"War Against Fires of War with the Fire Guard" Vintage WWII Civilian Defense Volunteer Poster by Fink, 1943

This is a vintage WWII Fire Guard poster, issued by the Office of Civilian Defense in July of 1943. Illustrated by Fink, the poster shows firefighters in action, fighting the flames of a burning building. Out the window, enemy planes fly overhead. The text “War Against Fires of War with the Fire Guard. Join at Civilian Defense Volunteer Office” is printed in block white text. 

In the early days of World War II, air raids on populated cities in Europe generated fears that similar attacks could happen in the United States. On May 20, 1941, more than six months before the United States entered the war, President Franklin Roosevelt set up the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) to coordinate state and federal measures to protect civilians in a war-related emergency.  In less than a year, there were 8,459 local civilian defense councils across the United States, coordinating the services of about 5.4 million volunteers.

Civilian defense volunteers performed all kinds of tasks depending on their skills and available time. Classes in civilian defense topics such as fire fighting, gas defense, demolition and clearance, air raid warnings system, and blackouts were held at community centers and practiced with community drills. Doctors and nurses taught first aid classes to maximize the number of people able to help in an emergency. Community members memorized the shapes and markings of enemy aircraft and watched the skies from roofs and bell towers. Farmers and gardeners volunteered to teach people how to grow victory gardens to lessen dependence on store-bought food. 

Preparedness was essential in combating the fears of an attack on American soil. Posters, pamphlets, and films were issued by the Office of Civilian Defense to help encourage community participation and readiness. 


Good condition overall. Colors are very vibrant. Paper is healthy with only minimal creasing at margins. "OCD Publication 7019 July 1943" printed at bottom. Sold unframed, as-is. Unframed Dimensions: 22"H x 14" W.

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