Chapter XXIII

Director of Training


In a letter of 14 October 1942, the Chief of Naval Personnel directed that an officer designated Director of Training be made a member of the staff of each continental District Commandant.1 Functioning directly under the Commandant, this officer was to be separated from any specific training activity in order that he might devote his full attention to the major duty of general training in the district. No qualified officer being available for the billet at the time, the Commandant, Eighth Naval District, requested that the Bureau of Personnel assign one. Meantime, the organization of the Training Division was begun by a member of the District Personnel Officer's staff; and when an officer reported to assume the duties of the Director of Training on 7 May 1943, the foundations had been laid.

The functions of the Director of Training remained very much the same from the beginning.2 The reorganization which placed all district headquarters personnel activities under the Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel caused no changes in the functional structure or the services of the Training Division.

The Director of Training was the primary representative of the Bureau of Personnel in the performance of its training mission within


the district. As such he supervised and coordinated the complete training program of all activities of the district under the cognizance of the Bureau of Personnel except the Air Functional Training Commands activities. This involved making periodic inspections of training facilities with a view to assisting each activity in the improvement of curriculums, training methods, personnel, and equipment, and of recreational, disciplinary, housing, and messing facilities. These inspections were sufficiently thorough to insure that proper military standards were maintained and that instruction was on an efficient level and in accordance with Navy standards and Bureau directives. All Navy V-12 Units, including Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, were inspected at least once each term, and Navy Refresher Training Units at least every four months. During these visits discussions were held with commanding officers of the units and presidents of the colleges and universities in regard to any problems that had arisen concerning the training program. A report was submitted to the Bureau after each inspection.

The coordination of training activities in the district included activities which were under the Fleet Operational Training Command for control of curriculums, training methods, equipment, organization, and personnel, but for which the Bureau of Personnel provided logistic support. Liaison with the COTCLant Representative at district headquarters entailed keeping him informed in regard to the availability of training facilities and assisting him in obtaining facilities for carrying out the training program for forces afloat. The Director of Training


cooperated with the commanding officers of receiving stations in the establishment and improvement of training facilities available for men on general detail. On request he also lent assistance to training activities under the Air Commands.

He maintained complete information on all training facilities in the district except those under the Air Commands, including data on such matters as physical location, description of courses offered, instructional personnel, and equipment. He took into account and kept current records on the possibilities for additional training facilities. Ho made recommendations to the Bureau on any matters which promoted the best interest of Naval training within the district.

When the training program in the district was in full awing, from late 1943 through early 1945, the number of training activities, widely separated as they were, caused the Director of Training or his representatives to be in the field a great part of the time on tours of inspection. There were V-12 Units at the following institutions:

V-12 Line Units
  • Arkansas A&M College, Monticello, Arkansas
  • Carson Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee
  • Howard College, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana
  • Milligan College, Milligan College, Tennessee
  • Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi
  • Mississippi College, Clinton, Mississippi
  • North Texas Agricultural College, Arlington, Texas
  • Rice Institute, Houston, Texas
  • Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
  • Southwestern Louisiana Institute, Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas
  • Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Austin, Texas


V-12 Medical Units
  • Baylor University, Houston, Texas
  • Louisiana State University, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas
  • Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • University of Alabama, University, Alabama
  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi
  • University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Austin, Texas
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
V-12 Dental Units
  • Baylor University, Dallas, Texas
  • Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • University of Texas, Houston, Texas
V-12 Theological Units
  • Brite College of the Bible, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Southern Methodist School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
  • Vanderbilt School of Religion, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

There were Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at Rice Institute, Tulane University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Texas. There was a Naval Academic Refresher Unit (V-5) at Northwestern Louisiana College, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

During the first six terms (the sixth term ended on 1 July 1945) the "graduates" from the V-12 Line Units, together with the 757 trainees commissioned from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, totaled 6l09. About 900 of these were Marines, who transferred to Officers Candidates Schools. The figure 6109 does not include several hundred trainees who transferred to flight preparatory schools and pre-flight


schools for further training. The number of officers commissioned in the Medical Corps during the same period was 376, the number in the Dental Corps 122.

There were radio schools at the following institutions:

There were also electrical engineering schools at each of these institutions except Alabama Polytechnic Institute. A yeoman's school for Waves was located at Oklahoma A&M. One of the two Naval schools in oriental languages established in the United States was opened at that institution in May 1945, the Japanese language school being transferred there from the University of Colorado when the Waves school was closed.

By far the largest concentration of training facilities in the district was at the Naval Training Center, Gulfport, Mississippi. As It developed, service schools elsewhere in the district were disestablished. The following schools were in operation there, most of them from early in 1944:

Between December 1942 and December 1944, the Armed Guard School trained over 34,000 officers and men. The Basic Engineering School and the


Diesel School, both established in February 1944, together trained over 24,000 men. The Director of Training and his staff necessarily spent a great deal of time working with the combined training activities at Gulfport.

The training facilities at the Naval Repair Base, New Orleans, required comparatively small time. The representative of the Fleet Operational Command called on the staff of the Director of Training for occasional aid in connection with training matters at the Naval Training Center, a COTCLant activity at the Naval Repair Base. The staff of the Director of Training had charge of the curriculums of the Fire Fighters School and the Electronics and Loran School at the Center. The Armed Guard Center (Gulf), another command of the Naval Repair Base, functioned independently of the Director of Training. The Sperry Gyroscope School, also in the Mew Orleans area, was under the Navy in that the Navy furnished an instructor for it and the Director of Training assigned students to it and supervised its curriculum. The Naval Reserve Educational Center and the Wartime Merchant Ship Communication School, both in New Orleans, came directly under the Director of Training.

To assist him in his supervision, coordination, and inspection of training facilities and in the other functions of his office, the Director of Training had a staff which, at its peak in 1944, included 23 officers, 39 enlisted personnel, and 4 civilians. The administration of the office was handled by the Director, the Assistant Director, and an additional assistant. One officer was responsible for the budget and another for facilities. In May 1945 the officer in charge of facilities was transferred to the District Redistribution Office, where


he continued looking after material matters for the Training Division among all other activities under the cognizance of the Bureau of Personnel. One section of the office was devoted to the various ramifications of the V-12 program; this section published the V-12 Pilot, a weekly publication containing information and guidance for the commanding officers of V-12 Units in the district. Other sections of the office came under the headings of Instructor Training. Physical Training, Educational Services, Training Aids, Naval Reserve Educational Center, end U. S. Navy Wartime Merchant Ship Communication School.

The mission of the Instructor Training Officers was to keep the quality of instruction in Naval training courses up to the standards of the Bureau of Personnel. The Instruction of V-12 students was wholly in the hands of the college and university authorities. The Instructor Training Officers checked the teaching methods of Naval instructors, however, and, where necessary, held classes for instructors in order to improve their technique in presenting subject matter. Practically all the efforts of the Instructor Training Officers were devoted to improving instruction in the service schools. They wrote lesson plans, prepared outlines, and in some cases built up complete courses of instruction. They checked the equipment used in classrooms: for instance, a certain number of lathes had to be used for so many students in a Particular course; certain types of motors were required in other courses; signal flags used for instruction had to meet Navy requirements. the Instructor Training Officers also acted as general advisers to officers in charge. The size of the instructional staff at the Naval Training


Center, Gulfport, caused the Bureau to assign to that activity the Instructor Training Officers, who worked under the district headquarters office.

On request, the district office gave help on instructor-training matters to the COTCLant training activities at the Naval Repair Base, New Orleans, and the COTCLant Antiaircraft Training Center at Shell Beach, Louisiana. When setting up courses for non-readers, the district office also extended aid, as requested, in establishing courses at the Air Commands activities in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Norman, Oklahoma.

The Physical Training Officers on the district headquarters staff aided in initiating physical training programs at training activities in the district and inspected each unit at least twice yearly. In getting the program under way, the Bureau assigned a Physical Training Officer to each V-12 Unit and assigned Specialists (A) as needed - usually one to one hundred trainees. Later the Bureau assigned the Specialists (A) for duty under the Commandant, so that the Director of training was able to place them according to district needs. Early in 1945 there were 230 Specialists (A) at district activities under the Commandant; there were 55 at the Naval Training Center, Gulfport, when the enrollment there was at its peak.

It was discovered that the V-12 trainees responded much better to Instruction under a Specialist (A) who himself had a college background. At the and of the program the Bureau detached from the V-12 Units the Physical Training Officers specially assigned and left Chief Specialists


(A) in charge. Meantime, many of the original Chief Specialists (A), who had been selected by very high standards, had been made commissioned officers and assigned to other duty, and the standards of the rating had been lowered. As one result of these changes, the district headquarters staff found it somewhat difficult to maintain the standards set for the physical training programs.

The district headquarters office procured the athletic equipment needed by the training units, and it passed on all special requests for equipment. It judged the adequacy of athletic facilities at the various institutions. Some activities had very poor swimming facilities. Many pools were open, and a few activities had no pools; in some instances arrangements were made to use pools of nearby athletic clubs. The less desirable the facilities, the more difficulty the instructors had in bringing the trainees up to the standards required by the swimming tests.

The Physical Training Officers at headquarters published monthly a Physical Training Bulletin designed to keep the officers and Specialists (A) in the district abreast of current policies of the Bureau in physical education. This publication presented lesson plans, outlines for courses in boxing and wrestling, designs for obstacle courses, and the like.

The Educational Services Offices on the district staff chiefly supervised the work of Educational Services Officers stationed throughout the district. One of the functions of these officers was to help trainees get the proper evaluation for work done in Naval training


schools toward credit for high school diplomas and college degrees. A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, published by the U. S. Armed Forces Institute, was valuable in this work. A convenient form prepared by the Armed Forces Institute was filled in with the appropriate information concerning the studies and qualifications of the trainee and then was forwarded to the institution at which he desired credit.

At various activities the Educational Services Officers arranged off-duty class programs in subjects that a sufficient number of trainees wished to study. The trainees' participation in such programs was of course voluntary. If a trainee passed the examination given at the end of the course, that fact was entered on the form used in applying for credit. The Educational Services Officers also enrolled Naval personnel for correspondence courses given by the Armed Forces Institute and by eighty-seven colleges and universities. Another service of these officers was giving advice on request to anyone who wanted an education. The war orientation program, which came under the Educational Services Officers, involved arranging lectures and disseminating printed matter on such subjects as why the United States was fighting.

The primary function of the Training Aids Officers was to promote good utilization of training materials; this necessitated tours of inspection of district training activities. A secondary function was the distribution of training materials, such as films, charts, posters, models, "mock-ups," and recordings. Training aids required for a curricula were sent to an activity without request. A small amount were


distributed on direction of the Bureau, but most were distributed on requests of the schools. Projection equipment was lent to activities needing it, and such equipment was repaired for all activities, including ships. About 2000 moving picture films were lent to training activities during the month of May 1944, the peak month. About 34,000 non-photographic aids were distributed in March 1945.

The training aids to be distributed were stored in a building provided for that purpose at the Naval Repair Base, New Orleans. Semiannually the district office published a catalogue showing the materials available. Training Aids Screen, published monthly, told of new materials received, and presented information about current Bureau directives.

During the war, ships had priority on training aids. The district office kept the Commissioning Details informed as to the materials on hand, so that they were able to inform ships being commissioned. Lists of films and lists of non-photographic materials were furnished Navy ships that visited district ports in order that they might check the items desired instead of having to fill out forms. Ships in the New Orleans area were visited by Training Aids Officers; others were served by mail. During the last two years of the war the district office serviced a total of 2330 ships. In addition to serving ships and activities under the Commandant, the district office on request provided training aids for Air Commands activities.

The Naval Reserve Educational Center, located in the Customhouse, New Orleans, conducted correspondence courses for officers and enlisted men in the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and Fifteenth Naval Districts.


When the war ended, about 5,000 personnel were enrolled for courses. The Bureau of Personnel has prepared a special history of this activity.

To meet communications needs in convoy work, the U. S. Navy Wartime Merchant Ship Communication Schools were established by direction of the Bureau of Personnel.3 The school in New Orleans opened its doors on 18 October 1943. Like the Naval Reserve Educational Center, it was under the supervision of the Director of Training, and its personnel were from the complement for his office. The mission of the school was to provide information and instruction for personnel of all branches of the service - Navy, Coast Guard, Army, and Merchant Marine - who had to understand merchant ship communications in order to carry out their duties efficiently. An important function of the officer in charge of the school was maintaining liaison with activities whose personnel needed the instruction offered by the school. During the first twenty months of its operation the school gave training to over 3,000 personnel. It conducted a one-week course, which covered all forms of merchant ship communications; a three-day visual course; and a three-day radio course. The school also gave Certificates of Proficiency in Wartime Merchant Ship Communications to masters and mates of merchant ships who passed examinations prepared by the office of the Chief of Naval Operations.



1. BuPers Ltr., P-2421-jef, dtd. 14 Oct. 1942.
2. For a full account of his functions, see BuPers Ltr. Pers-4233-pt/ND/P16-1, dtd. 15 Mar. 1945.
3. BuPers ltr. P-2423e-jf/P11-1, dtd. 16 Jul, 1943.

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