Columbia as a site of Naval Officer Training

The Morningside campus served as one of the Navy’s largest training sites during World War II. Using twelve of the University’s buildings, the Midshipmen’s School trained over 21,000 new officers for duty in the fleet.  According to a press release from then, the Midshipmen’s School at Columbia during the war graduated more new officers than did the Naval Academy at Annapolis.

The last class of midshipmen graduated in November 1945, the school was decommissioned, to be replaced by a Naval ROTC program .

Naval midshipmen in academic procession. The College yearbook, 1944.
Naval midshipmen in academic procession. The College yearbook, 1944.
Courtesy Columbia University Archives.