The Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory was formed in 1945 when the US Navy merged on-going efforts of Columbia and Harvard Universities to combat the German U-boat threat in the North Atlantic. Prior to that time, the Division of War Research of Columbia, housed in a single building at Fort Trumbull, was sponsored by the National Defense Research Committee while the Harvard Underwater Sound Laboratory was doing similar work in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For the next fifty years until it was formally closed in 1996, the rich scientific culture of the "Sound Lab" continued to support virtually all aspects of Naval Warfare technology.

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