War Assets Administration

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The War Assets Administration (WAA)[1] was established in the Office for Emergency Management, effective March 25, 1946, by Executive Order (EO) 9689, January 31, 1946.

The Surplus War Property Administration (SWPA) established in the Office of War Mobilization (OWM) by Executive Order 9425, February 19, 1944, to supervise disposition of surplus war property. Superseded by the Surplus Property Board (SPB), Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion (OWMR), established under the terms of the Surplus Property Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 768), October 3, 1944. SPB was superseded by Surplus Property Administration (SPA), pursuant to an act of September 18, 1945 (59 Stat. 533). The domestic functions of SPA assigned to WAA, 1946. See 270.1.

The Petroleum Reserves Corporation (PRC) was established by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), June 30, 1943, under authority of the RFC Act (47 Stat. 5), January 22, 1932, to acquire petroleum reserves outside the United States. The PRC was transferred to the Office of Economic Warfare (OEW) by EO 9360, July 15, 1943, and with OEW to Foreign Economic Administration (FEA) by EO 9380, September 25, 1943. It was 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 War Assets Corporation (WAC) were assigned to the War Assets Administration (WAA), 1946. See 270.1.

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 totaling 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.

WAA was abolished by the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (63 Stat. 738), June 30, 1949 and its successor Agency was the General Services Administration as liquidator.

Further reading

  • FBI Silvermaster file, Vol. 145, pg. 301 pdf, Summary Entitled "Underground Soviet Espionage Organization (NKVD) in Agencies of the United States Government" Found in War Assets Administration.


  1. Records of the War Assets Administration (WAA), National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.