Executive Order

Executive Order No. 52: (1st Series) Blackout and Air Raid Regulations

Date: 02/12/1943
Issuer: Leverett Saltonstall
Revoking: 1st Series Executive Order 3
Revoking: 1st Series Executive Order 10
Revoked by: 1st Series Executive Order 86

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the safety of life and property may from time to time depend upon the immediate and orderly compliance with rules and regulations governing blackout, the control of lighting and radio, the movement of vehicles and other conveyances and the activities of persons during periods of blackout and air raid; and

WHEREAS, the Government of the United States acting through Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum, Commanding General, Eastern Defense Command and First Army, has ordered the promulgation of regulations for such purposes effective February 17, 1943; and

WHEREAS, the Government of the United States acting through said Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum and Major General Sherman Milos, commanding the First Service Command, has requested that similar regulations be promulgated immediately by the Commonwealth to make more effective the action heretofore taken by the Government of the United States:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LEVERETT SALTONSTALL, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting under the provisions of Acts of 1941, chapter 719, Acts of 1942, chapter 13, end all other authority vested in me, do hereby issue this order as a measure necessary and expedient for meeting the supreme emergency of the existing state of war between the United States and certain foreign countries.

SECTION I - DEFINITIONS

1. PERIOD OF BLACKOUT. The period of time beginning with the blackout (BLUE) signal, (or the air raid (RED) signal if there has been no preceding blackout (BLUE) signal) and continuing during hours of darkness or until the all clear (WHITE) signal. (See also pars. 19, 20 and 21.)

2. PERIOD OF AIR RAID. The period of time beginning with the air raid (RED) signal and ending with the blackout (BLUE) signal, following the air raid (RED) signal. (See also pars. 19 and 20.)

3. WARNING DISTRICT. The basic territorial division of an air defense region for the issuance of air warning signals.

4. AREA OF BLACKOUT OR AIR RAID ALARM. The warning district or districts in and for which a period of blackout (BLUE) signal or air raid (RED) signal is in effect.

5. HOURS OF DARKNESS. The time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise the following morning between October 1 and April 30, inclusive, and from one hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise the following morning between May 1 and September 30, inclusive.

6. CIVILIAN DEFENSE AUTHORITIES - THE MASSACHUSETTS COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY.

7. SERVICE COMMAND. The Commanding General of the Service Command, S0S, in which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is located, or his authorized representative.

8. DIRECTOR OF CIVILIAN DEFENSE. The Director of Civilian Defense appointed by the President of the United States pursuant to Executive Order No. 8757, dated May 20, 1941, or any amendment thereof, or his authorized representative.

9. PERSONS. Individuals (including officials and employees of the United States, or of any state or territory, or of any political subdivision thereof), partnerships, associations, corporations (municipal, public or private) or any organized groups of individuals whether incorporated or not.

10. PERSONS IN CONTROL OF LIGHTING.

  1. With respect to light sources attached to publicly or privately owned real property of any character, the person entitled, as owners or tenants, to occupy or enter such property or parts thereof;
  2. With respect to light sources attached to road vehicles, boats, railroad trains, street cars, and aircraft, the persons in control of the operation of such conveyances; (See paragraphs 12-16, inclusive.)
  3. With respect to light sources not attached to real property or to the conveyances described in the fore- going paragraph b, the persons in possession or entitled to possession thereof;
  4. With respect to all light sources, individuals who, by reason of relationship as licensee or guest, may light or extinguish lights; and
  5. Employees, agents and representatives of the persons described in the foregoing paragraphs a to d, inclusive, whose duties include the lighting or extinguishing of lights, and all persons having authority to supervise or direct such employees, agents or representatives.

11. PUBLIC WAY. Streets, highways, avenues, boulevards, alleys, and other public thoroughfares, but not including sidewalks or other ways for use primarily by pedestrians.

12. ROAD VEHICLE. Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public way, not operated on rails, including all such devices motivated by mechanical means, or by animal or human power.

13. MOTOR VEHICLE. Any road vehicle which is self-propelled.

14. BOAT. Any means of transportation by water.

15. RAIIROAD TRAIN. Any means of transportation by rail, except street cars.

16. STREET CAR. Any vehicle or train of vehicles operating on rails at or above ground level (including elevated trains and subway trains while operating in the open), primarily for the purpose of transporting persons, principally on or over public ways lying within one municipality or metropolitan area as defined by the United States Bureau of Census.

SECTION II - AIR WARNING SIGNAL SYSTEM

17. TRANSMISSION OF SIGNALS. The air warning signals described in paragraphs 18, 19, 20 and 21 shall be issued, sounded, or announced only upon the order or the authorization of the fighter command to the district warning center which is operated by civilian defense authorities. The fighter command is responsible only that the district warning center receives the order or authorization for the giving of such signals. Civilian Defense authorities are responsible for the transmission of such signals from the district warning center through their alarm warning systems to the public. In the case of practice blackouts or practice air raids, such air warning signals shall be issued, sounded, or announced, only upon the order or authorization of the service command to civilian defense authorities.

18. YELLOW SIGNAL. This is a confidential preliminary caution signal not to be given by audible public alarm. It indicates the POSSIBILITY of an air raid in the warning district so warned. This signal shall be transmitted by civilian defense authorities only to such key persons, essential industries, railroads, and places within such warning district as such authorities deem essential to initiate proper steps to insure timely blackout or air raid precautions.

19. MOBILIZATION AND BLACKOUT (BLUE) SIGNAL. This is an audible warning signal indicating the PROBABILITY of an air raid in the warning district so warned. This signal will be a long note (approximately two minutes) at steady pitch of sirens, horns, or whistles. Upon the sounding of this signal, within such warning district, civilian defense forces will mobilize or remain mobilized; if during hours of darkness, lighting will be extinguished or obscured except as permitted by paragraphs 24 to 37, inclusive, and pedestrians and traffic may continue or resume movement.

20. AIR RAID (RED) SIGNAL. This is an audible public warning signal indicating the PROXIMITY of enemy aircraft and the IMMINENCE of an air raid in the warning district so warned. This signal (approximately two minutes) will be a series of short blasts of horns or whistles or a warbling or fluctuating sound of varying pitch of a siren. Upon the sounding of this signal, in addition to the actions required by the mobilization and blackout (BLUE) signal, as contained in paragraph 19 above, within such warning district blackout shall be completed by extinguishing or obscuring all lights, except as permitted by paragraphs 24 to 35, inclusive, and pedestrians, vehicles and other conveyances shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs 38 to 42, inclusive.

21. ALL CLEAR (WHITE) SIGNAL. This signal is a public signal indicating ALL CLEAR in the district so warned. This signal may be transmitted by radio, telephone, police, by turning on street lights which have been extinguished on the BLUE signal, or other available means. This signal may also be given by horns, whistles, or sirens, as specified by local civilian defense authorities, provided, however, that such audible signal shall not be the same as the mobilization and blackout (BLUE) signal and the air raid (RED) signal, as provided in paragraphs 19 and 20 above, and shall not resemble said signals so as to be confused therewith. Where such audible signal is used, as provided above, in a metropolitan area, embodying two or more municipalities, such signal shall be first coordinated by the service command or service commands within which such area is located. When an ALL CLEAR (WHITE) signal follows a YELLOW signal without an intervening mobilization and blackout (BLUE) or air-raid (RED) signal, it shall not be an audible signal but shall be transmitted only in the manner provided for the YELLOW signal, as in paragraph 18 above.

SECTION III - PROHIBITED LIGHTING

22. PROHIBITED LIGHTING. During the period and in the area of blackout occurring during hours of darkness, persons in control of lighting shall cause all lights visible from the outside to be extinguished or blacked-out as promptly as possible, except as permitted in paragraphs 24 to 37, inclusive.

  1. In Coastal Dim-out Areas designated as such, the goal or time objective for the completion of all blackout measures shall be five (5) minutes.
  2. In all other parts of the Commonwealth all blackout measures shall be completed as near five (5) minutes as possible but in any event not to exceed fifteen (15) minutes.

23. UNATTENDED LIGHTING. At all times during hours of darkness, occupants of premises and operators of road vehicles and other conveyances shall not have any unattended lighting, except as permitted in paragraphs 24 to 35. Lighting shall be considered unattended unless a competent individual, who is a member, employee, or guest of the household or business establishment of the occupier, or who is the operator or occupant of a road vehicle or other conveyance, or who, by arrangement with any such individual has undertaken responsibility for said lighting, can blackout as provided in paragraph 22 above.

SECTION IV - LIGHTING PERMITTED DURING PERIODS OF BLACKOUT AND DURING PERIODS OF AIR RAID

24. GENERAL. During the periods and in the areas of blackout or air raid, during hours of darkness, whether attended or not, lighting is permitted as provided in paragraphs 25 to 35, inclusive.

25. LIGHTS IN BUILDINGS AND RESIDENCES.

a. In building interiors a small amount of controlled illumination, sufficient to permit reasonable facility of movement without necessitating complete obscuration of doors and windows, is permitted only when the indoor incandescent lamps or lighting units are installed in accordance with the directions contained in subparagraph b below and which:

(1) Are marked "Indoor Blackout - War Department Standard" (See W.D. Specifications - Blackout of Buildings) or

(2) Conform to the following requirements:

  1. Watts - not more than fifteen (15);
  2. Bulb coating - opaque except for circular aperture on bulb end;
  3. Circular aperture - maximum diameter of one (1) inch;
  4. Color of aperture - orange or orange-red, or

(3) Conform to the following requirements:

  1. Watts - not more than twenty-five (25).
  2. Circuit - 230 volt bulb used on 115 volt circuit.
  3. Bulb coating - opaque except for circular aperture on end of bulb.
  4. Circular aperture - maximum diameter of one (1)
  5. Color of aperture - clear or frosted.

b. All indoor blackout lights, permitted as above, shall be installed in accordance with the following directions:

  1. In any one room, only one unit is permitted to each two hundred square feet of floor area or a fraction thereof.
  2. Units shall be spaced not less than ten feet apart in any direction.
  3. In corridors, one row of units is permitted at a spacing of not less than fifteen feet.
  4. Units shall be placed at least three feet from any window, exterior door, or other opening.
  5. Units shall not be pointed toward any window, exterior door, or other opening.
  6. Units may be installed at any height when openings are covered in the usual manner with drawn window shades, drapes, blinds, or one thickness of newspaper, or whenever each unit has a shade which screens the unit from outside observation above the horizontal.
  7. Units shall be located above the tops of such openings, when exterior openings are not covered and when units are not otherwise shaded from outside observation above the horizontal.

c. Interior red exit lights are permitted in all public buildings, with the restriction that each exit light shall be so located or shielded as to screen direct light from falling on windows or doors, and that it shall be equipped with one lamp of not more than 15 watts.

26. EMERGENCY MOTOR VEHICLES. Emergency motor vehicles, as defined in paragraph 41, may move during periods stated in paragraph 24 above, using only headlights (on low or depressed beam) and normal tail lights and license plate lights.

27. TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND TRAFFIC SIGNS. Traffic signals, traffic signs, fire and police box markers and other illuminated signal devices, complying with War Department Specifications "Traffic Control During Blackouts," are permitted during periods stated in paragraph 24 above.

28. STREET LIGHTING LUMINARIES. Street lighting luminaries complying with War Department Specification "Street Lighting During Blackouts" are permitted during periods stated in paragraph 24 above. (See also paragraph 36).

29. FLASHLIGHTS, LANTERNS and FLARES. Flashlights, lanterns and flares complying with War Department Specification "Flashlights, Lanterns and Flares", are permitted during periods stated in paragraph 24 above. Pending the availability of specified filters or automatic cut-offs, flashlights not so equipped may be used provided the light is filtered through (a) three thicknesses of newspaper, or (b) one thickness of newspaper and one sheet of red cellophane. Flashlights shall not be pointed above the horizontal. Pending the availability of lanterns complying with the above specification, lanterns equipped with red or orange globes may be used to mark excavations or other dangerous obstructions.

30. WATER NAVIGATION LIGHTS. During the periods as stated in paragraph 24, the following water navigation lights are permitted:

  1. Lights on fixed or floating structures except such as are specified by the United States Navy as not essential to indicate safe channels of navigation.
  2. Lights on boats to the extent required by the United States Navy.

31. AERONAUTICAL LIGHTS. During the periods as stated in paragraph 24, the following aeronautical lights are permitted:

  1. Flood lights and runway approach lights only at those fields and only to the extent necessary to expedite clearing the air of flights.
  2. Position lights on aircraft in flight as required by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.
  3. Obstruction lights except such as are specified by the service command as not essential.
  4. Beacon lights as specifically authorized by the service command. (Otherwise beacon lights shall comply with the provisions of paragraph 22).

32. THERMAL PROCESSES. During the periods specified in paragraph 24, light emitted from industrial processes, such as furnace glow in glass, pottery and cement works, iron foundries, steel mills, and coke works, is permitted, provided however, that such light shall be shielded, obscured, reduced in intensity, or otherwise treated to as great an extent as may be practicable in order to reduce to a minimum the light visible from the outside. Steam or smoke shall be reduced to the minimum.

33. RAILROAD LIGHTS. During the periods as specified in paragraph 24 above, all railroad lights on rolling stock and fixed installations are permitted provided they comply with "Rules and Regulations for Railroads During Blackout or Air Raid Alarms within the Eastern Defense Command," approved by the War Department September 3, 1942.

34. LIGHTING OF MILITARY NECESSITY. All lights of the armed forces necessarily used in active defense measures are permitted during the periods stated in paragraph 24.

35. SPECIALLY AUTHORIZED LIGHTS. Any lights specifically authorized by the service command are permitted during such period and to such extent as he may deem appropriate.

SECTION V - LIGHTING PERMITTED DURING PERIODS OF BLACKOUT BUT PROHIBITED DURING PERIODS OF AIR RAID.

36. SPECIAL PERMITTED LIGHTS. During the period and in the area of blackout (BLUE), but not during the period of air raid (RED), (1) street lights and traffic signals, (2) lights in military and naval installations and manufacturing plants or other facilities essential to the war effort, and (3) lights in railroad classification yards, are permitted provided such three classes of lights comply with the following conditions:

  1. That such lights comply with dim-out regulations in effect in such area, or, in the absence of such regulations, if they do not contribute materially to skyglow; and
  2. That such lights shall be extinguished or blacked out within one (1) minute from the sounding of the air raid (RED) signal when such signal follows a blackout (BLUE) signal.

37. LIGHTS ON ROAD VEHICLES AND OTHER CONVEYANCES. During the period and in the area of blackout (BLUE), but not during the period of air raid (RED):

  1. All moving motor vehicles are permitted to use headlights (on low or depressed beam) and normal tail lights and license plate lights.
  2. Street cars, elevated trains and subway trains operating above ground level are permitted to use normal exterior and interior lights.
  3. Road vehicles other than motor vehicles are permitted to use normal lights.
  4. In coastal dim-out areas all lights referred to in (a), (b) and (c) above must comply with applicable dimout regulations.

SECTION VI - MOVEMENT OF VEHICLES AND OTHER CONVEYANCES; PEDESTRIANS

38. GENERAL. During the period and in the area of air raid (RED) alarm:

  1. All road vehicles, except emergency vehicles as defined in paragraph 41, shall be immediately stopped (except as provided in paragraphs 39 and 40) and parked so that roadway space shall be left for the passage of traffic, and all lights shall be extinguished. Occupants shall leave said vehicles as soon as parked and shall take shelter, except that occupants of road vehicles carrying property which must be guarded may remain in said parked vehicles.
  2. Street cars shall be stopped at loadings points or other safe and convenient locations, and passengers shall be discharged and take shelter. All exterior and interior lights shall be extinguished.
  3. Ridden or herded animals shall be cleared from the public way for the passage of traffic.
  4. Boats shall comply with regulations issued by the United States Navy.
  5. Movement of railroad trains and personnel shall be in accordance with the provisions of "Rules and Regulations for Railroads During Blackout or Air Raid Alarms within the Eastern Defense Command", approved by the War Department September 3, 1942.

39. BRIDGES AND TUNNELS. During the period and in the area of air raid (RED) alarm, road vehicles, other than emergency vehicles, and street cars shall not enter bridges, viaducts, or tunnels and, if already there, shall proceed to the end of exit thereof and as far beyond as necessary to park in accordance with the preceding paragraph 38 a.

40. VEHICLES TRANSPORTING DANGEROUS MATERIALS. Vehicles transporting explosives, gasoline, or other dangerous combustibles shall, upon the signal for an air raid (RED), proceed forthwith, where possible, to a place more than one hundred (100) feet from the nearest habitation or business premises and there park as provided in paragraph 38a. Vehicles so proceeding may use headlights (low or depressed beam), normal tail lights, and license plate lights.

41. EMERGENCY VEHICLES. The term "Emergency Vehicles" shall mean the following road vehicles:

  1. Vehicles of, or acting under orders of, or traveling with the express permission of, the armed forces of the United States and her allies;
  2. Vehicles of fire departments and governmental police agencies;
  3. Ambulances and official rescue cars and other vehicles converted to such use in emergency service;
  4. Public utility repair vehicles operating in emergency service;
  5. Vehicles in emergency service identified by insignia prescribed by the director of civilian defense or by the civilian defense authorities subject to the approval of the First Service Command. In exceptional cases vehicles without such identifying insignia will be permitted to move as emergency vehicles provided the appropriate civilian defense authorities are satisfied that the use of such vehicles is necessary in the performance of emergency duties.

42. PEDESTRIANS. Upon the signal for an air raid (RED), all persons shall immediately take shelter in the nearest building in which they are legally permitted to enter or in the designated shelter area most convenient to them, except those required for the performance of their official duties as follows:

  1. Uniformed members of the armed forces of the United States and her allies, and of the State Guards.
  2. Members of fire departments and governmental police agencies.
  3. Persons as authorized by civilian defense authorities who wear arm-bands or carry identification cards with insignia prescribed by the director of civilian defense, or persons wearing arm-bands authorized for the Aircraft Warning Service; provided all such persons are required to move in the performance of their emergency duties.

SECTION VII - RADIO

43. RADIO STATIONS will be silenced at such time and for such periods as may be ordered by fighter command as follows:

a. Radio stations operating on frequencies between three thousand (3,000) and thirty thousand (30,000) kilocycles will not be silenced.

b. Radio stations operating on frequencies below three thousand (3,000) and above thirty thousand (30,000) kilocycles will be ordered silenced when the tactical situation warrants, except as follows:

  1. During periods of blackout and air raid, special broadcast messages on selected frequencies may be made under the specific direction and control of the service command.
  2. Army and Navy stations may operate to a necessary minimum when necessity dictates as determined by the local commander.
  3. Police, fire and other special emergency radio stations may remain in operation upon the following basis:

(a) Each transmission will not exceed thirty (30) seconds.

(b) Transmissions will be at intervals of not less than two (2) minutes.

(c) The normal call letter will be omitted.

(d) The intelligence transmitted will not disclose identity or location of station.

SECTION VIII - PRACTICE BLACKOUTS AND PRACTICE AIR RAIDS

44. PRACTICE BLACKOUTS AND PRACTICE AIR RAIDS may be conducted by federal, state and local authorities in such area, at such times and to such extent as may be authorized by the service command in which the area is located. The service command may excuse from such practice blackouts or practice air raids, for such periods and to such extent as he may determine, any military or naval installation, manufacturing plant or other facility essential to the war effort, provided the said service command has ascertained that such installation, plant, or facility is prepared to and is proficient in blackout, or for such other reasons as he may deem appropriate.

SECTION IX - FALSE BLACKOUTS OR AIR RAIDS

45. FALSE BLACKOUTS OR AIR RAIDS. No person shall order, utter, publish, sound, or otherwise simulate or cause to be ordered, uttered, published, sounded, or otherwise simulated, any air warning signal unless ordered or authorized to do so by the fighter command, or in the case of practice blackouts or practice air raids, as authorized by the service command, or for the testing of air warning equipment on Saturdays between twelve (12) o'clock noon and five (5) minutes following, as authorized by the civilian defense authorities.

SECTION X - ILLEGAL USE OF INSIGNIA

46. ILLEGAL USE OF INSIGNIA. No person shall wear, exhibit, display, use, manufacture, sell, or offer for sale for any purpose, or cause to be worn, exhibited, displayed, used, manufactured, sold, or offered for sale for any purpose, any arm-band, badge, emblem, uniform, pennant, card, or other identification or credential embodying the insignia prescribed by the director of civilian defense or by the civilian defense authorities or prescribed for the aircraft warning service, or any simulation or adaptation of such insignia, except in accordance with rules and regulations of the director of civilian defense or the aircraft warning service.

SECTION XI – ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES

47. Any person who violates any provision of this order, or any rule or regulation issued thereunder, shall be punished therefore by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both, as provided in Acts of 1941, chapter 719, section 8 (c).

48. The civilian defense authorities, the military and police forces, all other duly constituted officers of the Commonwealth and of the political subdivisions thereof and the personnel of local committees on public safety are hereby directed to carry out and enforce throughout the Commonwealth the provisions of this order.

49. These regulations shall not in any way modify the Dim-out Regulations heretofore or hereafter prescribed for the Coastal Dim-out Area of the First Service Command, or the provisions of Executive Order No. 40 (dim-out regulations) promulgated by the Governor on November 27, 1942.

50. Executive Order No. 3, issued on January 8, 1942, and Executive Order No. 10, issued on March 31, 1942, are repealed, revoked and annulled as of February 17, 1943, but such repeal, revocation and annulment shall not affect any prosecution thereunder pending on said date. The provisions of this order shall become effective February 17, 1943.

51. The provisions of any law, ordinance, by-law or departmental rule or regulation to the extent that such provisions are inconsistent with this order shall be inoperative during the effective period hereof.

GIVEN at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this 12th day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and sixty-seventh.

By His Excellency the Governor, Leverett Saltonstall

F. W. Cook
Secretary of the Commonwealth

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