Histories of American Commissioned Ships

I have already mentioned the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships in a previous post. That nine-volume reference work can be supplemented by Ship History/Command Operations Reports for vessels currently afloat. In essence, each ship must produce an annual operational and administrative document that details the year’s activities. The reports are arranged in alphabetical order by the ship’s names, and depending on the length of service, dozens of reports may be available. For example, the submarine Memphis has reports available from 1979 to 2003, while other ships have more recent documents available for perusal. Some reports are withheld because of their classified nature. But the reports that are accessible provide a look inside the daily life of a warship.

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