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United States Marine Corps History Division

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Marine Corps History Division
Old EGA.png
The progenitor to the modern Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, this insignia was first used by Marines in 1804.[1] Seen today on uniform buttons, it also serves as the History Division's unofficial logo.
Active8 September 1919
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Marine Corps
HQMarine Corps Base Quantico
DirectorDr. Charles Patrick Neimeyer[2]

The United States Marine Corps History Division is a branch of Headquarters Marine Corps tasked with researching, writing, and maintaining the History of the United States Marine Corps. It also provides reference and research assistance; preserves personal experiences and observations through oral history interviews; and deploys field historians to record history in the making. It is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

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>> ANDRÉA: Welcome. Welcome to the National Archives Know Your Records program. My name is Andréa Bassing Matney. We are broadcasting live from the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. We are going to have a few items I'd like to share with you before we begin the actual presentation. First I want to let you know that this presentation's slightly longer than our normal. It will probably be just over an hour and then we'll do question and answer session right after the talk. For those of you who are watching online, you can submit your questions through the chat section. Please log in and just type away. I will ask your questions for you again at the very end of the presentation. Also on this web page you will find several hot links. There's the presentation slides and four handouts. You'll also find a link to live captioning and an event evaluation form. So today's program is entitled World War II Military Unit Photographs with presenters Aaron Arthur and Kaitlyn Crain Enriquez. Both presenters hold positions as Archives Technicians with the reference team in the National Archives Still Pictures Branch located in our facility in College Park, Maryland. Ms. Crain Enriquez was previously a private investigator, specifically focusing on locating and retrieving public records. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts In Public History from Sacramento State University. Mr. Arthur began his career at the National Archives in 2015 and joined the reference team in 2016. He received formal education from Texas State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude With a Bachelor of Arts degree, and double majors in History and Political Science. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Science with a focus on American Indian Law. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming our presenters, Aaron Arthur and Kaitlyn Crain Enriquez. [Applause] >> KAITLYN: Thank you, Andréa, for that introduction. Aaron and I are really excited to be here today and we've been wanting to do this presentation due to the simple fact that World War II photos are some of our most highly used and highly requested records in the Still Picture Branch but we did notice awhile ago that a lot of first time researchers have some false assumptions and ideas regarding the organization of World War II photos and specifically they have some false ideas about how easily it might be to obtain photographs of a particular World War II unit. So today we want to really share our knowledge and give you the information you need in order to identify and obtain photographs of a particular unit. Quickly before we get started, Aaron and I are not World War II historians and we're not military historians but we do know how to use historic context in order to locate photographs, and that's what we want to share. So on that note let's go ahead and look at our presentation goals. The first goal for today is really we want to set expectations. We want to be as transparent as possible and we want you to know what type of photographs we will have and what we might not have. Number two, we want to explain how our photographs are organized within the Still Picture Branch and that's really important to know that all of this information is specific to the Still Picture Branch. Number three, while we're talking about the organization of the records, we also plan on giving you information ‐‐ or telling you what information you need to have and come prepared with in order to do photographic research. And along the way we're going to be providing examples. So starting with expectations. I'm trying to find a picture of blank and usually that's followed by my grandfather, my father or my grandfather's unit. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm going to tell that you induction and boot camp photos were rarely retained by the various branches of service. The photos of your relatives in their military uniforms, those very stoic portraits, those weren't taken by the military. Those were taken by commercial photographers and offered for sale. So if your ancestor or relative didn't purchase those, it's unlikely that the Still Picture Branch will have a copy of it. Number two, we don't have a copy of every single World War II photograph ever taken. That should be self‐explanatory but it's not. So photographs were removed and destroyed by the record creators before they came to NARA. And then number three, we're not the only unit within the Still Picture Branch that has military photos for World War II so you will, if you want to do in‐depth research expand your search to other units. And with that I'm going to invite Aaron up. He's going to talk about Army records and then Army Air Forces. >> AARON: All right. Thanks, Kaitlyn and thanks everyone for being here or for watching at home. Again my name is Aaron Arthur. I'm going to discuss the Army records followed by the Army Air Forces. After that Kaitlyn will come back up and talk about the Navy and the Marine Corps and we'll invite you to ask your questions and attempt to answer them. So let's begin. First I want to discuss the primary series that we're going to be using for World War II Army unit photos. And by series I mean just collections or groups of photographs. And the first one, 111‐PX is our Personality Index, so of course you would be searching for individual names. And these are all Signal Corps. These come to us from the Army Signal Corps. These are our largest collection of Army photographs. 111‐SC, they typically are 4x5 prints of the military activities. 111‐SCA closely resembles 111‐SC but these are actually albums like you would have at home. They are arranged by subject or location and so they can be really handy in finding photographs that we might not be able to locate in 111‐SC. And we'll see some examples of all of this. But first I want to talk about the known issues concerning 111‐SC and 111‐SCA. First of all, the Still Picture Branch received the official photograph collection which was essentially cleaned up before arriving at NARA. What we mean by that is the Army organized these photographs in their own way before they came to us. They chose to include some, to exclude some for reasons that aren't necessarily known to the National Archives so that's just something to keep in mind. The Still Pictures received three sets of World War II Corps photos, original negatives, photos in bound albums and 4x5 contact prints. With that said, there are instances where we may not have a print but there could be a negative, vice versa. So theoretically we have the negatives, the photos, the prints and the albums. But in reality we may have one of those or a couple of those. And 111‐SC, as I said, is comprised by 4x5 contact prints that are organized numerically by assigned photo ID number. So when we're looking for photographs, and we'll see examples of this, we're going to be searching caption cards. And those caption cards will have a number assigned to them. Those numbers are what get us back to individual photographs that we may be interested in. Then there are some other known issues concerning our Personality Index. The big one is the fact that letters J through L are either missing or sporadic. We don't know why. They're just not there. But that doesn't mean that we don't have the photographs. It just means we have to try other avenues to get to them and that's why we're here today is to show you how to do some of that. 111‐PX only contains names of individuals when their name is included in the caption. That's something that people don't think about very often. Let's say that we're looking for the 505th Infantry Regiment. You might find a photograph or the person taking the photograph is really interested in the regiment itself. And although you know the person in the photograph that's one of the ten soldiers pictured, it might only be captioned 505th Infantry Regiment. The person taking the photo didn't take the time to introduce himself and write down the all the names of the people there. It's just something to keep in mind. And for higher ranking officials we also want to look at 319‐AP and 111‐PP. These are just other sort of supplementary series. If we strike out in 111‐PX it's not the end of the road. Especially for high ranking officials we may be able to find them in some other series. And then known issues concerning Signal Corps photographs just sort of in general. For security reasons unit information was often stripped from captions, making it important to look under geographic locations. We're going to see a lot of examples of this. So they may have just taken out again for security reasons the unit information from the caption. They may have removed the caption card completely. That doesn't mean the photograph doesn't exist. If we know where this photograph may have been taken, what was going on, we can search other avenues. And then there's the issue of ETO numbers. Many photos are floating around with assigned European Theater of Operations numbers. The problem is when we find a caption card where all it has is the ETO number, we're not sure necessarily what that means. That came to us from the Army. It doesn't link back to the photographs in any systemic way that we know of, so if we find that photograph it's important to pay attention to what the caption actually says. We can't look at it and just go pull the photograph. We're going to have to basically do more research and dig a little deeper. But let's get started with some search examples. So we're going to start with the 82nd Airborne, and in particular the 504th and 505th Parachute Infantry Regiments that make up or partially make up the 82nd Airborne Division. And if you'll look just here, the patches on the medic's arm, you can maybe make out airborne and the back‐to‐back As. The 82nd Airborne Division of course is a very important division in the American military, not only in World War II but also right up until today. When they were first developed or put together, they had soldiers from every state so they got the nickname the All American Division. But photographs like these it's important to look for all the different clues. So even if we didn't know if this might not have been captioned 82nd Airborne, we know who we're looking at and so just something to keep in mind as we move along. The importance of background research. This is the most important thing that we'll talk about today. We're going to repeat it over and over again. Before you come into Still Pictures looking for a photograph, the more information that you have, the better able you're going to be to find photographs because there are many different avenues to take, and we'll see a lot of examples. This happens to be the department of the Army Lineage and Honors that we have actually at the research room over in College Park, but you can find these online or in bookstores. But basically they give you a breakdown of the development of the unit. Where it was at what times, what campaigns it participated in and what awards it won. All of this can be useful information. For example, here we see World War II campaign participation credit. So we know that the 82nd was in Sicily, Naples, Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes‐Alsace and Central Europe and also that it received a distinguished unit citation for Sainte-Mère-Église and all of these things will be important in our research. And when you come into the research room over at Still Pictures, you're going to notice some cabinets with drawers. Those drawers are full of index cards. Those index cards are caption cards. It's a card catalog where everything is organized alphabetically. And so under division 82nd Airborne we find this, one of many cards that we would find under the 82nd Airborne. Some will have the actual captions on the back of the photo, some will just give us the SC number. And these numbers are the actual numbers of the individual photographs. So let's say that we're interested in 190228 because it's in France 1944 so we would go pull that photograph. And when we do, this is what we'll find. The photograph that we saw earlier, and on the back this caption comes directly from the back of the photograph. And this gives us more information that we can use. Here's your SC number, 190228, so this is the photograph we were looking for. You can read the caption here. But look what other information it gives us. Had we not known that the 82nd was in Sainte-Mère-Église, we do now. And we have the 82nd Airborne here but you could also search under casualties or cigarettes to find this photograph. So if you had this photograph but you just wanted to know more about it, you could search any of those and find this photograph. The regiments in particular can be a little more difficult because they are smaller. The 82nd is a huge unit. It's a division. Regiments can be more difficult, but again we go back to our Lineage and Honors, find as much information as we can that will help us on our search. We see Belgium, Holland, Germany and of course the campaigns, Sicily, Naples, Ansio, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe, so we're going to at least search all of those to see if we can find photographs of our units. First we'll just stay in the caption cards. We searched under division. Now we're interested in searching for a parachute regiment, the 504th, so we look under Ps, parachute regiment, sure enough there's the 504th. And there they are, marching through Belgium in the snow, just like our background information told us that they would be in Belgium. So these are pretty simple. We just search under the P for parachute regiment and we find our photograph. Same thing. Parachute regiment, there's another caption card. We pull the photograph and we find commanding officer 504th parachute regiment being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross here. But what if we look in the index cards and we don't find our unit? And that's going to be the case with the 505th Parachute Infantry. We start off the same way. We look at the campaigns, we see, for example, that they got the Presidential Unit Citation, Sainte-Mère-Église. So we know where we're going to look if we don't find caption cards. And that leads us to the albums, and this is where they're really handy. The albums are organized by subject or location and so we can look and just flip through the albums to try to find our photograph. They're particularly useful when search by division or battle or location, like Sainte-Mère-Église. The albums contains photographs that may not be indexed in the card catalog. Now we know that we saw a lot about the 82nd Airborne so intuition tells us let's pull the albums for the 82nd Airborne and see what's in there. And as we flip through those albums, we find this. Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne enter a plane from which they will leap, but it doesn't mention the 505th. But if you notice on the card, also 505th. At one point they were going to interfile this or who knows what happened but for whatever reason, this never made it to the 505th. But by broadening our search to the division level, we still found photographs of the 505th. Here's another one, a really great picture. These two gentlemen were actually captured in the latter part of D‐Day, spent 37 days in captivity, made their way back to Allied lines. And I think the caption says something about them having their first real meal in 37 days. And again, if we look, we can find it under 82nd Airborne. That's where we found it in the album. But again, 505th Parachute Regiment. Why that didn't make it into the caption cards we don't know, but we still located the photograph. Now searching by location, campaign and other relevant subjects. So we know from our Lineage and Honors that they were in Germany at the Rhineland campaign, so let's pull those albums and flip through. And when we do we find some really interesting photographs. Here they are, the 505th parachute infantry regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. Again no caption card but yet another photograph. Here's another one from Germany. This gentleman's raising a flag over a German castle that was actually converted to the headquarters, one of the headquarters of the 82nd Airborne. And you can see on this ‐‐ this comes from the back of the photograph, 505th, parachute infantry. So although there's no caption card, another photograph that we were able to locate. And this is a really interesting one because this photograph actually comes from 1960. The way to get to this photograph, remember we know that the 505th received Presidential Unit Citation for Sainte-Mère-Église, so if we pull the album for Sainte-Mère-Église, we find this photograph. Commanding Officer, 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry Regiment. And basically this is a commemoration of D‐Day and for the performance that these soldiers performed during D‐Day but this occurred in 1960. Another photograph we wouldn't have found just looking under the 505h, but it does in fact exist. And so just to recap the Army, come prepared with relevant historical information. The more you know when you start off, the more places we can look. To be thorough, set aside enough time to complete your research. That seems obvious but a lot of times especially if you're writing a book, you spend so much time in textural records and other places. At the end of your research you think I'll just drop in the Still Pictures and pick up a picture. Give it some time. You can find some really interesting stuff. Consider whether or not the type of photograph you're looking for would exist and why it would be held at the National Archives. So let's imagine that we want a picture of the 505h dropping behind enemy lines the night before D‐Day. We're not going to find that picture. They weren't going to take pictures of something like that. If it's a top secret mission, if for some reason it would be hidden, even if the picture exists it may not come to us. So think about why we would have it, what kind of picture might exist and where we would look for it. Cover as many angles and think outside the box. Just to illustrate these points, I'll tell a quick story. A gentleman came into the Archives a few months ago. He was looking for pictures of five soldiers who were POWs, the Japanese had captured them. They were on a ship being transported when it was mistakenly torpedoed by the Allies who of course didn't know POWs were onboard. The men survived, made it to the coast of the China, found their way back with the help of the CIA all the way back to the United States and we looked under the individual's names and the Personality Index. We searched under every subject we could think of, every unit we could think of. Nothing. So I told ‐‐ or I asked the question, well, what happened when they got back to the United States? And he said well they were given medals. They were actually given Purple Hearts that were pinned on their chest by George Marshall himself in a private ceremony. So we went and pulled the SCA albums for awards and decorations and under Purple Hearts we found a photograph of George Marshall pinning those medals on those men. And on the back of the photograph listed the men's name and what happened. Why there was no records in the caption cards or anywhere else, who knows. But with persistence, he had enough background information and enough patience, frankly, that we were able to find a really cool photo. All right, let's move on to the Army Air Forces. Of course during World War II the Air Force was known as the Army Air Forces. Although the records come to us from the actual department of the Air Force as we know it today, and they actually came through the National Air and Space Museum at least 342‐FH did. 342‐FH is the series that we're most interested in for World War II unit records. There are index cards just like 111‐SC for the Air Force's records 342‐FH, but they're not nearly as extensive as the Signal Corps index cards. What's more useful and it's basically mandatory to use if you really want to find photographs is the finding aid that was put together by the National Air and Space Museum, and the database that they also put together for us. So you may need some staff assistance to convert negative numbers to print numbers. We'll talk a little more about that. So it can be a little more difficult than just searching through the index cards. And something else that's really helpful, a lot of our records from World War II, the Air Force records have already been digitized and are online at The quality of the photographs aren't great, but as a part of your background research you can search their website online and find photographs that interest you. You'll have those numbers that are on the photographs that you can bring into the Archives and it's a lot easier for us to help you find photographs, so it's a good stepping off point at least. Again, arriving prepared, here's some of the information you need to make the most of your research. Where the unit of interest fits in with the Air Force hierarchy, you know, so a lot of photographs are going to exist of the 8th Air Force, for example. A few less of, say, the 91t bomb group and even less of the 324th bomb squadron. So know where your unit fits into the hierarchy. Locations where the unit was stationed, a list of personalities attached to the unit, campaigns in which the unit participated, interesting facts about the unit, and the type of aircraft and other equipment used. What's interesting about the way that these records were arranged is there's all sorts of different subjects you can search under. And if you didn't know a lot of background information but you knew that your group flew B‐17s, you can look under B‐17s if nothing else to find some photographs. So we're going to use for our search example here the 91st Bombardment Group. These were very brave men doing very complicated missions in World War II. They took really heavy casualties, maybe the most casualties for an Air Force unit. This photograph is captioned "Boeing B‐17 Flying Fortress of the 91st Bombardment Group 8th Air Force releases its load over target Cognac France in '43". Now there's some interesting things about, one, the photograph self. Now that we know that this is the 91st bomb group, then the A in the triangle becomes significant on the tail because even if it had just said 8th Air Force, or in future photographs if it said 8th Air Force but we see this, we know it's part of the 91st bombardment group. So we're looking for clues in the photograph. We're also looking for clues in the captions itself. Now we know that the unit was in France and if we don't know that before, we can search under France. We know years and we also know now that it belongs to the 8th Air Force and that they were in B‐17s or Flying Fortress. All of that is searchable. Here's an example of a caption card that you might find in the research room. Again they're not as comprehensive as Army caption cards. You'll notice that this one has multiple numbers on it representing multiple pictures. Here's the picture that we just saw, so even the caption card gives us more information than the photograph itself. We knew about France and the B‐17s in the 91st bomb group but look what it says here, "Filed war theater number 12." Now we know why don't we pull all the boxes for war theatre number 12 and flip through the photographs. We're bound to find more because we know they were there. Then don't just put the card back. Let's see what other information we can find. Here's a personality, Willis Taylor, Germany. All of these can help us find more photographers. Something we should note here as well, we talked about the database. This number is a negative number. 26966 AC. And we should talk for a moment about negatives. Most of our negatives are stored in the cold vault so if you came in and you wanted to see a negative, you needed to wait two and a half hours for it to acclimate. A time consuming process so in the early parts of your research you really want to see the prints, therefore this number needs to be converted to a print number to save time and that's where you would come to the research staff. We're happy to have you and happy to help you out. We'll convert that to the print, pull the prints and then you can continue your research there so what's why we said earlier that you may need a little bit of assistance. So let's take a look at some photographs. So searching under France we found this photograph. This time Croisette, France, in 1944. There's our plane and we can tell by this insignia, even if it didn't say 91st bomb group that that's who's photographed here. We knew because we looked at the caption card and even though we were looking for the one in France, there were other captions listed, said that they were in Germany. Here's two photographs from Germany just by looking through the Germany section. And again, you know we want to pay attention to dates, places and we'll go back and check those out for even more photographs. There's something else you can do that's interesting with the Air Force records. As you can search of course by personalities, but also plane nicknames. There's actually a subject for nicknames, so if you knew the nickname of a plane, you would be able to look that up and find a photograph of that plane and that may lead you to other photographs of similar planes or other folks in that unit. So in this case you probably could find this under Captain Parker, but you could definitely find it under Black Swan under plane nicknames. 324th bomb squadron, we might not have known when squadrons made up the 91st bomb group. Now we do. At least the 324th was part of it so we can go look at more of these. 8th Air Force in England, that's new. We hadn't seen England before. Now we know we can go pull more records from England and we know we'll find at least part of the 91st bomb group there. These are just a couple of more examples. The plane Hikin for Home on the left and Hell's Halo on the right. We could have found these by searching for their nicknames or we could have found them again in England now that we know that they did some training in England based on the other photographs that we found. And this is my favorite one, so in putting this together I noticed there was a subject for mascots. Well, just curiosity I had to go see what that was about and sure enough we find a picture of Lieutenant Charles E Clyburn and crew of 24th bomb squadron, 91st bomb group, and their mascot Skippy beside a Boeing 17. So if the only thing you knew about this unit was that they had a lucky mascot that they carried with them, you could still find this photograph under mascots. And you can see there's Skippy right there, so there's many different angles to take and you should really, you know, think outside the box, as we said. And so just to recap, searching for the group or larger unit as opposed to the squadron tends to return more results. We saw a couple of examples of the 324th bomb squadron but we really got to those by searching under the 91st bomb group. And if we didn't have that, we could have searched under 8th Air Force and still managed to track our way through down to the squadron level. And looking for clues in the photograph's captions leads you to additional and relevant images. We've seen that. Looking through the finding aid for subjects may lead to additional research angles that were not previously considered like mascots. Just flip through the finding aid, see what might be interesting or what might sort of ring a bell. And of course speak with the Still Picture Research Room staff when beginning your research. Having a plan is half the battle, so don't just sort of willy‐nilly go through and start picking out caption cards. Come talk to someone and we'll help you build a good plan, make it more efficient and we can definitely help you find better search angles to have more success. Okay. And with that I'm going to invite Kaitlyn back up to talk about the Navy and Marines and then we will take your questions. >> KAITLYN: Okay. So when you're doing World War II Navy research specifically looking for ship photos, there's really two record groups that you're going to be focusing and that's in record group 19 and record group 80. And we have five series listed here. These are the primary series that you would use to research and identify Navy ship photos, but there are far more series than that so this is just the main series that you would be using. So arriving prepared. As we said, this is what we're going to really focus on today, what information you need to find your photographs. So when you're looking for a Navy ship, you really want to have the ship name and the hull number. That's really easy information to get. Secondly, you want names of prominent personalities affiliated with the ship. Third, ship locations. Dates can also be useful, but definitely having the locations. And then notable characteristics, accomplishments and facts about the ship and/or crew. And I want to note that the Naval History and Heritage Command is an excellent source to gather this type of information. They have ship histories on there and they also have photographs that were digitized from our collection and they do give our photo numbers. In addition to the Naval History and Heritage Command, you can also get information about ships by going through deck logs. So we're going to be using the USS Indianapolis for this example. The hull number is CA‐35. Here is just ‐‐ this is really short information. The Indy was really, really busy during World War II but for locations they were in Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and for our search example the facts that we really want to focus on is they were struck by an I‐58 Japanese sub and they sunk within 12 minutes and the men were left floating in the ocean for several days and wasn't until ‐‐ and this is a personality you'll want to remember, that Lieutenant Wilbur "Chuck" Gwinn sighted them that day on the rescue, and another fact for the purpose of this example the USS Tranquility AH‐14 transported survivors to Guam. Okay. So when you're beginning your research if you really just want photos of a ship, I would start in record group 19 and you can start with series 19‐LC, construction and launching of ships 1900 to 1944, and these are organized by the hull number. So we pulled the box for CA‐35 and there are photos in there of the USS Indianapolis and these do predate World War II. These are from the launching of the ship in the '30s but I do think they're interesting photos. And you'll see the dates go to 1944, so you might find World War II images in 19‐LC. 19‐LCM has the same type of photos but the dates are a little different. If you notice it's 1930 to 1955. And again, organized by hull number. And in here you see these are World War II images. And what's interesting about these two photos, so if you remember from our facts that the USS Indianapolis sunk. It was struck on July 30th, 1945. The image on the left was taken July 10th, 1945, and the one on the right was July 12th, 1945, so just three weeks before this ship was sunk. I also want to point out on here, um, there's image numbers right here. This 19‐LCM‐CA‐35‐86911, that is the print number. In parentheses is 19‐N‐86911. That is the negative number. So if you only had a negative number, there's no guarantee that we can get you back to a print because there are a lot of different series. But we can pull the negative, and we've talked about that a little bit. And for those who are interested in shipbuilding, 19‐LCM and 19‐LC are good series to use because you'll see images like this, which is a little difficult to see in the scan but there's markings on the images that point out certain parts of the ship. And then a lot of record group 19 photos have "confidential" stamped on them. They have been declassified. Pulling the negative won't guarantee that it doesn't have confidential on it either, so we just want to let you know these are declassified and that declass number is 983067. If you do publish I suggest including that declass number. But the bulk of your World War II Navy ship research you're going to use 80‐G and here's a photo of the card index that Aaron was talking about earlier. The 80‐G card index is only available on site, and I bring that up because we do have people who are remote who ask for a digital copy of our finding aid and we simply can't do that because they're in a card index. And the index for 80‐G is organized by the whole number, or it starts with images indexed under the hull number of a ship. After that it gets into images indexed under the aircraft designator and then it gets into general subjects, and that's where you'll find key words and locations. So when you're in the 80‐G index these are the type of cards that you're going to see. On the top right corner you see an image number and that is the number that you will use to get to the print. In the middle you will see the caption, and then in the lower left corner is where I think a lot of people tend at the ignore and what you should actually pay attention to because here's where the Navy has gone and cross indexed subjects and other ways that you might ‐‐ other places that this particular photo was indexed but also other places where you might want to search for your ship. And just to note, the images ‐‐ or the subjects that are underlined in red, that's where that specific card was filed. So if you do happen to walk away from the index and don't remember where you got the card from, you can easily put it back. And then just one more thing. Sometimes you do see Vis‐Aid cards that look like that. They're just small versions of the prints, and then I've included a picture of the card index so you can see. So we begin our search in 80‐G by going to the hull number so CA‐35 and there was a lot of images in there because it was a really busy ship. But I wanted to include this photo because when you're looking under the hull number, you might not find pictures of the ship. You might find just ship activities. You might also find pictures of the ship. It's really a hodgepodge of different types of imagery that you're going to find indexed under the hull number. So if you are looking for simply just a photo of the ship, I would start in record group 19. If you want to cover the World War II history of a ship, I would go into 80‐G. And then under ‐‐ besides looking under the hull number, which is the most straightforward thing you can do, you can look under the locations and that's what I mentioned earlier is having an idea where the ship was during World War II is really important. So we looked under Tinian Island and we found quite a few images indexed in there, and you'll notice in the lower left corner right here, ship CA‐35. This right here is the only way that we know that the Indy is in this photo because if you pay attention to the caption, the Indy's not mentioned in the caption nor is it mentioned on the photo print. So really this caption card and this cross indexing, it's letting you know CA‐35 is in this photo. I'm not skilled enough to point it out but someone in the Navy was when they indexed it, so pay attention to the information on the caption card. So examples of images indexed under alternative key words and subjects. What do I mean by alternative key words and subjects? Remember the facts that we listed. The USS Tranquility actually transported survivors of the USS Indianapolis, so in terms of alternatives I mean thinking about your facts where else you can look. So we looked under AH‐14, the Tranquility's hull number, and we found photos of the USS Indianapolis survivors. These images were not indexed under CA‐35. They were only found by looking under the hull number of the ship that transported them. And this image right here, or these two images right here, if you notice the numbers 336749 and 750, those are on either of these two caption cards. I actually only found this photo by going through the images in the folder and in the box. So I do suggest when you get into a Navy box, look around the box. Look in the folder. You might find additional images that weren't necessarily indexed. And actually there's quite a few of the survivors in this specific box. And then on the previous card I forgot to mention it did say "survivors." That was a suggested or cross indexed term so we looked under survivors and we found additional photos of the USS Indianapolis survivors, so that's ‐‐ use those suggested subjects on the cards to identify other places to look for ship photos. And then one more thing about the index cards. Right here you'll see ship CA‐35 TB. TB means "taken by" and it might not necessarily be a photo of your ship. So this image is credited as being taken by the USS Indianapolis and that is really common. You'll see that a lot in the index. The 80‐GX index is for personalities. This is not stored on our research room floor. You do have to do a separate request or a pull request to get this index. But remember our personalities, Lieutenant Gwinn. He's the one who sighted the men floating in the ocean. He wasn't actually attached to the USS Indianapolis, but he is prominent in the history of the ship. So we look under G and we do find a picture of him, and they do mention CA‐35 in the caption. This image wasn't indexed anywhere else except in the Personality Index. Then the Navy does have a color file, which I think a lot of people forget about. So 80‐GK is the series where the color photos are stored or organized. They're organized numerically by the photo number but there are no captions on them because they're color sides. So to identify photos you need to use 80‐GKC and that is a Vis‐Aid index. When we looked in the Vis‐Aid index 80‐GKC we found five index cards or Vis‐Aid cards indexed under CA‐35. You can't really see the numbers on there but they're nonconsecutive numbers so we pulled 80‐GKS which is a shelf list, a caption list. And you can read the captions in between the image numbers, so if you do have nonconsecutive images, you can still find out the captions of the images in between. So we did find five images indexed and we scanned ‐‐ we scanned from the original negative for the purpose of this presentation, and this is the coloring that you would see on the original negative. It is starting to fade. And we try not to pull them because we do want to preserve them, so we asked that researchers use the color slides that we have but we will pull the negatives if absolutely necessary, but know that they're not in perfect condition either. And just to show you, I did scan another one and here's what the sleeve looked like so the sleeves do have captions on them. And then the 80‐G and 80‐GK declass number. Again we can stamp ‐‐ you'll see a stamp right here. If you're working in the research room and you really would like us to stamp it with the declass number, we will. A lot of people crop images and if you do, just make sure you do include a declass number if you're publishing 750090. So to recap, review the entire folder or box. You'll find additional images. That happens way more often than you would think. And then again, think outside the box. Literally, what subjects, facts, things you know about the history of the ship will lead you to additional search angles. And then third, we ‐‐ there's five series right there. You can go as in‐depth or narrow or broad as you want. You don't have to look in all of these places. Like I said, if you just want a photo of the ship, then record group 19 the best bet. okay. So getting into the Marines. Here's are the primary series for the Marine Corps. Record group 127 is where you're really going to focus your research. In this presentation we're only going to cover 127‐GR, GW and PX. What's important to know about the Marines is that the bulk of their records in our collection are organized by the location, so having a location when you're doing Marine research is going to be pertinent. So fact gathering, arriving prepared. This is really, really important. I don't know how to stress it enough. The location and date of service where the unit served is really important for Marine research. And then names of personnel attached to the unit. You can have a short list, a long list, as many names as you want to search. Important facts about the unit, battles they participated in and the type of equipment they may have used. And then the hierarchy. Where does the unit fit within the structure of the U.S. Marine Corps. Oh, and I should mention you can gather information about the U.S. Marine squadrons or units. A lot of published histories exist, but you can also use war diaries and they work with the Navy heavily so you can also go through Navy records to find things about Marines. So for our search example we're using a little more obscure unit when is the Marine Observation Squadron Six, VMO‐6. On the left you'll see a timeline. I found having a timeline to be really, really helpful and I'll talk about that in a minute why it was helpful, but I do suggest making a timeline if you're doing unit research for the Marines. Equipment they used. OY‐1, that aircraft was also referred to as Grasshoppers. The unit received a Presidential Unit Citation for their work in Okinawa, so that's what we're going to focus today our example on Okinawa, their activities there. But as a note, this squadron VMO‐6 went to Guam right after being in Okinawa and I'll touch upon that later. And then just some names of personnel. This is not a comprehensive list but just some names to remember while we're going through the example. Captain Donald Garrett, 1st Lieutenant Thomas Alderson and 2nd Lieutenant Donald Rusling. And then the hierarchy while in Okinawa VMO‐6 was attached to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing of the 6th Marine Division. So really when you're starting your World War II Marine research, 127‐GW is going to be the place that we would point you. And it's a little bit different. Unlike the other branches of service that have a card index, there is no card index for the Marines. This is what you would be pulling a box that looks like this, and you're going to have to go through all of these images reading the captions to identify photos of your unit. So in our example there were 14 boxes in 127‐GW dedicated to Okinawa. And that doesn't sound like a lot of boxes but ‐‐ and this is a deceiving picture. There's about 250 to 300 images in that one box, so if we were to go through all of the photos for Okinawa, that would be 3,000 to 4,000 images that we would be reviewing and sometimes we simply don't have enough time or energy to do that so what can you do when you want to find some photos of a unit but you don't want to go through 4,000 images? We have 127‐GW Finding Aid. It's organized by location and then subsequently by subject. So for ‐‐ I suggest sampling subjects. And each subject is assigned a divider number. I want to note this just because if these photographs are ever rehoused or re-boxed, the box numbers might change but the divider numbers will always stay the same. So you can go through the finding aid and identify a few subjects that might be relevant to the history of your unit. So for VMO‐6 in Okinawa we identified six subjects that we wanted to review. And the first one was camp. And this doesn't look very visually interesting, but in the caption nowhere does it say VMO‐6. But what it does say is that it's the Marines of the 2nd Air Wing pitching a camp in the muddy ground on the Yontan Airfield. And Yontan Airfield I forgot to mention. VMO‐6, that's where they were stationed, where they operated out of while in Okinawa. So we know this is a VMO‐6 related image because it mentions the hierarchy, the 2nd Air Wing, and it mentions the Yontan Airfield where they were. And then we looked under Scouts, Observation because they were an observation squadron and here is where we found actually some references to VMO‐6. On the left‐hand side here in the caption it says this was an aircraft built for VMO‐6. Then on the right, that image is remember personalities, Captain Donald Garrett and he's flying a Grasshopper. We know that Garrett was attached to the VMO‐6 and we know that Grasshopper was another term for OY‐1 that was used. So we can say that these are two VMO‐6 images. And that's what you're going to have to do when you're going through these Marine photos. You're going to need to use your historic context and what you know about the unit while reading the captions to identify what's relevant to your unit. So Coastline, Beach. Again this doesn't mention VMO‐6 but what's interesting about this ‐‐ and I don't know if anyone noticed on my timeline, but on April 1st, 1945, that's the date that VMO‐6 arrived in Okinawa. So this is very much, you know, a visual representation. It gives you an idea of what they would have seen when they got to Okinawa. And then aerials. Again an observation squadron dealing with aircraft. This is a view of the Yontan Airfield where they worked out of in 1945. The dates match when they would have been there and where they worked. And then the last example here. No subject, but there's ‐‐ someone went and added aircraft later to it. This also doesn't mention VMO‐6, and I hate to be again the bearer of bad news. A lot of the Marine Corps does not have unit information. You do need to really use your historic context and what you know about the unit to really make some conclusions and draw from the captions. You know, you can say this is a VMO‐6 or this is at least related to the work that VMO‐6 did. So on this one it's a demolished Japanese plane after an attempted Airborne invasion on Yontan Airfield, May 1945. VMO‐6 was on Yontan Airfield May 1945 so this is something they would have encountered. So then next we went to the Guam boxes and for the Guam boxes we tried a different search tactic. Instead of sampling subjects like we did with the Okinawa boxes, we looked through all of the Guam boxes. And there was only six so it wasn't as tedious. But in going through there and reviewing all of the photos, we did find a squadron photo of VMO‐6. But note here it was indexed under "relaxation." And why was this indexed under "relaxation" instead of "group" where there was a subject in Guam that said "group photos"? It's the caption, Guam with combat operations on Okinawa behind them, these Marines of Marine observation squadron six, 6th Marine Division, posed for a photograph during a rest and relaxation period. So because "relaxation" was in that caption, that's where this photo got filed. And this is really just an example of the results you might have going through all of the photos versus sampling. Because if I had sampled the Guam boxes, I probably wouldn't have looked in "relaxation" and I would have missed this photo. And um, I do want to note on the bottom 127‐GW and then 1404 is the divider and then A‐332834, that's the image number. This information will get you back to a print. Again we do see 127‐NA‐332834. That's a negative number. If a researcher came into our room with just that number, there's no guarantee we could get you back to the print unless you had information about the photo and you can identify location and a subject that it might be filed under. And then 127‐GR. This was a reference file used by the Marines. There is overlap between what you find in 127‐GW and what you find in 127‐GR, but I do suggest going into it and looking to see if you've missed anything or overlooked anything while going through 127‐GW. And 127‐GR, the prints are a little larger. They're also organized by location, so we looked at the Okinawa boxes for our example. And we did find additional photos. If you see this photo right here, it lists the men's names ‐‐ remember our personalities, Garrett and Rusling. And then Marine planes, Grasshopper, Yontan Field. All of these pieces of information let us know this is a VMO‐6 photo even though VMO‐6 is not listed in the caption. And then one more photo just from 127‐GR. This one again is really interesting. It doesn't include any men's names in it nor does it include VMO‐6, but it was taken on Okinawa. That is an OY aircraft, and so you can conclude that this is a VMO‐6 photo. And then the Personality Index. The Personality Index is organized alphabetically by last name. We looked for Lieutenant Alderson and we did find an image of him. And the only thing that's really important to note about the index is that right here is an image number. Again that's the negative number. So if you do find something in 127‐PX, know that you're going to be pulling a negative. It's very difficult if not impossible to get back to a photographic print using 127‐PX. And we're unsure if there's actually prints for every single photo included in the Personality Index. And then the last thing I want to say is that we know that the Marines and the Navy work together. You can look for Marine stuff in the Navy files and you can look for Navy stuff in the Marine files. So for this example I went to the Navy 80‐G index and I looked under the designator OY‐1 and I found several cards. And in fact, this image is credited to the U.S. Marine Corps and I didn't see it in the U.S. Marine Corps photographs I went through. I only found it in 80‐G. And this is a photo of Marine OY‐1 aircraft in Japan. It wasn't included in my info about VMO‐6 but VMO‐6 was in Saipan so I could rightfully conclude probably that this is likely a VMO‐6 aircraft. So to recap, having a history of the unit is really, really important especially for Marine Corps photos because you're going to be using that information to identify photos and information in the caption connecting it to your unit of interest. And then again, research can be as narrow, broad or in‐depth as you want it to be, and we only covered 127‐GR, GW and PX today but there are quite a few additional series that you could look in for Marine Corps. And so when you come in to do research, we'll point out the additional series that you can look in. And then I'm go invite Aaron up real quick just to talk about two series that might be of interest if you're doing World War II research. >> AARON: Okay. So thanks, Kaitlyn. Options for additional research. We just want to talk about a couple other sort of supplemental series or record groups that you can look in to supplement your research. 208‐PU is photographs of notable personalities during World War II. These come to us from the Office of War Information, but it's important to note that the Office of War Information compiled these records from other sources, one of them being 111‐SC that we talked about earlier in the Army records. The picture to the right is of a Lieutenant Lockard. He was the soldier who actually saw the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on radar and told his superiors who, you know, didn't believe him. Anyway, you would expect to find a photograph of anyone this important in 111‐SC in the PX index. But if you remember, we talked about the letters that were missing and/or sporadic, and the letter L was one of those, and his name is Lockard, so we didn't find it there. But when we looked in 208‐PU, sure enough, there's a photograph of Lieutenant Lockard. So even if we don't find it in PX, if we don't find in 111‐SC, we can keep searching, we can dig it out of somewhere. The other one is 306‐NT. That's the Paris Bureau of the New York Times. Of course, during the war they would have taken a lot of really great pictures. The one on the left is Indianapolis and the accompanying caption. So The New York Times have a lot of really great photographs from the Paris Bureau. The only thing to note about these photographs is if you're going through these and on the back of the photograph it's stamped with a Paris address, then that means it's in the public domain. But if it's another address, it may be copyrighted. So it would be up to the researcher to verify that information, so just something to note. But those are the two that you might find other supplemental photographs in when you're doing your research. And that's pretty much it. So at this time I'll invite Kaitlyn back up and we'll take your questions. Yes, sir. >> (Unable to hear speaker). >> AARON: Okay. So the question is about the organization and sort of the purpose of the photographs, why the agency took certain photographs, how they were organized and at what point of time that was done. Some of those we can't answer. Some of the information is just sort of lost to time. They came to the Archives in a certain way and they've been maintained in that way. Some of that we can't really answer. The Signal Corps, though, still goes out with the soldiers and it's sort of their job to document what the units are doing out there, so that's sort of their purpose. They organize it initially. I imagine it goes through the Department of War or at least the higher‐ups in the Army, the Navy, Air Force, whatever it may be, and they decide what photographs are going to make it into the record or not. But we really don't know how or why they decide who takes what pictures, which pictures stay in the record and which ones don't, especially during World War II. Because as we talked about, some records made it into the caption cards and some didn't and there's really no explanation of why or when that happened. >> (Unable to hear speaker). >> AARON: Well there's really no telling. Did they ever even make it back from overseas? Did the soldier that took the picture, does he still have them? We really can't speculate on that. You know, we have no idea. What came to us is what we can maintain, what we can organize and what we can make sense of. But we really can't speak for the agencies because they came to us after the fact. In some cases like 342‐FH, I don't remember the year that it came to us, the Air Force records, but it was recent. So these World War II photographs were somewhere else for decades and we can't really speak to what happened in those warehouses or with those photographs. >> KAITLYN: To build on what he was saying, I know for the Marines you were asking a little about captioning or how they were captioned. The Marine photos do have a photo log. They have an index, and we do have those in the Still Picture Branch. They're a little difficult to use but it's essentially a list of all the image numbers and a brief caption next to it, and then they marked which ones were deleted. And I'm assuming deleted or removed from the file. They don't give any explanation why, but it does ‐‐ we do have those photo logs for the Marines that you could look at and very well use and assist. We would help you access those because they are organized a little funky. And then in terms of ‐‐ you're talking about like how they were organized. I would say the 111‐SCA albums, those were a reference, a series of photo albums that were used as reference material for the Army. And then for the Marines the 127‐GR is also a reference file so it's ‐‐ those are really photos that that particular record creator found important enough to include for their reference and they wanted to easily get back to and I think that speaks to the history of the agency and what they identified as important or not, looking at those reference files. >> (Unable to hear speaker) did the Archives stumble across that or (unable to hear speaker) mascot, you know, so (unable to hear speaker) specifically requested for (unable to hear speaker). >> KAITLYN: So you're asking about standards, how data ‐‐ I guess standard ‐‐ the standards by which they follow to document and cross‐reference images and what standards were followed. We honestly don't know. I don't know if they had a list of subjects and they were supposed to be crossing off or checking like yes, this fits this image or this standard. I mean, today in digitization we do have standards like that. I don't know how important they thought the standards were when they were taking the photos during World War II. I ‐‐ and we know that they get funneled. They would take the photos and then they would be in the ‐‐ or in the theater like the European theater then they get funneled to the Signal Corps office here so there's quite a few hands touching these images too before they ever made to us. It would be interesting if anyone knows, especially the Signal Corps index, their photos. >> AARON: They may have been organized and reorganized sort of multiple times before they came to the Archives. And the ones you're mentioning, the nicknames of the airplanes, I mean, that was probably organized under nicknames of planes actually by the Air and Space Museum before they came to us so they would have been Army Air Forces, department of the Air Forces, Air and Space Museum and then the Archives so by then it's organized the way that it is. We don't exactly know why, what standards they used before they got to us. >> ANDRÉA: Okay. I have at least seven questions from our online audience, so for those of you who are with us on site, take a moment to think about your question and I'll start with the online questions. I'll start with some people who were very basic with ‐‐ about Archives. The first question I got was why were the card catalogs kept? Because they were really helpful? >> KAITLYN: At this moment the card indexes are the only way to get back ‐‐ well, I shouldn't say that. For the Navy it's the only way to get to the images, so that's why that ‐‐ we can speculate that's why that was kept and then our indexes came directly from the record creators. That wasn't done by the National Archives. So when they transferred those records, the records included the caption cards. Those caption cards are considered a record and that's why they were saved. >> ANDRÉA: Thank you so much. Do we have any questions from our on‐site audience? If not I'll continue on with the ones I got from YouTube. So during way back when you were doing the Air Force's portion, someone asked about if there's a finding aid that's online. I don't think it is. If it is, great. If ‐‐ do you know if there's any plans to put it online? >> AARON: I don't know if there's any plans. It's not online now. It is a massive finding aid. It's huge. We could probably put it online. I don't know that there's any plans to do that right now. And I think the important thing about that finding aid is let's just say for example it was online, you would be able to get to particular subjects that you think it would contain, the images that you're seeking, but you still wouldn't be able to sort of send in any sort of request for those images. I don't know, it gives you a range basically. It gives you sort of a place to begin looking. So while it would be helpful, it would still require you to come into the Archives and look for the images. >> ANDRÉA: Great to have such wonderful records archivists around. So next question, they started to ask if the stuff was available, if there was any issues with putting it in like a blog so I said I would ask how do you do a proper citation for these pictures? >> KAITLYN: We tried to touch upon that a little bit as we were going through. Each record group or each series has a format we follow for citing the images, and they vary from image to image. I tried to touch upon record group 19 which has negative numbers and print numbers. Aaron talked about negative numbers and print numbers. They are a little more complicated just because they did give two numbering systems to a lot of these series. But if you saw any images in this presentation and you want a copy of one of the images you saw, we'll make sure to put this into the queue to be uploaded into the catalog, the online catalog, and the image numbers are all cross‐referenced on the slides here so you can get back to those easily. It will be a couple weeks before they go into the catalog but we'll make sure these images make their way into the catalog. Otherwise if people are interested and they can't come into the Archives, we do offer reference services. We will do limited research so these were really examples of in depth research. We wouldn't do this much research for remote people, but we will do limited research. If you want, you can send us an email and that email's included at the end of this presentation I believe., so you can send a request to us at that email. >> ANDRÉA: Okay. Wonderful. That segues nicely into another question that we had. They wanted to know if there was plans to make more of these Archives available online and I said I would ask if you know about the current digitization schedule. Do you want me to ‐‐ >> KAITLYN: All this stuff is scheduled at some point to be digitized. We have a digitization list and there's a lot of factors that go into it, including how fragile a body of photos might be. If they're inaccessible for one reason or another, we might digitize that first. So as far as I know, we are going to be digitizing World War II stuff, but I can't give anyone a specific date. I do believe the 80‐GK color photographs are going to be digitized in ‐‐ soon‐ish, I want to say, just because they are fragile and they are starting to deteriorate, which is an example of why it would be pushed up to the front of the queue to be digitized, but there's also other factors. For example, metadata is always an issue we need to think about. And attaching metadata to records that don't have any captions on them, it becomes really difficult especially with these large series. The Signal Corps is a huge series of photos, and digitizing that would be ‐‐ it's an undertaking. >> AARON: We're doing World War I right now so it's a massive undertaking. We're in the process of getting that done. When that's done we'll move onto another series, but it takes a lot of time and a lot of manpower. Meanwhile, as we did say earlier, some of these records have been digitized by other sort of agencies or groups. We talked about Fold3. Fold3 has already digitized a huge chunk of the 342‐FH stuff, so you can find some things electronically. Others you can't. We are trying to digitize as a priority, but there's a priority list and we don't really have a steadfast sort of date and time that they'll all be online. >> ANDRÉA: Thank you. And I'd like to add too, now that you mentioned Fold3, and we have other digitization partners that you can access from any National Archives facility for free. When you're in the facility, you can access Fold3 Ancestry, and of course Family Search is available to you anytime. >> KAITLYN: I just want to ‐‐ I think the World War II Air Force photos that are on Fold3, you don't have to be in the National Archives to access that for free. That's available at home for free, as far as I remember, yeah. So you don't need a subscription to Fold3 to access the Air Force photos at home. >> ANDRÉA: Thank you for that addition. I didn't know that. Great. I have two more questions from our online audience. We're getting into specific regiments and offices. One person asked, are there images for the 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers? >> AARON: From World War II, I'm assuming? I don't know off the top of my head, but it would be an easy search to do. We could just search the card catalogs to start off, but if that person would like to email us at the, we can definitely take a look and we can definitely find out. >> ANDRÉA: Great, thank you. And my last online question is, is the OSS the Office of Strategic Services included in this too? >> KAITLYN: We don't have much OSS. We actually have a lot of people coming in recently for OSS stuff, and our collection of photos is very small. And I don't think there's really much World War II in there. >> AARON: There is a little bit. We just recently processed a series of OSS records, they're negative. But they're not nearly as extensive as the records we've talked about today. Very small series, very specific series. Not that they're not useful if you're on the right subject or topic, but we just have very little OSS records. >> (Unable to hear speaker). >> AARON: Library of Congress? >> KAITLYN: Which is also a great resource. Library of Congress has a great collection of photographs and a lot of theirs is online, so if you don't find what you're looking for here, you can always go ‐‐ again, I said other places. LOC is a great place to go. >> ANDRÉA: Thank you so much for that extra input. I think that concludes our presentation. Please know that the presentation video recording and handouts will remain available on this YouTube web page. We value your opinion, so please take a few minutes to complete a short evaluation. Your comments will help us maintain the quality of our services and plan future programs. You can find the evaluation link in the video's description. So on behalf of the National Archives, our presenters, thank you so much for joining us today. >> AARON: Thank you. >> KAITLYN: Thank you. [Applause] [End of program]



The History Division was formed on 8 September 1919, by Order Number 53 of Commandant of the Marine Corps George Barnett as the Historical Section of the Department of the Adjutant and Inspector.[3] After World War II, the organization was known as "Marine Corps History and Museums Division" until the splitting of the division in 2005 in order to create the National Museum of the Marine Corps.


The United States Marine Corps History Division is a staff organization with the primary task of researching and writing the Marine Corps’ official history. The unit is not a division-sized military formation.[4] It is organized into four branches:[5]

  • The Historical Branch prepares a wide variety of official publications that tell the Marine Corps story as accurately and comprehensively as possible. Publications include: articles, monographs, occasional papers, and definitive histories. The Branch also includes the Oral History Program, which obtains, catalogs, transcribes, and preserves personal narrative, experiences and observations of historic value from active duty and retired Marines for use as reference source material.
  • The Historical Reference Branch provides historical research and reference services and historical analysis. In addition, the Branch supports specific programs: Unit Lineage and Honors, Commemorative Naming, Marine Corps Flag Manual, and Marine Corps Chronology.
  • The Field History Branch deploys Individual Mobilization Augmentee detachment historians to collect historically relevant material (oral history, written/electronic plans, operation orders, maps, overlays and artifacts) for use as reference material. The Branch also consists of a Mobilization Training Unit whose members support the History Division with specific projects.
  • The Editing and Design branch designs and lays out manuscripts, maps and other graphic materials to support the History Division’s publications.


Since its inception, the following individuals have served as director:[3]

# Rank Name Tenure began Tenure ended
1 4Major McClellanEdwin N. McClellan 8 September 1919 31 May 1925
2 4Major SturdevantEdward W. Sturdevant 1 June 1925 15 August 1928
3.03 3Captain BurnhamLucian W. Burnham 16 August 1928 31 July 1929
3.5acting 0Mr. JenkinsJames C. Jenkins 1 August 1926 26 September 1929
4 3Captain PlattJonas H. Platt 27 September 1929 19 June 1930
5 4Major McClellanEdwin N. McClellan 20 June 1930 2 March 1933
6 3Captain EllsworthHarry A. Ellsworth 3 March 1933 30 August 1934
7 4Lieutenant colonel DeCarreAlphonse DeCarre 31 August 1934 5 February 1935
8.08 5Lieutenant colonel MetcalfClyde H. Metcalf 6 February 1935 31 December 1938
8.1acting 0Mr. JenkinsJames C. Jenkins 1 January 1939 4 October 1942
8.28 6Colonel MetcalfClyde H. Metcalf 5 October 1942 15 April 1944
8.3acting 3Captain CarletonPhilips D. Carleton 16 April 1944 2 May 1944
9 6Colonel PottsJohn Potts 3 May 1944 2 January 1946
10 6Colonel KenyonHoward N. Kenyon 3 January 1946 15 October 1946
11 5Lieutenant colonel MurrayEllsworth N. Murray 16 October 1946 20 December 1946
12 5Lieutenant colonel HeinlRobert D. Heinl Jr. 21 December 1946 12 June 1949
13 5Lieutenant colonel GayleGordon D. Gayle 13 June 1949 13 August 1951
14 5Lieutenant colonel HoughFrancis O. Hough 14 August 1951 8 June 1952
15 5Lieutenant colonel EdwardsHarry W. Edwards 9 June 1952 17 July 1955
16 6Colonel HarrisonCharles W. Harrison 18 July 1955 24 July 1959
17 4Major KuokkaHubard D. Kuokka 25 July 1959 17 August 1959
18 4Major FinkGerald Fink 18 August 1959 7 January 1960
19 6Colonel MillerWilliam M. Miller 8 January 1960 31 July 1961
20.020 6Colonel RoeThomas G. Roe 1 August 1961 30 June 1962
20.1acting 4Major JohnstoneJohn H. Johnstone 1 July 1962 8 November 1962
21 6Colonel WagnerJoseph F. Wagner Jr. 9 November 1962 31 August 1963
22 5Lieutenant colonel ScheningRichard J. Schening 1 September 1963 14 November 1963
23 6Colonel CaldwellFrank C. Caldwell 15 November 1963 30 November 1970
24.024 7Brigadier general SimmonsEdwin H. Simmons 1 December 1971 1 July 1978
24.124 7Brigadier general (ret.) SimmonsEdwin H. Simmons 21 October 1978 3 January 1996
25 6Colonel MoniganMichael F. Monigan 4 January 1996 11 July 1999
26.026 6Colonel (ret.) RipleyJohn W. Ripley 12 July 1999 31 August 2005
26.1acting 0Mr. MelsonCharles D. Melson 1 September 2005 8 January 2006
26.2acting 6Colonel (ret.) CampRichard D. Camp Jr. 9 January 2006 10 December 2006
27 0Dr. NeimeyerCharles P. Neimeyer 11 December 2006 December 2017


The History Division maintains several publications, including the quarterly newsletter Fortitudine (ISBN 0-16-010404-1), which was a traditional motto of the Corps before semper fidelis was adapted in 1883. They also maintain an archive of all historical publications published since its founding.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. ^ Smith, Charles Richard; Charles H. Waterhouse (1975). A Pictoral History: the Marines in the Revolution (PDF). United States Marine Corps Historical Division. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  2. ^ "Staff Directorate". Marine Corps History Division. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b Amerman, Annette D. (4th quarter 2009). "Celebrating 90 Years of Collecting, Preserving, and Promoting of Marine Corps History". Fortitudine. Quantico, VA: United States Marine Corps Historical Program. 34 (4): 1925. ISBN 0-16-010404-1. Retrieved 1 February 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Organization and Personnel – History Division". Marine Corps History Division. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Mission Statement". Marine Corps History Division. Retrieved 2 February 2010.

External links

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