Fifty Years of Naval District Development

Prepared in
Naval History Division
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
June 1954

Related resource: Naval District Manual (1927)


15 February 1956


1. FIFTY YEARS OF NAVAL DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT (1903-1953) is an historical monograph which is distributed to interested commands and activities for reference purposes and general information.

2. Questions regarding the content of this study should be referred to the Chief of Naval Operations (Op-29).

3. Extracts from this publication may be made as desired.

4. One or more copies of this publication have been forwarded to the distribution list set forth below. Requests for additional copies should be addressed to the Chief of Naval Operations (Op-21) with appropriate justification. Such requests should be held to a minimum consistent with actual needs.

Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy
Deputy Vice Chief of Naval Operations


SNDL Al (1 copy each); A4 (2 copies); A5 (2 copies each);
A6 (2 copies); F1 (2 copies each); F2 (2 copies each)
USNA ANNA (4 copies)
AFSC (2 copies)
ICAF (2 copies)
NATLWARCOL (2 copies)
NAVPGSCOL (2 copies)
NAVWARCOL (2 copies)
ADMINOFC (2 copies)
CHINFO (2 copies)
OP-29 (6 copies)



This study of the Naval Districts during their first half century has been prepared in the Naval History Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and is based on the official records and archives of the Navy Department. It replaces a previous study made in the Naval History Division in September, 1945. Research and writing was done by Lieutenant Jack F. Ayers, assisted by Lt.(j.g.) Henry A. Vadnais, Jr., under the supervision of Mr. William J. Morgan, Head of the Historical Research Section. Captain C. W. Travis and Commander J. W. Maddex of the Naval District Affairs Branch helped in the preparation of the manuscript. Captain Gordon Campbell, formerly in charge of Naval District Affairs, made a thorough review of the entire study and submitted many helpful suggestions.


[B L A N K]



Introduction 1
I. General Development 3-7
II. District Limits 9-13
III. The District Commandant 15-16
IV. The District Staff 17-22
V. Liaison with the Navy Department 23-24
VI. District Operations 25-33
VII. Jurisdiction Over Naval Shore Activities 35-39
VIII. Ten Years of Investigation and Reform (1943-1953) 41-44
IX. Summary 45
I. District Personnel, 1 Jan 1944 6-7
II. District Limits, 1903 9
III. District Limits, 1920 10
IV. District Limits, 1940 11-12
V. District Headquarters Personnel, 1 Jan 1944 22
I. District Staff, 1921 18
II. District Commandant's Staff, Standard Organization, Dec 1953 21
Appendix A -- General Board No. 19 of 30 January 1903, Reccomendation that title of Officer-In-Charge Naval Districts be "Commandant" 47-49
Appendix B -- General Order No. 128, 7 May 1903, Establishment of Naval Districts 51-53
Appendix C -- Commandant Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., to Secretary of the Navy, 1 February 1915, Transfer of Headquarters of First Naval District to Boston, Mass., with five endorsements; plus Bureau of Navigation and Office of Naval Districts on same subject a month later 55-62
Appendix D -- Secretary of the Navy letter to Supervisor, First Naval District--Change of title to "Commandant", 26 April 1916 63-65
Appendix E -- Commandant, First Naval District letter to Secretary of the Navy, 14 December 1916, Requesting additional Officer for Aide to Commandant, First Naval District; with two endorsements 67-71
Appendix F -- Bureau of Navigation Memo to Commandant, First Naval District, 13 February 1917, Naval Militia upon mobilization, plus Chief of Naval Operations letter of 24 February 1917 on the same subject 73-76
Appendix G -- Bureau of Navigation letter to Chief of Naval Operations, 13 March 1917, Organization of Naval Communication and Information Service, First Naval District 77--79
Appendix H -- General Order No. 372, 28 February 1918, Administration of Naval Districts 81-84
Appendix I -- Secretary of the Navy letter to Commandants 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Naval Districts, 26 February 1919, Discontinuance of 2nd Naval District 85-87
Appendix J -- AlNav 45-608, 4 June 1945, Command Relationships in Naval Districts 89-93
Appendix K -- Hydrographic Office Chart, Naval District Limits, December 1953 95-97
Notes 99-109
Index 111-117