About U.S., Photographs of Military Ships by the Bureau of Ships, 1914-1946
The Bureau of Ships was established by an act of June 20, 1940 (54 Stat. 492) in the Department of the Navy. This new bureau was the result of a consolidation of the Bureau of Engineering and the Bureau of Construction and Repair. It was abolished in 1966.
Responsibilities of the Bureau of Ships:
The Bureau of Ships was responsible for supervising the design, construction, conversion, procurement, maintenance, and repair of U.S. Navy ships and other crafts; managing shipyards, repair facilities, laboratories, and shore stations; developing specifications for fuels and lubricants; conducting salvage operations; purchasing ships for the Army and Air Force; coordinating Department of Defense shipbuilding activities; and coordinating navy repair and conversion programs with other federal agencies.
Taken from NARA, “Administrative History”, Records of the Bureau of Ships, Guide to Federal Records (
What’s Included in this Database:
This database contains thousands of photographs of military ships dating from 1914 to 1946. These ships and photographs were under the jurisdiction of the Bureaus of Engineering and Construction and Repair before coming under the Bureau of Ships in 1940. Each photograph has a “Ship Name” and “Date of Photo” associated with it. The photographs are searchable by these fields. The photographs can also be browsed using the browse table below.
This database also contains images of the Index to these photographs. The Index is comprised of index file cards that list the name of the ship and other related information. These cards are not presently searchable by word. The images, however, are browseable and can be viewed by following the browse table below.