Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel
(RECORD GROUP 24)
Table of Contents
- 24.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
- 24.2 GENERAL RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND ITS PREDECESSORS
- 24.2.1 Correspondence
- 24.2.2 Logs
- 24.2.3 Muster rolls
- 24.2.4 Records of units attached to the Bureau of Navigation
- 24.2.5 Other records
- 24.3 RECORDS RELATING TO NAVAL OFFICERS, ENLISTED MEN, AND
- 24.3.1 Records relating to naval officers
- 24.3.2 Records relating to enlisted men
- 24.3.3 Records relating to naval apprentices
- 24.4 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF DETAIL
- 24.5 RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF EQUIPMENT AND RECRUITING
1856-1928 (bulk 1862-89)
- 24.6 RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION
- 24.6.1 Records of the Chaplains Division
- 24.6.2 Records of the Division of Naval Militia Affairs
- 24.6.3 Records of the Naval Reserve Division
- 24.6.4 Records of the Division of Officers and Fleet
- 24.6.5 Records of the Naval Academy Division
- 24.6.6 Records of the Morale Division
- 24.6.7 Records of the Training Division
- 24.7 RECORDS OF OPERATING UNITS OF THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL 1940-46
- 24.8 RECORDS OF FIELD ESTABLISHMENTS
1838-1970 (bulk 1838-1946)
- 24.8.1 Records of the U.S. Naval Home, Philadelphia, PA
- 24.8.2 Records of the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
- 24.8.3 Records of the Indoctrination School for Officers, Fort Schuyler, NY
- 24.8.4 Records of the Enlisted Naval Training School (Radio), Bedford Springs, PA
- 24.8.5 Records of the V-12 Unit, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
- 24.8.6 Records of the Naval Midshipmen's School, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
- 24.8.7 Records of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, Yale University, New Haven, CT
- 24.9 CARTOGRAPHIC RECORDS (GENERAL)
- 24.10 MOTION PICTURES (GENERAL)
- 24.11 SOUND RECORDINGS (GENERAL)
- 24.12 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL)
- 24.13 MACHINE-READABLE RECORDS (GENERAL)
Established: In the Department of the Navy by an act of May 13, 1942 (56 Stat. 276).
In the War Department:
- Office of the Secretary of War (personnel functions, 1789-98)
In the Department of the Navy:
- Office of the Secretary of the Navy (personnel functions, 1798-1862)
- Board of Navy Commissioners (personnel functions, 1815-42)
- Office of Detail (1861-89)
- Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting (personnel functions, 1862-89)
- Bureau of Navigation (personnel functions, 1889-1942)
Functions: Exercises oversight responsibility for the Naval Military Personnel Command, Navy Recruiting Command, and Naval Civilian Personnel Center. Administers all personnel matters for the U.S. Navy.
Finding Aids: Virgil E. Baugh, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, PI 123 (1960); Lee D. Saegesser and Harry Schwartz, comps., "Supplement to Preliminary Inventory No. 123, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel," NM 74 (Jan. 1967); supplement in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.
Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.
Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Bureau of Naval Personnel in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
History: War Department, established by act of August 7, 1789 (1 Stat. 49), handled personnel functions for the U.S. Navy until a separate Department of the Navy was established by act of April 30, 1798 (1 Stat. 553). Personnel duties centralized in the immediate office of the Secretary of the Navy, 1798-1862, assisted by the Board of Navy Commissioners, established by act of February 7, 1815 (3 Stat. 202), and abolished by act of August 31, 1842 (5 Stat. 579). Responsibility for detailing (assigning) officers delegated to Office of Detail, 1861 (SEE 24.4). Responsibility for enlisting and recruiting navy personnel assigned to Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting, 1862 (SEE 24.5). Personnel functions of Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting transferred to Bureau of Navigation, 1889. Bureau of Navigation redesignated Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1942. SEE 24.1.
Textual Records: Letters sent to the President, Congressmen, and Executive departments, 1877-1911; the Secretary of the Navy, naval establishments, and officers, 1850-1911; commandants, 1862- 1911; and enlisted personnel and apprentices, 1864-1911. Letters sent concerning civilian personnel, 1903-9; and aviation, 1911- 12. General letters sent, 1885-96. Miscellaneous letters sent, 1862-1911. Letters received, 1862-89. General correspondence (6,043 ft.), 1889-1945, with record cards, 1903-25; subject cards, 1903-45; and history cards, 1925-42. Indexes and registers of letters sent and received, and of general correspondence, 1862-1903. Correspondence relating to vessels, personnel, and naval activities, 1885-1921.
Textual Records: Logs of U.S. naval ships and stations, 1801-1946 (72,500 vols., 8,060 ft.), and 1945-61 (12,000 vols., 6,980 ft.); with indexes and lists, 1801-1940. Microfilm copy of log of U.S.S. Constitution, 1813-15 (1 roll). Logs of the German merchant vessels Prinz Waldemar and Prinz Sigismund, 1903-14. Communication logs and signal record books, 1897-1922. Signal logs and codebooks, 1917-19. Operational and signal logs of U.S. Navy armed guard units aboard merchant vessels, 1943-45. Manuscript ("rough") log and night order book of the U.S.S. Missouri, 1944-45.
Microfilm Publications: M1030.
Finding Aids: Claudia Bradley, Michael Kurtz, Rebecca Livingston, Timothy Mulligan, Muriel Parseghian, Paul Vanderveer, and James Yale, comps., List of Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Miscellaneous Units, 1801-1947, SL 44 (1978).
Textual Records: Muster rolls of ships, 1860-1900; and ships and stations, 1891-1900. Muster rolls of ships and shore establishments, 1898-1939. Civil War muster rolls, 1861, 1863. Microfilm copies of muster rolls of ships, stations, and other naval activities, 1939-71 (25,279 rolls), with indexes.
Textual Records: Letters sent by the Signal Office, 1869-86. Records of the Coast Signal Service, 1898, consisting of correspondence regarding the establishment of signal stations; headquarters correspondence; correspondence of district headquarters with signal stations; letters sent and correspondence of the First District Office, Boston, MA (in Boston), Second District Office, New York, NY (in New York), Third District Office, Norfolk, VA (in Philadelphia), Fourth District Office, Charleston, SC (in Atlanta), Fifth District Office, Jacksonville, FL (in Atlanta), Sixth District Office, Pensacola, FL (in Atlanta), and Seventh District Office, New Orleans, LA (in Fort Worth); and vessel movement telegrams. Personnel jackets of applicants for and appointees to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy, 1910-13.
Textual Records: Annual reports of the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, 1897-1904. Naval militia bills, 1909-10. Applications and registers of employees, 1861-1915. Records showing complements of ships and shore units, 1891-1913. Watch, quarter, and station billbooks, 1887-1911.
Textual Records: Application, examination, and appointment records, 1838-1940. Commissions and warrants, 1844-1936. Orders and related records, 1883-1903. Identification, 1917-21, and age, 1862-63, certificates. Registers, rosters, and records showing complements, 1799-1909. Personnel jackets and other records, 1900-25, including a microfilm copy of index to officers' jackets (2 rolls). Service records, 1798-1924. Miscellaneous records, 1863-92.
Microfilm Publications: M330, T1102.
Photographs (5,483 images): Navy and Marine Corps commissioned and non-commissioned officers and their families, 1904-38 (P, PP, PA, PB, PC, PD). SEE ALSO 24.12.
Textual Records: Records, 1885-1941, relating to enlisted men who served between 1842 and 1885 (340 ft.). Correspondence jackets for enlisted men, 1904-43. Microfilm copy of an index to rendezvous reports, muster rolls, and other personnel records, 1846-84 (67 rolls). Registers and lists of recruits, 1861-73. Enlistment returns, changes, and reports, 1846-1942. Continuous service certificates, 1865-99. Records concerning discharges and desertions, 1882-1920.
Microfilm Publications: T1098, T1099, T1100, T1101.
Textual Records: Certificates of consent for minors, 1838-67. "Apprentice papers," 1864-89. Journal of enlistments, U.S.S. Allegheny, 1865-68. General record of apprentices, U.S.S. Portsmouth, 1867-68. Records relating to apprentices and apprentice training methods, U.S.S. Sabine, 1864-68. Register of enlistments, 1864-75.
History: Established in Office of the Secretary of the Navy, March 1861, to handle assignment and detailing of officers. Placed under Bureau of Navigation, April 28, 1865. Reverted to Office of the Secretary by General Order 322, Department of the Navy, October 1, 1884. Restored to Bureau of Navigation by General Order 337, Department of the Navy, May 22, 1885. Absorbed by Bureau of Navigation and superseded by Division of Officers and Fleet (SEE 24.6.4) pursuant to Navy Department reorganization, effective June 30, 1889, by General Order 372, Department of the Navy, June 25, 1889.
Textual Records: Letters sent, 1865-90. Letters received, 1865- 86, with registers, 1865-90.
History: Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting established by an act of July 5, 1862 (12 Stat. 510), as one of three bureaus created to supersede the Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair, one of the original Navy Department bureaus established by the act abolishing the Board of Navy Commissioners (5 Stat. 579), August 31, 1842. Initially responsible for recruiting and equipping officers, managing naval enlisted personnel and, after 1875, directing the apprentice training system. Acquired responsibility for supervision of the Naval Observatory, Nautical Almanac Office, Office of the Superintendent of Compasses, and Office of the Inspector of Electrical Appliances in an exchange of functions with the Bureau of Navigation (SEE 24.6) in the Navy Department reorganization of June 30, 1889, by General Order 372, Navy Department, June 25, 1889. Acquired Hydrographic Office from Bureau of Navigation by General Order 72, Department of the Navy, May 9, 1898, implementing an act of May 4, 1898 (30 Stat. 374). Redesignated Bureau of Equipment by the Naval Services Appropriation Act (26 Stat. 192), June 30, 1890. Functionally abolished by redistribution of responsibilities pursuant to an act of June 24, 1910 (36 Stat. 613), effective June 30, 1910. Formally abolished by act of June 30, 1914 (38 Stat. 408).
Textual Records: Letters sent to the Secretary of the Navy, 1862- 85; the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, 1865-85; the Commissioner of Pensions, 1871-85; the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, 1865-83; and china, glass, and plated ware manufacturers, 1869-82. General letters sent, 1865-89. Letters sent to commanders of squadrons and naval forces, 1865-83; and commandants of navy yards and stations and other officers, 1862- 85. Letters received from the Secretary of the Navy, 1862-85; the Fourth Auditor and Second Comptroller of the Treasury, 1865-86; and the Commissioner of Pensions, 1882-85. Letters received from officers, 1862-85; and commandants of navy yards, 1862-85. Miscellaneous letters received, 1862-85, 1889-92. Indexes and registers of letters sent and received, 1862-90. Conduct reports and shipping articles, 1857-1910. Records of discharges and desertions, 1856-89. Continuous service certificates and records of merit awards, 1863-1928. Records relating to naval apprentices, 1880-86. Record of vessel complements, n.d.
Related Records: Records of the Bureau of Equipment in RG 19, Records of the Bureau of Ships.
History: Established in the reorganization of the Navy Department under authority of an act of July 5, 1862 (12 Stat. 510), as one of three bureaus created to supersede the Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair, one of the original Navy Department bureaus established by the act abolishing the Board of Navy Commissioners (5 Stat. 579), August 31, 1842. Initially responsible for providing nautical charts and instruments and for supervising the Naval Observatory, Hydrographic Office, and Nautical Almanac Office. Acquired personnel responsibilities in an exchange of functions with the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting (SEE 24.5) in the Navy Department reorganization of June 30, 1889, by General Order 372, Navy Department, June 25, 1889.
Assigned to newly established Division of Personnel in Navy Department reorganization pursuant to Changes in Navy Regulations No. 6, November 18, 1909. Restored to autonomous bureau status upon abolishment of Division of Personnel by Changes in Navy Regulations and Navy Instructions No. 1, April 25, 1913. Renamed Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1942. SEE 24.1.
Hydrographic Office formally transferred to Bureau of Equipment, successor to Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting, by General Order 72, Department of the Navy, May 9, 1898, implementing an act of May 4, 1898 (30 Stat. 374). Hydrographic Office and Naval Observatory (which had absorbed the Nautical Almanac Office, 1894, and the Office of the Superintendent of Compasses, 1906) returned to Bureau of Navigation, July 1, 1910, pursuant to an act of June 24, 1910 (36 Stat. 613), dispersing the functions of the Bureau of Equipment (SEE 24.5). Transferred to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations by EO 9126, April 8, 1942.
History: Established 1917 to centralize administration of expanded force of navy chaplains.
Textual Records: Correspondence, 1916-40. Biographical data about chaplains, 1804-1923. Miscellaneous records, 1898-1946.
Sound Recordings (1 item): "The Peacemakers," Memorial Day Navy Department broadcast on National Broadcasting Company, commemorating war dead of the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps, May 30, 1945.
Photographs (648 images): Of paintings and other graphic media relating to navy events, 1917-45 (FP, 64 images). Navy chaplains who served between 1799 and 1941, n.d. (PNC, NCP; 572 images). Navy religious facilities, 1930-40 (NRF, 12 images). SEE ALSO 24.12.
History: Supervision of state naval militias vested in Assistant Secretary of War, 1891-1909. Transferred to Personnel Division, December 1, 1909, where Office of Naval Militia established, 1911. Functions assigned to Bureau of Navigation, 1912, where Division of Naval Militia Affairs established by General Order 93, Department of the Navy, April 12, 1914. State naval militias enrolled in National Naval Volunteers (NNV) during World War I. Federal laws respecting naval militias and NNV repealed, July 1, 1918, and Division of Naval Militia Affairs subsequently discontinued.
Textual Records: General records, 1891-1918. Index to correspondence, 1903-10. Letters sent, 1891-1911. Organization reports, 1913-15. Summaries of units' enrolled forces, 1915-16. Naval militia ratings' qualification certificates, July-December 1916. Allowance books, 1912-17.
Textual Records: Inspection reports of organized naval reserve units, 1st and 9th Naval Districts, 1928-40.
History: Successor in the Bureau of Navigation to the Office of Detail, 1889.
Textual Records: Letters received, 1887-90. Correspondence, 1891- 96. Registers of correspondence, 1891-96. Appointments of paymaster clerks, 1889-91; and acceptances of appointments, 1891- 98. Lists of naval and marine officers, and civilian officials at yards and stations, 1890-94.
History: Bureau of Navigation, upon its establishment in 1862, assumed supervision of the U.S. Naval Academy from the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography. Responsibility delegated to Naval Academy Division, or Naval Academy Section, at an undetermined date.
Textual Records: General correspondence of the Academy Superintendent, 1851-58. Appointment letters, 1894-1940. Personnel files (jackets) of naval cadets, principally those who failed to graduate, 1862-1910. Registers of midshipmen, 1869-96.
Related Records: Records of the U.S. Naval Academy, RG 405.
History: Established as the Sixth Division by Bureau of Navigation Circular Letter 33-19, March 11, 1919, upon recommendation of the Navy Department Commission on Training Camp Activities, to maintain morale of naval personnel. Redesignated Morale Division, 1921. Transferred to the Training Division as the Welfare and Recreation Section, 1923.
Textual Records: General correspondence, 1918-24. Correspondence of the Commission on Training Camp Activities, 1918-20. Correspondence with foreign stations, 1920; and relating to ports, 1918-20. Recreation expenditure reports, 1920-22.
History: Established April 19, 1917, to administer training programs for enlisted men in World War I. Reduced to section status in Enlisted Personnel Division, 1919. Restored to division status, March 1, 1923.
Textual Records: General correspondence, 1918-23. Administrative correspondence relating to training units, 1917-22. Records of the Welfare and Recreation Section, 1923-40. Morale reports, 1924-25. Reports on Naval Reserve training activities in Missouri (in Kansas City) and Indiana (in Chicago), 1923-25.
Textual Records: Regulations maintained in the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel relating to women accepted for volunteer emergency service, 1942-45. Records of the Administrative and Management Division, consisting of Bureau general correspondence, 1946-60; Bureau secret general correspondence, 1957-60; Bureau confidential general correspondence, 1925-60; case files of Bureau of Personnel instructions, 1950-86; and the document collection of the Technical Library, 1900-85. World War II administrative history of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, prepared by the Planning and Control Activity, n.d. Records of the Personnel Diary Section, consisting of microfilm copies of muster rolls, 1948-59. Records of the Training Division, consisting of historical files of Navy training activities, 1940-45; program files relating to the V-12 program, 1942-48; program files relating to officer training, 1928-46; records relating to U.S. Naval Academy expansion, 1962-63; and program files relating to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, 1964-68. Records of the Assistant Chief of Naval personnel for Reserve and Naval District Affairs, consisting of Naval Reserve program files, 1946-56. General records of the Physical Fitness Section, 1942-46, and the Recreation Services Section, 1943-46, of the Special Services Division. Records of the Publicity and Advertising Section, Recruiting and Induction Division, relating to the navy recruiting program, 1940-45. Records of the Recruiting Division, consisting of issuances relating to recruiting, 1955-68. Records of the Corrections Division, consisting of program files relating to naval corrections policies and facilities, 1944-51. Records of the Policy Division, consisting of case files on changes to the Bureau of Personnel manual, 1948-68; administrative records, 1956-69; daily reports of enlisted personnel, 1914-46; summary periodic statistical reports on military personnel, 1943-71; and operating force plans for the US fleet, 1928-43. Records of the Plans Division, consisting of correspondence relating to mobilization and Naval Reserves planning, 1950-64; and chronological file, 1950-60. Records of the Navy Occupational Classification Systems Management Division, consisting of case files relating to Navy ratings, 1945-78; and board, committee, and other reports relating to Navy ratings and grades, 1945-78. Casualty Branch records relating to casualties, prisoners of war, awards, and administrative matters, 1917-53. Records of the Casualty Assistance Branch of the Personal Affairs Division, consisting of ships, stations, units, and incidents casualty information files, 1941-60; casualty notification case files for Korean War and post-Korean War era Navy POWs/MIAs, 1963-86; alphabetical listing of casualties, 1941-53; casualty lists for World War II battles ("Battle Books"), 1941-45; records relating to the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, 1945; and VIP and group funeral files, 1940-67. Records of the Decorations and Medals Branch of the Personal Affairs Division, consisting of correspondence relating to US Navy awards to members of armed forces of foreign nations, 1942-63; eligibility lists for service medals and engagement stars, 1942-61; case files for Navy unit commendations and presidential unit citations, 1903-53; case files of World War II awards by delegated authority, 1941-48; Bureau of Navigation file of Navy Department Board of Awards correspondence and recommendations, 1917-20; and decorations and awards records from the Bureau of Personnel central files, 1946-73. Records of the Chief of Navy Chaplains, consisting of correspondence with chaplains, 1941-59; and annual, activity, and trip reports, 1949-57. Records of the Inspector General, consisting of inspection reports of Bureau of Personnel activities, 1959-80. Records of boards and committees, consisting of records of the Navy and Marine Corps Policy Board on Personnel Retention, 1966-69; and records of naval aviator evaluation boards, 1970-80. General records of the Naval Research Personnel Board, 1944-45.
Textual Records (in Philadelphia): Letters sent, 1838-1911. Letters received, 1845-1909. General correspondence, 1910-40. Regulations governing the Naval Home, 1900, 1916. Station logs, 1842-1942.
Textual Records (in Philadelphia): Letters sent and received, 1855-63. Journal of activities, 1870-71. Admission and discharge registers, 1867-1917.
Textual Records (in New York): General correspondence, 1941-46. Subject files, 1941-46. Muster cards, 1942-46.
Textual Records (in Philadelphia): General correspondence, 1942- 45. Subject files, 1942-45. Muster cards, 1942-44.
Textual Records (in Boston): General correspondence, 1942-46. Subject files, 1942-46.
Textual Records (in Chicago): General correspondence, 1941-45. Records of the supply officer, 1941-45.
Textual Records (in Boston): Administrative files of the commanding officer, 1941-70; and the Professor of Naval Science and Tactics, 1926-38.
Maps: Manuscript maps showing American and Spanish naval operations in Cuban waters during the Spanish-American War, 1898 (4 items). Strategic charts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and world oceans, showing distances between major ports, 1912-13 (4 items). Published maps of the United States, showing naval administrative districts and headquarters, 1919, 1935 (2 items). Pictorial wall map of the South China Sea, showing naval battles (1941-42), Japanese invasion routes, and location of economic products of interest to Japan, such as oil, rubber, and tin, 1944 (1 item).
World War I naval operations and activities, including anti- submarine patrols, minelaying, convoy and escort duty, submarine maneuvers, and training; ship launching and maintenance; torpedo production and firing; Liberty Loan promotions and patriotic celebrations; Armistice celebrations; captured German equipment; U.S. and foreign political and military leaders; foreign naval vessels; President Woodrow Wilson's second inauguration; the airship Los Angeles (ZRS-3) over New York; and lighter-than-air craft rescuing fishermen, 1917-18 (44 reels). Naval activities after World War I, including aerial mapping techniques, rescue of Armenian refugees from Turkey, evacuation of personnel from grounded and burning ships, escort duty, and training, 1918-27 (57 reels).
SEE UNDER 24.6.1.
Photographs (483 images): Artwork on navy subjects, portraits of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and a bronze relief of George Washington at Valley Forge, 1917-45 (PNCP, 13 images). Designs for medals and awards, views of navy ships and personnel, Egyptian scenes, and portrait and statue of John Paul Jones, 1892-1935 (PM, 70 images). Ships, aircraft, recruiting posters, and navy personnel, including the members of the Naval Aeronautical Expedition (1917), 1917-19 (PNA, 400 images).
Photographic Prints (4,745 images): President Herbert Hoover and crews of U.S.S. Saratoga and U.S.S. Mississippi, 1930 (H, 1 image). U.S. Navy enlisted personnel who were commended or who died during World War I, reserve officers, and officers of U.S.S. Arethusa, 1915-19 (CD, RP, RPA; 4,096 images). Aircraft NC-2 and crew following transatlantic flight, 1919 (GC, 5 images). Navy training camps and schools, ca. 1916-20 (PAN, TC; 579 images). Spanish naval vessels and damage to ships during the Spanish- American War, 1895-98 (FS, 64 images).
Lantern Slides (78 images): Humorous views of navy life used by the Navy Recruiting Bureau, New York City, 1925 (RS).
Color Slides: ca. 1860-ca. 1985 Navy recruiting posters, 1985 (NP, 47 images).
Posters (167 images): Recruiting for service in the U.S. Coast Guard, WAVES, Seabees, and other navy units and programs, 1917-87 (bulk 1941-45, 1970-87) (DP, PO).
SEE Photographs UNDER 24.3.1 and 24.6.1.
Navy Military Personnel Command officers master file, FY 1990 (1 data set); officer history file, FY 1991-92 (2 data sets); and officer attrition file, ca. 1977-92 (2 data sets).
Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.
This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.