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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Photo # NH 44647-KN:  'Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat', 3 August 1804

Online Library of Selected Images:

"ICONIC" NAVAL IMAGES from the
American Revolution through the Cold War
-- Overview and Special Image Selection


This Online Library section provides quick and convenient access to a modest number of specially selected images concerning historical subjects with broad potential interest. All are taken from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command's Photographic Section. Users should be aware that there are frequently other pictures on the same subjects, in some cases very good pictures, in our own collections and in those of other institutions.

The text provided places pictures in their historical context. Taken as a whole, these written materials constitute a very brief overview of important and defining elements of the United States Navy's history. within the extensive literature on U.S. Naval history there are many other sources providing similar information in far greater depth and sophistication.

NOTE: This page, and those linked from it, are "works in progress". They are currently very incomplete and subject to considerable revision.

This page features a selection of iconic naval images from the American Revolution through the Cold War, with further links to a broader selection of such views.


  • The link at the top of each picture's entry connects to a page providing additional selected images concerning the chronological period represented.
  • In each entry, click the small photograph to prompt a medium-resolution view of the same image, the words "hi-res" to bring up a high-resolution JPG reproduction, and the words "Picture Data" to access the Picture Data Sheet for that image.


    THE NAVY'S FIRST YEARS, 1775-1815:

     The War of Independence,
    1775-1783
    .

    Battle between Continental Ship Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis,
    23 September 1779.
    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     Establishing the U.S. Navy,
    1783-1812
    .
    Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat,
    3 August 1804:


    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     The War of 1812,
    1812-1815
    .
    U.S. Frigate Constitution captures HMS Guerriere,
    19 August 1812:


    HI-RES
    Picture Data


    THE NAVY MATURES, 1815-1865:

     The Navy in Peace and War,
    1815-1861
    .
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:


    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     The American Civil War,
    1861-1865
    .
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:


    HI-RES
    Picture Data


    THE NAVY FROM POVERTY TO RICHES, 1865-1917:

      The Post-Civil War Navy,
    1865-1886
    .
    Old Sailors "Spinning a Yarn", circa 1890:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     The "New Navy" and the Spanish-American War,
    1886-1898
    .
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     Growth of a Battle Fleet Navy, 1898-1917.
    USS Connecticut, flagship of the "Great White Fleet:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data


    THE NAVY IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND THE INTER-WAR ERA, 1917-1941:

     World War I, 1917-1918.
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     Between the World Wars,
    1919-1941
    .
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data


    THE NAVY IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR, 1941-1945:

     World War II in the Atlantic.
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     World War II in the Pacific.
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     World War II at Home.
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data


    THE NAVY IN THE COLD WAR, 1945-1991:

     The Cold War Begins,
    1945-1953
    .
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     The Korean War, 1950-1953.
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     The Cold War Matures, 1953-1970.
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     The Southeast Asian War,
    1964-1975
    .
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data

     The Cold War's Final Decades,
    1970-1991
    .
    Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

    HI-RES
    Picture Data




    NOTES:

  • To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".


    If you want other reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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    Page In Work 4 March 2009