NC State During World War II

NC State During World War II

1940s

1941 Diesel Program

One of the most significant contributions to the war effort is the Diesel Program, developed by the Mechanical Engineering Department. The program trains more than 1,500 members of the Navy.

Group photo of U.S. Navy ensigns studying diesel engineering at NC StateGroup photo of U.S. Navy ensigns studying diesel engineering at NC State
1942 Reba Clevenger and World War II

Reference Librarian Reba Clevenger became the acting college librarian during World War II, when all male library staff members left for military service. Library Director Harlan Brown took a leave of absence until 1946.

Reba Clevenger portraitReba Clevenger portrait
1/30/1942 Early graduation approved

The faculty approves a plan to allow seniors who are taking jobs in essential industries or joining the military to graduate early.

4/17/1942 Special summer courses

The faculty approve a plan to hold fall engineering classes in the summer as part of a nationwide war effort to accelerate graduation at technical schools for the benefit of the war effort.

4/24/1942 Higher women enrollment sought

Increased enrollment by women needed in engineering courses; urgent appeals are made as the male students leave to fight in the war.

Women in defense training studying engineering drawingWomen in defense training studying engineering drawing
4/24/1942 Blood drive

Students hold a blood drive to support the war effort.

10/7/1942 Scrap metal drive

Students gather over 150,000 pounds of scrap metal in 3 hours for the war effort; a banner over the collection pile reads "To Hitler & Co. from NC State College."

Scrap drive round-upScrap drive round-up
2/12/1943 Defense classes

Plans are announced for up to 2,000 military trainees to enroll at State College to take specialized defense classes through the United States War Department; the college will operate as two separate units: one for the military and one civilians.

ROTC cadets at inspectionROTC cadets at inspection
3/8/1943 Harrelson reports for military service

Col. John Harrelson, Dean of Administration, reports for active Army duty; he becomes the 56th faculty member at State College to enter active service and the first head of a major college in the South to be called for permanent active duty.

Chancellor John W. Harrelson at deskChancellor John W. Harrelson at desk
4/9/1943 Enrollment decline

Enrollment hits the lowest mark in 20 years, due to the number of students leaving to join the military.

Officers standing at attention at military ceremonyOfficers standing at attention at military ceremony
1944 Diesel Building built

During World War II, State College formed a partnership with the U.S. Navy to train naval officers in diesel engineering. The Diesel Building was constructed to house this project. It was designed by Ross Edward Shumaker and became part of Broughton Hall in 1951.

Diesel School, North Carolina State College, May 18, 1944.Diesel School, North Carolina State College, May 18, 1944.
2/25/1944 Alumni in the Armed Services

Over 5,000 NC State alumni reported to be serving in the Armed Services, six of whom have obtained the rank of General.

Military cadets marching in formationMilitary cadets marching in formation
1945 Women's enrollment increases

Fifty-eight women are enrolled at NC State, many taking advantage of special scholarships to provide engineering training to women so they can work in industry during World War II.

6/10/1945 Late release of Agromeck

The 1945 Agromeck is printed and released late, due to wartime restrictions.

8/1946 Trailwood founded

More than 75 trailers (forming what was known as the "City of Trailers" or "Trailwood") were constructed so that married WWII veterans and their families could attend NC State on the GI Bill. In 1949, Trailwood was relocated, and Williams Hall was built in its place.

An over-all view of North Carolina State College's new "City of Trailers"An over-all view of North Carolina State College's new "City of Trailers"
9/28/1946 Marching band returns

A football game against Duke marks the first appearance of the marching band following the conclusion of World War II.

"State's best""State's best"