V-12: Navy College Training Program

In operation from July 1943 through June 1946, the V-12 Navy College Training Program was established to increase the number of commissioned officers available for wartime service. Over 125,000 participants were enrolled in 131 colleges and universities in the United States in the V-12 program. Harvard was one of those institutions.

Archival Collections: V-12 Navy College Training Program

The Periscope, November 1942-Jun. 1946. [Cambridge, Mass.] Harvard Naval R.O.T.C. Unit. (4 volumes). [Call number: HUE 58.869].

  • Historical note: The  Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps  was integrated within V-12 program beginning on July 1, 1943 for the duration of the war.


Jones, Grinnell. Lecture Notes in Chemistry C-1, 1943. (1 folder). [Call number: HUC 8943.213].

Navy V-12 Unit Examinations, 1945. (1 folder). [Call number: HUE 63.3].

Navy V-12 Unit course outlines, syllabi, etc., 1943. (1 folder). [Call number: HUE 63.4].

Navy V-12 Unit notices and forms, 1943. (1 folder). [Call number: HUE 63.5].

Reading assignments and exercises for Navy biology 1, spring term, 1943-1944. (1 volume). [Call number: HUE 63.143].

Laboratory outline for General Botany: Navy Biology 1, undated. (1 volume). [Call number: HUE 63.143.48].

Laboratory outline, Biology B-4: Comparative Anatomy, undated. (1 volume). [Call number: HUE 63.143.50].

Regulations of the Navy V-12 unit, 9 August 1943. (1 volume). [Call number: HUE 63.143.75].

Regulations of the Navy V-12 unit, 6 March 1944. (1 folder). [Call number: HUE 63.144].

Laboratory outline, Biology B-2: Vertebrate Zoology - revised edition, Spring 1945. (1 volume). [Call number: HUE 63.145].

Clippings of the Navy V-12 Unit, 1944. (1 folder). [Call number: HUE 63.400].


Harvard University. Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Student folders for men in the V-12 Program who were not candidates for degrees in Harvard College, circa 1943-1946. (26 Boxes). [Call number: UAIII 15.88.20].

  • Access note: University records pertaining to individuals (such as student records) are closed for a minimum of 80 years. The bulk of these records may be closed at least until July 1, 2026.


Harvard University. Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Records relating to items loaned to Navy V-12 students, 1943. (2 containers):

  • Navy V-12 Unit applications for textbook loans, 1943. (1 bundle) [Call number: UAIII 29.43].
  • Receipts for books and equipment loaned to Navy V-12 students, 1943. (1 folder). [Call number: UAIII 29.43.5].

Harvard University. Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Registration cards and enrollment list for Navy V-12 program, 1943-1945. (2 containers):

  • Navy V-12 registration cards, 1943-1945. (1 box). [Call number: UAIII 29.43.7].
  • Enrollment lists for the Navy V-12 program, 1944-1945. (1 folder). [Call number: UAIII 29.44.2].

Harvard University. Information Office. V-12 information cards, 1945-1946. (1 box). [Call number: UAV 460.290].

United States. Navy. V-12 Unit (Harvard University). Records, circa 1941-circa 1945. (4 folders):     

  • Directories and lists of students, undated. (1 folder). [Call number: UAV 602.218].
  • Sample forms, circa 1941-circa 1945. (1 folder). [Call number: UAV 602.229].
  • Memoranda from the Officer-in-Charge, undated. (1 folder). [Call number: UAV 602.254].
  • Regulations of the Navy V-12 Unit, undated. (1 folder). [Call number: UAV 602.275].

Harvard University. Business Manager. (1 folder):

  • Navy V-12 rations reports, undated. (1 folder). [Call number: UAI 66.15.65].


Harvard University. Comptroller. Accounts receivable: ledgers, invoices, statements, etc. (1 volume):

  • Medical V-12 Program: statements of accounts, receipts for room and board, v.6 kept as sample (A-Z), March-May 1945. (1 volume). [Call number: UAI].


Smith, Ellis W. My Journal to Be All I Could Be, 2009. (1 accordion folder). [Call number: HUM 225].  Note: In the chapter “From Sailor to Executive” Smith discusses his participation in the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Harvard College during World War II.

Allen, Douglas F. 1989. “A Harvard Experience? : Naval ROTC in World War II.” Thesis (A.L.M. in History) Harvard University, 1989. [Call number: HU 88.25.150].