Official US Military Photo Sources

U.S. Military Photo Resources

U.S. military websites release high quality photos of current operatons on a daily basis as well as maintain archives of images of the past. This pages gives links to many of the best sources on official websites.

An AV-8B II Harrier launches from the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), 18 November 2004, while underway in the Atlantic Ocean
An AV-8B II Harrier launches from the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), 18 November 2004, while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

Today in WW II: 11 Apr 1942 RAF Bomber Command drops the first 8,000-pound Blockbuster bomb [aka "cookie"] from a Halifax aircraft on Essen, Germany. More 
11 Apr 1945 US Army troops liberate Buchenwald concentration camp, already taken over by its inmates.
Visit the World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Photo Sources: Official U.S. Military Websites

Most military activities have a website that is available to the public. In many cases the sites include a media section and/or a historical section which will contain photos and other materials of interest. This list on this page links to some of the more interesting examples, but if you search you will find many more. When using Google, add to your search to limit results to US military websites, as in this example:

Search just US military websites using Google

If you have any suggestions for this section, please contact

Air Force Link has an image gallery with hundreds of photos of current U.S. Air Force activity.

The National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH, provides a huge collection of photos of aircraft, ordnance, equipment of various kinds and other items, both current and historical, from their exhibits and archives. (Thanks to Billy P. Whyde for reminding me to get this one posted.)

Air War College links to multi-media resources. Very broad coverage of all types of military photo, clip art, film, and other materials. Especially good for ships, planes and truck see Defense Visual Information Center photos.

HQ, Department of the Army, Action Officers Online Reference, has this page of Clip Art and Graphics links from official and civilian sources (including Olive-Drab).

U.S. Army Center of Military History has a wealth of material, including photographs, from all periods of U.S. Army history. Click on this link for Artwork and Photos from the US Army Center of Military History.

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center offers many visual resources from their libraries.

Army Images: A gallery of over 1000 current Army photos.

U. S. Coast Guard Photography: historic photos and other images including special sections on Coast Guard operations on D-Day, CG in Vietnam and many other categories.

Use this link to reach the U.S. Coast Guard Visual Imagery photo database.

DefenseLink Official DOD Photos indexed by topics. This is current and posted daily. Lots of high quality, action photos on HMMWVs, tanks, and other military vehicles, but can be a little hard to find. Format is jpg or you can display it and do a screen capture. If you request a full size photo to be downloaded, they ask you some questions. If you don't have an organization, or don't want to say, just fill in "Personal Interest", "Other" for organization type, and "None" for organization name -- they don't stop you from downloading.

Defense Visual Information Center provides access to many DoD resources for photos, movies, audio-visual productions in their libraries. Among many other things, you can order CD libraries of photos covering Somalia, Haiti, Desert Storm and other campaigns. This page is an index to DVIC image files covering ships, aircraft, vehicles, many weapons systems, ordnance, and more.

Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) is another portal to the vast supply of images (still, video) originated by the U.S. Department of Defense. News, publications, and other categories of holdings are also available.

Gulf War Photographs by the XVIII Airborne Corps History Office and its attached 116th 130th, and 317th Military History Detachments (MHDs) are presented on this website. They are representative of the types of photographic products generated during combat and contingency operations as historical evidence by the Army's historical program.

Navy Newsstand Galleries is a collection of current U.S. Navy photo images and graphics.

U.S. Marines in World War II Commemorative Series. This series of pamphlets was published for the education and training of Marines in their proud history. All titles from this series have been converted to the Web and can be accessed from links on this page. Many photos are with the text.

US Marine Corps History Division Photo Galleries contain high resolution official Marine Corps photos that have been collected from archive sources.

The Naval Historical Center's Photographic Section has extensive pictorial reference files on all aspects of naval history. The web site now includes a growing selection of on-line images.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: military photos. Then click the Search button.