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US Naval Administrative Histories of World War II in the Navy Department Library

Use and Reproduction Policy

List of Navy Department Histories

Office of the Secretary of the Navy
Commander in Chief, United States Fleet
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air)
Office of the Commandant, United States Marine Corps
Bureau of Aeronautics
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Bureau of Ordnance
Bureau of Naval Personnel
Bureau of Ships
Bureau of Supplies and Accounts
Bureau of Yards and Docks

Shore Establishment

Naval Districts
Chief of Naval Operations Activities
Bureau of Ordnance Activities
Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Activities
Other Shore Activities

Operating Forces

Sea Frontiers and Operating Bases
Topical Histories


The US Naval Administrative Histories of World War II are located in the Navy Department Library's Rare Book Room. These unpublished histories record experiences and provide insights into policies, decisions, implementing actions, and accomplishments of the United States Navy.

The collection is comprised of 175 numbered histories, bound in approximately 300 volumes. It includes narrative histories dealing with virtually every aspect of the administration of the naval establishment and the roles it played in contributing to victory during World War II. Some of the volumes also contain brief coverage of the pre-war beginnings and early histories of organizations and activities. The amount of information in these studies varies; some are extremely detailed, while others are more cursory in nature.

These administrative histories were one part of the Navy's effort to record its wartime experience. The first project was headed by Lieutenant Commander (later Rear Admiral) Samuel Eliot Morison, who early in 1942 was designated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to prepare a history of naval operations. This led to the postwar publishing of the 15-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Co., 1947-1962), the Navy's official history of World War II.

The second project was initiated after the President directed the establishment of a government-wide program, under the direction of the Bureau of the Budget, to document the administrative aspects of the war effort. In February 1943, Professor Robert G. Albion was charged with supervising the Navy's portion of that program, including oversight of the preparation of narrative summaries by the Offices of the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations, and by the various departmental bureaus.

The Navy's historical endeavors were reorganized on 12 July 1944 when Admiral Edward C. Kalbfus, USN (Retired) was detached from the General Board and became Director of Naval History. His orders were to coordinate the various programs underway, including those of Professors Albion and Morison. Early in 1945, Admiral Kalbfus issued a series of directives relating to the writing of administrative histories. In one measure, he broadened the scope of the project beyond the Navy Department proper by requesting that major fleet and shore-based commands submit narratives of their wartime experiences. As a result, the United States Fleet, Pacific and Atlantic Fleets, sea frontiers, naval districts, and several independent commands were added to the program.

Admiral Kalbfus's Office of Naval History also provided guidance on the desired scope of the manuscripts, recommending that emphasis be given to such topics as policy formulation, the development of administrative structure, and relationships with other commands. Commanders also were urged to encourage their historians to consult the source materials maintained by the independent Office of Naval Records and Library in Washington that was under the direction of Kalbfus' deputy, Commodore Dudley W. Knox, USN (Retired). While some organizations utilized existing historical sections and personnel for the project, the Office of Naval History also assisted other commands in the assignment and orientation of a number of officers designated to perform historical duties.

At the end of World War II, the Office of Naval History began writing a single volume, based primarily on the administrative histories, that would provide a condensed analysis of the Navy Department's wartime experiences. After initial work by Professor Albion, the project was undertaken by Rear Admiral Julius A. Furer, USN (Retired). In 1959, the Naval History Division completed Admiral Furer's 1042-page volume titled Administration of the Navy Department in World War II (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1959).

As the title suggests, this comprehensive work focuses on the headquarters offices and bureaus which comprised the Navy Department. Coverage of the administration of the shore establishment and operating forces is limited to brief information of a background nature. Thus, the histories described in this guide provide an important supplement to the Furer volume.

Although the documents described below represent the basic administrative histories of the Navy in World War II, the reader should be aware of other sources on the subject. Numerous subsidiary histories and unbound appendix materials were submitted as supplements to specific volumes in the series. That collection is held in the Operational Archives Branch of the Naval Historical Center. A description of the histories included in the group appears in Partial Checklist: World War II Histories and Reports in the Naval History Division (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1973).

Except for the administrative histories, the majority of the Navy's unpublished original World War II-era records, including many of those once held by Office of Naval Records and Library (renamed the Naval Historical Center), are now located in various record groups at the National Archives in College Park, MD, and at regional branches of the National Archives, often within the records of the Naval Districts and Shore Establishments in Record Group 181. 

Use and Reproduction Policy

Original US Naval Administrative Histories of World War II are unavailable for loan and must be consulted in the library. Photocopying of these manuscripts is generally prohibited, though the use of digital cameras by researchers is permitted. Permission to photocopy a limited number of pages may be granted by the reference staff, contingent upon the physical state of items. All photocopying of materials shall be done by the reference staff, or under their close supervision.  The use of personal scanners by non-library staff personnel must be approved by the reference staff on a document-by-document basis (Reference: Naval Historical Center Instruction [NAVHISTCENTINST] 5070.1C.). When requesting an administrative history, please specify its number. For example: "I'd like to examine World War Two Admin. History #127." 

List of Navy Department Histories

Office of the Secretary of the Navy
1. Civilian Personnel (3 vols.)
2. Office of Procurement and Material: Industrial Mobilization (2 vols.)
3. Office of Procurement and Material: Planning and Statistics Branch (4 vols.)
4. Office of Procurement and Material: Production Branch (4 vols.)
5. Office of Procurement and Material: Procurement Branch, Finance (1 vol.)
6. Office of Procurement and Material: Coordination of Material Procurement (7 vols.)
7. History of Navy Department Renegotiation (5 vols.)
8. Administrative History, Office of Research and Inventions, 1 July-31 December 1945 (1 vol.)
9. History of the Office of the Coordinator of Research and Development from 12 July 1941 to 19 May 1945 (1 vol.)

Commander in Chief, United States Fleet
10. Headquarters (1 vol.)
11. Convoy and Routing (1 vol.)
12. Office of the Inspector General (1 vol.)

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
13. Army-Navy Petroleum Board and Petroleum and Tanker Division (3 vols.)
14. Internal Security and Passive Defense (1 vol.)
15. Mine Warfare in the Naval Establishment (1 vol.)
16. Naval Communications (1 vol.)
17. The Control of Naval Logistics (1 vol.)
18. Aspects of Logistics Planning (1 vol.)
19. The Evolution of the Lend-Lease Office of Record (1 vol.)
20. The Logistics of Fleet Readiness: The Fleet Maintenance Division in World War II (1 vol.)
21. The Logistics of Advance Bases (1 vol.)
22. Procurement of Organization under the Chief of Naval Operations: The History of OP-24 (1 vol.)
23. Military Government (3 vols.)
24. Shipping in Naval Logistics (Naval Transportation Service)(1 vol.)
25. Technical Mission in Europe (1 vol.)
26. Office of Naval Intelligence (4 vols.)
         26D - Scope, Facilities and Size of the Library of the U.S. Navy Department, in the Office of Naval Records and Library

Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air)
27. Aviation in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (1 vol.)
28. History of Naval Aviation (4 vols.)
29. The Navy's Air War: Mission Completed (1 vol.)
30. Financial and Legislative Planning, 1911-1945 (1 vol.)
31. Aviation Planning (1 vol.)
32. Aviation Shore Establishments, 1911-1945 (1 vol.)
33. Aviation Training, 1911-1939 (1 vol.)
34. Aviation Training, 1940-1945 (1 vol.)
35. The Civil Aeronautics Administration - War Training Service (Navy) Flight Training Program (1 vol.)
36. Aviation in the Fleet Exercises, 1911-1939 (1 vol.)
37. Procurement of Naval Aircraft, 1907-1939 (1 vol.)
38. Aviation Procurement, 1939-1945 (2 vols.)
39. The Navy's Transport Glider Program, 1941-1943 (1 vol.)
40. Aviation Personnel, 1911-1939 (1 vol.)
41. Aviation Personnel, 1939-1945 (1 vol.)
42. Air Task Organization in the Pacific Ocean Areas: Task Organization of Ship-Based Aircraft (1 vol.)
43. Air Task Organization in Pacific Ocean Areas: Task Organization of Land-Based Aircraft (1 vol.)
44. The Development of Fleet Air Wings (3 vols.)
45. Air Task Organization in the Atlantic Ocean Area (1 vol.)

Office of the Commandant, United States Marine Corps
46A. United States Marine Corps (1 vol.)
46B. History of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve (1 vol.)

Bureau of Aeronautics
47. Summary (2 vols.)
48. Background (1 vol.)
49. Organization and Administration (1 vol.)
50. Operational Responsibilities (1 vol.)
51. Determination of Military Characteristics (1 vol.)
52. Aviation Planning (1 vol.)
53. Procurement, Production and Contracts (2 vols.)
54. Naval Aviation Inspection (1 vol.)
55. Maintenance (1 vol.)
56. Material and Supply (1 vol.)
57. Research, Technical Developments, and Engineering (1 vol.)
58. Aviation Shore Establishments (1 vol.)
59. Aviation Personnel and Training (1 vol.)
60. Budget Planning and Administration (1 vol.)
61. Naval Aviation Photography and Motion Pictures (1 vol.)
62. Aerology (1 vol.)
63. Publications (1 vol.)
64. Foreign Aid (2 vols.)
65. Aviation Medicine (1 vol.)
66. Air Intelligence (1 vol.)
67. Marine Corps Aviation (1 vol.)

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
68. United States Navy Medical Department at War, 1941-1945 (operations) (2 vols.)
69. United States Navy Medical Department at War, 1941-1945 (administration) (2 vols.)

Bureau of Ordnance
70. Organization, Administration, and Special Functions (1 vol.)
71. Planning (1 vol.)
72. Procurement (1 vol.)
73. Research and Development, Maintenance (1 vol.)
74. Personnel and Training, Finance, Special Board, Legal Counsel (1 vol.)
75. Guns and Mounts (1 vol.)
76. Armor, Projectiles, Ammunition Details, Bombs and Plastics (1 vol.)
77. Rockets, Explosives and Propellants, Pyrotechnics (1 vol.)
78. Underwater Ordnance (1 vol.)
79. Fire Control (Except Radar) and Aviation Ordnance (1vol.)

Bureau of Naval Personnel
80. Preface: Structure of the Bureau (4 vols.)
81. Planning and Control Activity (2 vols.)
82. Officer Personnel (4 vols.)
83. Training Activity (8 vols.)
84. The Negro in the Navy in World War II (1 vol.)
85. The Welfare Activity (1 vol.)
86. Chaplains' Division; Records and Transportation Activity; Office of Public Information; Administrative Services (1 vol.)
87. History of the Enlisted Personnel Activity (2 vols.)
88. History of the Women's Reserve (2 vols.)

Bureau of Ships
89. An Administrative History of the Bureau of Ships During World War II (4 vols.)

Bureau of Supplies and Accounts
90. Accounting Group and Disbursing Division (1 vol.)
91. Supplying the Aeronautical Establishment (1 vol.)
92. History of the Clothing Division (1 vol.)
93. Wartime History of the Cost Inspection Service (1 vol.)
94. History of the Fuel Division (1 vol.)
95. History of the Stock Division (3 vol.)
96. History of the Maintenance Division (1 vol.)
97. History-International Aid Division (1 vol.)
98. Packaging and Materials Handling (1 vol.)
99. History of Officer Personnel Division; History of Chief Clerk's Division (1 vol.)
100. Supplying the Fleet (2 vols.)
101. Administrative Planning Division; History of Advanced Base Section and the Logistic Planning Division (December 1942-April 1945) -- Supplying the Advanced Bases (5 vols.)
102. First Draft of Administrative History of Supply Corps Procurement in World War II (Interim Report) (1 vol.)
103. A History of Purchasing within the Supply Group, World War II (1 vol.)
104. Historical Record of the Subsistence Division (1 vol.)
105. Synopsis of Ship's Store Division Accomplishments, 1 June 1944 to 1 September 1945 (1 vol.)
106. History of the Storage Division (1 vol.)
107. History of the Transportation Division (1 vol.)

Bureau of Yards and Docks
108. Building the Navy's Bases in World War II; History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps, 1940-1946 (2 vols.)

Shore Establishment

Naval Districts
109. History of the First Naval District (9 vols.)
110. Historical Summary of the Third Naval District (5 vols.)
111. The War History of the Fourth Naval District from Dec. 7th 1941 (6 vols.)
112. History of the Fifth Naval District 1939-1945 (7 vols.)
113. History of the Sixth Naval District (2 vols.)
114. Administrative History of the Seventh Naval District, 1 February 1942-14 August 1945 (1 vol.)
115. History of the Eighth Naval District (1 vol.)
116. Administrative History (Ninth Naval District) (3 vols.)
117. Administrative Narrative (Tenth Naval District) (2 vols.)
118. Administrative History (Eleventh Naval District) (1 vol.)
119. Administrative History, Twelfth Naval District, 1939-1945 (4 vols.)
120. Administrative History of the Thirteenth Naval District (4 vols.)
121. Administrative History of the Fourteenth Naval District and the Hawaiian Sea Frontier (5 vols.)
122. Administrative History, 15th Naval District and Panama Sea Frontier (2 vols.)

Chief of Naval Operations Activities
123. Hydrographic Office (1 vol.)
124. US Naval Observatory (1 vol.)
125. School of Oriental Languages (1 vol.)
126. Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland (1 vol.)

Bureau of Ordnance Activities
127. Selected Ammunition Depots (2 vols.)
128. Ordnance Plants (2 vols.)
129. US Naval Gun Factory (1 vol.)
130. Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island (6 vols.)
131. The History of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, 1918-1945 (2 vols.)
132. Miscellaneous Activities (2 vols.)

Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Activities
133. US Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, California as of 31 December 1944 (1 vol.)

Other Shore Activities
134. War History of the Naval Research Laboratory (1 vol.)
135. Narrative History of the Potomac River Naval Command (1 vol. bound with 136 and 137)
136. Administrative History of Severn River Naval Command (1 vol. bound with 135 and 137)
137. The United Sates Naval Academy and World War II (1 vol. bound with 135 and 136)

Operating Forces

138. Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet (2 vols.)
139. Commander Task Force Twenty-Four (1 vol. bound with 140)
140. Commander Greenland Patrol (1 vol. bound with 139)
141. An Administrative History of Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet (1 vol.)
142. Air Force Atlantic Fleet History (1 vol.)
143. Commander Fleet Operational Training Command (1 vol.)
144. Administrative History of Commander Service Force, US Atlantic Fleet, during World War II (1 vol.)
145. A History of the Amphibious Training Command, United States Atlantic Fleet and Its Antecedent the Amphibious Force, United States Atlantic Fleet (3 vols.) 
146. Commander South Atlantic Force (1 vol.)
147. Administrative History, United States Naval Forces in Europe 1940-1946 (5 vols.)
         147E Operation NEPTUNE (Naval Aspects of Operation OVERLORD) Administrative History
148. Naval Forces, Northwest African Waters and the Eighth Fleet (5 vols.)

149. Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, Command History (3 vols.)
150. History of the Amphibious Forces, US Pacific Fleet (4 vols.)
151. Administrative Study of Commander Destroyers/Cruisers Pacific Fleet during World War II (1 vol.)
152. History of the Fleet Operational Command, Pacific (2 vols.)
153. Administrative History of Minecraft Pacific Fleet (1 vol.)
154. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons (2 vols.)
155. History of Service Force (1 vol.)
156. Administrative History of the North Pacific Area (1 vol.)
157. Administrative History of the ComMarGils Area (6 vols.)
158. Administrative History of the Forward Area, Central Pacific and the Marianas Area (1 vol.)
159. Commander US Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific (1 vol.)

Sea Frontiers and Operating Bases
160. Administrative History of the Caribbean Sea Frontier to VE-Day/VJ-Day (1 vol.)
161. History of the Eastern Sea Frontier (Organizational and Operational) (1 vol.)
162. History of the Gulf Sea Frontier, 6 February 1942 - 14 August 1945 (1 vol.)
163. Administrative History of Western Sea Frontier during World War II (7 vols.)
164. Aruba-Curacao Command Headquarters, Commander All Forces (Caribbean Sea Frontier) (1 vol.)
165. The Guantanamo Sector, Caribbean Sea Frontier and the US Naval Operating Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (2 vols.)
166. An Administrative History of the US Naval Operating Base Trinidad, BWI and the Trinidad Sector of the Caribbean Sea Frontier, 7 December 1941 to August 1945 (1 vol.)
167. Commandant Naval Operating Base, Bermuda (1 vol.)
168. Naval Operating Base, Iceland (1 vol.)
169. Administrative History of the Naval Operating Base, Terminal Island (San Pedro), California (1 vol.)

Topical Histories
170. Submarine Commands (3 vols.)
171. An Administrative History of PT's in World War II (1 vol.)
172. Arming of Merchant Ships and Naval Armed Guard Service (1 vol.)
173. History of the Naval Armed Guard Afloat, World War II [missing, not located]
174. Narrative of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1 September 1945 to 1 October 1946 (2 vols.)
175. Report to the Honorable James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy of Unification of the War and Navy Departments and Post-War Organization for National Security [Eberstadt Report] (1 vol.)

Published: Wed Jun 01 10:46:04 EDT 2022