Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with William G. Colman
COLMAN: Yes. Why was he showing up in Manila? Either at Checchi's end or my end there was a screw up, I don't know which. I spent a month or so when I got back with Griffin chasing down a few things and then Hugh Gallagher stepped into the picture again. A Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) had been established as an independent agency of the Federal government. Civil defense was a big thing at the time. He said come over and be my deputy. Millard Caldwell, former Governor of Florida, was named chief of the organization. Ralph Spear was over there and also Joe Chambers. I don't know whether that rings a bell with you or not. He got the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in one of the island landings in World War II. Hugh headed the Field Operations Divisions of FCDA and wanted me to be his deputy and to organize regional FCDA field offices over the country as a part of readying the country for defense against foreign attack.
We went by common regional lines e.g. New England. We recruited Regional Civil Defense Directors. We had about twelve of them. I was chasing around recruiting and then working with the regional directors on getting their offices set up. A lot of legislative stuff in their own regions—how to deal with the governor and legislature of the states in their region. We wanted to get the National Guard more involved and so did the Executive Office of the President. I spent about a year with FCDA from October 1951, to September 1952. It was about eleven months. At that time another person, another former boss, captured me and that was Bill Hoff, who had been head of the Technical Assistance Division in ECA.
COLMAN: During all of the war planning that had gone on during the Korean War—he helped set up the Office of Defense Mobilization (ODM) and the Defense Production Administration (DPA). One of the issues closely tied in with civil defense but not dealt with in FCDA—How you recover from an atomic attack? How do you best prepare yourself for the worst?; and then, how do you come out of it as quickly as possible? The job was to develop an index of vulnerabilities to attack. It was called the Post Attack Production Staff. I joined that staff as a consultant.
Q: This was under the military?
COLMAN: No. These were independent agencies. The ODM was given general directions by the Executive Office of the President.
Q: I see.
COLMAN: I was with them, and at that time I had shifted over to a daily basis of consulting.