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with from time to time, and if all hell broke loose we each had our assignments as to where
we were to go. Mine, as I say, was in West Virginia, underground.
What were your responsibilities to be?
I had communications. I think I had communications, transportation and -- I've
forgotten what the third one was -- and I had a piece of paper I carried with me at all times,
giving me access to trains and planes and to cross security lines. We all carried those things
around with us. As I look back on it now, it's a little bit like cops and robbers, but it was
played for real because there was a great concern about a breakout of war. I had some alert
patrols here in New York that I was involved in.
What are alert patrols?
Well, just -- They were tests to see how we could mobilize the people we were
working with, and get to the appointed places. As I say, or as I mentioned, my post was in
West Virginia. My staff was to convene in that area and we would work, presumably, as best
we could under the circumstances. It was clear that the military wanted us out of the
Washington area. I've even forgotten now who some of the other members of the cabinet
were, but it was a stand-by cabinet. I remember one man in particular was Harold
Bechtenstein, who later became chairman of Owens Corning Glass, I think. But, he was
from Toledo, Ohio. It was an interesting group of guys. I know after the first meeting we
had in the War Room, or in a secret room in the White House, down in the bowels of the
White House with Ike and some of the staff, when the meeting was over, the President said,
“Well, now we'll see how fast this is in Drew Pearson's column.” I think Drew Pearson was
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