U.S. Navy FAQ: Ships' Histories

Finding ships' histories

One of the best sources of the histories on the ships of the U.S. Navy is The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, an eight-volume reference set published by the Naval Historical Center. While much of the Dictionary has been available on non-government web site, the Naval Historical Center has now placed the entries on line. You can find the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships at https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs.html. The hard copy volumes are also available in most major public and university libraries. If your library does not have a copy of this set, you can ask your librarian to request a photocopy of the appropriate pages from the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and have them sent via fax. Some responding libraries will charge for this service.

The Naval Historical Center is on the World Wide Web at http://www.history.navy.mil or you can also write to them (they do not have the staff for e-mail) at:

Department of the Navy
Naval Historical Center
Ships' Histories Branch
805 Kidder Breese St. SE
Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374-5060

Reviewed: Jan. 9, 2018