NHHC home Aviation History Branch


Records and Special Collections and other Repositories

Aviation Command History Reports

The office's major collections are the history reports submitted by the various naval aviation commands. These collections, some of which are classified, cover the period 1941 to the present. During the period 1953 to 1957 the Navy dropped its history reporting requirements, consequently, there are no reports for that timeframe.

Information on aircraft types

The office has some information on almost every aircraft the Navy has had in its inventory since 1911. There is, however, a very limited amount of technical information in these records, or in the office in general. Detailed technical information may be obtained from either the Public Affairs Office, Naval Air Systems Command (telephone (301) 757-1487, ext. 43), or from the Bureau of Aeronautics Collection (Record Group 72) held by the National Archives and Records Administration (301-713-7250). Naval aircraft drawings are held by two different organizations, the National Archives and Naval Air Systems Command.

Naval Aviation Insignia
The office is the final approving authority for the insignia of all Navy and Marine Corps aviation commands, excluding ships. The office maintains a file containing most of the officially approved Naval and Marine Corps aviation insignia from World War II to the present.

Aircraft History Cards

The office's collection of aircraft history cards are a record of the assignments of individual naval aircraft (e.g. to a squadron or shore activity). The cards are indexed by the unique bureau number the Navy gives to each of its aircraft. The collection covers the period 1911 to 1987. It is on microfilm only.

Aircraft Accident Summaries/Aircraft Mishap Investigation Reports

The aircraft accident reports are a record of operational losses. The summary reports normally do not include reports on combat losses. Presently, the collection covers the period 1920 to December 1973. The records are filed by type of aircraft and date of the accident. The collection is only on microfilm. NOTE: Without the type of aircraft and date of the accident it is almost impossible to locate the report on the microfilm. Requestors must have the type of aircraft and date of the accident in order to obtain a copy of the report. Records for the post December 1973 period are held by the Naval Safety Center. Their address is Commander Naval Safety Center, Attn: Code 71, 375A Street, Norfolk,VA 23511-4399.


Naval aviation photographs may be obtained from the NHHC's Photographic Section (telephone (202) 433-2765) and the Still Pictures Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. There is a fee and special procedures for the reproduction of these photographs.

Reproduction of Documents

The office will photocopy a limited number of pages (50). Larger orders are filled by scanning and placing the records on CD-ROM. The cost of these services is listed on the Center's fee schedule.

Reference Documents

The office has an excellent collection of reference documents on Naval Aviation. The following is a list of some of the more important reference sources (some of the recent documents are still classified).

1. Naval Aviation News magazine and its predecessors, the Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletters and CNO Aviation News Bulletins/Letters. This collection covers the period 1917 to the present.
2. Naval Aeronautical Organization (OPNAVNOTICE 5400), Fiscal Year 1923 to 2001.
3. Monthly Report, Status of Naval Aircraft, 1926 to 1954.
4. Allowances and Location of Navy Aircraft (OPNAVNOTICE C3110), 1949 to 1988.
5. Naval Aviation Summary (OPNAVNOTICE C3100), 1949 to 2001.

Other Repositories with Naval Aviation Records (pdf file.)