Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Personnel


Personnel Inspection

Personnel inspection on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. (Naval History and Heritage Command. NH 109643)


Since its early beginnings, Navy personnel have always been the U.S. Navy’s greatest strength. Record keeping of personnel actions are a vital component of the Navy’s overall mission. Over the course of the Navy’s existence, personnel strength has fluctuated depending on capabilities, equipment, world events, and a host of other factors. For instance, during the American Revolution, personnel strength of the Navy peaked at more than 3,000, but after America won its independence, the Navy was disestablished and personnel strength went to zero. During World War I, the ranks grew to more than half a million, but after the Great War was over, the Navy shrank to less than 92,000. World War II marked the biggest increase in the Navy topping out at more than 3.4 million in 1945. Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) made up the vast majority of personnel who would process the massive amount of paperwork WWII generated. 

In addition to personnel strength, pay, quality of life, personnel actions, awards, decorations, unit history, distribution of mail, and a host of other actions are processed for all Navy personnel. Although this page is not all encompassing, links have been provided for historical research purposes. NHHC also provides resources for veterans to assist those attempting to locate records relating to their own military service.  

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Resources

Selected Imagery


Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Navy Department, Washington, D.C. Navy and civilian personnel pose in an office in the main Navy or munitions buildings, circa 1918 or early 1919. Note typewriters, typing desks, metal file drawers and water cooler. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog#: NH 97696 



U.S. Navy enlisted personnel, 1923-1943

Plate one from Admiral E. J. King's 1943 report to the Secretary of the Navy, showing Navy enlisted personnel strengths at yearly intervals from 1923 to 1943. National Archives. Catalog#: 80-G-45291.



WAVE checks personnel files

WAVE checks personnel files in a 14th Naval District office, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, 12 July 1945. Official U.S. Navy photograph now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog#: 80-G-325798.



Personnel Separation Center, Great Lakes, Illinois

Sailor in his barracks awaiting separation at the Personnel Separation Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, circa 1945. Copyright Owner: Naval History & Heritage Command. Catalog#: NH 90335.



Personnel of the Payroll Department, Bureau of Navigation

Personnel of the Payroll Department, Bureau of Navigation at the rear of one of the wings of the Navy or munitions building, Washington, D.C., December 1918. The people at right are (from right): Chief Shoales, unknown, Cora Dell Croft, Chief C.G. Patterson and Irene Haddigan. Eighth girl from left (marked by x) is Frances Gormley. Others present are unidentified. Courtesy of Mrs. Mabel Croft Graham, 1968. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Catalog#: NH 65575. 



U.S. Navy enlisted WAVES

U.S. Navy enlisted WAVES registering in the liberty log at the Master-at-Arms' office of a naval facility, April 1943. The Master-at-Arms' is seated in left center, wearing the badge of her position. Location may be the U.S. Naval Hospital, Behtesda, Maryland. Official U.S. Navy photograph now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog#: 80-G-41038.


Registering in the liberty log, at the Master-at-Arms' office of a Naval facility, April 1943. The Master-at-Arms is seated in left center, wearing the badge of her position. Location may be the U.S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.



Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Washington, D.C.

WAVES microfilming vouchers using methods similar to those employed for V mail and for the same reason: to save paperwork, time, and red tape at the Bureau of Supplies and Acounts, Washington, D.C., 23 February 1945. Large machines in center and right are marked Recordak Junior. Note poster in upper left, exhibiting officer rank insignia for the USSR, China, France and the British Commonwealth. Official U.S. Navy photograph now in the collections of the National Archives. Catalog#: 80-G-120010


Published: Fri Nov 15 16:33:53 EST 2019