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COLLECTION Identifier: Arch P1.3

HBS Archives Photograph Collection: Wartime Schools


Photographs of various wartime schools and activities at HBS during World War II.


  • 1942-1945

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. HBS Archives collections require a secondary registration form, please contact for more information.


6 linear feet (5 boxes, 2 oversize boxes)

The collection consists of photographs documenting the activities of various training school and courses at HBS during World War II including the Army Air Forces Statistical School, Army Air Forces War Adjustment Course, Army Supply Officers Training School, Navy Industrial Accounting Officers School, Navy Supply Corps School, and the Quartermaster ROTC unit at HBS.

The collection includes photographs of soldiers in military formation on the HBS and Harvard University campuses, in classrooms, playing sports, at dances and other social events, with families, and at various graduations. HBS faculty represented in this collection includes Harry Hansen, Edmund Learned, George F. F. Lombard, Georges F. Doriot, Dean Donald K. David, Dean Wallace Brett Donham, and others. The collection also contains photographs of administrative staff, including women.

Historical Note:

During World War II Harvard University entered into contracts with the War Department for the establishment of military training schools. HBS suspended its MBA Program between June 1943 and February 1946 to dedicate itself to the training of Army and Navy personnel.

In 1941 the Army's Quartermaster Corps established a Reserve Officers Training Corps at HBS, the first to be located at a graduate school. The program lasted until June of 1943, at which time the War Department activated all reserve officers and terminated its ROTC courses. The program was designed to train officers for the business of supplying the Army. Instruction was provided in part by HBS faculty members and instructors from the Army.

Dean Donald K. David set up the Army Air Forces Statistical School at HBS in May 1942 for selected officer candidates. These officer candidates studied at HBS after completing eight weeks of general administrative training at Officers' Candidate School in Miami Beach, Florida. The original course of five weeks was extended to eight weeks in 1943. The purpose of the Statistical School was to prepare officers to gather information about personnel, aircraft, and equipment and to present facts and analyze them in ways that would suggest improvements for future missions and other operations. Instruction was provided primarily by the HBS faculty. The Statistical School operated for over two years, ceasing operations in October 1945. The school's first civilian director was Edmund P. Learned, who was succeeded by Dan T. Smith.

The Army Air Forces War Adjustment Course was established in 1944 at several locations in the United States, one of which was HBS. The HBS program involved eight weeks of training in the business of contract terminations, cutbacks, and property disposal necessitated by changes in Army Air Forces tactical requirements. Instruction was provided by the faculty of HBS under the direction of Cecil Fraser, with John Heflin serving as Commandant. The course of study was offered only twice at HBS. The second and final group graduated in November 1944.

The U.S. War Department established a three month Advanced Technical Training Course at HBS on April 10, 1943, for Army Supply Officers. The Army Supply Officers Training School admitted and trained 200 Army quartermaster officers every three months. The precursor at HBS had been the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps ROTC Program, which was eliminated in 1943 after the War Department activated all reserve officers. Students were selected on the basis of outstanding military records. The objective of the course was to prepare officers for higher responsibilities in supply work for the Army by teaching them the language, problems, and viewpoints of businessmen and industrial organizations.

The Navy Industrial Accounting Officers Course started in 1943. The course enrolled officers who were on active duty for four months of special training in industrial accounting. Instruction was provided by HBS faculty who were assisted by visits to the school from Navy Accounting Officers and Navy Civilian Accountants. The instruction was by the case method, supplemented by field trips to naval and privately operated shipyards. Students learned the principles of Navy Industrial Accounting, business industrial accounting, product organization and control, personnel problems, procurement problems, and cost analysis. The goal of the program was to prepare students for work as accounting officers or cost inspectors for Navy Yards and Naval Districts.

In 1941 Supply Corps personnel were sent to HBS for training in the business of equipping the Navy. Faculty members of the Navy Finance and Supply School in Philadelphia (a school supervised by the U.S. Naval Academy) and the Naval Reserve Supply Corps in Washington, D.C were transferred to HBS. The course was aimed at student officers and officers in the Naval Reserve. Approximately 800 students were accommodated by the school at one time, requiring renovation of existing HBS facilities and the construction of a temporary building on the campus, Carpenter Hall. Students were taught by Navy officers and HBS professors, who were required to take commissions.

The Navy War Adjustment Course at HBS started in February 1944 and lasted until September 1945. Four month courses were taught by HBS faculty. Approximately fifty officers enrolled in each four month term. Officers in the program studied appropriation, stores accounting, termination problems, cost analysis, factory war adjustment, handling and storage of materials, personnel and administrative problems, and problems of government in war adjustment.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Series I. Army and Navy Training Schools, 1942-1945
  2. Series II. Army Air Force Statistical School, 1942-1945
  3. Series III. Army Air Forces War Adjustment Course, November 1944
  4. Series IV. Army Supply Officers Training School, 1943
  5. Series V. Navy Industrial Accounting Officers School, 1943-1944
  6. Series VI. Navy Supply Corps School, 1942-1945
  7. ___Subseries A. Navy Supply Corps School, 1942-1943
  8. ___Subseries B. Navy Supply Corps School Family Life, 1943-1945
  9. Series VII. Navy Training Schools, 1943-1945
  10. Series VIII. Quartermaster ROTC Unit, 1942-1945

Physical Location



Portions of the photos were donated by Professor Cecil Eaton in the late 1940s. Some photographs were also donated by Professor Elizabeth Burham.

Alternative Form Available:

Portions of the collection have been scanned and are available through VIA:

Related Collections:

The Wartime Schools photographs are part of the HBS Archives Photograph Collection. Additional photograph collections include:

The HBS Archives also holds the records of each wartime school:

  1. United States. Army Air Forces. Statistical School (Harvard University) Records (Call number Arch E80A.4)
  2. United States. Army Air Forces. War Adjustment Course (Harvard University Records (Call number Arch E80A.3)
  3. United States. Army. Supply Officers Training School (Harvard University) Records (Call number Arch E80A.2)
  4. United States. Navy. Industrial Accounting Course (Harvard University) Records (Call number Arch E80A.5)
  5. United States. Navy. Supply Corps School (Harvard University) Records (Call number Arch E80A.6)
  6. United States. Navy. War Adjustment Course (Harvard University) Records (Call number Arch E80A.7)
  7. United States. Army. Quartermaster Corps Reserve Officers Training (Harvard University) Records (Call number Arch E80A.1)

Processing Information

Processed: December 2007

By: Allison Benedetti and Rachel Wise.

HBS Archives Photograph Collection: Wartime Schools, 1942-1945: A Finding Aid
Baker Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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