World War II & Later Life

The American Legion mission to England to survey civilian defense functions.

D'Olier with Commander Warner, Gen. Frank Parker, and Joseph Deutschle.

In March 1941, Past National Commander D’Olier joined National Commander Milo J. Warner, National Commander’s Aide Joseph Deutschle, and Maj. Gen. Frank Parker on a mission to survey the damage caused by the German blitz in England and learn what civilians were doing to build their country's defenses.

The group met with Royal Air Force (RAF) and civilian officials, including their counterparts in the British Legion, to study civilian defenses and consider how The American Legion might contribute to the American civilian defense effort should the war come across the Atlantic. 

The American Legion mission to England to survey civilian defense functions.

Commander Warner told reporters upon the groups' return that "the English feel - and I can't help joining in the feeling - that with our help they will win out."

Commander Warner and the members of the group left England inspired by the high level of organization among the British civilian defense groups, feeling strongly that the British could win against Germany with American assistance.

After the United States joined the war, D'Olier directed civilian defense efforts in New Jersey, New York and Delaware. 

United States Strategic Bombing Survey Report

Cover of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey Report published 1945 on the European War.

In 1944, D'Olier was appointed chairman of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, tasked with evaluating the effects of American aerial bombardment in World War II. 

The Survey, comprised of all civilian personnel, published a report on the effectiveness of American bombing strategies in Europe in 1945 and another report on the effects of the atomic bombs in Japan in 1946.

Washington, DC National Headquarters Building, 1950

Past National Commander D'Olier watches National Commander George Craig lay the cornerstone for the new Washington, D.C., offices of The American Legion after giving a short address as part of the ceremony on Sept. 15, 1950. Owen C. Holleran and Past National Commander Milo Warner stand in the foreground. 

1954 Memorial Notice

Past National Commander Franklin D’Olier passed away on Dec. 10, 1953, at the age of 76.

His wife Helen had preceded him in death in 1950 after a five-year illness. They are buried at the D'Olier family grave site in Burlington, NJ.

Franklin D'Olier's legacy of unselfish service lives on in the aims and ideals of the organization he led more than a hundred years ago.

D'Olier grave

D'Olier family gravesite at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Burlington, NJ.