Guide to Federal Records

Records of the War Assets Administration [WAA]


(Record Group 270)
1939-55

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 270.1 Administrative History
  • 270.2 Headquarters Records 1942-53
    • 270.2.1 General records
    • 270.2.2 Records of the Office of the Administrator
    • 270.2.3 Records of organizational units
  • 270.3 Field Office Records 1939-55
    • 270.3.1 Records of the New York, NY, Regional Office (Region 2, ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ [northern])
    • 270.3.2 Records of the Philadelphia, PA, Regional Office (Region 3, MD, DE, VA, DC, NJ [southern], PA [except western])
    • 270.3.3 Records of the Cincinnati, OH, Regional Office (Region 4, PA [western], IN [southern], KY, OH [except northwestern])
    • 270.3.4 Records of the Chicago, IL, Regional Office (Region 5, MI, WI, IN [northern], IL [northern], MN, ND, SD, OH [northwestern])
    • 270.3.5 Records of the Atlanta, GA, Regional Office (Region 6, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN)
    • 270.3.6 Records of the Kansas City, MO, Regional Office (Region 8, MO, KS, IA, NE, IL [southern])
    • 270.3.7 Records of the Denver, CO, Regional Office (Region 9, CO, WY, UT, NM)
    • 270.3.8 Records of the San Francisco, CA, Regional Office (Region 10, AZ, CA, NV)
    • 270.3.9 Records of the Seattle, WA, Regional Office (Region 11, WA, ID, OR, MT, AK)
  • 270.4 Motion Pictures (General)
  • 270.5 Still Pictures (General) 1946-49

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270.1 Administrative History

Established: In the Office for Emergency Management, effective March 25, 1946, by EO 9689, January 31, 1946.

Predecessor Agencies:
  • Petroleum Reserves Corporation (PRC), Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC, June-July 1943)
  • PRC, Office of Economic Warfare (OEW, July-Sept. 1943)
  • PRC, Foreign Economic Administration (FEA, Sept. 1943-Sept. 1945)
  • PRC, RFC (Sept.-Nov. 1945)
  • War Assets Corporation (WAC), RFC (Nov. 1945-Mar. 1946)
  • Surplus War Property Administration (SWPA), Office of War Mobilization (OWM, Feb.-Oct. 1944)
  • Surplus Property Board (SPB), Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion (OWMR, Oct. 1944-Sept. 1945)
  • Surplus Property Administration (SPA), OWMR (Sept. 1945-Mar. 1946)

Functions: Disposed of surplus consumer, capital, and producer goods; industrial and maritime real property; and airports and aircraft located in the United States and its territories.

Abolished: By the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (63 Stat. 738), June 30, 1949.

Successor Agencies: General Services Administration, as liquidator.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the War Assets Administration in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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270.2 Headquarters Records
1942-53

History: SWPA established in the OWM by EO 9425, February 19, 1944, to supervise disposition of surplus war property. Superseded by the SPB, OWMR, established under the terms of the Surplus Property Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 768), October 3, 1944. SPB superseded by SPA, pursuant to an act of September 18, 1945 (59 Stat. 533). Domestic functions of SPA assigned to WAA, 1946. See 270.1.

PRC established by the RFC, June 30, 1943, under authority of the RFC Act (47 Stat. 5), January 22, 1932, to acquire petroleum reserves outside the United States. Transferred to the OEW by EO 9360, July 15, 1943, and with OEW to FEA by EO 9380, September 25, 1943. Restored to RFC by EO 9630, September 27, 1945, where by charter amendment it was redesignated the WAC, November 9, 1945, and given authority by the SPA to serve as property disposal agent for RFC. Domestic functions of WAC assigned to WAA, 1946. See 270.1.

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270.2.1 General records

Textual Records: Records of meetings of predecessor agencies, 1944-47. Operating manuals, 1946-49. Circular letters, 1945-49. Administrative letters, 1947-49. Regulations and orders, 1946-49. Asset property records, Plancor 1608, 1943-47. Real property disposal case files, 1946-49. Records relating to the Bunker Hill School of Aeronautics compliance case, 1946-53. Miscellaneous records, 1944-49.

Finding Aids: William F. Sherman, "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the War Assets Administration," NC 37 (Nov. 1963).

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270.2.2 Records of the Office of the Administrator

Textual Records: Office files of WAA Administrator Jess Larson, 1942-53. Subject files, 1946-50. Reading files, 1946-49.

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270.2.3 Records of organizational units

Textual Records: Subject file of the Advisory Council, 1946-48. Records of the Historical Unit, 1943-49. Subject files of the Office of Information, 1946-49. Records of the General Review Board, including action files, meetings index, and transcripts of proceedings, 1946-49. Records of the Real Property Review Board, 1946-49. Subject file of the Central Office of Real Property, 1946-49.

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270.3 Field Office Records
1939-55

History: Six zone offices were established on August 15, 1946, to assist the WAA Administrator in supervising nationwide field operations. Zones were divided into regions, varying in number from 4 to 7 per zone, and totalling 32 in 1947, each with a regional office, and including three "territorial" regions (AK, HI, PR). Zone offices were located as follows: Zone I, Philadelphia, PA (New York, NY, after March 21, 1947); Zone II, Atlanta, GA; Zone III, Chicago, IL; Zone IV, Kansas City, MO; Zone V, Grand Prairie, TX; Zone VI, San Francisco, CA. Zones were abolished in March 1948; the number of regions was reduced to 10, numbered as Regions 2-11. The remaining regional offices were redesignated either as district offices (19) or customer service centers (3), and placed under regional offices; eventually all the district offices were converted to customer service centers. Regional offices functioned until the WAA was abolished in 1949.

There are no accessioned records in the National Archives for the Grandview, TX, Regional Office (Region 7, MS, LA, AR, OK, TX).

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270.3.1 Records of the New York, NY, Regional Office (Region 2,
ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ [northern])

Textual Records (in New York, except as noted): Real property disposal case files, 1946-49, including copies of title documents dating back to 1938 (in Boston and New York). Orders and memorandums of the regional director's office, 1946- 49. Minutes and staff meetings and regional directors' conferences, 1946-48. Press clippings, 1944-48. Organization charts for central office, and organization and function charts for Region 2 and other regions, 1946-48.

Photographic Prints and Negatives (in New York): Stockpiling, auctioning, and sale of surplus property; and conferences and meetings of WAA officials with military officers, government officials, and representatives of private industry, 1946-49 (4,100 images). See also 270.5.

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270.3.2 Records of the Philadelphia, PA, Regional Office (Region
3, MD, DE, VA, DC, NJ [southern], PA [except western])

Textual Records (in Philadelphia): Real property disposal case files for DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV, 1944-49. Terminated lease files, 1951. Records of disposed plants, 1951. Space survey correspondence, 1951. Installment sales records, 1951.

Motion Pictures (in New York): First Auction Sale of WAA at 2401 Chestnut Street, n.d.(1 reel).

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270.3.3 Records of the Cincinnati, OH, Regional Office (Region 4,
PA [western], IN [southern], KY, OH [except northwestern])

Textual Records (in Chicago): Real property liquidation files, 1945-50. Accounting files, 1945-49. Status files, 1945-52. Staff reappraisal reports, 1946-49. Appraisal and engineering reports, 1945-47. Legal documentation files, 1946-49, including title documents dated as early as 1940.

Finding Aids: Cincinnati, OH, Regional Office records described in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

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270.3.4 Records of the Chicago, IL, Regional Office (Region 5,
MI, WI, IN [northern], IL [northern], MN, ND, SD, OH
[northwestern])

Textual Records (in Chicago, except as noted): Real property liquidation files, 1945-51. Hemp program correspondence files of the RFC Surplus Property Division, 1944-45, and successor WAA Region 5, 1946-47. Real property disposal case files, 1947-51 (in Kansas City).

Finding Aids: Chicago, IL, Regional Office records described in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

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270.3.5 Records of the Atlanta, GA, Regional Office (Region 6,
NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN)

Textual Records (in Atlanta): Regional director's general correspondence, 1946-49. Regional director's state correspondence, 1946-49. Real property case files relating to property management, legal matters, and property disposal, 1946- 50. Contract files, 1946-47, principally for facilities and property leased by the Corps of Engineers, including copies of contracts dated as early as 1941. Site deactivation certificates, 1948.

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270.3.6 Records of the Kansas City, MO, Regional Office (Region
8, MO, KS, IA, NE, IL [southern])

Textual Records (in Kansas City): Administrative maps, 1946-48. Summary of surplus real property, 1946-49. Real property disposal case files, 1941-55, including files for Camp Crowder (Neosho, MO); Triangular Cantonment (Salina, KS); Cornhusker Ordnance Works, NE; Gopher Ordnance Works (Minneapolis, MN); and Weldon Springs Ordnance Works (St. Louis, MO).

Finding Aids: Kansas City, MO, Regional Office records described in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

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270.3.7 Records of the Denver, CO, Regional Office (Region 9, CO,
WY, UT, NM)

Textual Records (in Denver, except as noted): Real property case files for CO, WY, and UT, 1945-47, including some records dating back to 1940. Information pertaining to real property case files and transactions, 1940-46. Maps and drawings (NM), 1939-46. Real property disposal case files, 1947-51 (in Kansas City).

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270.3.8 Records of the San Francisco, CA, Regional Office (Region 10,
AZ, CA, NV)

Textual Records (in Los Angeles): Real property case files for AZ, southern CA, and NV, 1946-49.

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270.3.9 Records of the Seattle, WA, Regional Office (Region 11,
WA, ID, OR, MT, AK)

Textual Records (in Seattle): Claims case files, 1947-52. Deed and lease case files, 1946-50. Photostats of newspaper clippings relating to the Boeing strike at Renton, WA, 1948. Scrapbooks of photographs and press clippings concerning the disposal of surplus property, theft investigations, and flood damage surveys, 1945. Real property transaction files, 1945-48. Real property management files, 1945-51. Real property disposal case files, 1941-54 (182 ft.). Organizational files, 1946-49.

Photographs (in Seattle): WAA personnel conducting sales of surplus property in the Pacific Northwest, 1945-48 (405 images). See also 270.5.

Finding Aids: Seattle, WA, Regional Office records described in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records: Real property case files of the Spokane, WA, office of the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation (74 ft.), in RG 103, Records of the Farm Credit Administration.

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270.4 Motion Pictures (General)

See under 270.3.2.

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270.5 Still Pictures (General)
1946-49

Photographs: Real property or real estate assets of the WAA, 1946-48 (RP, 800 images). Disposal of surplus goods or conversion of goods to peacetime use by the WAA; and views of President Harry S. Truman with the WAA Administrator, 1946-49 (WA, 2,000 images).

See Photographs under 270.3.8.
See Photographic Prints and Negatives under 270.3.1.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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