See the Introduction for availability of these histories.
- Commandant First Naval District, "History of Naval Administration, World War II." Vols, U-XI (bound in 6 vols.). Boston, 1946. 2,292 pp., appendices.
The history of the First Naval District thoroughly details the administration of this command, which comprised most of the New England states. The eleven volumes in the history include many documents and photographs in addition to the basic narrative.
Volume I discusses the geographical character, industry, port facilities, and prewar naval shore establishment of New England, as well as the prewar and wartime lines of authority, responsibilities, composition, organizational development, and relationships with other services in the area.
In Volume II, various aspects of personnel administration are covered, including the major policy decisions made during 1939-1941, the years of total mobilization, and 1945 when the planned reductions in forces began. Individually treated are district staff sections, among them the Women's Reserve, chaplain, vocational training, discipline, welfare, labor relations, Selective Service, industrial manpower, civilian personnel, and safety engineering subdivisions.
Part I of the third volume relates the origins, composition, and structural evolution of the Naval Local Defense Force command; contains separate histories of subordinate section bases, harbor defense control posts, and naval frontier bases; and provides a compilation of Allied air and ship losses in district waters. The second part covers the activities of the Northern Group, Eastern Sea Frontier, particularly in sea-air rescue, harbor defense, shipping lane patrol, minesweeping, and air operations.
Volume IV recounts the wartime functioning of the District Operations, Logistics, Communications, Public Relations, Security, and Property Transportation offices, as well as that of the Port Director.
In Volume V, the first part discusses aspects of the District Supply Office's mission relating to war production and procurement, cost inspection, the War Savings Bond program, and the Navy Relief Society. Part II deals with public works activities throughout the district and in the Boston Navy Yard. Part III provides individual histories of district medical facilities and covers such special topics as the Cocoanut Grove disaster and venereal disease control.
The sixth volume treats the organizational evolution of the District Intelligence Office, its administrative workings, and the counterintelligence, plant protection, investigative, training, and coastal information collection facets of its operational mission.
Volume VII comprises a documentary supplement to the preceding volume.
VOlume VIII provides a narrative description of the work done by district industrial establishment in support of the war effort. The naval shipyards at Boston and Portsmouth, New Hampshire; the privately owned ship construction facilities at Bath, Maine and Quincy, Massachusetts; the Naval Ammunition Depot at Hingham, Massachusetts; and the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island are discussed in detail.
Composed of 150 photographs, Volume IX provides visual representation of the wartime activities of the district industrial installations dealt with in the previous volume.
In Volume X, the text contains histories of the naval bases and stations at Argentia, newfoundland; Portland, Maine; Newport, and Quonset, Rhode Island, in addition to the Naval Net Depot at Newport and the Civil Engineer Corps Officer Training School at Davisville, Rhode Island. A pictorial section complements the work.
The final volume concentrates on the various district training programs and facilities. The narrative describes the administration of the V-12 Program (designed to provide qualified officer candidates with an advanced educational background) and the conduct of training in communications, radar, local defense, and fire fighting at naval schools. The programs at the maine and Massachusetts maritime academies and the Women's Reserve school at Smith College also are explored.
Extensive documentary material is either integrated within the text or appended in separate volumes. It consists of maps, tables, charts, diagrams, organizational and administrative manuals, flow charts, pertinent letters, memoranda, basic directives, rosters, and photographs of airfields, facilities, personnel, and ships.
This comprehensive work was prepared under the direction fo Captain James A. Lewis, USNR.
- Commandant Third Naval District, "Historical Summary of the Third Naval District." (5 vols.) New York, 1946. 681 pp., appendices.
Following a brief summary of the history of the Third Naval District staff and its wartime activities, the volumes in this series separately treat the district command and the various subordinate functions located throughout New York, Connecticut, and northern New Jersey.
In volume one, the narrative details the workings of the offices of the Commandant, his Chief of Staff, and the Assistant Commandant (Operations), as well as the District Planning and Coordinating Office. Topics covered include the development of the organizational structure, relationships with other Navy commands and other services, personnel matters, reductions in the shore establishment at the end of the war, and the decommissioning of ships and berthing sites.
Volume two consists of individual narrative histories of the Port Director, New York; the Harbor Entrance Control Post, New York Harbor; and the district's Naval Armed Guard Center. In Part I, the sections of the Port Director's staff dealing with merchant ship procurement, operations, routing and convoys, harbor movements, armed guards, logistics, and administration are covered. The second part details many facts of the naval armed guard program, in particular, training, manpower problems, funding, supply support, personnel administration, and operational achievements. The final section describes the physical characteristics of New York harbor, war plans and defense measures, interservice cooperation, wartime expansion of port facilities, personnel and training problems, and communication and radar procedures as they relate to the Harbor Entrance Control Post command. Also discussed are the activities of subordinate units located throughout the New York City area and in New Jersey.
The three volumes of appendix material contain flow charts, rosters, reports, manuals, minutes of meetings, letters, operation plans and orders, pamphlets, hydrographic charts, composition of forces lists, bulletins, photographs, and a narrative history of the Third Naval District during World War II.
- Commandant Fourth Naval District, "The War History of the Fourth Naval District from Dec. 7th 1941." (6 vols.) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1946. approx. 1,500 pp.
Comprising sixteen narrative parts, this voluminous account details the wartime administrative and operational functioning of the Fourth Naval District. The district's headquarters was in Philadelphia and its area of responsibility was Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey.
The first part provides a description of local geography, the naval shore establishment, and the district's prewar history. This is followed by a brief discussion of the headquarters staff and its growth. Part III is further divided into two sections, the first of which covers working relationships within the district command, with other Navy commands, and with other services. Task Group 02.4 (Delaware Group), Eastern Sea Frontier, is the subject of the second subdivision, with emphasis on the conduct of operations by this local defense force.
A detailed history of the Philadelphia Navy Yard comprises Part IV. The narrative traces the development of the installation from 1798 to 1945, but the greatest emphasis is placed on the administration of the navy yard and its ship-building and industrial contributions during the war.
Part V consists of a brief summary of the District Supply Office's personnel composition, organizational evolution, and responsibilities.
Parts VI, VII, and VIII explore the many aspects of naval aviation in the Fourth Naval District. In addition to a brief history of the naval air bases command, which controlled the Naval Air Facility at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, and the Naval Air Stations at Cape May, Wildwood, and Atlantic City, new Jersey, and at Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, the narrative treats the work of the Naval Air Material Center at philadelphia. The district's lighter-than-air program and Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, new Jersey, also are discussed.
Seven of the remaining eight parts provide topical coverage of various administrative functions--public works, procurement and personnel, training, medical affairs, communications, public relations, and potstwar demobilization. Part XIV, a brief history of the Naval Ammunition Depot, Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania, is filed separately.
Documentary material, consisting of maps, flow charts, correspondence, tables, graphs, blueprints, reports, and numerous photographs of personnel, ships and craft, airfields, naval bases, and other installations, is interspersed in the text.
The authors of this work, who are identified in the text, include Captain Dennis L. Francis, USN; Commanders Gardiner Luce (CEC), USNR, and Donald R. Keller (MC), USNR; Lieutenant Commander Solomon E. Zubrow, USNR; Lieutenants Myron D. Hockenbury (SC), USNR, John J. Kelley, USNR, and Kent S. Ehrman (CEC), USNR; Lieutenants (junior grade) Clifton E. Landwehr, USNR and Charlotte V. Lord (W), USNR; and Ensign Nettie T. Brown (W), USNR.
- Commandant Fifth Naval District, "History of the Fifth Naval District 1939-1945." (7 vols.) Norfolk, Virginia, 1946. 751 pp., appendices.
The Fifth Naval District was headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, and was responsible for numerous naval facilities in the Chesapeake Bay region, the states of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, and the northern coastal region of North Carolina. The basic history of the district (contained in volumes one and two) concentrates on administrative problems and achievements from the perspective of the commandant. Materials in five additional appendix volumes supplement the narrative by providing details on component offices in the district headquarters and some major subordinate commands.
The first three parts of the narrative describe the geographic features of the Fifth naval District, its activities from 1903 to 1939, and the command's preparations for war in the 1939-1941 period of national emergency. In Part IV, the commandant's basic responsibilities as commander of the Fifth Naval District, the naval Operating Base, Norfolk, and of the naval local defense forces are outlined, followed by a lengthy discussion of the organization and activities of his staff. That part concludes with a discussion on the World War II impact of the Navy on Williamsburg, Virginia, area.
In the second volume, the narrative turns to a discussion of logistics and the operations of naval local defense forces. Among the logistical aspects discussed are personnel, supplies, transportation, and repair and maintenance activities. operational subjects include harbor security, coastal minesweeping, and the protection of coastal shipping against German submarines.
The five appendix volumes present individual historical narratives and key documents relating to each of the major staff components of the Fifth Naval District Headquarters, ranging from the Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel to the Domestic Transportation Officer. Among the documents are basic manuals and plans of the Fifth Naval District, minutes of staff conferences, and a brief history of the district during World War I. Histories are included for the following subordinate commands:
Naval Operating Base, Norfolk
Port Director, Fifth Naval District
Senior Naval Officer Present (Ashore), Baltimore
Assistant District Security Officer, Baltimore
Harbor Entrance Control Post, Fort Story, Virginia
Naval Training Station, NOB, Norfolk
Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland
Naval Training and Distribution Center, Camp Peary, Virginia
Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
The District Historical Officer during most of the period that this history was being written and compiled was Commander Christopher A. Russell, USNR.
- Commandant Sixth Naval District, "History of the Sixth Naval District." (2 vols.) Charleston, South Carolina, 1945. 604 pp., appendices.
This comprehensive and well organized account is divided into two narrative sections and an appendix section.
Part I provides a description of the geographical features, major seaports, shipping characteristics, major naval shore installations, and principal industrial plants within the boundaries of the Sixth Naval District (which included the states of North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida), and well as a general summary of the district's history. The following material deals with the functioning of the district headquarters, focusing on the duties, growth, and coordination with other entities of the staff. Also covered are relationships between the district command and the Eastern Sea Frontier, Charleston Navy Yard, and Army commands. The final chapter treats such aspects of the operational mission as coastal patrol, net and boom defense, mine warfare, beach patrol, air-sea rescue, and antisubmarine warfare. This part is extensively footnoted.
In Part II, the text relates individually the work of the district administrative, logistics, and operations offices; the Joint Operations Center; the Port Director's Office; the Combat and Operational Intelligence Branch; the office of the Director of Women's Reserve; and the Navy and Marine facilities in Charleston, Parris Island, and Columbia, South Carolina; Asheville, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia.
The text contains maps, graphs, flow charts, tables, rosters, and photographs of ships, facilities, and personnel.
The appended documents include histories of district operations during World War I, pertinent letters, memoranda, organization charts, orders, manuals, and diagrams.
Lieutenant Edward A. Hummel, USNR, authored this work.
- Commandant Seventh Naval District, "Administrative History of the Seventh Naval District, 1 February 1942-14 August 1945." (1 vol.) Miami, Florida, 1946. 103 pp., appendices.
The rather brief history of the Seventh Naval District (which comprised most of Florida) provides a description of the district's geographical and climatological characteristics and of the major naval shore installations established within the command area. The evolution of the district command is traced from the early years of the century through mid-1942, when the organizational structure under which the district operated for the remainder of the war was established. Relationships with the Gulf Sea Frontier and the Sixth Naval District are emphasized. The administrative activities of the headquarters are discussed at some length, with each subordinate staff function receiving individual treatment. Following an overall description of the headquarters, the workings of the Commandant's Office; the Assistant CHiefs of Staff for operations, administration, logistics, and personnel; and the district public works, medical, intelligence, communications, public information, supply, and civilian personnel offices are detailed. The final chapter contains a list of district shore activities on March 1942, September 1942, and October 1945.
Throughout the text and in the appendices are located rosters, organizational charts, graphs, maps, tables, hydrographic charts, letters, orders, messages, and an organization manual dated September 1943.
The author of the narrative was Lieutenant Francis X. McCarthy, USNR.
- Commandant Eighth Naval District, "History of the Eighth Naval District." (1 vol.) New Orleans, Louisiana, 1946. 339 pp., appendices.
Following several introductory chapters, this history of the largest naval district in the Gulf States area is arranged according to the Command's organizational structure. The functions of subordinate commands and offices are explored separately and in detail.
The initial section deals with the physical and economic characteristics of the district and its naval shore establishment, which consisted of repair bases, advanced base depots, ordnance plants, ammunition depots, and training facilities. The second section briefly traces the historical development of the command from the early years of the century to the end of World War II. Chapters Three, Four, and Five treat the organizational evolution and wartime functioning of the headquarters staff and the command's relationships with other services and naval forces.
The remaining chapters cover the work of the various administrative offices in the headquarters, including those concerned with intelligence, communications, war plans, logistics, public information, the Women's Reserve, war bonds, and black personnel. The activities of the district Port Director, the Industrial Manager, and Commander Naval Air Bases also are discussed.
Located in the appendix section, and in several instances in the text, are tables, historical summaries, site plans, hydrographic charts, maps, a list identifying pertinent correspondence, organizational charts, composition of forces tables, a listing of all past commandants and wartime office heads, and graphs.
- Commandant Ninth Naval District, "Administrative History (Ninth Naval District)." (3 vols.) Great Lakes, Illinois, 1946. 936 pp., appendices.
This work details the wartime administration of the Ninth Naval District, which included thirteen North Central and Mid-Western states. The account is divided into two parts. The first contains a general discussion of the command, while the second part treats individually the district's subordinate offices and functions. An appendix volume complements the narrative.
Part I comprises a description of the geographical nature of the naval district's operational area and its industrial capacity. It also provides a summary of the district's history from the years prior to World War I through 1945. Command relations between the commandant and the district shore activities are explored, with emphasis on the findings of the Manpower Survey Committee, the Committee for standardization of Terminology for Activities of the Navy, and the Committee to Study Command Relationship in Naval Districts (Farber Committee).
In Part II, the work of each administrative subdivision within the command is treated, including the medical, public works, supply, ordnance, operations, communications, domestic transportation, security,intelligence, and legal offices, as well as the Port Director, the Director of Naval Reserve, and the Director of Women's Reserve.
The appendix contains several photographs, organization charts, committee reports, pertinent letters, staffing records, site plans, graphs, circulars, statistical tables, instructions, manuals, and bulletins.
- Commandant Tenth Naval District, "Administrative Narrative (Tenth Naval District)." (2 vols.) San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1946. 107 pp.
This relatively brief account opens with a description of the district's boundaries in the Caribbean area and a discussion of the command's history prior to America's entry into World War II. The balance of the account primarily details the activities of naval air and surface forces operating within the naval district's area of responsibility.
- Commandant Eleventh Naval District, "Administrative History (Eleventh Naval District)." (1 vol.) San Diego, California, 1946. 615 pp.
Headquartered in San Diego, the Eleventh Naval District comprised Southern California; Clark County, Nevada; and the states of Arizona and New Mexico. This account consists of four narrative parts discussing separate topics.
Part I relates the early history of the district and the development of the command and staff structure. Each of the subordinate administrative offices is described separately in discussions of planning, air and sea operations, personnel, transportation control, and other functions of the staff. Relationships with the Western Sea Frontier also are treated.
In the second part, the text treats the problems involved in establishing and expanding ammunition and ordnance facilities within the district. Development of the installations at Fallbrook, Seal Beach, and Camp Pendleton Boat Basin, San Diego Bay, and the Naval Ordnance Test Station at Inyokern is covered, with emphasis on site planning and selection, land acquisition, construction, and labor relations.
In Part III, the narrative details many facets of district air activities, including the functioning of the Naval Air Station, San Diego; the utilization of auxiliary naval air stations throughout Southern California; the lighter-than-air program; the operation of Marine air stations at Santa Barbara, El Centro, Mojave, El Toro, and Miramar; and the administration of the aeronautical establishment.
The final part treats several aspects of personnel relations, such as civilian recruitment, the Selective Service System, deferments, vocational training, dependent housing, and the activities of the Women's Reserve in support of the war effort.
Following each chapter is a listing of sources used.
The author of this work was Lieutenant Charles C. Cumberland, USNR.
- Commandant Twelfth Naval District, "Administrative History, Twelfth Naval District, 1939-1945." (4 vols.) San Francisco, California, 1946. 2,318 pp., appendices.
This voluminous account traces the activities of the naval district headquartered in San Francisco, whose area of responsibility included northern California and Nevada and the entire states of Utah and Colorado. In addition to documenting the activities of the commandant's office, the volumes include detailed information on a number of subordinate commands and offices.
Part I of the narrative discusses the district in 1939 and the preparedness steps taken prior to American entry into World War II. A general description of the headquarters staff and its reorganization during the war years is contained in the second part. The work of individual staff units (including naval and civilian personnel, women's reserve, legal, medical, Marine office, security, intelligence-public information, local defense forces, communications, planning, public works, domestic transportation, operations, ammunition and ordnance, aviation, supply office, property transportation, and office of the port director) is covered at length in Part III. The final part of the narrative is a relatively brief assessment of command relationships with other commands and offices, physically located within the district, but outside the district organization.
A volume of appendices includes separate histories of the following subordinate commands:
U.S. Naval Training and Distribution Center, Treasure Island
U.S. Naval Section Base, U.S. Naval Frontier Base, San Francisco
Yerba Buena Island (Receiving Ship), San Francisco
U.S. Navy Chemical Warfare Training Unit, Dugway Proving Ground, Utah
Camp Parks, Shoemaker, California
U.S. Naval Disciplinary Barracks, Shoemaker, California
U.S. Naval Barracks, (Embarkation), Treasure Island
The Historical Section of the Twelfth Naval District, which compiled this history, was headed successively by Lieutenant Commander C.E. Odegaard, USNR, and Lieutenant Commander John W. Collins, USNR.
- Commandant Thirteenth Naval District, "Administrative History of the Thirteenth Naval District." (4 vols.) Seattle, Washington, 1946. 1,723 pp., appendices.
The Thirteenth Naval District was headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and included the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Prior to April 1944, Alaska also was part of this district. Throughout most of World War II, the Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District additionally commanded the Northwest Sea Frontier.
The first volume of this work traces the district's historical background prior to America's entry into World War II with emphasis on preparations for war during 1939-1941 and the situation as of December 1941. A discussion follows of the commandant's responsibilities (especially in his capacity as Commander Northwest Sea Frontier) for assigned surface and air forces that had the primary task of protecting coastal shipping in the Northwest Pacific.
Volume two described in great detail the administrative aspects of the sea frontier's operational forces, including their organization, bases, intelligence support, and the doctrine established for specific types of warfare. Following a discussion of logistics, this volume concludes by summarizing joint operations in the Thirteenth Naval District with Army, Canadian, and Soviet forces. The district's contact with the Soviets was primarily for the purpose of supporting their merchant shipping transporting supplies from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
The history's third volume concentrates on the administration of specific components in the district's headquarters. The areas covered in particular detail include public works, shipbuilding and repair, supplies and accounts, and civilian personnel. This section is followed by a thorough discussion of the relationships of the Thirteenth Naval District with both senior and subordinate commands that had interests in the Pacific Northwest.
Numerous documents are included within the basic text of this history. A number of additional letters, organization charts, messages, plans, and similar materials are bound as volume four. These records are arranged by the specific chapters of the text to which they relate.
- Commandant Fourteenth Naval District, "Administrative History of the Fourteenth Naval District and the Hawaiian Sea Frontier." (5 vols.) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 1945. 803 pp., appendices.
Following a discussion of the extensive geographic area covered by the Fourteenth Naval District (the Hawaiian archipelago, including Midway; the Palmyra, Johnson, and Washington atolls; and adjacent sea areas), this account discusses the evolution of American interest in the area, the development of Pearl Harbor as a naval base, and the general history of the Navy in the region through the end of World War II.
Subsequent chapters in the two-volume narrative section of the history trace the World War II experiences of separate components of the naval district staff. These included offices handling naval and civilian personnel, transportation, communications, medical and dental affairs, intelligence, cable and radio censorship, security, public information, supply, public works, logistics, material and ordnance, ships, service, legal matters, training, recreation and morale, British naval liaison, benefits and insurance, hydrographic matters, and Navy Relief. The narrative concludes with four topical chapters. One addresses the activities of the port director of the Naval Transportation Service who was responsible for the convoy and routing of merchant shipping in the area and related duties. It is followed by discussions of fishery rights in the naval district and the composition and functions of naval local defense forces that were assigned to the district. The final chapter assesses the commandant's role as Commander of the Hawaiian Sea Frontier. in this capacity, he commanded sea and ground forces responsible for the defense of the island of Oahu.
A large group of basic source documents, arranged according to the chapter that they support, appears in three appendix volumes. These include correspondence, memoranda, photographs, statistical tables, manuals, organization charts, plans, and similar materials.
The head of the district historical section, during the period that these volumes were being prepared, was Lieutenant James F. Collins, USNR.
- Commandant Fifteenth Naval District, "Administrative History, 15th Naval District and Panama Sea Frontier." (2 vols.)
The Commandant of the Fifteenth Naval District controlled naval activities in the Panama Canal Zone. In his additional capacity as Commander of the Panama Sea Frontier, he was responsible for the defense of the Pacific and Atlantic sea approaches to the canal and for naval shore facilities in the Central America region. The district and sea frontier headquarters were located in Balboa.
The first volume of the history briefly treats the prewar and World War II organization of the command before turning to separate discussions of the district's staff offices. Some of the organizations covered include communications, education, Navy Weather Central, port director, provost marshal, and shore patrol. Volume I concludes with an account of the Panama Sea Frontier, including its organizational evolution, command relationships with the Army, and scope of operations. The district's organization manual is included as an annex. Other supplementary materials, including geographic and organizational charts, are inserted at appropriate places in the text.
Volume II presents information on bases in the command area. A lengthy section discusses the Naval Operating Base, Balboa, which was composed of a number of subordinate shore commands. Despite its title, some of these activities were located at Coco Solo, Taboguilla Island, and Taboga Island. Additional chapters cover the naval Operating Base, Coco Solo; Naval Radio Stations in Farfan, Gatun, and Summit; and the U.S. Naval Base, Puerto Castilla, Honduras. An appendix section is comprised of maps and photographs of several naval aviation facilities in Central America. Other photographs and charts are included in the basic text.
The District Historical Officers during the period that these volumes were being prepared were Lieutenant Leo J. Roland, USNR; Lieutenant (junior grade) John W. Buddeke, USNR; and lieutenant Commander J. Clovis Smith, USNR.
Chief of Naval Operations Activities
- Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, "Hydrographic Office." (1 vol.) Washington, n.d. 326 pp., appendix.
The mission of the Hydrographic Office was to collect, digest, and issue timely information contributing to the navigational safety of ships and aircraft at sea. The office produced and distributed various publications, such as charts, hydrographic bulletins, and sailing directions. To obtain information necessary for the publications, the organization undertook extensive research and maintained contact with other hydrographic organizations throughout the world.
The history focuses on the impact of World War II on the administration of the office. Following an initial explanation of the policies and responsibilities of the office, the narrative gives a detailed description of the wartime organization and the functions of its several divisions. A brief summary of the office's relations with other governmental agencies is presented. The remainder of the volume provides a year-by-year history of the changes and developments within th office from 1939 to 1945.
Appendices include numerous footnotes to the text and statistical compilations of items such as appropriations, personnel, and production during the 1938-1944 period.
- Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, "US Naval Observatory." (1 vol.) Washington, 1948. 119 pp., appendices.
Although submitted as part of the World War II administrative history project, this volume is a general history of the Naval Observatory. The first chapter describes the founding of the facility in 1942 and successive chapters trace the activity's contributions to astronomy and navigation. The Observatory's publications and the navigational and aerological instruments that it tested and produced are noted. A separate chapter details the development of the Observatory's Time Service, which provides the standard time for American navigators and others requiring accurate time. A chronology of events from 1809 to 1945, a list of superintendents, a summary of laws pertaining to the facility, and a history of the Observatory's library appear in other chapters.
Over half of the volume consists of appendices. These include numerous letters relating to the management of the observatory and a group of photographs showing various buildings and equipment. The author of the history was Commodore J.F. Hellweg, USN, Superintendent of the Observatory from 1930 to 1946.
- Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, "School of Oriental Languages." (1 vol.) Washington, n.d. 36 pp., appendices.
SHortly before the outbreak of WOrld War II, the Office of Naval Intelligence, recognizing the acute shortage of Japanese linguists, moved to establish courses in that language. In October 1941, instruction for naval students was begun at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley. The following June, all naval training in the language was centralized at the Navy Japanese Language School located on the campus of the University of Colorado. The administration of this school is the main focus of the brief narrative section of the volume. Besides outlining the organizational structure of the school, the text summarizes the instructional methods and the type of teaching materials employed. A few final remarks concern the addition in 1944 of other languages to the curriculum, including Chinese, Malay, and Russian. At that time the school was renamed the Navy School of Oriental Languages.
Numerous documents related to the administration of the school comprise the appendices. Many of these letters and reports are referred to specifically in the text. Several photographs and miscellaneous items, such as newspaper articles and graduation programs, also are found in this section.
- Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, "Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland." (1 vol.) Washington, 1945. 415 pp., appendices.
A history of the U.S. naval Air STation, Patuxent River, Maryland is presented in this volume. That facility, which served as the Navy's flight-test center during World War II, was renamed the Naval Air Test Center in 1945.
The narrative is divided into three parts. Part I begins with a chronology of important events related to the air station from 1939 to 1945. A general discussion of the establishment of the base and its subsequent history to June 1945 follows. The second part outlines the organization, functions, and history of the air station's six test divisions (flight, electronics, armament, tactical, service, and test facilities). Part III is a history of the station's numerous departments such as supply, public works, operations, and personnel.
Several of the six appendices contain documentary material, maps, and a list of buildings and other facilities. Other appendices include items related to various conferences and demonstrations held during the war, a summary of the early history of the station site and vicinity, and a list of officers and men who were killed on duty while attached to the air station. An extensive photographic section also is located in the appendices. Lieutenant Mary Louise Ford, USNR, was the editor of this history.
Bureau and Other Shore Activities
Bureau of Ordnance
- Bureau of Ordnance, "Selected Ammunition Depots." (2 vols.) Washington, n.d. 948 pp., appendices.
This work presents a series of brief histories of the wartime administration of several ammunition depots. Among the responsibilities of these facilities were assembly, storage, and shipment of ammunition and other ordnance equipment. Ammunition depots at Crane, Indiana; Fall Brook, California; Hingham Massachusetts; and Hawthorne, Nevada are discussed in Volume I. A similar review of depots at McAlister, Oklahoma and St. Juliens Creek, Virginia appears in Volume II. Also covered in the second volume are the ordnance plants at Shumaker, Arkansas and Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as the naval magazine at Port Chicago, California.
The primary focus of most of the histories is on the organization and activities of the various facilities. The prewar history of certain depots is noted in the introduction to several of the narratives. Special topics, such as production problems and race relations, are elaborated upon in some cases. Several of the sections include appendices of charts and photographs.
- Bureau of Ordnance, "Ordnance Plants." (2 vols.) Washington, n.d. 702 pp., appendices.
The first volume of this set focuses on the Naval Ordnance Plant at Indianapolis, Indiana. Occupying about half the volume, the narrative details the construction and operation of the plant, which produced bombsights and fire-control equipment during World War II. Key sections of the discussion deal with personnel matters, training programs, and operational problems. The first of two lengthy appendices consists of sixteen source documents. Among these are organizational charts and diagrams of the plant structure. The second appendix contains photographs.
Brief histories of several other ordnance plants are provided in the second volume. The plants and type of operations discussed in each history are:
- Canton, Ohio: supplemental work from the Navy Gun Factory, Washington.
- Centerline, Michigan; work from the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, and parts for 20-millimeter guns.
- Forest Park, Illinois: production of torpedoes, particularly for aircraft.
- Pocatello, Idaho: manufacture, repair, and testing of various types of naval guns.
- South Charleston, West Virginia: production of gun barrels, torpedo air flasks, rocket parts, and related items.
- York, Pennsylvania: manufacture of 40-millimeter guns.
Numerous charts, diagrams, and photographs, as well as a few key documents, accompany most of the histories.
- Bureau of Ordnance, "US Naval Gun Factory." (1 vol.) Washington, 1945. 452 pp.
Although the major emphasis of this work is on the wartime administration of the Washington Navy Yard and its associated activities, the first three chapters provide a general history of the facility from its beginning in 1799 through 1939. During most of its early history, the primary responsibility of the navy yard was the construction and maintenance of ships. However, by the 1880s, when the U.S. Naval Gun Factory was established in the yard, it had become an important center for ordnance production. On 1 December 1945, the overall activity was officially redesignated the Naval Gun Factory.
Following the introductory chapters, the subsequent sections of the volume focus on the functions and activities of the many divisions and commands within the navy yard during the World War II era. The accounting, supply, medical, public works, and various production departments are among the activities that are covered. Also detailed is the work of the Experimental Model Basin, which was located at the yard until 1940, and of the Naval Photographic Intelligence Center. In addition, the wartime operation of a number of schools located at the yard is reviewed. Among these were schools providing training in ordnance and gunnery, deep-sea diving, mine disposal, electrical interior communications, and music.
A list of commandants of the navy yard and the Potomac River Command precede the narrative. Several photographs and maps are included in the text.
- Bureau of Ordnance, "Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island." Vols. I-VII (bound in 3 vols.). Washington, 1496. 922 pp., appendices.
This history provides a detailed examination of the history of the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport. The first volume is a chronology of important events associated with the station's history from its establishment in 1869 through 1945. Most of this material apparently was taken from earlier histories prepared in 1920 and 1939. A lengthy appendix of maps and photographs follows the chronology.
The subsequent three volumes focus on World War II. The first consists of the administration and organization manual used at the facility during the war. The other two are administrative histories of the same period, the first of which deals with major functions such as material procurement, design, and production. The second covers the operation of various service departments, including those responsible for supply, personnel, maintenance, medicine, and intelligence. A number of photographs, as well as organizational and production charts, are located in the text of the two histories.
VOlume V is a collection of key documents cited in the footnotes to Volumes III, IV, VI, and VII. The station's role in the development of naval torpedoes form 1869 to the close of World War II is discussed in Volume VI. In addition, accounts of the overall evolution of torpedoes and examples of their operational employment in war are presented. Various photographs and diagrams of historic significance are found throughout the narrative. A selected bibliography and statistical appendices conclude the volume.
The seventh volume furnishes brief histories of the development of the Navy's electrical, chemical, and aircraft torpedoes. A similar treatment of exploder devices follows. Analysis is made of the merits, defects, and difficulties of the research and development related to each of these ordnance items. Several photographs supplement the text. An extract from a report on the torpedo experimental station at Eckenforde, Germany, and a chart comparing money spent on U.S. production and research projects are appended to the volume.
Clipping from various newspapers and periodicals, as well as a number of congressional documents, appear in the final volume of the set.
The author and compiler of the entire series was Robert J.H. Powel. A list of persons interviewed during the preparation of the volumes is attached to a letter of transmittal that also serves as the author's preface to the set.
- Bureau of Ordnance, "The History of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, 1918-1945." (3 vols.) Washington, 1946. 570 pp., appendices.
This series focuses on the history of the naval Ordnance Laboratory, that originally was established in 1918 as the Bureau of Ordnance's Mine Laboratory. The first part is an administrative history of the facility from its founding to 1945. An introductory chapter provides information on the laboratory's early history, but the major emphasis of the subsequent chapters is on the organization and operation of its various offices and division during World War II. The final chapter deals with certain wartime problems that confronted the laboratory. Footnotes to the text, as well as a group of organizational charts, are included in the appendix.
Part II is a brief summary of the training program operated by the Ordnance Laboratory during the war. Among the enclosures that follow this discussion are a number of schedules and outlines of certain training courses.
The final part of the series provides a history of research and development programs undertaken by the laboratory. The two opening chapters of the narrative trace scientific activities related to mines and ammunition from 1919 to 1939. The remaining discussion concentrates on wartime programs, which primarily involved such underwater ordnance as mines, depth charges, and mine countermeasure gear. Also discussed is the development of other devices, including fuzes, flares, primers, and detonators, as well as specialized equipment used in the facility's work.
- Bureau of Ordnance, "Miscellaneous Activities." (2 vols.) Washington, n.d. 929 pp., appendices.
The first section of this history focuses on the Naval Mine Warfare Test Station at Solomons, Maryland. After a brief review of the prewar origins of the installation, several subsequent chapters detail the functioning of its various departments during the war. The most important of these were the weapons department, which was responsible for testing underwater ordnance, and the countermeasures department. A final chapter is devoted to wartime accomplishments of the facility and recommendations for the future. Statistical tables, projects lists, and organizational charts, as well as a large group of photographs, are located among the appendices to the work.
The other history in the first volume discusses the Naval Proving Ground at Dahlgren, Virginia. In reviewing the work of the installation since 1918, the narrative presents a comprehensive history of each division. Major emphasis is placed on functions during World War II. A number of photographs and organizational charts are found throughout the text.
Five shorter histories are located in the second volume. The first of these deals with the Naval Powder Factory at Indian Head, Maryland. Although only seventy-two pages in length, the study covers many important topics related to the operation of the factory during World War II. Among these are production, personnel, security, and wartime problems. Several graphs and photographs constitute the appendix. Similar coverage is provided in the second and third histories on the Naval Mine Depot at Yorktown, Virginia, and the Naval Ordnance Test Station at Inyokern, California. The former facility engaged in the manufacture of a considerable variety of mines, while the latter was responsible for developing and testing aircraft rockets. An appendix containing various maps, diagrams, and tables is included with the Yorktown history, while the Inyokern study is illustrated with many photographs.
The fourth section of the volume is a brief report on the Bureau of Ordnance Design Unit at Pasadena, California, that prepared production drawings, specifications, and instructions for items related to rocket research. The unit also coordinated various research and development efforts undertaken by the Inyokern Ordnance Test Station and the California Institute of Technology.
The last history examines the operation of the Naval Net Depot at Tiburon, California. Besides engaging in the production of nets, this installation had cognizance over net defenses for San Francisco Harbor. The administration of the net training and diving schools at the depot also is covered, as are the activities of the Shakedown Group that conducted training for ships assigned to laying nets. Numerous training, precommissioning, and shakedown schedules are among the appendices.
Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Activities
- Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, "US Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, California as of 31 December 1944." (1 vol.) Washington, 1944. 223 pp.
This history treats the logistic activities of the Naval Supply Depot, Oakland, which was chosen because of its size and importance to represent the work of other naval supply depots during World War II. The narrative traces the growth of the depot from 1910, when serious consideration was given to its establishment, to the end of 1944, by which time the facility was operating at wartime efficiency.
The detailed account covers such aspects of the depot's functions as the reception, storage, issuance, transportation, and loading of all types of supply items destined for the operating forces in the Pacific. Special emphasis is given to the handling of fuel, aviation parts, advanced base components, and lend-lease material. The work of separate but subordinate organizations, such as the Navy Fuel Depot, Point Molate; the Navy Supply Sub-Depot, Stockton; and the Aviation Supply Annex, Oakland also is covered. Particular attention is devoted to the problems encountered in dealing with the dramatic increase of civilian employees during the war years.
Intermingled with the text are numerous photographs of the facilities, organization charts, rosters, tables, and correspondence.
Other Shore Activities
- Naval Research Laboratory, "War History of the Naval Research Laboratory." (1 vol.) Washington, 1946. 274 pp., appendices.
Although this history concentrates on the work of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) from 1936 through the end of World War II, the volume opens with a summary of the origins of that organization in the pre-World War I period. Other references to the early history of the laboratory are included at various points in the text and in the appendices.
The account includes a discussion of the relationship;s of the activity with the Secretary of the Navy, Bureau of Engineering, Bureau of Ships, and Office of Research and Inventions. At certain times during the laboratory's history, these offices provided direction for NRL. The volume then relates the evolution of research policy and the liaison maintained with the Fleet, other services, universities, the National Defense Research Committee, and with British authorities. Thereafter, chapters are devoted to personnel and training matters, the laboratory's Department of Supplies and Accounts, and its Industrial Department. The latter department supported NRL's scientific work by maintaining facilities and shops, and by providing needed equipment.
In the final two chapters of the history, the activities of several subordinate commands and of the laboratory's scientific divisions are described in some detail. Included among the scientific divisions were those dealing with radio, sound, chemistry, optics, metallurgy, mechanics and electricity, and aircraft electrical programs.
The work includes a bibliography and appendices consisting of key documents, charts, rosters, and lists of NRL staff publications and patents. Footnotes in the text refer to these appendices and to other source materials.
Alfred T. Drury was the author of this history.
- Commandant Potomac River Naval Command, "Narrative History of the Potomac River Naval Command." (1 vol. bound with 136 and 137) Washington, 1945. 84 pp.
Late in 1941, the Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard was assigned as coordinator for the administration of most naval activities in the District of Columbia and in the Potomac River counties of Maryland and Virginia. In that capacity, this officer was designated Commandant of the Potomac River Naval Command.
This history traces the origins of the command from 1935, when initial proposals for its establishment were made, to the naval general order of 1941 forming the organization. Since the same general order established the Severn River Naval Command, some information on the origins of the latter activity also is included.
The balance of the account treats such topics as defense plans, the administration of Wave personnel, establishment of the Naval Barracks in Washington, expansion of the boundaries of the command, and the activities of various staff sections of the Potomac River Naval Command.
- Commandant Severn River Naval Command, "Administrative History of Severn River Naval Command." (1 vol. bound with 135 and 137) Annapolis, Maryland, 1946. 66 pp., appendices.
The Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy had the additional duty during World War II of commanding all naval activities in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. In addition to the academy, the components of this Severn River Naval Command included the Engineering Experiment Station, the Naval Radio Station, the Naval Hospital, the Postgraduate School, and the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, all of which were located in the Annapolis area.
The history includes separate chapters tracing the organization and functioning of each of these activities. In addition, it traces the origins of the Severn River Naval Command's headquarters and discusses the command's intelligence and security offices. Appendices include such items as air raid bills, organization charts, a list of courses taught by the Postgraduate School, and an enumeration of the ships contracted for under the direction of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding.
The author of this account was Louis H. Bolander.
- Superintendent U.S. Naval Academy, "The United Sates Naval Academy and World War II." (1 vol. bound with 135 and 136) Washington, 1946. 50 pp., appendices.
This relatively brief account initially concentrates on the effects of shortening the Naval Academy's course of instruction from four to three years due to wartime pressures. The text then discusses the problems associated with obtaining instructors during the war years, special training courses for naval reserve officers, and the operation of a reserve midshipmen school. The narrative concludes with comments on the construction of additional facilities at the academy, the World War II experiences of certain departments of the school, and recommendations regarding procedures in a future national emergency.
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