Publications

Reference Information Paper 78

A Finding Aid to Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II ("The American Soldier" Surveys)

Table of Contents

Part IV: The Textual Records

[For more information about the records described here, contact the Textual Archives Services Division-Modern Military Records, National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740. Telephone: 301-837-3510 Email: inquire@nara.gov]

Record Group 330--Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense

IV.1 Several series of textual records in RG 330 relate directly to the surveys of "The American Soldier in World War II." The series records relating to the organization, development, and functions of the Research Division and of its predecessor Army Research Branch, 1941-55 (2 ft.), is useful for consideration of policy decisions relating to the establishment and development of the survey program. The records are arranged in folders, each of which contains records of one type, such as directives, reports, correspondence, or informal histories of ARB. Records within each folder are generally in chronological order. There is also information on ARB personnel. The documents in this series extend beyond the war period into the mid-1950's, but over 80 percent of the material predates 1947.

IV.2 Records accumulated at one organizational level above ARB compose the series decimal correspondence file, 1943-52 (125 ft.), of the Office of Armed Forces Information and Education (the postwar name for IED), which is arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. The series is split into two large subseries, dated 1943-48, and 1949-52. The first subseries contains about 53 feet of records. That subseries contains some information specifically related to "The American Soldier in World War II," especially under decimal 330.11 (Morale and welfare), but it is very difficult to find information about given individuals, units, or locations.

IV.3 There are four series of textual records in RG 330 that directly document the surveys. They are:

    1. Questionnaires used in surveys and studies to determine attitudes and opinions of military personnel, 1942-54 (7 ft.), consisting of one copy of the final version of each survey questionnaire. The folders, each containing one survey, are arranged generally in numerical order by original survey number, with gaps. World War II surveys number about 300 (2 ft.).

    2. Reports and analyses of attitude research surveys ("Study Folders"), 1943-55 (23 ft.), that include, in over 300 study folders, the original question- naires; marginalia; field notes; information on sampling techniques, methodology, the purposes of the studies, and methods of measurement; and other technical documentation. The series also contains an index to the study folder files (labeled "Final Copy 10/28/55") that gives a brief description of each study, the date administered, samples drawn, and totals. About 14 feet of the series consists of studies from the World War II period. It is arranged by original survey number, with unnumbered studies interspersed.

    3. Reports of studies of attitudes, prejudices, and desires of American Troops ("What the Soldier Thinks"), 1942-55 (9 ft.), consisting of several hundred manuscript reports based on the analysis of survey data. Each report is tied to one or more of the studies and concerns a particular period, location, or event or observes a given phenomenon across time or geographic locations. Included in the series are the published reports entitled "What the Soldier Thinks." There are 347 reports (6 ft.) for World War II, arranged by report number (roughly chronological) in four sets.

    4. Reports of overseas research units showing the results of studies of opinions and attitudes of military personnel stationed overseas, 1942-53 (9 ft.), which are similar to the other series of reports but were prepared in the field. Nearly all of these reports (over 400) pertain to World War II. They are arranged by geographic designation (such as ETO, CBI, and PCD) and thereunder by report number.

Record Group 160--Records of Headquarters Army Service Forces

IV.4 The Services of Supply was established by a War Department circular of March 2, 1942, which placed under its commanding general the units of the Office of the Under Secretary of War that were responsible for providing the U.S. Army with supplies and services. The command was renamed the Army Service Forces (ASF) in 1943 and by that time provided all services and supplies necessary to meet military requirements other than those unique to the Army Air Forces. ASF was discontinued in 1946, and its functions were divided among War Department General Staff Units and the Administrative and Technical Services.

IV.5 The series miscellaneous [formerly] security-classified issuances [and reports] of the Army Service Forces, 1942-46 (26 ft.), contains 14 reports based on studies conducted as part of the American Soldier opinion surveys. They are listed here not only in case they are not present in the three larger series of reports in Record Group 330, but because they represent a good sample of the kinds of studies that exist in ARB's total program of surveys.

    1. "Attitudes of Enlisted Men Recently Returned from Overseas on Their Processing Before Going Home on Furlough and on Their Reassignment," July 31, 1944 (Report No. B-114), 29 pp.

    2. "Survey of Soldier Opinion, United States Army Forces in the Middle East, May 4-18, 1943," 94 pp.

    3. "Attitudes of Troops Toward the War," Sept. 8, 1942 (Report 24), 10 pp. "Based on planning surveys of a representative cross-section of troops in the Army Ground Forces and the Air Forces."

    4. "Attitudes of Troops Toward the War and Our Allies," Nov. 30, 1942 (Report No. 44), 23 pp.

    5. "The Battle of Britain--Preliminary Report--Experimental Study of the 4th Film in the 'Why We Fight' Series," Mar. 9, 1943 (Report No. 8-7A), 18 pp. "Based on a cross-section of trainees at the Armed Forces Replacement Training Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky."

    6. "Church and Chaplain in Relation to the Soldier," Sept. 15, 1942, 12 pp. "Based on a representative cross-section of two divisions."

    7. "Attitude of Enlisted Men Toward Negroes for Air Force Duty," Nov. 30, 1942 (Report No. 43), 11 pp. "Based on a representative cross-section of 5872 enlisted men in six Army Air Force tactical units and three Army Air Force training schools."

    8. "Attitudes of White Enlisted Men Toward Sharing Facilities with Negro Troops," July 30, 1942 (Report No. 18), 8 pp. "Based on a representative cross-section of three divisions, May 1947."

    9. "What Infantrymen Think of the Infantry," Sept. 14, 1942, 12 pp. "Based on a representative cross-section of three combat divisions in May 1942."

    10. "United States Army Force in the Middle East, July 21-August 7, 1943," Sept. 2, 1943 (Report No. B-67), 47 pp.

    11. "Fear of German Weapons," Oct. 1, 1943 (Report No. B-66), 28 pp. "Based on a survey of enlisted men recently evacuated from North Africa."

    12. "What Enlisted Men Think About Their Food, Clothing, and Laundry," Sept. 18, 1942, 29 pp. "Based on a cross-section of two combat divisions, July-Aug., 1942."

    13. "What Questions Would Soldiers Like to Ask Their Commander-in-Chief?" Jan. 25, 1943, 12 pp. "Based on a representative cross-section of enlisted men in camps in the United States."

    14. "Soldier's Plans for Farming After They Leave the Army," Dec. 20, 1944 (Report No. B-131), 51 pp.

Record Group 165--Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs

IV.6 The War Department General Staff was charged with, among other things, investigating and reporting on questions affecting Army efficiency and preparedness and with providing professional aid to the Secretary of War, general officers, and other superior commanders. During World War II the increased responsibilities of the military made necessary the creation of several special staff divisions, such as Legislative and Liaison, Civil Affairs, Information and Education, Public Information, and New Developments.

IV.7 Among the records of the Information and Education Division is the series [formerly] security-classified microfilm copy of records relating to the morale of military personnel, 1941-45 (44 rolls, negative, 16mm). The records are arranged in order by survey number, thereunder by question number (if relevant), and thereunder randomly by (unidentified) respondents. Each roll of microfilm contains from approximately 1,100 to approximately 1,800 images. For a complete list of roll numbers, survey numbers, and question numbers, see Appendix B.

IV.8 These records consist of negative photocopies of handwritten responses to "open-ended" questions on the opinion surveys conducted by ARB. On the microfilm labels these are called "free comment" questions. They generally are worded: "If you have any further remarks you would like to make on any subject please write them below as fully as you would like." See paragraph I.3 above for some sample responses. Preceding the "free comments" for each survey is a cover page indicating the name and number of the survey and the date and time of the survey. Many such cover pages also indicate the location at which the survey was taken and the military units involved. Thus, even though individual respondents cannot be identified, it is possible to determine specific information about the unit, time, place, and other conditions related to the application of the questionnaire. The "free comment" responses can also be matched to the electronic data sets and to the published reports by matching survey numbers.


Note: Compiled by Ben DeWhitt and Heidi Ziemer. Published by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, 1991 (Revised, 1997).

Web version prepared 1999. Additions and changes incorporated in the Web version are between brackets [] and in italics.

Publications >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.