Sources For Individual Ship Study

WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Sources For Individual Ship Study

Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC

1. Ships History Branch - telephone (202) 433-3643; fax 433-6677

Maintains historical source files including periodic histories submitted by individual ships and other historical data. Overall histories of every U.S. Navy ship from the American Revolution to date of publication of the respective volume are published in the Naval Historical Center's Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (8 volumes, 1958-1981. A new Volume I Part A, containing ships with "A" names, was published in 1991). This series is held by many libraries, particularly US Government Depository libraries.

2. Deck Log Section, Ships History Branch - telephone (202) 433-0824

Holds the post 1 January 1962 deck logs for most naval ships. The logs through 1978, as well as most logs after 1989, are stored at the Washington National Records Center. Arrangements to view them must be made in advance by contacting the Deck Log Section. Microfiche copies of some post-1978 logs are held at the Deck Logs Section. Please call ahead to check on the availability of the deck logs.

3. Operational Archives Branch - telephone (202) 433-3224; fax 433-2833

Has custody of the post-1945 war diary and action report coverage for most individual ships, which are available for research purposes. World War II submarine war patrol reports and the action report/war diary coverage of some World War II ships are held on microfilm. Holds some World War II interviews relating to shipboard experiences, especially for 1941-1944 periods, as well as personal paper collections.

4. Photographic Section, Curator Branch - telephone (202) 433-2765

Maintains a well indexed reference collection of naval photography, including views of individual ships.

5. Navy Department Library - telephone (202) 433-4132

The Library maintains an extensive collection of cruise books for individual ships. Duplicate post-World War II cruise books can be used at the Library or borrowed through interlibrary loan channels for in-library use only. Due to possible copyright violations, often fragile book conditions and a small staff, the Navy Department Library does not provide photocopies of entire cruise books. See New York Public Library entry as an alternate source for cruise books.

6. Naval Aviation History Branch, Building 157, First Floor, Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC 20374-0571

Maintains source files on aircraft carriers, aircraft tenders, and other aviation-type vessels including periodic histories submitted by these ships and other historical data relating to naval aviation. They also have microfilm copies of aircraft accident reports from 1920-1953. They also have the unpublished histories of aviation type ships and aviation squadrons serving on ships for the 1942-1952 period, as well as the command histories from 1957 to the present.

Archives I, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC

Textual Reference Branch, National Archives, Washington DC 20408 telephone (202) 501-5671

Holds deck logs of individual ships through 1941. Officer personnel are often listed on the first page of each month's log for the 1880-1941 time period. A collection of monthly muster rolls listing enlisted personnel aboard individual ships from the 1880-1941 is also available. The Navy's Judge Advocate General investigative records, for the pre- World War II period, are also maintained in the Branch.

Archives II, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park MD 20740-6001.

1. Textual Reference Branch - telephone (301) 713-7250

Holds deck logs of individual ships from 1942 through 1961. Officer personnel are often listed on the first page of each month's log. A collection of monthly muster rolls listing enlisted personnel aboard individual ships from 1942 through 1966 is available. Starting with 1958, the officer rosters are included with the muster rolls on the microfilms. The Bureau of Naval Personnel Casualty files contain the official listing of casualties for World War II, as well as casualty reports for U.S. Navy ships and the Naval Armed Guard serving on merchant ships. The Bureau of Naval Personnel files also include the armed guard reports for each voyage. This office recently accessioned the Navy's collection of World War II action reports, war diaries, and operation plans, as well as the Tenth Fleet files which contain merchant ship movement report cards, the loss and damage reports for merchant ships, folders on individual convoys, and the Allied Antisubmarine Warfare Assessment Committee evaluations.

2. Still Pictures Branch, NNSP, telephone (301) 837-0561.

Maintains the largest collection of official Department of the Navy still photography covering the 1775-1981 period.

3. Cartographic Branch, NNSC, telephone (301) 713-6885

Holds a collection of aerial photography taken during some of the Defense Intelligence Agency's mapping and topographical surveys covering the pre-World War II-1960 period. Aerial photographs of U.S. Navy ships are included. However, the ship photography is not indexed. In addition, it includes the Bureau of Ships collection of general plans and drawings for most ships stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.

4. Central Records Office, Judge Advocate General of the Navy, Alexandria VA 22332
telephone (703) 325-9533

Records and proceedings of court martials, boards of investigation, courts of inquiry, and other investigative records are held from World War II to the present. Similar investigative records for the pre-World War II period are at the Textual Reference Branch of Archives I, National Archives.


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