Colonel Frank Whitehead Biography - 2

Col. Frank Whitehead:

Commandant of the Army Industrial College (AIC), 1941

The AIC was established in 1924 in the aftermath of the United States' relatively poor military-industrial mobilization experience in WWI. Its original purpose was to train Army officers to supervise procurement of all military supplies and material in time of war.

The Winds of War

In February 1941, Frank Whitehead was appointed Commandant of the AIC -- the first Marine to be so honored. WW2 was of course already raging in Europe and the Far East.  In October, Col. Whitehead, told the new class of officers that they were being educated to be part of "the national defense job in which the nation is now engaged ... the job consists of doing just one important thing. The economy of the nation must be so organized that the...items required for national defense will be produced in adequate quantities and on time".

Pearl Harbor & the AIC Closing

On Dec 7th, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. On December 15, Whitehead received a letter from the Office of the Under Secretary of War, notifying him that the Army Industrial College was to be closed... On Tuesday, December 23, 1941 the final class of 75 officers graduated from the Industrial College.

After the graduation, the Staff presented Commandant Whitehead with his Hamilton 14kt gold wristwatch.

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“The year [1941] during which Colonel Whitehead has served as Commandant of the Army Industrial College has been perhaps the most active and important in the history of that institution, and that College, under Colonel Whitehead’s guidance, has made a highly valuable contribution to the cause of national defense.”
     ---  Henry L. Stimpson, U.S. Secretary of War

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