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U.S. Navy & Ships

The U.S. Navy is the oldest American armed service with a proud tradition. A sailor has a legendary attachment to his ship and shipmates stay in touch long after their service has ended.

U.S. Navy Operations Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kyle Stevic watches the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) from his ship, the guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) as it leaves homeport for a six-month deployment, Norfolk, VA, 1 August 2007
U.S. Navy Operations Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kyle Stevic watches the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) from his ship, the guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) as it leaves homeport for a six-month deployment, Norfolk, VA, 1 August 2007.

Today in WW II: 20 Nov 1940 Hungary joins Hitler's Axis Tripartite Pact, followed by Romania and Slovakia in the next few days [November 20-25].  More 
20 Nov 1942 British forces capture Benghazi, Libya.
20 Nov 1942 Alaska-Canadian [ALCAN] Highway dedicated at Soldiers Summit and officially opened, although not generally usable until 1943.
20 Nov 1943 Makin, Tarawa [Gilbert Islands] invasion by US amphibious force [20-23 Nov].
20 Nov 1944 Hitler leaves his Wolf's Lair field headquarters [near Rastenburg, East Prussia] to go to Berlin, never to return.
20 Nov 1945 Nuremberg war crimes trials begin.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

U.S. Navy Ships: How to Locate

Where is my ship? That's a common question former Sailors ask. There are several sites which provide excellent information on the status of the many proud ships which serve or have served their country. To find out, start with the Naval Vessel Register, the official inventory of U.S. Navy ships and service craft. COMNAVSURFLANT (CNSL) has their own list of ships in the Atlantic fleet.

For information on active duty ships, you can consult the The Navy Fact File that covers surface and submarine ships, aircraft, and missiles of the U.S. Navy. Another useful resource is this directory of U.S. Navy Ships -- Listed by Hull Number. That page explains the U.S. Navy's system of alpha-numeric ship designators ("BB" "DD" "SSN" etc.) and associated hull numbers that categorizes ships of all types.

For ships of the past, you can try the following for information:

And one more suggestion: the Naval Historical Center site is full of resources regarding ships and naval activity from the early days of the United States to the present.

Military History - Navy & Ships is another Olive-Drab.com page with navy and ship information and links.

If you are interested specifically in LSTs you can find information at the US LST Home Port.

Navy and Ships Internet Resources

U.S. Navy and Ships
USS Arizona Memorial. Official National Park Service page on this historical site at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Memorial straddles the sunken hull of the battleship USS Arizona and commemorates the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack.
USS Bowfin (BB-287) Submarine Museum and Park, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The museum includes an extensive look at the fascinating history of submarines from the first daring attempt in 1776 to use a submersible in warfare to the feats of today’s nuclear submarines.
USS Cabot (CVL-28), "The Iron Woman", will be restored to her World War II appearance as "a place that is perpetually 1945" to maintain her for posterity.
USS Champlin (DD-601), commissioned September 12, 1942 and decommissioned January 31, 1947. Information about the destroyer, the ships history, the officers and crew, and information regarding the USS Champlin Reunion Group.
USS Chosin (CG 65). Official web site of the officers and crew of "America's Finest Cruiser".
USS DeHaven (DD-727). History, photos and association information.
USS Elliot (DD 967). This site exists to serve past and present Elliot crewmembers, their families and friends, and the general public. A Spruance-class Strike Destroyer, Elliot is among the world's most capable warships. Decommissioned on December 2, 2003, the ELLIOT subsequently joined the mothball fleet in Pearl Harbor, HI.
USS Fletcher (DD-992), a 8280-ton Spruance class destroyer, was built at Pascagoula, Mississippi. Commissioned in July 1980, she was immediately sent to join the Pacific Fleet, with which she has served up to the present. Starting in 1982, Fletcher has made regular deployments to the western and southern Pacific, with some of those extending into the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf areas. During the 1990s, she was modernized with the vertical launch system, giving her a much broader range of capabilities.
USS Higbee DD/DDR 806 official website. History and crew reunions.
USS Iowa (BB-61) organization has the goal to inform former Iowa crew members, military personnel and battleship enthusiasts all over the world about the Iowa’s current status, its history and its contribution to the military effort over the past fifty years.
USS Laffey. This site is dedicated to all destroyers that fought so valiantly in all theatres of World War II and in Korea, and especially to the two USS Laffeys (DD 459 and DD 724) that saw action during these periods.
USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) has the mission to detect, classify and track hundreds of potential targets simultaneously in the air, on the surface, and under the sea.
Dedicated to the show boat of two oceans, the mistress of countless missions, the classiest dame of the deep, the USS Los Angeles (SSN 688) and her present and past crews.
During World War II, USS LST 173 served in the European theater of operations moving critical supplies and men throughout the Mediterranean Sea. History, crew, photos, actions reports and more.
One of the most famous ships of United States Navy, the USS Missouri (BB-63) is the fourth ship and second battleship to bear the name of the "Show me" state. Known as the "Mighty Mo" to many who served on her and was the last of the great battleships to be completed by the US Navy. It was aboard this battleship that the surrender documents were signed bringing World War II to an end in 1945.
USS Nautilus (SSN 571). History of the first atomic powered craft launched January 17, 1955, when Commander Eugene P. Wilkinson, USN, ordered all lines cast off and signaled the memorable and historic message, "Underway On Nuclear Power." Over the next several years, Nautilus shattered all submerged speed and distance records.
USS Orleck (DD 886) was built in Orange Texas, commissioned on 15 September 1945. The 390-foot ORLECK served in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. She won four battle stars for service during the Korean Conflict, was a member of the famous Train Busters Club of Korea and was "Top Gun" of the Seventh Fleet in Vietnam. She was known as the Gray Ghost on the Vietnam Coast. ORLECK has been preserved for history by the Southeast Texas War Memorial & Heritage Foundation.
USS Pampanito (SS-383) is a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine that is open for visitors daily at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. Pampanito made six patrols in the Pacific during World War II and sank six Japanese ships and damaged four others.
USS Ranger (CV-61). The history of the USS Ranger is a story of a proud lineage of vessels that have served this nation for more than 200 years. A legacy built and established by eight different ships, all of which proudly bore the name Ranger.
USS Slater (DE-766) is a Cannon Class Destroyer Escort. Of the 565 destroyer escorts produced in World War II, USS Slater is the only one remaining afloat in the United States, and the only one with original battle armament and configuration. (Thanks to Kevin Lynch for this suggestion.)
The USS St. Lo (CVE63/VC65), formerly known as Midway, had a short life of only one year during World War II. It was the first ship to be sunk by a Kamikaze.
USS Sterett DLG-31. History, crew locator, current status of the USS Sterett and earlier ships bearing that name.
USS Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) faithfully served her country from 1943 until 1973. The Sumner's history is unique in that she rescued a downed pilot in all three wars in which she served - World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
USS Ticonderoga Class Aircraft Carriers (CV 14-15, 19, 21, 32-33, 38-40, 45 & 47). History, descriptions and photographs.
Homeport dedicated to the men who gallantly sailed on the U.S.S. Turner (DD/DDR-834), and on her predecessors, DD-259 and DD-648.
U.S.S. Utah (BB-31) rests on the west side of Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii almost forgotten beside the more famous USS Arizona. This web site keeps the memory of Utah and her sailors alive and well.
U.S.S. Washtenaw County LST-1166/MSS-2. Washtenaw was one of many LST's (Landing Ship, Tank) serving on the muddy brown rivers of Vietnam's Mekong Delta.
USS Robert L. Wilson (DD-847). Stories of the men who lived, worked, and sailed aboard our ship, affectionately called the Willy Boat, during her life and service to the U.S. Navy.
Other U.S. Navy Related Sites
NavSource Naval History offers a photographic history of the U.S. Navy, huge resource of images and information.
HA(L)-3 US Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three Seawolves, Vietnam 1966-1972. The association was formed on 15 June 1987 to perpetuate the name of the elite United States Naval Force designated Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three and seeks to continue and strengthen those friendships begun in Vietnam by personnel attached to this unique gunship unit known as the Seawolves.
The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is a U.S. Navy-operated organization dedicated to the interpretation of the U.S. Navy in and around the Navy's most important port.
The Alameda Naval Air Museum features a unique collection of artifacts and exhibits illuminating the role of the Alameda Naval Air Station (across the bay from San Francisco) in the defense of the United States and as an integral part of the local community for over 50 years.
US Navy Special Warfare Archives. A collection of the military records, photographs, and written works of the men of the SCOUTS & RAIDERS, NCDU, UDT, and SEALs. Authentic information about the men of these fascinating Special Warfare programs.
US Navy Ships are covered in detail on this site created by the Federation of American Scientists. Detailed descriptions, with photos, are provided for hundreds of vessel types in the US fleet.
United States Benson-Livermore Class Destroyers Class of 1937-39, the backbone of the Destroyer Navy from 1940-1942.
Current US Ship designations (Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force)
Ex-Navy Nuclear or Related Fields Personnel Directory maintains a contact list for many individuals who have served in the nuclear Navy.
Naval Terminology, Jargon and Slang FAQ, Part 1 and Part 2. Covers American, British, Canadian, and Australian usage.
Mark Wayne Felhofer, USN, Retired personal career page with Navy links. See also his VRC-50 AIRCREW SHOP.
Fleet Tactical Support Squadron Fifty (VRC-5O), the Foo Dogs, have a home at this web site. History of the unit, personnel locator, reunions, with lots of photos and personal stories.
Endless Journey recounts Michael Harris' harrowing experiences with the Navy Mobile Riverine Force in the Mekong Delta. Includes personal Vietnam War Pictures, Vietnam War Memorabilia, Military Medals and much more.
PBR River Division 515. The mission of this site is to preserve the history of the U.S. Navy River Patrol Boat (PBR) in Vietnam and to provide a meeting place and information exchange for veterans and friends of PBR River Division 515.
Non-U.S. Navy and Ships
World Battleship Lists And Photo Gallery are a comprehensive, detailed listing of the world's battleships, monitors, major ironclads, battlecruisers, large cruisers, and related vessels. The lists currently cover all US Navy ships, from the start of the ironclad era to the present day, and non-US battleships and battlecruisers from 1906 (the start of the Dreadnought era) to the present day.
Naval Technology is the web site for the defence industry serving the UK Navy and its allies. This site is a gateway to a huge list of ship and aircraft specs, manufacturers of naval defence equipment and services, organizations and trade groups, shows and exhibitions and more.
A listing of the ships of the Canadian Navy, present and past can be found at the linked page.
More To Explore