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Civil Defense Badges

Civil Defense really got it’s start during WWII with the system of local air raid wardens. As the nuclear age began American cities realized that they were not safe from attack in time of war. Evacuation and public shelter plans had to be made just in case the worst would happen. Nearly all plans called for trained local volunteers to carry out the emergency plans which would also come in handy in times of natural disasters. The volunteers were organized as auxiliaries of local and county law enforcement and fire fighting agencies. Volunteers usually didn’t have uniforms so badges became an essential way to recognize authorized personnel in times of emergency. Over the years Civil Defense programs have faded away but the badges remain. These are the badges with the letters “C D “ in a triangle that most collectors run into at shows. Some have enameled centers while others are just bare metal. Nearly every one has the name of the local issuer and they make for fascinating collecting. Illustrated here are only two examples of the many varieties that exist. As far as I know there are no books about these badges and collector interest in them is very limited so if you are tired of the high prices in other fields this may be a good time to jump in on the ground level.

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