Larchmont Gazette
1942 Year in Review

Year in Review interprets Larchmont history year by year. Larchmonters speak for themselves through news reports, pictures, and official documents.


March 19, 1942


Village Held Most Threatened By Enemy Attack; Supervisor McCulloch To Protest.

The Village of Larchmont is one of nine communities in Westchester given priority rating by the Army and Navy and distribution of equipment and materials for civilian defense, County Executive Herbert C. Gerlach was informed on Tuesday by Major General L. D. Gasser, War Department member of the Board for Civilian Defense.

The nine municipalities, selected for priorities because of “likelihood of attack because of its importance to national defense and its location,” are Yonkers, Tarrytown, Port Chester, Ossining, Mount Vernon, Larchmont, Irvington, Hastings and the Town of Cortlandt.

Informed of the selections, Supervisor Bert C. McCulloch today communicated by telephone with Mr. Gerlach, who said he could shed no light on why those particular communities were chosen. Mr. McCulloch said he would write to Major General Gasser.

In his letter, Mr. McCulloch said he will suggest a different procedure, distribution of civilian defense supplies and equipment through the Town Board to help components of the Township. He will ask, he said, Mayor James T. Corrigan of Mamaroneck and Mayor Harry E. Goeckler of Larchmont to concur in the request.

Mayor Corrigan said today he would not only concur but that he would request the Supervisor Arthur G. Sammarco of the Town of Rye to write a similar protest. Mayor Corrigan pointed out that part of the Village of Mamaroneck is in the Town of Rye, as is Port Chester, one of the nine municipalities picked for priorities.

Village engineer Arthur Richards of Larchmont today said he was not aware of the preference given Larchmont, and said the Village had made no application for defense acquit. He could suggest no reason for Larchmont being considered more vital to national defense than its neighboring communities.

Mr. Gerlach had written the Army asking regarding the allocation of equipment for civilian defense under the $100,000,000 O.C.D. appropriation for procurement of supplies and equipment for protection against bombing attacks. In reply, General Gasser wrote in part:

“The Office of Civilian Defense is not authorized to grant any funds to counties or municipalities but can permit loans of equipment such as auxiliary firefighting apparatus, arm and insignia, protective clothing including steel helmets, medical supplies and equipment, to be loaned for local use. In addition, a limited number of gas masks will be available, the distribution of which will be determined by future events.”

“The distribution of such equipment and supplies will be made to the municipalities determined to be in need of such protection. In making the final determination of those localities to receive equipment, we are securing the advice of the Army and Navy Munitions Board. Consideration is being given to the protection of each community, regardless of its size, where there is likelihood of attack because of importance to national defense and its location.”

General Gasser then mentioned the nine municipalities which are given preference and added:

“Beginning with the communities considered to be in greatest danger, we expect to supply equipment just as rapidly as its manufacture can be completed. No further requisition or application to obtain such equipment and material is necessary. Upon final allocation of it, the proper forms will be forwarded to the municipal officials by the state director of civilian defense.”

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