The annual awards acknowledge the work done by private, nongovernment museums to share with the public the heritage and history of the Navy through exhibits, publications, historical documents, and curation, management and interpretation of artifacts at their facilities. This is the award program’s second year.

The 2022 NHHC Museum Excellence Awards winners include:

Curatorial Excellence Award

·       Battleship New Jersey (Large Category)

·       Destroyer Escort Historical Museum USS Slater (DE 766) (Small Category)


Maintenance Excellence Award

·       USS COD Submarine Memorial (Small Category)

·       The Friends of the USS Cassin Young (DD 793) (Small Category)

“These museum award winners were selected because of their excellence in telling the Navy’s story through various means,” said NHHC Director Samuel J. Cox, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral. “It is with great appreciation that we recognize these museums for their ability to communicate the rich history of the Navy with the public.”

Applicants were judged on their ability to encourage and publicize scholarly, well-researched historical stories that depict the Navy’s history and heritage and on their ability to preserve and maintain artifacts on loan from the Navy.

“As supporters of the Navy, its mission, and our shared history, HNSA is proud of the recognition NHHC is giving our member museums for their hard work in telling the story of the Navy and the American People,” said HNSA Executive Director Ryan Szymanski.

The Curatorial Excellence Award recognizes organizations that achieve excellence in the curation of the collections in their care, including maintaining and interpreting Navy artifacts on loan from NHHC central and local collections.

Battleship New Jersey demonstrated excellence in telling compelling and accurate stories of service at sea, specifically through the creation of a new, multilingual exhibit on the Korean War. The new exhibit used a former berthing space to interpret life on the ship for Sailors during the Korean conflict, helping to communicate a significant chapter in the heritage of the U.S. Navy to a broader audience.

Destroyer Escort Historical Museum USS Slater DE 766 expanded the museum’s educational outreach across various media, which included adding new compartments to the tour route, creating a “Special Collections” tour, expanding the virtual tours, updating their website, and initiating a podcast program. The enhancements to the ship’s curatorial program allowed outreach efforts to continue throughout the COVID pandemic and a dry-dock maintenance period, which closed the ship to public visitation beginning in July 2020.

The Maintenance Excellence Award is presented to organizations that demonstrate the greatest improvement in material condition over the past year of a macro artifact such as a historic ship or aircraft.

The World War II-era submarine USS Cod (SS 224) demonstrated great improvement in material condition when it dry docked for the first time in 58 years to preserve the underwater portion of its hull. Because of the work done during the maintenance period, Cod will be able to convey its history to the public through at least 2041.

The Friends of the USS Cassin Young (DD 793) was recognized for excellence in preservation of the ship, specifically for major restorations of the forward berthing areas. The work completed resulted in the complete restoration of the berthing compartment to near-original condition, allowing the public to gain a better understanding of the living condition of Sailors manning the ship.

For a detailed list of eligibility requirements and other information on the awards program, please visit

NHHC, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for preserving, analyzing, and disseminating U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy's unique and enduring contributions through our nation's history and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC comprises many activities, including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, ten museums, USS Constitution repair facility, and the historic ship Nautilus.