Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Certificate "Eyes for the Navy" signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt 


Certificate, Award, Eyes for the Navy, Navy, US

Title: Certificate, "Eyes for the Navy", WWI
Accession #: NHHC 1991-125-B
Circa: 1918
Size: 8.25 x 11.75"
Medium: Paper
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command

One certificate issued to Edwin Mann in recognition of his efforts to help in the “Eyes for the Navy” program during the Great War. At the top of the certificate is a copy of the image from the Eyes for the Navy broadside. The text of the certificate reads: 

The United States of America
Department of the Navy

The thousands of binoculars, telescopes,
spyglasses, and navigation instruments furnished
the Navy by individuals in response to its appeal for

“Eyes for the Navy”

have been a vital contribution in the protection of our
warships, transports and supply vessels against the
submarine activities of the enemy during the Great War.

The Navy acknowledges with thanks and
appreciation your cooperation and this certificate is
issued to Edwin Mann in recognition of the sacrifice made for the safety of our
ships and the assurance of final victory.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Assistant Secretary of the Navy

Before the advent of sonar, the most reliable means of detecting a submarine was to spot its periscope above the waves. Because submarines were difficult to spot, more sailors were needed to be on the look-out. The Navy was unable to provide enough binoculars, telescopes, and spyglasses to meet this need. In response, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, established the “Eyes for the Navy” program whereby American citizens could loan their binoculars, spyglasses, etc. to the Navy for the duration of the war. The Navy would send that person $1 as a rental fee. Following the war, all navigational instruments not in use were returned to their original owners along with certificates like this one, thanking the individual for their help during the war.

To view more artifacts associated with the "Eyes for the Navy" Program, follow the links below:


 Will You Supply Eyes for The Navy?
Published: Tue Jan 08 09:48:30 EST 2019