Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060
This collection is comprised of 30 cubic feet of 5" x 8" cards spanning the period from World War II to the mid-1990s. The cards contain information on the establishment authority, mission, designation and administrative changes, and disestablishment authority for the Operating Forces of the Navy and the shore activities of the Department of the Navy.
The Naval Historical Center's Operational Archives Branch received this collection from N09B22 on 17 October 1995. The arrangement of the cards is according to the Standard Navy Distribution List (SNDL) Parts 1 and 2. SNDL Part 1 contains the Operating Forces of the Navy (which includes ships, squadrons, and fleet units), the Unified and Specified Commands, U.S. Elements of International Commands, and Military Sealift Command USNS Ships. SNDL Part 2 is the authoritative, official list of all shore activities of the Department of the Navy.
SNDL number (e.g., FG2) is an alpha-numeric code that segregates shore activities, detachments, commands, offices, etc., by their reporting relationships/command structure and differs from the activity codes. Navy Air Stations, for example, are categorized under the 14XX-XXX series activity codes. The SNDL code assigned to Naval Air Stations under Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet is FA6 while that for air stations under Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet is FB7.
The information contained in the more recent cards, Form OPNAV 5110/14 (11-81), includes activity name, SNDL code, official title and mailing address, UIC number, activity code, short title, chain of command/support exercised through, area coordinator, regional area coordinator, former SNDL and activity code, status of military official in command, and authority for entries from official correspondence. The mission statement is on the reverse side of the card. The cards prior to 1981 contain similar information in a slightly different format.
The collection provides a wealth of information on the composition and organization of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps over a 50 year time period. It also provides information on the establishment, redefinition, and disestablishment dates that may not be available from other sources. The area coordination data provides a horizontal overview of shore activities and the relationships between and among such activities.
In order to determine the appropriate identifying SNDL code number for a unit or activity, the collection of Standard Navy Distribution Lists (SNDL Part 1) and Catalogs of Naval Shore Activities (SNDL Part 2) held by the Operational Archives Branch will have to be consulted.
The command histories held in the Post-1946, Post-1974, and Post-1990 Command Files could be consulted for additional information on Post-World War II naval units and activities. The command history program was established in 1959 and requires all units and activities identified in the SNDL Parts 1 and 2 to submit an annual command history. The basic history submitted in 1959 usually includes information on when that unit or activity was established and gives a narrative account of its significant accomplishments from its establishment to 1959. After the initial 1959 submission of a basic history, the commands submit a history on an annual basis.
Scope and Content Note
Series I, SNDL Part 1, contains the Operating Forces of the Navy (which includes ships, squadrons, and fleet units), the Unified and Specified Commands, U.S. Elements of International Commands, and Military Sealift Command USNS Ships. The codes are alpha-numeric, with an end number that identifies the specific Fleet Commander in Chief the unit reports to for administrative command. Lists ending in "1" are generally Atlantic Fleet units while lists ending in "2" are usually Pacific Fleet units. The numeric prefix in the SNDL code also distinguishes the unit as a fleet activity versus a shore activity or detachment that contains an alpha prefix.
Series II, SNDL Part 2, is the authoritative, official list of all shore activities of the Department of the Navy. This part of the SNDL contains addresses of: (1) Department of the Navy Shore activities and staff offices officially established by the Secretary of the Navy; (2) Chief of Naval Operations (N09B) established detachments; (3) Secretary of Defense and Department of Defense agencies; and (4) miscellaneous non-Navy activities with Naval personnel assigned. Only Department of the Navy formally established shore activities are assigned 7-digit codes in Part 2. First 4 digits identify series or functional type, last 3 digits arrange like activities alphabetically by city.
This collection should be cited as Records of the Shore and Fleet Organization Branch OPNAV Resource Management Division, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.
30 cubic feet
3 July 2003