Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Records of the Reserve Fleet,
1947-1960

Finding aid (PDF)

Introduction

The first installment of records was transferred by the Fleet Development and Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleet Branch, in 1958. Its successor, Ships Material Readiness Division, Reserve Fleet Ships Branch, transferred a second installment of records in 1962. The collection is comprised of 13 feet of records relating to the Atlantic and Pacific Reserve Fleets. The collection is arranged into two sub-groups of records: Sub-Group 1 is the Records of the Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Fleet Development and Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleet Branch (OP-432). Sub-Group 2 is the Records of Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Ships Material Readiness Division, Reserve Fleet Ships Branch (OP-432). The bulk of the collection consists of files in Sub-Group 1 (ca. 12.5 feet). Sub-Group 2 comprises circa 5 feet of documentation. The collection covers the activities of the Reserve Fleets from 1947 through 1960.


Historical Note

According to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Organization Charts (Revised 30 May 1949), the organizational structure is Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Fleet Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleets Branch (OP-439). The functions of the branch are to coordinate matters relating to the berthing, administration and maintenance of the Reserve Fleets; follow progress of the activation and inactivation of Reserve Fleet vessels and render special reports as required by the Chief of Naval Operations; and review mobilization planning as it effects the Reserve Fleets.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Directories for 1951 and 1952, the organizational structure is Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Fleet Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleets Branch (OP-439).

In the February, May, and August 1953 Directories, there is a Fleet Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleets Branch (OP-43R). In the November 1953 through May 1954 Directories, there is a Fleet Maintenance Division but no Reserve Fleets Branch. However, there is a Reserve Fleet Coordinator (OP-43R).

In the June 1954 Chief of Naval Operations Directory, the Fleet Maintenance Division becomes the Fleet Development and Maintenance Division and a Reserve Fleet Coordinator (OP-43R) is listed. This organizational structure is documented in the Chief of Naval Operations Directories through December 1957.

In the March 1958 Directory the structure becomes Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Fleet Development and Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleet Branch (OP-432).

According to the Chief of Naval Operations Directories through March 1959, the organizational structure remains Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Fleet Development and Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleet Branch (OP-432).

By the June 1959 Chief of Naval Operations Directory, the organizational structure changes to Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Ships Material Readiness Division, Reserve Fleet Ships Branch (OP-432).

According to the Chief of Naval Operations Organization Manual (Change 17 approved 7 October 1960), the mission of Reserve Fleet Ships Branch is to insure that ships of the Reserve Fleets are maintained in the highest state of materiel readiness consistent with their probable utilization. The branch's functions include:

    1. Handle policy matters that affect the materiel readiness of Reserve Fleet ships, and prepare the necessary directives incident thereto
    2. Review periodically the composition of the Reserve Fleets and the material condition of the ships assigned to determine the appropriateness of the retention of the various ships in the Reserve Fleet
    3. Provide guidance for the development of maintenance and improvement programs for Reserve Fleet ships in consonance with the availability of funds and personnel
    4. Coordinate matters concerning the care, preservation, maintenance, alterations, and modernization of ships and craft of the Reserve Fleets
    5. Coordinate matters concerning the administration and berthing of ships and craft of the Reserve Fleets
    6. Establish policies for the activation of Reserve Fleet ships and craft, and the inactivation of ships and craft incident to their assignment to the Reserve Fleets
    7. Issue directives, as necessary, for the activation and transfer of Reserve Fleet ships
    8. Maintain timely data on the Reserve Fleets for planning, programming, and budgetary purposes, and on the mobilization capabilities of Reserve Fleet ships
    9. Expedite disposal action on unfit and excess ships and craft through initiation of action, overall coordination, maintenance of records, provision of follow-up information, and striking of these ships and craft from the Naval Vessel Register
    10. Maintain inventory and status records of the Reserve Fleet ships and stricken ships in Navy custody
    11. Prepare programs in support of approved plans for mobilization of Reserve Fleet ships
    12. Coordinates matters relating to intergroup dispersal planning
    13. Prepares replies to congressional and public inquiries relative to Reserve Fleet matters.


Scope and Content Note

The collection is arranged by series and consists of official correspondence (dispatches, letters, and memoranda), files relating to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and East Coast Groups, files relating to the Pacific Reserve Fleet and West Coast Groups, Activation and Inactivation Files, and Dispersal and Mobilization Files. In addition to this material, other documentation relating to the berthing, administration and maintenance of the Reserve Fleet includes Subject Files, Reserve Fleet general files, Material Inspection Reports, and OPNAV Notices and Instructions.

Groups of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet include Boston, Charleston, Florida, New London, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, and Texas. The groups of the Pacific Reserve Fleet include Alameda, Bremerton, Columbia River, Long Beach, Mare Island, San Diego, San Francisco, Stockton, and Tacoma.

The collection was bulk declassified and is open to all researchers.


Series Description

Sub-Group 1. Records of Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Fleet Development & Maintenance Division, Reserve Fleet Branch (OP-432), 1947-1958.

    Series I: Official Correspondence (includes dispatches, letters, memoranda)
    Series II: Subject Files (arranged alphabetically by subject)
    Series III: Reserve Fleet General Files (arranged in chronological order)
    Series IV: Atlantic Reserve Fleet & East Coast Groups
    Series V: Pacific Reserve Fleet & West Coast Groups
    Series VI: Activation & Inactivation Files
    Series VII: Dispersal & Mobilization Files
    Series VIII: Material Inspection Reports (arranged by year and then ships in alphabetical order for each year)
    Series IX: OPNAV Notices & Instructions

Sub-Group 2. Records of Chief of Naval Operations, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Logistics), Ships Material Readiness Division, Reserve Fleet Ships Branch (OP-432), 1956-1960.

    Series I: Atlantic Reserve Fleet & East Coast Groups
    Series II: Pacific Reserve Fleet & West Coast Groups
    Series III: Subject Files (arranged alphabetically by subject)


Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Records of the Reserve Fleet, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.


Extent

17.5 cubic feet

 

3 July 2003

 

Published: Wed Apr 26 12:47:03 EDT 2017