Navy Records

Please note that, at the present time, some .mil web addresses are only accessible to users from a .mil address.

National Archives & Records Administration
Archives I, 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20408-0001
Tel: (202) 501 5400 (general inquiries); (202) 501 5410 (genealogy staff)

[NB: NARA Archives I holds textual & microfilm records on pre-World War II military and naval/maritime-related matters. Related special media and non-textual records, such as still and motion pictures, electronic, cartographic records, etc are located at Archives II.]

Attn: Textual Reference Branch (NNR 1) Room 13W

  • Military service records for individuals who left the Navy between 1798 – Dec 1885 (enlisted), – Dec 1902 (officers)
  • (NB – prior to 1861 (officers) and 1885 (enlisted), military service records are fragmentary. Those that do exist are generally not detailed.)
  • An individual’s service no. or Social Security no. (after 1970) can normally be provided by this branch if the individual’s name, command, & when they served is provided in writing.
  • Historical ships’ muster rolls from 1801 to 1938, and deck logs from 1801 to 1940

National Archives & Records Administration
Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road
College Park MD 20740-6001
Tel: (301) 713 6800

[NB: NARA Archives II maintains cartographic/architectural holdings; electronic records; still and motion picture, sound and video records; and textual records on military-related matters dating from World War II onwards.]

Attn: Textual Reference Branch

  • Historical ships’ muster rolls from 1939 to 1966, and deck logs from 1941 to 1961

Attn:Still Pictures Branch, Special Archives Division

  • Photos – Official Navy photograph repository, prior to 1982

National Personnel Records Center
9700 Page Avenue
St Louis MO 63132-5100

Attn: Military Personnel Records

  • Official Military Personnel Files (including awards information) for individuals who left the Navy since Jan 1886 (enlisted), since Jan 1903 (officers)
  • Official records of retired Navy personnel after 15 months of separation


  • Official medical records of retired Navy personnel after 15 months of separation
  • (NB – the above information is available only to the veteran his/herself or, if deceased, next-of-kin. Requests must be made in writing, signed & dated, on the appropriate form SF 180)

Bureau of Naval Personnel
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington TN 38055-3120

Attn: Worldwide Locator (PERS 312)

Attn: Commander

  • Military service records (excluding medical records) for recently retired personnel (within 15 months of separation)

Naval Reserve Personnel Center
New Orleans LA 70159
Attn: Commanding Officer

  • Official medical records of recently retired Navy personnel (within 15 months of separation)
  • Queries regarding ID cards, change of address/status

Attn: Enlisted Personnel Management Center (Research/Code 311)

  • Historical ships’ muster rolls from 1976 to present

Naval Historical Center
Washington Navy Yard
901 M Street, SE
Washington DC 20374-5060

Attn: Early History Branch, Bldg 1

  • Research & writing on U.S. naval history, 1775-1918

Attn: Contemporary History Branch, Bldg 57
Tel: (202) 433 3891 Research & writing on U.S. naval history, 1945-present
Attn: Operational Archives Branch, Bldg 57
Fax: (202) 433 2833

  • U.S. Navy records on operations, policy & strategy, c. 1939-present; selected personal papers

Attn: Ships’ History Branch, Bldg 57

Tel: (202) 433 3643;

Fax: (202) 433 6677

  • Queries regarding individual ships’ histories, 1775-present
  • (NB – Only the official Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry can be provided)

Attn: Ships’ History Branch (DL)

  • Deck logs from July 1962 to present

Attn: Naval Aviation History Branch, Bldg 157

  • Documents & collections relating to naval aviation, 1911-present

Attn: Curator Branch, Photographic Section, Bldg 108, Tel: (202) 433 2765

  • Principal source for U.S. Navy photographs prior to 1920; also many others from after that time; can assist with reference information for other U.S. naval photographic collections

Attn: USMC Historical Center, Bldg 58, DC 20374-0580, Tel: (202) 433 3480/3

  • For all United States Marine Corps-related general historical inquiries

The Navy Museum
Washington Navy Yard
Washington DC 20374
Tel: (202) 433 4882

  • Official collection of Navy-related artifacts

United States Naval & Shipbuilding Museum
739 Washington Street
Quincy MA 02169
Tel: (617) 479 7686

  • US Navy and other US military-related artifacts and archives
  • A large amount of both official and unofficial historical reference material is available online
  • (NB – The site is also home to the cruiser, USS Salem (CA 139), now a visitor attraction)

Defense Imagery Operations Center
1363 Z Street, Building 2730
March Air Field CA 92518-2073
Tel: (909) 413 2522 (Still Photos), 413 2515 (Motion Media)

  • Official photographs and images pertaining to the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps from 1982-present
  • (NB – Fees are charged for all DVIC products)

NB: US Navy deck logs (officers) and muster rolls (enlisted) usually list names and service numbers for individuals serving on a ship at a given time.