Guide to the MIT Radar School Collection, 1941-1945, 1993

Summary Information

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
MIT Radar School Collection
Date [inclusive]
1941-1945, 1993
0.5 cubic feet in 1 manuscript box, 1 card box
Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.
This collection contains publications detailing the background of the Radar Training School run by MIT for the Army and Navy during World War II. It also contains laboratory notes and exercises of an Army officer who was a student in the school.

Return to Table of Contents »

Historical note

A specialized radar training program, part of a broader Engineering Defense Training (EDT) program sponsored by the US government, was established at MIT in June 1941. The focus was to educate a core group of Army and Navy personnel about the theory and operation of microwave radar so that they could be ready to use nascent radar technology that was expected to be essential to forthcoming military efforts.

The MIT Radar School was organized to serve programs for the Army (Army Electronics Training Center) and the Navy (Naval Training School, Radar). Classes (a three-month program) were first taught on the MIT campus in buildings 18 and 32. Since radar systems were classified as “secret,” classrooms and participants were under military guard. In May 1942 the school moved to a former industrial building several miles from the Cambridge campus at 470 Atlantic Avenue in Boston overlooking Boston Harbor. Radar systems were installed on the roof of the “Harbor Building” for instructional purposes, and the Boston Harbor islands and their structures provided convenient testing opportunities.

Instruction was coordinated by faculty on loan from the Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT, augmented by additional civilian and military instructors. A textbook, Principles of Radar, edited by J. F. Reintjes, was compiled by members of the instructional staff and formally published after the war ended to make microwave information available to industry and university engineering departments.

The Army program ran from June 23, 1941, to June 30, 1945, and the Navy program was completed December 15, 1945. By the end of the war almost 8,800 students had completed the training.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Access note

This collection is open for research.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Institute Archives and Special Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

Return to Table of Contents »

Related Materials

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute Archives and Special Collections

web exhibit:

MC 489 Francis J. Reintjes papers

MC 508 Henry Zimmermann papers

MC 406 Marcy Eager papers

AC 94 MIT Office of the Registrar, series 2, Radar School student transcripts

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings


  • Radar--History.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Science.

Return to Table of Contents »


"MIT Radar School, 1941-1946: Recollections of the World War II Radar Training Program," by Henry Zimmermann. 1993.

History of the M.I.T. Radar School in Relation to Army Training from June 23, 1941 to June 30, 1945, by Malcolm S. McIlroy and Henry J. Zimmermann. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1945.

Principles of Radar, by the staff of the Radar School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, Mass.: The Technology Press, 1944.

The Staff of the Naval Training School (Radar), Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1945.

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory


Class notebook, Floyd Hamilton Fish, Jr. 1943-1944 


Return to Table of Contents »

Experiment notebook, Floyd Hamilton Fish, Jr. 1944 


Return to Table of Contents »

History of the M.I.T. Radar School in Relation to Army Training June 23, 1941 to June 30, 1945 


Return to Table of Contents »

"Recollections of the World War II Radar Training Program" , by Henry J. Zimmermann 1993 


Return to Table of Contents »

Class photograph, Naval Training School, Radar 1942 August to October 


Return to Table of Contents »