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Less than a month later, Pei suspended his work at Harvard to join the National Defense Research Committee, which coordinated scientific research into US weapons technology during World War II.
Pei's background in architecture was seen as a considerable asset ; one member of the committee told him: " If you know how to build you should also know how to destroy.
" The fight against Germany was ending, so he focused on the Pacific War.
The US realized that its bombs used against the stone buildings of Europe would be ineffective against Japanese cities, mostly constructed from wood and paper ; Pei was assigned to work on incendiary bombs.
Pei spent two and a half years with the NDRC, but has revealed few details.

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