ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

4aPP2. Harvey Fletcher: Friend and scientific critic.

Leo L. Beranek

975 Memorial Dr., Ste. 804, Cambridge, MA 02138-5755

Harvey Fletcher was active in World War II both in the early days of defense research under the auspicies of the National Defense Research Committee and later as Chief of Section 17.3 of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. He was a member of the National Research Council committee that started and oversaw the research of the Electro-Acoustic Laboratory at Harvard University of which I was named Director. Within a year or so Dr. Fletcher's OSRD Section 17.3 took over the supervision. In the latter part of World War II, I was named Director of the Systems Research Laboratory under the Office of Field Research. Dr. Fletcher was appointed as one of a group of five to oversee the activities of this Laboratory. This paper is a collection of anecdotes and remembrances of Fletcher in the fast-moving and important military research and development period from 1940 until 1945 when I reported often to him. Personal contacts with him continued after the war, frequently at first, and sporadically for the next three decades. ``Uncle Harvey,'' as I came to call him, was both a friendly guide and a demanding scientific critic.