Rhode Island Investigation

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Results of the investigation on Al Bielek's claims of his 90-days training course at Providence, Rhode Island

According to Bielek he and his "brother" Duncan enlisted in the US Navy as Lt. (Junior Grade) in September 1939, and that both attended a 90-day training school at Providence, Rhode Island. The only place on Rhode Island where those kinds of military courses were conducted was at Brown University. The original message text of the replies is displayed on this web page. The email addresses and IP numbers of the institutes intentionally have not been erased to allow the verification of the authenticity. The sender address has been screened.

Reply of the Brown University, Rhode Island, dated February 22, 2001

There was no officer-training course before Fall 1940, which again undermines Bielek's statement and is again false.

From - Thu Feb 22 22:47:00 2001
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From: Martha Mitchell
Subject: Naval education
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Dear Gerold M. Schelm:

A Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit was
established at Brown in the fall of 1940 with 110 members, along with
a Department of Naval Science and Tactics. Students who were
admitted to the Corps under peace-time conditions before March 1943
took a four-year course in naval science and tactics which,together
with a summer cruise. entitled them to a degree and a commission in
the Volunteer Naval Reserve or Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
Students in the Corps in March 1943 completed their program as Naval
students, Class V-12, in the Naval Reserve.

On July 1, 1943 the Navy V-12 program began on 131 American
college campuses. At this time Brown had about 600 Navy V-12
students from four different sources; 1) the new V-12 students who
were mostly selected by the Navy from secondary schools; 2) former
V-1 students who had joined the Navy as freshmen and sophomores
before March 1943 and had been on inactive duty; 3) former V-7
students who had joined the Navy as juniors and seniors and were
close to being commissioned; 4) The Naval ROTC students who had been
enlisted in the Brown unit which started in 1940.

This describes the connection of the University with the
Navy. To describe further the Naval Science and Tactics department
and content of the courses it would be best if I could send you some
excerpts from the college catalogues. For that I would need a
mailing address.

Martha Mitchell, University Archivist

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