National Archives at Boston

Navy and Marine Corps Records at Boston

refer to caption

USS Massachusetts (BB-59), Fitted Out by Navy Yard, Boston

from series Administrative History of the First Naval District in World War II, 1946 - 1946; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston


The National Archives at Boston holds records of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, pertaining to their operations based within the New England region.  This finding aid consists of a list of record series, arranged by NARA record group (RG), then by office/station/unit/sub-unit thereunder.  Each record series listed in this finding aid includes a hyperlink to the corresponding series description on the National Archives Catalog.  Series in this finding aid represent the following record groups:


 

Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel

Coast Signal Service

The Coast Signal Service was organized on the recommendation of a board convened by a Navy Department order dated October 18, 1897. Pursuant to orders of the Secretary of the Navy of March 15, 1898, Captain Caspar F. Goodrich, president of the Naval War College, reported a plan for the establishment of coast signal stations on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, based on the board's recommendations. On April 9, 1898, only a few days before war with Spain was declared, Captain Goodrich was ordered to establish these stations. He located his headquarters in New York and on April 22 telegraphed the commanding officers of the Naval Militia of the seaboard states to establish and man the coast signal stations already decided on. On May 9 Captain John R. Bartlett, chief intelligence officer, was placed in command of the Service. He moved the headquarters to Washington, where it operated under the supervision of the Bureau of Navigation. Eight districts were created in which 36 signal stations were maintained by state naval militia. The Life Saving Service, the Lighthouse Service, and the Weather Bureau cooperated with the Coast Signal Service in maintaining a lookout for the approach of enemy vessels and in checking the movements of American vessels. The Service was discontinued at the close of the Spanish-American War.

First District

The First District extended from West Quoddy Head, Maine to Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, inclusive, with headquarters at Boston, on board USS Minnesota.

Letters Sent by the Commanding Officer, 1898


 

Record Group 38: Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

Office of Aid for Information, New London, Connecticut

Aids for Information were assigned in the early years of World War I to naval district headquarters to organize, administer, and supervise intelligence work within the geographical limits of the district. At that time they communicated directly with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). On May 2, 1918, commandants of naval districts in which branch offices of ONI had been located were sent instructions from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in regard to specific directives to be followed by Aids for Information in investigating naval personnel, navy yard employees, and other persons. On September 5, 1918, the status of Aid for Information was changed to that of Aid to the Commandant of the district, and communications from ONI were directed to the "Commandant (Aid for Information)."

The Aid for Information, Second Naval District, Newport, Rhode Island supervised the Aid for Information, New London, Connecticut.


 

Record Group 52: Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

Naval Hospital, Portsmouth

The first hospital at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was established in 1834 in an old building built in 1802, which had been occupied by the Lieutenant of the Shipyard. It was fitted up at small expense as a temporary hospital for the station and could accommodate 10 patients.  Today, the shipyard is supported by Naval Branch Health Clinic (NBHC) Portsmouth, an outpatient medical treatment facility.

Naval Hospital, Widow's Island

In 1887, the U.S. Navy opened a quarantine hospital on Widow's Island, Maine for Yellow Fever patients.  Soon deemed obsolete, the hospital closed in 1901 without ever having treated a patient.  In 1908, the Navy ceded the hospital to the State of Maine which used it as a psychiatric asylum.


 

Record Group 71: Records of the Bureau of Yards and Docks

Boston Navy Yard

A historical note about the Boston Navy Yard is available in this finding aid, under Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments: Boston Naval Shipyard

Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut

A historical note about the Naval Submarine Base is available in this finding aid, under Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments: Naval Submarine Base New London

New London Experimental Station

Portsmouth Navy Yard

A historical note about the Portsmouth Navy Yard is available in this finding aid, under Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard


 

 

Record Group 127: Records of the U.S. Marine Corps

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Marine Guard House, Gate #5, Building #243, Boston Naval Shipyard, Boston, Massachusetts

from series Property Disposal Files, 1960 - 1965; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

Marine Barracks, Boston

Constructed between 1810 and 1811, the Marine Barracks at the Charlestown Navy Yard is the nation's oldest surviving U.S. Marine Corps barracks building (Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., built in 1801, is older; however, with the exception of the Commandant's House, the Barracks was rebuilt between 1900 and 1907).  Over the history of its operation, the Marine detachment at the barracks had 146 commanders, beginning with Captain Henry Caldwell and ending with Lieutenant Colonel John R. Yates, Jr.  In 1974 the U.S. Government officially closed Charlestown Navy Yard, including the Marine Barracks, and transferred the property to the National Park Service.  Today the property is part of Boston National Historical Park.

Marine Barracks, New London, Connecticut

Marine Barracks, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Constructed in 1813, the Marine Barracks at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was the second oldest barracks in continuous use in the U.S. Marine Corps (Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., built in 1801, is the oldest).  Five of its commanders would go on to serve as Commandants of the Marine Corps.  The barracks officially closed on October 9, 1987.


 

Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments


 

First Naval District

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Women's Reserve Training School, Northampton, Massachusetts

from series Administrative History of the First Naval District in World War II, 1946 - 1946; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

The Naval District system was the Navy Department's mode of regional coordination of military and administrative activities within America's coastal waters and shorelines.  Per General Order No. 128, signed May 7, 1903 by Acting Secretary of the Navy Charles H. Darling, the Atlantic, Pacific and Great Lakes coastlines were divided into thirteen districts, each to be commanded by a Commandant of the Naval District.  Until World War II, the Commandant of a District was also required to be the Commandant of a navy yard.

The First Naval District was among the thirteen districts established on May 7, 1903.  Originally headquartered at Portsmouth Navy Yard, the District covered coastline between Eastport, Maine and Chatham, Massachusetts, inclusive.  Until late 1915, no personnel were assigned to the District staff.  On March 15, 1919, the Second Naval District, which had covered areas southwest of Chatham to New London, Connecticut, was disestablished and its areas incorporated into the First and Third Districts.  In 1945 the First District was headquartered at Boston, Massachusetts, and consisted of the following geographic areas: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island (including Block Island). The First Naval District was disestablished on October 7, 1976 and control passed to the Fourth Naval District.

Navy Shore Patrol Headquarters, Boston

Navy Shore Patrol Headquarters, Newport

Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Administration

Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations 

Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel 

Office of the Director of Naval Officer Procurement

Investigative Files of Candidates, 1941-1943


Office of the Director of Training

General Correspondence, 1942-1949


Office of the District Personnel Officer

General Correspondence, 1927-1936

Office of the Commandant 

Office of the Industrial Manager 

Office of the Port Director of Boston 

 Office of Public Works

Office of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair 


 

Boston Naval Shipyard

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Aerial View of Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts

from series Administrative History of the First Naval District in World War II, 1946 - 1946; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

Established in 1800, Charlestown Navy Yard (later known as Boston Navy Yard and then Boston Naval Shipyard), was one of six original shipbuilding facilities of the U.S. Department of the Navy.  While primarily serving as a repair, supply and storage facility throughout the nineteenth century, the yard produced a number of warships, including the Navy's first commissioned ship-of-the-line, USS Independence (1814), and sloop-of-war USS Hartford (1858), which served as the flagship of Admiral David G. Farragut during the Battle of Mobile Bay.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Navy expanded Boston Navy Yard to construct a fleet of steel-hulled, steam-powered warships.  During World War II, the yard launched, supplied and repaired destroyers for service in the European, North African and Pacific Theatres, and constructed Captain-class frigates for the British Royal Navy (RN) under the Lend-Lease program.  Additionally, the yard repaired several RN warships and merchant transport ships that sustained damage from Kriegsmarine (Nazi German Navy) attacks in the North Atlantic Ocean.

While Boston Naval Shipyard modified World War II-era destroyers for Cold War service under the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program, the Navy did not rely upon the yard for frequent repair and supply work during the geographically-distant Korean and Vietnam Wars.  Deemed undersized and cost-prohibitive for the Navy’s operational needs, Boston Naval Shipyard was officially closed on July 1, 1974 and transferred to the National Park Service, which maintains the property as part of Boston National Historical Park.  A portion of the yard remains open to support heavy frigate USS Constitution, the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship.

Office of the Civil Engineer

Office of the Commandant 

Circulars, 1836-1895

Circulars of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, 1843-1892

Circulars of the Bureau of Ordnance, 1847-1867

Circulars of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, 1848-1866

Circulars of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, 1848-1902

Commandant's Personal Files, 1857-1908

Contracts and Related Materials, 1863-1887

Correspondence Concerning Ships, 1940-1946

Correspondence Relating to Restoration of the U.S. Frigate Constitution, 1926-1930

Daily and Weekly Reports of Recruits for the U.S. Receiving Ship Wabash, 1892

Daily Journals of Transactions, 1815-1846

Daily Morning Reports and Prisoner Reports for the Marine Barracks, 1892-1900

Daily Register of Visitors to the Naval Lyceum, 1860-1881

Daily Sick Reports for the Marine Barracks, 1892-1899

Docking Records, 1867-1929

Fair Copies of Construction Contracts, 1823-1837

Fair Copies of Deeds and Laws Relating to Acquisition of Lands by the U.S. Government, 1871

Fair Copies of Letters Sent, 1825-1829

Fair Copies of Letters Sent to the Board of Navy Commissioners, 1823-1842

Fair Copies of Letters Sent to the Secretary of the Navy, 1823-1842

Fair Copies of Letters, Telegrams and Circulars Received from the Secretary of the Navy and Navy Department Bureau Chiefs, 1864-1901

Formerly Security Classified Correspondence Concerning Ships, 1938-1941

General Correspondence, 1909-1969

General Court Martial Orders, 1879-1888

General Orders of the Department of the Navy, 1848-1904

Indentures of Apprentices, 1855-1867

Ledgers of Job Order Accounts, 1889-1913

Letters and Circulars Received from the Board of Navy Commissioners, 1825-1842

Letters and Telegrams Received from Commanders, 1855-1908

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Equipment, 1862-1908

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Navigation, 1863-1908

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Ordnance, 1870-1908

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Ordnance and the Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1863-1870

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1870-1908

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, 1842-1908

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Yards and Docks, 1842-1908

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Secretary of the Navy, 1827-1908

Letters Received, 1823-1908

Letters Received from Inspectors, 1858-1867

Letters Received from Naval Storekeepers and Naval Constructors, 1855-1867

Letters Received from the Bureau of Construction and Repair, 1842-1908

Letters Received from the Naval Storekeepers, 1845-1855

Letters Received from Yard Officials and Heads of Departments, 1855-1908

Letters, Telegrams, and Circulars Received from the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography, 1842-1863

Lists of Complements of Crews, 1857-1897

Name and Subject Index to Correspondence, 1906-1907

Officers' Address Book, 1857-1871

Orders Issued by the Commandant, 1872-1913

Press Clippings Files, 1873-1922

Press Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Construction and Repair, 1846-1908

Press Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Equipment, 1863-1908

Press Copies of Letters and Telegrams Sent to the Bureau of Navigation, 1863-1907

Press Copies of Letters, Endorsements, and Telegrams Sent to the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, 1846-1908

Press Copies of Letters, Endorsements, and Telegrams Sent to the Secretary of the Navy, 1846-1908

Press Copies of Letters Sent, 1834-1908

Press Copies of Letters, Telegrams, and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Ordnance, 1846-1908

Press Copies of Letters, Telegrams, and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1863-1908

Press Copies of Letters, Telegrams, and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Yards and Docks, 1846-1907

Press Copies of Monthly Reports of Officers and Civilian Employees, 1875-1894

Press Copies of Reports of Officers and Civilian Employees, 1883-1899

Press Copies of Semi-Official Letters Sent, 1888-1905

Register of Arrivals and Departures of Vessels, 1905-1915

Register of Reports and Other Documents Sent to the Navy Department, 1876-1887

Register of Surveys and Appraisals Ordered or Requested by Department of the Navy Bureaus, 1899-1900

Registers of Letters Received from the Secretary of the Navy and Chiefs of Navy Department Bureaus, 1873-1907

Registers of Letters Sent to the Secretary of the Navy and Chiefs of Navy Department Bureaus, 1863-1907

Registers of Officers Reporting and Detached, 1846-1905

Reports of Surveys and Boards, 1835-1909

Returns of Officers and Civilian Employees, 1872-1899

Security Classified General Correspondence, 1932-1969

Semi-Annual Record of Apprentices, 1855-1883

Shipyard Logs, 1888-1958

Shipyard Logs of the South Boston Naval Annex, 1941-1946

Subject Index, 1862-1888

Subject Index to Letters and Circulars Received from the Board of Navy Commissioners, 1816-1842

Department of Construction and Repair

Office of the Inspector of Machinery

Office of the Master Machinist

Letters Received, 1861-1864

Office of the Inspector of Machinery Afloat

Office of the Inspector of Ordnance

Manufacturing Department

Hull Division: Planning and Material Section

Hull Division Staff Photograph, 1919

Office of the Naval Storekeeper

Department of Steam Engineering

Office of the Chief Engineer

Correspondence Concerning Ships, 1896-1912

Cost of Labor Reports, 1890-1900

Drawings, 1856-1892

Foundry Casting Record Books, 1864-1879

General Correspondence, 1894-1912

Inventories of Tools and Equipment, 1874-1885

Ledger of Job Order Accounts, 1899-1900

Letters and Orders Received from the Commandant, 1866-1899

Letters Received, 1863-1899

Letters Received from the Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1867-1906

Letters Received from the Department of the Navy, 1901-1904

Letters Received from Yard Officials and Heads of Departments, 1866-1904

Lists of Workmen Hired, 1895-1904

Machinists' Stock Book, 1865-1966

Material Expenditure Books, 1866-1883

Muster Books, 1866-1883

Payment Ledger, 1864-1866

Press Copies of Bills Sent to Other Departments, 1866-1873

Press Copies of Board Reports, 1868-1888

Press Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Commandant, 1866-1910

Press Copies of Letters, Memorandums, and Endorsements Sent to Yard Officials and Heads of Departments, 1867-1910

Press Copies of Letters Sent, 1889-1909

Press Copies of Letters Sent to the Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1865-1910

Press Copies of Monthly Payroll Summaries, 1901-1908

Press Copies of Monthly Reports, 1869-1909

Press Copies of Monthly Reports on the Condition of Machinery of Vessels, 1877-1888

Press Copies of Semi-Monthly Payrolls, 1869-1909

Property and Plant Inventory, 1887

Record Book for Steam Generators, 1879-1882

Record Books of Job Orders in the Machinists' Department, 1863-1865

Record of Labor and Materials Expended on the Repair of Vessels, 1864-1867

Records of Employees, 1869-1872

Register of Letters Received, 1906-1907

Registers of Letters and Endorsements Sent, 1906-1910

Registers of Work Orders for Materials and Services, 1866-1888

Reports of Equipment Survey Boards, 1891-1896

Reports of Master Mechanics on Discharged Workmen, 1899-1901

Schedules of Materials Required for Fiscal Years 1865-1867, 1864-1866

Stock and Labor Reports, 1864-1889

Time Books, 1864-1866

Unofficial Correspondence, 1907-1910

Department of Yards and Docks


 

Naval Air Stations and Facilities

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Hanger Two at Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts

from series Administrative History of the First Naval District in World War II, 1946 - 1946; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

Naval Air Rework Facility, Quonset Point, Rhode Island

Established in 1941 as the Assembly and Repair (later Overhaul and Repair) Department of the Naval Air Station at Quonset Point, the Naval Air Rework Facility (NARF) was designated as a separate Naval shore activity effective April 1, 1967. Operating under the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), its mission and tasks included depot maintenance functions for aircraft and weapons systems, their engines, components, and accessories; engineering support for rework on specific aircraft; calibration services to the fleet and other activities; manufacture of parts; and other technical services.  NARFs are the predecessors of the Navy's present-day Fleet Readiness Centers (FRCs).

Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine

Established in 1943, Naval Air Station (NAS) Brunswick served as a base from which U.S. and British squadrons carried out anti-submarine warfare missions during World War II.  Deactivated and placed into caretaker status in 1946, NAS Brunswick was re-activated during the Korean War in 1951 and continued to support naval aviation activities in the northeastern United States until its closure in 2011.​

Naval Air Station, South Weymouth, Massachusetts

In March 1942, a naval air facility - primarily for the housing of Lighter Than Air (LTA) aircraft (blimps) - was established at South Weymouth, Massachusetts.  After World War II, the facility was decommissioned and placed in caretaker status. It was re-activated during the Korean War, and following the closure of the nearby Naval Air Station at Squantum, Massachusetts, in December 1953, was commissioned as Naval Air Station (NAS) South Weymouth. Its mission was to train Navy and Marine Corps air reserve units in anti-submarine warfare operations for integration into fleet air wings during any subsequent mobilization. These "weekend warriors" were organized under many different squadrons at the station, supported by several ground units.  NAS South Weymouth closed in 1997 in accordance with the recommendation of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) of 1995.

Naval Air Station, Squantum, Massachusetts

Originally a seaplane base for flight instruction during World War I, Naval Reserve Air Station (NRAS) Squantum was commissioned in 1923 and improved and expanded throughout the 1930s.  During World War II, the re-designated Naval Air Station (NAS) Squantum served as a maritime patrol as well as a training base for American and British naval aviators.  Following the war, NAS Squantum continued to serve as a training base for naval and marine reserve aviators.  Due to its close proximity to Boston’s Logan International Airport, as well as its short runways and aging infrastructure, NAS Squantum was closed in 1953 and its operations were relocated to NAS South Weymouth.


 

Naval Submarine Base New London

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Naval Submarine Base New London

from series River and Harbor Photographs for New England, 1937 - 1959; Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Record Group 77; National Archives at Boston

Naval Submarine Base New London is the U.S. Navy's first submarine base and the "Home of the Submarine Force."  Located along the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut, the base began as a navy yard and storage depot on April 11, 1868 and was designated a submarine base on June 21, 1916.


 

Naval Training Station, Coasters Harbor Island, Newport, RI

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Commanding Officer's Saturday Inspection on Dewey Field, Coasters Harbor Island, Newport, RI

from series Administrative History of the First Naval District in World War II, 1946 - 1946; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

Until the late nineteenth century, sailors had learned their trade primarily through on-the-job training and experience.  During the 1880s, the Navy developed a new shore-based training approach for officers and recruits and established training centers in Newport, Rhode Island for implementation.  On June 4, 1883, the Navy established its first recruit training station on Coasters Harbor Island, which it had acquired from the State of Rhode Island in 1881.  On October 6, 1884, the Naval War College was established on the island.  In 1952 the Naval Training Station at Newport was disestablished by the transfer of recruit training to Bainbridge, Maryland.  Today the Naval War College continues to operate on Coasters Harbor Island, educating naval officers and developing leaders.


 

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

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Aerial View of Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

from series Photographs Depicting Naval Shore Establishments, 1939 - 1947; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) is the U.S. Navy's oldest continuously operating shipyard and is one of four existing naval shipyards in the United States (Norfolk, Pearl Harbor, Puget Sound).  PNSY fully encompasses the federally-owned Seavey's Island, located at the mouth of the Piscataqua River in Kittery, Maine, across the harbor from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Established June 12, 1800, the shipyard launched its first product, ship-of-the-line USS Washington, in 1814.  PSNY constructed submarines beginning during World War I and continuing through 1969.  Today, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard provides overhaul, repair and modernization support to the U.S. Navy's nuclear powered submarine fleet.

During the summer of 1898, Camp Long was established on Seavey's Island as an encampment for over 1,600 Spanish prisoners of war captured during the Spanish-American War.

On September 5, 1905, the Russo-Japanese War formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth, the culmination of peace negotiations between Russia and Japan, held at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The Portsmouth Naval Prison, constructed on the same site as Camp Long, opened in 1908 and remained in operation until 1974.  Following Germany's unconditional surrender to end World War II in Europe, four U-boats surrendered at the shipyard and the Office of Naval Intelligence interrogated U-boat crew members at the prison.

Industrial Department

Inspection Department

Office of the Captain of the Yard (Executive Officer)

Office of the Civil Engineer

Office of the Commandant

Abstracts of Directives Received from the Navy Department, 1875

Circulars of the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting, 1863-1889

Confidential General Correspondence, 1951-1966

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent, 1891-1909

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Construction and Repair, 1842-1911

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Equipment, 1862-1910

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, 1842-1911

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Navigation, 1862-1911

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Ordnance, 1842-1911

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1862-1911

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Yards and Docks, 1842-1911

Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Secretary of the Navy, 1823-1911

Copies of Letters Sent to the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, 1842-1889

Copies of Orders Sent to Yard Officials and Heads of Departments, 1832-1911

Fair Copies of Letters and Circulars Received from the Board of Navy Commissioners, 1823-1825

Fair Copies of Letters Sent, 1823-1867

General Correspondence, 1900-1911

General Correspondence, 1911-1925

General Correspondence, 1951-1966

Letters and Circulars Received from the Board of Navy Commissioners, 1815-1840

Letters and Telegrams Received, 1818-1902

Letters and Telegrams Received from Admiral of the Navy David D. Porter, 1870-1889

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Equipment, 1862-1902

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, 1842-1902

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1862-1902

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, 1892-1902

Letters and Telegrams Received from the Judge Advocate General of the Navy Department, 1881-1899

Letters, Circulars, and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Navigation, 1862-1902

Letters, Circulars, and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Ordnance, 1842-1901

Letters, Circulars, and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, 1842-1892

Letters, Circulars, and Telegrams Received from the Bureau of Yards and Docks, 1842-1902

Letters Received from the Commanding Officer of the Marine Barracks Marine Corps Letters, 1894-1901

Letters, Reports, and Memorandums Received from Yard Officials and Heads of Departments, 1857-1892

Letters, Telegrams, and Circulars Received from the Bureau of Construction and Repair, 1842-1902

Letters, Telegrams, Circulars, and Orders Received from the Secretary of the Navy, 1815-1902

Muster Books, 1823-1844

Press Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent, 1867-1911

Press Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, 1892-1911

Press Copies of Letters and Endorsements Sent to the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1902-1911

Press Copies of Letters Sent to Admiral of the Navy David D. Porter, 1871-1891

Press Copies of Orders, Memorandums, and Circulars Issued by the Commandant, 1884-1911

Press Copies of Telegrams Received, 1906-1911

Press Copies of Telegrams Sent, 1870-1911

Press Copies of Telegrams Sent and Received, 1909-1910

Register of General Correspondence, 1909-1911

Register of Letters, Circulars, and General Orders Received from the Secretary of the Navy and the Board of Navy Commissioners, 1815-1842

Register of Officers Reporting and Detached, 1871-1894

Registers of Correspondence Received, 1880-1908

Registers of Letters, Endorsements and Orders Sent, 1868-1894

Registers of Letters, Telegrams, and Circulars Received, 1869-1896

Reports of Surveys and Boards, 1836-1861

Semimonthly Muster Rolls and Payrolls for Mechanics and Laborers, 1819-1842

Service Records of Civilian Employees, ca. 1893-ca. 1917

Ship Plans, ca. 1840-ca. 1923

Subject Index to General Correspondence, 1909-1911

Office of Ordnance

Office of the Recruiting Officer

Portsmouth Naval Prison


 

Undersea Warfare

refer to caption

Naval Underwater Ordinance Station Piers at Newport, Rhode Island 

from series Research and Development Photographs Regarding Torpedo Development, 1942 - 1971; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

Naval Torpedo Station, Goat Island, Newport, Rhode Island

The Navy's history of developing underwater warfare technologies, such as torpedoes and sonar, has its origins in the Reconstruction Era.  In July 1869, the Secretary of the Navy announced the establishment of the Naval Torpedo Station (NTS) on Goat Island in Newport, Rhode Island.  During the remainder of the nineteenth century, work at NTS focused on research and testing of mines and spar torpedoes, torpedo propulsion systems, main charge explosives and explosive components, as well as shipboard electrical systems.

For most of the first half of the twentieth century, NTS manufactured torpedoes, only suspending production during World War I to concentrate on manufacturing mines, depth charges and aerial bombs.  Upon resumption of torpedo production after World War I, NTS developed the Mark I and Mark II torpedoes.

Research, development and production of torpedoes and explosive components accelerated throughout the 1930s and World War II, but diminished following the war.  In 1946 NTS discontinued its manufacturing program, refocusing on torpedo research, design, implementation and storage.  On December 13, 1951, Naval Torpedo Station was disestablished and its responsibilities were assigned to its successor command organization, Naval Underwater Ordnance Station (NUOS).

Naval Underwater Ordnance Station, Goat Island, Newport, Rhode Island

On December 13, 1951, at the request of the Bureau of Ordnance, the Secretary of the Navy established the Naval Underwater Ordnance Station (NUOS) at Newport, Rhode Island, as the successor command organization to the Naval Torpedo Station. NUOS was charged with the continued program of research, development, testing, and evaluation of underwater ordnance. This mission was accomplished primarily by civilian engineers and scientists in four major operating departments: Development (Research, Controls, Systems); Engineering (Service Weapons, Shops, Technical Information); Test and Evaluation; and Range (Military and Operations).  In February 1966, NUOS combined with the Naval Underwater Weapons Systems Engineering Center (NAVUWSEC) to form Naval Underwater Weapons Research and Engineering Station (NUWS).

Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, Connecticut

During World War II, Fort Trumbull in New London, Connecticut hosted Columbia University’s Division of War Research, which developed passive sonar systems.  In 1945 the Columbia laboratory merged with Harvard University’s Underwater Sound Laboratory (HUSL) to establish the Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory (NUSL), located at Fort Trumbull.  Work performed at these laboratories formed the foundation for understanding the nature and behavior of underwater sound. In 1970, the Naval Underwater Weapons Research and Engineering Station (NUWS), Newport, Rhode Island and the Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory were merged to create the Naval Underwater Systems Center (NUSC) in Newport, Rhode Island and New London, Connecticut. The New London facilities were known as the New London Laboratory. 

Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island

In 1970, the Naval Underwater Weapons Research and Engineering Station (NUWS) in Newport, Rhode Island and the Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory (NUSL) in New London, Connecticut merged to form the Naval Underwater Systems Center (NUSC) in Newport, Rhode Island. NUSC's primary mission evolved from a broad anti-submarine warfare (ASW) warfare role to the more specific function of supporting the submarine's expanding role in naval warfare. Because NUSC had the technical expertise and was involved in the development of all submarine warfare subsystems (sonar, optical sensors, fire control, torpedoes, and missiles), it took on the role of “systems center” for submarine combat/warfare systems. On January 1, 1992, the Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport was consolidated with the Naval Undersea Warfare Engineering Station, Keyport to form the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).  The Navy closed its operations at Fort Trumbull, New London, Connecticut in 1996.


 

Records of Other Naval Districts and Shore Establishments

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Motor Torpedo Boat Training Center, Melville, Rhode Island

from series Administrative History of the First Naval District in World War II, 1946 - 1946; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

Anti-Submarine Squadron 34

Anti-Submarine Squadron 34 was commissioned on May 2, 1960 with Commander Sam Sparks as first commanding officer.  The "Proud Tigers" were an Essex squadron, commissioned with the Grumman S2-A Tracker, the first carrier-based aircraft capable of both search and attack against enemy submarines. In the fall of 1961, Commander D.M. Saunders, VS-34 second commanding officer, landed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Quonset Point with the squadron's first S2-D. A period of transition and extensive ASW crew training began. This new Tracker with its complete weapon system greatly expanded the carrier-based aircraft's role in hunter-killer task force operations. The squadron was wholly committed to the S2-D in the spring of 1962. Embarked on Essex in early fall the VS-34 resumed their mission of carriers-based all-weather anti-submarine operations. Due to early transition, VS-34 participated in the development of new S2-D ASW tactics. VS-34 played a vital role in the Cuban Quarantine, conducting extensive surface surveillance and ASW operations. Anti-Submarine Squadron 34 was decommissioned on October 1, 1968.

Atlantic Fleet

Carrier Division 14

Carrier Division 14 was part of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Task Group Bravo - one of four mobile carrier task groups designed to improve the ASW readiness of the Atlantic Fleet and to develop doctrines for protection of fast carrier strike forces against submarines. Deployed worldwide, the command and task group headquarters was aboard the flagship USS Wasp (CVS-18), berthed most frequently at Boston Naval Shipyard during 1962.​

Confidential General Correspondence, 1962


Service Squadron 2: Office of the Commander

Service Squadron 2 was a subordinate command of the Service Force - one of several commands comprising the Atlantic Fleet. Its mission was to provide underway replenishment, logistical support, and repair services to combatant ships at sea. Home port for most of the oilers, tankers, store ships, repair ships, ammunition ships, and ocean tugs assigned to the squadron was the U.S. Naval Base at Newport, Rhode Island. The commander of Service Squadron 2 was tasked with maintaining assigned units in a state of optimum readiness and the training, operation, and administrative control of approximately eighteen vessels.​

Correspondence Relating to Ships, 1966-1968

Reading and Serial Files, 1966-1967

Program Correspondence, 1968

Loop Receiving Stations

An anti-submarine indicator loop consisted of a submerged cable laid on the sea bed and was used to detect the passage of enemy submarines.  As it passed over a cable, the submarine's magnetism induced an electric current in the cable; the current was detected by a control station, known as a loop receiving station.  Loops were used extensively by the Allies, including the U.S. Navy, during World War II to protect harbors against submarine attack.​

Naval Unit 1-A (Loop Receiving Station), Bailey Isle, Maine

Operation Logs, 1942-1945

Rough Station Logs, 1942-1945


Naval Unit 1-B (Loop Receiving Station), South Portland, Maine

Smooth Station Logs, 1944-1945

Weekly War Diaries, 1942-1945


Naval Unit 1-F (Loop Receiving Station), Fort Williams, Maine

General Correspondence, 1941-1944

Operation Logs, 1942-1943

Smooth Station Logs, 1942-1944

Weekly War Diaries, 1942-1943


Naval Unit 1-I (Loop Receiving Station), Westport Point, Massachusetts

Rough Station Logs, 1944

Naval Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center, Melville, Rhode Island

During World War II, the Navy constructed a facility to train naval personnel in the operation of patrol torpedo (PT) boats.  PT boats were small, fast, and expendable vessels for short range oceanic scouting, armed with torpedoes and machine guns for cutting enemy supply lines and harassing enemy forces.  PT boat duty was very dangerous, as evidenced by the high loss rate among PT squadrons during the war.  The training center was closed after World War II ended.

Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island

In 1946 the Navy consolidated its post-war units located on Narragansett Bay, RI under a single military command, U.S. Naval Base, Newport.  Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, the base underwent several realignments of its units.  Today, Naval Station (NS) Newport is home to 50 Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Army Reserve commands and activities.

Office of Naval Research

Boston Regional Office

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) regional offices carry out award administration, indirect cost rate negotiations, business system reviews and quality assurance responsibilities. Their scope extends to the administration of contracts and grants (with educational and nonprofit institutions) issued by ONR, other Navy, Department of Defense, Army, Air Force, NASA and other federal agencies.

The Boston Regional Office serves Connecticut, New York, Maine, Puerto Rico, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island. New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey and foreign countries.

Technical Reports, 1946-1974

Office of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Groton, CT

The Supervisors of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair (SUPSHIPs) are the Navy's on-site technical, contractual and business authority, responsible for administering and executing shipbuilding contracts to ensure the highest quality ships are delivered to the fleet.  It is the Supervisor's responsibility to administer all contracts, outfit the ships, assure that the technical and quality assurance requirements of the contracts are fully met, ascertain that satisfactory production schedules are maintained, and ensure that the final product delivered to the Fleet is ready to sail "in harms way."

SUPSHIP Groton is the liaison between the Department of the Navy and Electric Boat Corporation who is engaged in the design and construction of new OHIO Replacement and VIRGINIA Class nuclear powered submarines, as well as the repair and modernization of LOS ANGELES, SEAWOLF and VIRGINIA Class nuclear submarines in the Fleet.  Today, SUPSHIP Groton has approximately 250 civilians and 27 military in two locations: Groton, Connecticut, and Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

Second Naval District

The Naval District system was the Navy Department's mode of regional coordination of military and administrative activities within America's coastal waters and shorelines.  Per General Order No. 128, signed May 7, 1903 by Acting Secretary of the Navy Charles H. Darling, the Atlantic, Pacific and Great Lakes coastlines were divided into thirteen districts, each to be commanded by a Commandant of the Naval District.  Until World War II, the Commandant of a District was also required to be the Commandant of a navy yard.

The Second Naval District was among the thirteen districts established on May 7, 1903. Headquartered at Newport, Rhode Island, the District covered coastline extending southwest of Chatham, Massachusetts to New London, Connecticut, inclusive.  In a letter dated February 28, 1919, the Secretary of the Navy disbanded the Second Naval District, consolidating its coastline into the First Naval District and Third Naval District, effective March 15, 1919.

Memorandums Regarding Sanitary Conditions at Woods Hole Section Base, 1917-1918


Naval District Base, New London, Connecticut: Fitting-Out Section

Located at the Marine Iron Works in New London, the Fitting-Out Section was primarily responsible for armament, repair, and modification work on submarine chasers during World War I.

General Correspondence, 1917-1919


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Small Sail Boat Instruction

from series Administrative History of the First Naval District in World War II, 1946 - 1946; Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, Record Group 181; National Archives at Boston

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