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PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
Historic photos: Pearl Harbor

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    Seaman V.E. Johnson; Seaman J.V. Demarest and Seaman W.D. Peterson read the Press Herald's War Extra edition at a Portland café on Dec. 8.

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    South Portland was deeply involved in defense work before Pearl Harbor. The No. One tower of the aerial power transmission lines was erected on Dec. 4, 1941 by the Cumberland County Power and Light Co. between the steam plant and the Mosher's Corner sub-station. The transmission lines connected to the largest transformer ever set up in Maine and was to serve the Todd-Bath and South Portland Shipbuilding Corporation yards at South Portland, guaranteeing continuous electrical power to the two defense establishments..

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    Citizens pack Portland City Hall to learn details of the Air Raid Precautions Service set up to warn of approaching enemy aircraft on Dec. 17.

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    Some of the 30 applicants who went to Room 18 of Portland City Hall on Dec. 7 to find out about signing up for the Marines were Herman C. Lamoreau, Presque Isle; Quentin McCabe, Winthrop; Roger Belanger and Robert Braley, both of Wesbrook; Howard Grover, Bethel; Robert Harian Freeport and Lyle Worster, Gardiner.

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    Several days after Pearl Harbor, 21 city trucks went around Portland delivering sand to be used against any enemy incendiary bombs. City workers John Yates and George Fickett hand-deliver buckets to Virginia Gould and Louise Gould who seem genuinely happy to have them.

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    The Todd-Bath Iron Shipyard launched its first three ships at South Portland beginning with the Ocean Liberty on Dec. 20, 1941. The Ocean Liberty was the first ship launched from the shipyard under a contract to produce merchant ships for the British government. The design of the Ocean ships was used to make Liberty ships later in the war.

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    Maine on Alert, Civilian Planes Grounded, Ham Radios Silenced, Plants Guarded was the Evening Express headline on Dec. 8. The caption to this photo said "Vigilence along Portland's waterfront was tightened with the Army and Navy guarding vital points." Here Fornie Hartsell checks the pass of Neil Dambrie at the Maine State Pier.

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    Even before the United States entered the war, families were drawn to the Portland area because of openings at the South Portland shipyards. Many defense workers were unable to find adequate or affordable housing so 150 families lived in trailer camps. Here Mr. and Mrs. Walter O'Hara, of Florida enjoy their porch, dog and chicken in a Falmouth camp in a photo published in the Evening Express on Dec. 5, 1941.

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    Historic photos: Pearl Harbor - Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    A demonstration for the citizens of South Portland of what an Air Raid Precautions Service command center would look like, probably held at the high school auditorium. Representatives of the gas, electric, bomb squads and safety services sit at one table flanked by telephone operators and, at the back, Boy Scouts who were to be pressed into service as messengers.

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    In the days after Pearl Harbor people enthusiastically volunteered to take part in defense measures. These men answered the call for air raid wardens and crowded around typists at the recently completed South Portland armory to sign up.

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    These men are identified as Charles Mooney and Rudolph Arsenault but is not clear which one is which in this obviously posed photo to illustrate the Dec. 8 story on the crackdown on security on Portland's waterfront following Pearl Harbor.

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    Mrs. William Fielding of Norfolk, VA who moved to Maine as part of the influx of defense workers hangs out her laundry at a Falmouth trailer camp. Unable to find affordable housing, many families moved into trailers.

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    Navy recruits at a Portland recruitment office photographed on Dec. 9, 1941.

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    Soldiers at what was discreetly described as a 'local fort' write chalk messages on shells before they are discharged from the Coastal Defense guns. The Telegram published on Dec. 14 said that some of the messages expressed the soldiers's sentiments about Japan's "unprovoked and dastardly attack" on Hawaii and that all the shells had "best regards?" from the battery that discharged them. However, more personal messages were added including one that says "Martha Love."

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    Francis Foss, 64, of Portland, demonstrates a gun perhaps for sailors Alvin H. Ricker of Kittery (center) and Sidney Weber. Foss served in World War I and was among the applicants at the Naval Reserve Armory on Dec. 9 to sign up to serve again.

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    Mrs. Minetta Paul, of Rockport knits for the troops in the days following Pearl Harbor. She is shown knitting the third large men's sweater in three months. In the previous World War, Mrs Paul knit and made bandages. At 82 she was the oldest woman in the Rockport branch of the Red Cross.

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    Crowds gather to watch the launching of the first ships from the Todd-Bath Shipyard in South Portland on Dec. 20.

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    Western Union telegraph operators continue their work in Portland on Dec. 9 as the windows of their office are blacked out.

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    Some of the applicants for the Army who signed up at the Naval Reserve Armory on Dec. 8, 1941 were (left to right) Francis Kempton, Mass.; Fred Jones, Biddeford; Robert LeClair, Saco; Staff Sgt. Edward Tetrault; Michale Santorsola, Biddeford; George Scamman, Scarborough and Joseph Dentico, Biddeford. Standing in the center holding the poster is recruiting officer Robert Sylvester or Portland.

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    Gov. and Mrs. Sumner Sewall with Lady Gerald Campbell at Todd-Bath Shipyard launching of the Ocean Liberty on Dec. 20. Lady Gerald Campbell was the wife of the director of British Information in the United States. She was sponsor of the Ocean Freedom which eventually sank after being attacked by the Luftwaffe in 1943.

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    While the military was flooded with recruits, many people also wanted to be involved at home. Here men and women sign up to volunteer at the civilian defense office at 187 Middle St. in Portland.

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