The Berkshire Archives mission is to acquire, preserve, and make available the historical records of the School, documenting its origin, development, achievements, and its faculty, staff, students, campus, and alumni.
In 1917, the US officially joins the War Effort. Berkshire has eight full-time teachers and over 70 students, a record number. By the time the year is over, five teachers (over half the faculty) will leave to enlist, every graduating senior will forgo college for the armed forces, and of the 123 alumni, all but two will fight in the War.
How did Berkshire fare in the years leading up to, during, and after WWI? How did school life change? How did a looming war impact the boys? How were the Bucks affected by over 120 of 'their boys' off at war?
On Graduation Day in June of 1941, Mr. Buck delivers a speech that calls for "serious, industrious, courageous, loyal young.' While he reminds the graduates to 'shoulder their responsibility,' he is devastated that during WWI 'the world lost eight million of its most promising youth. Your fathers and uncles have taken their places as best they could, but you will soon have to take their places." While Pearl Harbor isn't attacked for a couple of months yet, Mr. Buck and Berkshire are bracing for the war machine.
Under the leadership of legends Buck, Keep, and de Windt, Berkshire develops a unique, first-of-its-kind program to prepare the school for the War: Education with Wings, a military aviation school within a school, is born. With Roosevelt's "Arsenal of Democracy" mobilization, Berkshire must discover a way to keep the school open and train its students, all eligible for the draft at 18, for warfare.
But what is life like on campus with Army and Navy Cadets living side-by-side with the students? How does the school survive the travel restrictions, shortages, wartime threats, and draft?