning Service Observation Post #10-A.Physical Description
Minutes of meetings of the civilian defense staff of NewarkPhysical Description
Minutes and the official oath for observersPhysical Description
Regional bulletinsPhysical Description
Information about the 1943 Victory Book CampaignPhysical Description
Includes flyer, "Meet Your Air Raid Warden."Physical Description
Includes flyer, "How to Black-out Windows."Physical Description
Includes flyer, "Air Raid Signals" and information on gas rationing.Physical Description
Includes bulletin, "How to Protect Yourself Against War Gas."Physical Description
Includes flyer, "New Air Raid Signals at a Glance."Physical Description
Information of reduction of observation personnel to free manpower for direct war effort.Physical Description
Letters concerning the reductionPhysical Description
Bulletins, including one on gas defensePhysical Description
Includes fire insurance policy for Newark Observation Post #10-A and a flyer, "Are You Risking Your Right to Drive?"Physical Description
Information regarding auxiliary air wardensPhysical Description
Information regarding auxiliary policePhysical Description
Material regarding bomb reconnaissance and practice alertsPhysical Description
Includes bulletin, "Summary of Important Chemical Agents."Physical Description
Includes blank identification tags for simulated war casualties, "Information for War Loan Workers," and instructions for filing Delaware tax returns.Physical Description
Instructions for civilian defense workersPhysical Description
Includes newspaper clippings, government pamphlets, other printed materials, and artifacts relating to Civil Defense procedures and activities gathered by Ernest during the course of his work.
Includes a copy ofThe Observation Post (1942) Physical Description
Copies of "A Job Only a Woman Can Do," "A Handbook for Air Raid Wardens," and "Display Your Colors."Physical Description
Copy ofBlackouts Physical Description
Copies of "A Handbook for Fire Watchers," and "Air Raid Precaution Services."Physical Description
Copy of "Administrative Manual for the Air Raid Wardens Unit," andTelephone Directory for Newark, Delaware. Physical Description
Blank ticket books for contributions to Newark Area Civil Defense FundPhysical Description
Includes war bond recruitment materialPhysical Description
Worn by Civil Defense personnelPhysical Description
Includes Ernest's membership cards for the Delaware Council of Defense and the Aircraft Warning Service. The latter bears a photograph of Ernest. Also includes Ernest's Selective Service card and an identification card for William Ditto LewisPhysical Description
Includes names of observers and visitors, number of planes sighted, and weather conditionsPhysical Description
Consists of applications for prospective volunteers, lists of personnel, schedules, and blank duty logs.
Applications submitted by Newark residents, arranged alphabetically by last namePhysical Description