Firstly, Wald did not work for the Center for Naval Analyses or its predecessor organizations Antisubmarine Warfare Operations Research Group (ASWORG), Operations Research Group (ORG) or Operations Evaluation Group (OEG). Instead, he worked for the Statistical Research Group at Columbia University. The Center for Naval Analyses merely published his work many years later, and didn't exist as such until 1962.
A good history of what occurred is found in Breakthroughs in Statistics: Foundations and Basic Theory, which is also consistent with Abraham Wald's own description, as published in his book Sequential Analysis.
Quoting from pages 249-250 of "Breakthroughs in Statistics..."
the Applied Mathematical Panel of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development established a Statistical Research Group at Columbia University on July 1, 1942. The purpose of the Group was to advise the Defense Department on statistical methods for experiments that were being conducted on a vast scale of war production. Allen Wallis headed the group with Harold Hotelling and Jacob Wolfowitz as its founding members. Wald, Harold Freeman, and Milton Friedman, among others, joined a few months later. In late March 1943, Wallis discussed the following problem with Friedman [presents highly mathematical problem]
This lead Wallis and Freidman to the following conjecture [more mathematics]
Wallis and Friedman approached Wald in early April 1943. Wald was initially unenthusiastic, but phoned 2 days later to admit that their conjecture was, indeed, correct.
So, basically the OP is saying other members of the group erred, when in fact they formed the basis of Wald's work.
More particularly, concerning planes, Willis, the head of the group stated:
"The military was inclined to provide protection for those parts that on returning aircraft showed the most hits" Quoting "The Statistical Research Group, 1942-1945" Journal of the American Statistical Association, Volume 75, pages 320-330 (alternative link).
So, yes Wald was going against the earlier convention, but not against a previous recommendation of the group.
For additional information, in 1980 a reprint of Wald's original 1943 work was republished and the full 100 page text is available A REPRINT OF "A METHOD OF ESTIMATING PLANE VULNERABILITY BASED ON DAMAGE OF SURVIVORS"