The six Martha’s Vineyard observa­tion posts will participate with the 700 similar posts scattered throughout New England in the communications test of the Air Defense Command which will be held this morning be­tween the hours of 10 a. m. and 12 noon. The test is being given for the purpose of instructing observers of the Aircraft Warning Service and setting up a well-working telephone circuit between each observation post and the army information center at Mitchel Field, New York, headquar­ters of the Air Defense Command.
No airplanes will be flying during this practice session, which consists mainly of telephoning a pre-arranged report. The telephone company has been cooperating in advance in determining the speed which is possible in getting the reports through.
The 700 observation posts in the Aircraft Warning Service will tele­phone at least one flash message re­port to the army information center. The observers will go through the mechanics of actual aircraft warning, lifting the phone receiver and telling central that the call is an army flash, giving their number and asking for a connection to the army informa­tion center. The report is then given.


8 Items Are Listed

The report lists eight items of in­formation: number of airplanes, whether they are seen or heard, the altitude of the planes, the observa­tion code name, direction of planes from observation post, their distance from observation post, and where they are headed.
The Aircraft Warning Service is be­ing sponsored by the American Le­gion, and on the Vineyard the three posts have six chief observers in ac­tion: three in Vineyard Haven, which also covers up-Island, one at Oak Bluffs, and two at Edgartown. Each chief observer has a number of sub­ordinate observers reporting to him.
Today’s practice test is pointing to­ward the period later in the month when the Aircraft Warning Service will go into action under conditions simulating those of war-time conditions. Bombing and pursuit planes will participate at that operating period, which will be in effect from 6 a. m., Jan. 21, to 6 p. m. Jan. 24. Observa­tion posts and observers will at that time be on duty twenty-four hours a day, in two-hour watches.


From the January 17, 1941 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:


Plans Are Complete

Cooperating with the 700 observa­tion posts in New England, six ob­servation posts on the Island will par­ticipate in the Aircraft Warning Ser­vice which goes into action next week. During the operating period which will be in effect from 6 a. m., Tuesday, Jan. 21, to 6 p. m., Friday, Jan. 24, while bombing and pursuit planes are roaring all over the practice territory, the corps of observers on the Island will be on duty twenty-four hours a day, two at a time in two-hour shifts. They report on the activities of the planes to the headquarters of the Air Defense Command at Mitchel Field, New York.
Last Friday these posts took part in the tests given for the purpose of instruction and in establishing rapid telephone communication with the army information center. Next week, under a simulation of actual war-time conditions, they will have a chance to flash quick messages of warning, giving all the necessary in­formation concerning the invading planes.
The Aircraft Warning Service on the Island, as in all the rest of the af­fected territory, is in charge of the American Legion. The General George W. Goethals Post, Vineyard Haven, has three observation posts, the Governor Mayhew Post of Oak Bluffs, one, and the Martha’s Vineyard Post of Ed­gartown, two.