Aircraft Warnings by Brigadier-General Clement H. Wright

Wednesday, March 28, 1951

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

10th in the series.

The first half of the program is dedicated to answering listener questions about aircraft warnings. Wright, of the NY State Civil Defense Commission, talks about radar technology, advance warning for air attacks, sneak attacks, General Vandenberg's recent warnings, and the aircraft warning service in the State of New York.

In the second half, Leonard talks more specifically about concerns over air attacks in New York City. Dr. Morriss Seamus (?), Professor of Physics at New York University, answers questions from listeners: the threat of guided missile attacks, observation posts in the city, what to expect in the event of an attack, and barrage balloons.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71801
Municipal archives id: LT1811

Hosted by:

Bill Leonard


Clement H. Wright


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About Plan For Survival

"Maybe you, maybe me.  Death and destruction ... Panic in the streets ..." Not a program for pre-bedtime listening, these recordings examine the impossibility of sufficiently preparing for nuclear winter.

With surprisingly calm moderators, the Plan for Survival series (1950-1951) goes beyond the usual "duck and cover" advisement and into the details of an A-bomb attack, fallout shelters, the Soviet threat, first aid, radiation sickness, and food and water supplies following a nuclear attack. Guests include civilians recounting their survival experiences in wartime, like the missile blitzes in England.

The show was transcribed for the Civil Defense Network, which "linked virtually every radio station in New York State and operates entirely by air. It can function even if regular radio lines are destroyed." Bill Leonard hosts with expert panelists, and most programs consist of a balance of speculation and civil information for New York State in general and New York City in particular.  Intended to be a public service announcement for a new nuclear age, the record of these programs now serves to add perspective to 21st century fears —from suffocating due to sinus congestion to bags left in the subway. It's clear -- death comes from above.


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