Chapter XIII
The Shore Establishment

IN CHAPTER I the Shore Establishment was described as one of the three basic components of the Naval Establishment. included in i are all of the activities of the Department of the Navy on shore. During World War II these were widely distributed throughout the United States and overseas. The mission of the Shore Establishment is to create, maintain, and support the Operating Forces. With the exception of certain facilities on land assigned to the Operating Forces, the responsibility for the creation and to a great extent the management control of the shore activities rested during World War II with the various Bureaus of the Navy Department, coordinated by the Chief of Naval Operations, and administered as the highest level by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Early History

For about twenty years after the Revolution, the central government owned no navy yards or other facilities of the kind that are now known as naval shore establishments. After Congress, in the Naval Act of March 29, 1794, authorized the construction of six frigates, President Washington gave much thought to the method of building the ships; whether by contract or in navy yards yet to be established by the Federal Government, or in commercial yards to be rented from the owners by the Navy Agents. The last mentioned method was followed, and the ships were built in shipyards rented for the purpose in six different ports.

Much of the material for building the ships was purchased by the Treasury Department direct, the rest by the Navy Agents located in the respective seaports, who also paid for the labor employed on the work. The Navy Agent was allowed a commission of 2½ percent on his disbursements. A Line officer, slated to become the Commanding Officer of the ship on completion, was appointed Superintendent at each yard, and had a naval constructor as his assistant, to look after technical matters.


Not until the last two years of the administration of President John Adams were steps taken to establish permanent government-owned navy yards, although the need for them had been pointed out many times before. Secretary of the Nay Benjamin Stoddert was authorized by President Adams to acquire land or privately owned shipyards at various seaports for this purpose. By the time the Federalists went out of office in March 1801 the Navy Department was in possession of shipyards or the sites for such yards in six ports along the Atlantic Coast.1

The development of the navy yards was slow and their continued existence precarious, especially during the next eight years under the administration of President Jefferson, who did not believe in a Navy. They were at first kept alive through the efforts of local interests and because it was considered politically unwise to close them.

The need for government-owned and operated naval shore facilities of other kinds soon arose and were slowly established in the navy yards or in their immediate vicinity, such as hospitals, marine barracks, clothing depots, ammunition depots and magazines, training stations, and may others. Additional navy yards and shore activities of many kinds, but more widely dispersed, were established over the years, but not until World War II did the need for a tremendous expansion of the Shore Establishment arise.

At the peak of World War II, about 7,000 such activities were being operated by the Navy Department. Of these, about 6,300 were located in the continental United States.

These activities may be segregated under the following major categories, although the dividing line between them was not clearcut and the figures are necessarily approximate as they fluctuated with the changing war situation: Shipbuilding and repair, 200; naval air, 350; naval ordnance, 200; procurement and supply, 850; naval personnel, 1600; medical, 150; Marine Corps, 400; Coast Guard, 1600; and miscellaneous, 950.2 The activities covered a range in size from recruiting stations and inspection offices manned by only a few persons to the giant New York Navy Yard employing some 70,000 people at the peak of the war effort.

Although all elements of the Shore Establishment were involved in the support of the Fleet, the building, repairing, and equipping of the ships of the Navy and in general, seeing to their logistic readiness for combat duty, was outstandingly the task of the navy yards. The number of prewar navy


yards was very small, compared to the number of other units comprising the Shore Establishment, but their importance in meeting this task was very great. The eleven largest yards during World War II accounted for the employment of more than a third of all Shore Establishment civilian personnel which, at the peak on 31 March 1945, consisted of more than 750,000 people. But due to their importance and the nature of their work the Navy Yards had also through the years been the Navy Department's major administrative problem.

With the adoption of the Bureau system in 1942 this became practically true because all bureaus, including the command branch of the Navy, had a stake in the organization and management of the yards and in their development. This was not the case for other shore activities, which from the beginning operated under the technical and management control of single bureaus, such as naval hospitals under the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; ordnance plants, such as the Gun Factory and Ammunition Depots, under the Bureau of Ordnance; Marine Barracks and Marine Corps training centers, under the Marine Corps, etc. No shore activities except the navy yards were subject to multiple control. Consequently, on the navy yards were the source of serious Navy Department administrative problems through the years.

Before proceeding with the topical history of Shore Establishment administration at the Navy Department level, a glance at the regional administration of these activities by the creation of Naval Districts is in order.

Naval Districts

The principle of regional administration of the Navy's Shore Establishment goes back to the Revolution. It received more explicit recognition during the Civil War when the Commandants of Navy Yards had to organize defense forces to pursue Confederate raiders appearing off the coast, and received further confirmation during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

In 1902 the Secretary of the Navy reported to Congress, "The Navy Department has for many years considered the question of a proper system for naval defense of the coast . . . it is believed that better results can be attained in developing and organizing the naval defense of our coast, of we divide the coast into districts . . . the Bureau of Navigation after consultation with the general board . . . has, therefore recommended . . . and the Department has, for purposes of experiment, named three sections of our coast [as Naval Districts]. It is believed that from these districts will come, after a certain experience has been gained, suggestions of a system which will in time prove an efficient method for the naval


Fig. 29.--United States Naval Districts (May 1944)
Fig. 29.--United States Naval Districts (May 1944)


defense of the coast . . ."3 The three sections included almost the entire coastline: one extended from Cape Cod to Barnegat, N.J., on the Atlantic coast; a second included the whole Gulf coast; and the third the Pacific coast.

The Naval District system was finally established on May 7, 1905, and consisted of thirteen districts, modeled as to boundaries after the existing lighthouse districts. Changes were made from time to time in the number of districts and in their boundaries, for one thing to keep them in step with the industrial development of the country. Overseas districts were added to fit into the pattern of national defense. As of May 1944 the Naval Districts and their boundaries were as shown on chart, Figure 29.

Coast Defense was originally the only duty assigned to Naval Districts. The duties, as set forth in the 1907 Navy Regulations may be regarded as standby instructions to be carried into effect in time of war. This remained the concept of Naval District functions as distinguished from Navy Yard functions until about 1915.

From 1915 to 1920, the Navy Department was confronted with many new administrative tasks and problems brought into being by World War I, which transformed the Naval Districts into the complex organizations, that remained virtually unchanged until World War II. Most of the new responsibilities placed on the district organizations by Word War I and continued thereafter are not germane to the matters dealt with in this chapter. The Naval District organizations began, however, to play an important role in logistics as World War II approached, and need therefore a brief description at this point, with respect to that segment of their activities.

Each Naval District was under the command of a Commandant, an officer of the Line, qualified for command at sea, who until World War II approached was required also to be the Commandant of a navy yard. In his Naval District he was the representative of the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Sea Frontier Commander, and the various bureaus and offices of the Navy Department. He exercised direct and full authority over the military matters in his District, and had similar authority over civilian personnel and industrial matters. But, a wise Commandant, whether in his capacity as the Commandant of the District or of a navy yard, delegated most of such powers to the heads of departments in the navy yard and other activities in his District. The Bureaus and Offices of the Navy Department were required to keep him advised of any new activities set up in his District. A roster of all officers on duty in the District and of all retired officers living in the District was maintained in the District Commandant's Office.


Although a Commandant could delegate his authority in most matters, he could not delegate his responsibility for meeting the completion dates of ships under construction or repair in his yard nor for meeting other logistic commitments. This responsibility, especially during the period when the navy yard reorganization was a live subject, as will be described presently, led many Commandants to take an active interest in the management of the industrial activities of the yards.

Although this chapter deals with the Shore Establishment as a whole, its main theme will be the navy yards, their early history and development, the organizational and management handicaps under which they were operated for many years, the efforts made to overcome these handicaps, the creation of a Navy Yard Division in the Assistant Secretary's office to implement Navy Department administrative control of the navy yards, and finally the administrative mechanisms devised by the Navy Department at the end of the war for the management and technical control of navy yards under their new name, "Naval Shipyards."

Navy Yards and the Bureaus

When, in 1842, the Bureau system was adopted for the organization of the Navy Department, the overall supervision of the navy yards was assigned to the Bureau of Navy Yards and Docks. As, however, the material bureaus had to spend in the navy yards a considerable part of the money appropriated for work under their cognizance, they soon demanded a voice in the development and operation of the yards, particularly with respect to shops and facilities and the custody of supplies needed for their work. The great expansion of the Navy in ships during the Civil War carried with it also expansion of the Shore Establishment, and gave the bureaus a still further reason for entering into the affairs of the navy yards.

To handle this and other navy yard problems, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles on July 1, 1868 in effect extended the Bureau system to the organization and management of the navy yards. He had abolished the Navy Agents three years before, and now changed also the custodianship of naval stores from Navy paymasters to the representatives of the several bureaus at the navy yards.4

This policy resulted in setting up Departments of Construction and Repair, Steam Engineering, Ordnance, Equipment, and Yards and Docks in the larger yards, each operating independently of the others. The head of each was the respesentative of his own Bureau. In addition, the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts was represented by the General Storekeeper and Paymaster, and in a few of the larger yards carried on industrial work


similar to that of the other Departments. The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was represented by the Medical department.

In some of the yards there were eventually as many as three power plants, three or more machine shops, two or more pipe shops, paint shops, and other shops. Each department had its own officers, clerks, and shop forces. The Commandant of the Navy Yard, a Line Officer, had authority over all of the heads of departments, but seldom interfered in their work unless delays in the completion of shops undergoing overhaul were involved. His senior assistant in the command branch was the Captain of the Yard who succeeded to command in the absence of the Commandant.

The duplication of ships and management effort in handling the industrial work of the navy yards came in for repeated criticism from Secretaries of the Navy, naval officers and civilians, but not 8until the first decade of the 20th century was a real attempt made to improve the organization and the management procedures of the yards. Human nature being what it is, no Bureau was willing to give up control over its work and no group in the Navy could be agreed upon as outstandingly qualified to manage the navy yards.

Shortly after the turn of the century, "Scientific Management" was being introduced to the industrial world by Frederick W. Taylor and his associates. Its principles received an enthusiastic reception from many naval officers, especially from the Construction Corps, as that COrps more than any other group in the Navy had a background of experience and interest in improving the management of the Navy Yards.5 At the head of the group stood Rear Admiral W. L. Capps, Chief Constructor of the Navy and Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair.

Truman H. Newberry, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, also took a lively interest in "Scientific Management." Rear Admiral Caspar F. Goodrich, U.S.N., a personal friend of Frederick W. Taylor, had a part in stimulating Newberry's interest in Taylor's concepts of management.

When Newberry was advanced to Secretary of the Navy in December 1908 with the expectation of being retained in that post on the inauguration of President Taft on March 4, 1909, he immediately st about putting his ideas on reorganization in motion. TO further the ends of better


Navy Department administration and thus also of better Navy Yard organization and management, he appointed Rear Admiral Capps to additional duty as Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, a vacancy having fortuitously occurred as Chief of the latter Bureau at that time. The appointment was however declared illegal by the Attorney General.

General Order No. 9

On January 25, 1909, Newberry issued General Order No. 9, consolidating all navy yard industrial work in a manufacturing department under the Naval Constructor Head of the Department of Construction and Repair, who was to be known as the Commandant's principal technical assistant. The Order stated that "in a general way the effect of this Order will be to make the Commandant, while as heretofore paramount, resemble in his connection with the yard work the President of a large industrial plant; the principal technical assistant becoming under the Commandant the General Manager." The heads of the existing Departments of Ordnance, Equipment, and Steam Engineering were to remain as Inspectors of the work done for them by the consolidated manufacturing department, but they of course did not relish this change in status.

The order proved highly disturbing to the Commandants of Navy Yards; in fact to many line officers, as they saw in it an invasion of their prerogatives. The feeling was so strong that Line officers stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard or attached to ships at the yard held a meeting on board the USS Panther on March 23, 1909 (Secretary of the Navy Truman H. Newberry having gone out of office on March 4, 1909), to discuss the conditions existing at the navy yards with respect to organization and administration and to determine whether or not it would be practicable in a manner consonant with military discipline to secure an interchange of views among the scattered officers of the service, to the end that in case of a favorable opportunity arising, the crystallized opinion of the service at large might be presented to the Department.6

The comments of the Panther Committee were in general unfavorable to the reorganization, and proposed a reorganization of its own, which would however not have resulted in the consolidation of shops and in the application of the principles of scientific management to navy yard administration as contemplated by Secretary Newberry. There is no doubt that an important end product of General Order No. 9 was its arousal of Line


officers thinking on the broad subject of navy yard organization and management.

When George on L. Meyer succeeded Truman Newberry as Secretary of the Navy on March 4, 1909, he modified the Newberry plan but did not go back completely to the former system of navy yard management. The industrial activities and the shops in the navy yards were placed in two principal divisions, Hull and Machinery, these becoming in effect the field responsibilities respectively of the Bureaus of Construction and Repair, and Steam Engineering.

The Industrial Manager idea was revived by Secretary of the Navy Denby after World War I. In half of the navy yards Naval Construction was assigned to the Industrial Manager billets and in the other half, officers restricted to engineering duty. At that time the term "Engineering Duty Officer" had a narrower meaning than later on. It meant an officer who had specialized in the work of the Bureau of Stem Engineering and had elected to relinquish unrestricted Line officer status. The organization under the Industrial Manager eventually consisted of a Planning Officer having the duties of an inside Superintendent; a Production Officer supervising ship repairs and new construction; a Yards and Docks Department, and an Accounting Officer. The General Storekeeper did not report directly to the Manager. This was broadly the organization of the navy yards with which the Navy Department entered World War II and so remained until the end of the war.

Secretary Meyer recognized the need for closer departmental control over the yards and established a Director of Navy Yards as part of the Aide System, described in Chapter III, but the idea did not receive the degree of support needed from the bureaus to make it effective, and it went by the board under Secretary Daniels with the rest of the Aide System. A minor section in the new Office of the Chief of Naval Operations provided some coordination for developing the Shore Establishment during World War I.7

However, in the interests of establishing orderly procedures in planning navy yard expansion and improvements just before and during World War I, both the Bureaus of Construction and Repair, and Steam Engineering, set up Navy Yard Sections within their own organizations.

Navy Yard Division in Secretary's Office

In a letter of May 26, 1921, to the Chiefs of the bureaus, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., discussed the faults of the existing arrangements for administering the Shore Establishment at the


Navy Department level as well as the management of the Navy Yards. He criticized the practice of referring all such matters to the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary of the navy for decision and stated that the Navy Department was considering the advisability of appointing a Director General of Navy Yards to take over the major part of the work. He requested comments from the Chiefs on the plan and on the subject as a whole.

The comments of the Bureau chiefs on the letter were varied. The Bureau of Construction and Repair showed the greatest interest in the subject. Its Chief, Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, favored the establishment of a Navy Yard Division in the Navy Department to relieve the Secretary and Assistant of a great many minor and relatively unimportant details with which they had to deal personally. He suggested that the new office be set up as a part of the Office of the Secretary, but directly under the Assistant Secretary; that the officer and civilian personnel staffing the proposed office be kept to the minimum. He recommended that the Navy Yard Sections set up in the Bureaus of Construction and Repair and Steam Engineering during World War I be combined and form the nucleus of the new Navy Yard Division.

He criticized the administrative relationships existing between the Navy Department and the navy yards, and suggested that the bureau having the largest interest in the navy yards be given administrative control over the yards, saying:

"Incidentally it may be remarked that the Washington Navy Yard is an ordnance establishment and virtually under the control of the Bureau of Ordnance, as it does work almost entirely for that Bureau. The building and repairing yards do work mainly for the Bureaus of Construction and Repair and Engineering, but neither individually nor collectively do these Bureaus have any such control over them as has Ordnance over the Washington Yard, although many millions of dollars for which the Bureaus are responsible are spent at those yards every year.

"... If it is desired to take in hand the Navy Yards somewhat as the Bureau of Ordnance handles the Washington Navy Yard, or rather the Naval Gun Factory, the simplest and best plan would be to combine the Shore Establishment Sections of the Bureaus of Construction and Repair and Engineering, and allow this office to handle jointly the Navy Yard questions affecting the two Bureaus, the work of these Bureaus constituting by far the major part of the work of the yards. The situation, then, would not only be comparable to that as regards the bureau of Ordnance in connection with ordnance Establishments, but to that of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery as regards Naval Hospitals, and the Bureau of Navigation as regards Training Stations."9


The Chief of the Bureau of Engineering, which was the next most closely concerned, was more skeptical and felt that the plan was "in some respects tentative." The Bureau of Yards and Docks, not enthusiastic about the plan, raised numerous strong objections, aimed at retaining a considerable degree of freedom of action over its own activities.

General Order No. 68 of 6 September 1921, entitled "Departmental Administration of Navy Yards and Naval Stations," emerged from the discussions. Ten functions were specifically listed in paragraph two of the General Order, to "... be consolidated in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy (Navy Yard Division), except that in the cases of the Bureaus of Supplies and Accounts, and Yards and Docks, the functions in detail will not be physically consolidated in that office, but an officer of the Supply Corps and an officers of the Corps of Civil Engineers will be ordered to duty in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy (Navy Yard Division)." The functions listed dealt principally with organizational and management matters and prescribed procedures for handling the correspondence connected therewith, and with coordinating the activities with the war plans and fleet operating schedules. Only one of the ten headings under paragraph two mentioned civilian personnel and then only as follows: "Civilian Personnel and Labor and all matters pertaining thereto, including the maintenance of high morale."

As a concession to the Bureau of Yards and Docks, supported by the Bureau of Construction and Repair, the jurisdiction of the Navy Yard Division was limited by the Order to fifteen specifically named navy yards and stations, except that in matters of civilian personnel it covered the entire Shore Establishment. General Order No. 68 was reissued almost verbatim on 13 May 1935 as General Order No. 13, series of 1935. In the meantime, the name "Navy Yard Division" (abbreviated SONYD) had on 4 June 1934 been changed to "Shore Establishment Division" (abbreviated SOSED).

Division of Personnel Supervision and Management (PS&M)

The emphasis with respect to the mission of the Navy Yard Division during its early years was largely on the physical development and management aspects of the navy yards. With the revival of naval shipbuilding in the 1930 decade, particularly toward its end, the problems of providing the civilian forces needed by the Shore Establishment to carry out expansion programs became pressing. The Bureaus were not satisfied with the way in which civilian personnel matters were being handled by the Assistant Secretary's Office. This resulted in the creation on 6 December 1938 of the Division of Personnel Supervision and Management (PS&M)


in that office with Mr. Charles Piozer at its head. SOSED continued to have certain responsibilities for civilian personnel employed in the field. These it shared with PS&M.

The events leading up to the establishment of PS&M and the part it played in personnel administration are covered in some detail in the chapter in this work on "Civilian Personnel." PS&M is also later again referred to in this chapter. It is mentioned at this point in the interest of providing the chronological continuity necessary to an understanding of the organization of SOSED that had developed by July 1941, about two and a half years after PS&M came into being.

Shore Establishment Division (SOSED) Organization

The organization of SOSED went through the usual proliferation characteristic of an important element of the administrative machinery of the Navy Department during a period of expansion. The units of the organization and their principal functions had become the following by July 1, 1941.9

SOSED-1 -- Navy Yard plants and working equipment Liaison with Bureaus on their machine tool requirements. Member of Shore Station Development Board, A&N Munitions Board, Fuel Storage Board, British-American Machine Tool Allocations Board, and others.
SOSED-1a -- Labor relations. Liaison with Department of Labor in matters pertaining to labor unions, strikes, labor legislation. Security against subversive activities.
SOSED-0-1-2 -- Office Manager, Safety engineering in the field. Board of Awards for Beneficial Suggestions.
SOSED-3 -- Commercial and legal matters, Cost Accounting procedures. Liaison with Bureau of SandA. Statistics and comparative labor and overhead costs.
SOSED-4 -- Liaison with Civil Service Commission concerning interpretation of rules and regulations, recruiting, placement, classification, and employee relations. Worked closely with PS&M.
SOSED-5 -- Allocation of money under the Navy budget for plant maintenance, including machine tools and equipment of


    shore establishment activities except those under the Bureau of Ordnance and Aeronautics, the budgetary estimates involved and the keeping of records of equipment, surveys and disposal. Manufacturing at Navy Yards.
SOSED-6 -- Liaison with Bureau of Y&D, on real estate and oil leases, and with the Judge Advocate General in connection therewith.
SOSED-7 -- War Plans, Selective Service involving industrial deferments, and liaison with war production emergency agencies having business with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
SOSED-8 -- Liaison with OpNav particularly with Op-30 Assignment of quarters in shore establishments. Arrangements for Navy office space in federal buildings.

Shore Establishment Administration and the CNO

When Captain C.W. Fisher (later Rear Admiral) became Director of the Shore Establishment Division on September 16, 1939, having been stepped up from Assistant Director, a position he had held since September 1935, he stressed anew the responsibilities assigned by Navy Regulations and custom to th Assistant Secretary of the Navy for the overall administration of the Shore Establishment.

Charles Edison was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy on November 18, 1937, and was advanced to Secretary of the Navy on January 2, 1940, serving as such until the summer of 1940. Edison had had wide experience in industrial management and had strong views as to the part that the civilian upper level hierarchy should play in the administration of the shore establishment at the Navy Department level. Fisher's views coincided with those of the Assistant Secretary. He was ever on the alert to assert and protect the cognizance of the Assistant Secretary over the shore establishment and to prevent any weakening of the Assistant Secretary's influence in such matters. Lewis Compton became Assistant Secretary when Edison was made Secretary, followed by Ralph A. Bard in February 1941.


Rear Admiral Charles W. Fisher
Rear Admiral Charles W. Fisher
Director of Shore Establishment Division, Sept. 1939-Jan. 1944.

In 1939, Carl Vinson, Chairman of th House Naval Affairs Committee, introduced a bill in Congress to reorganize the Navy Department. He proposed to abolish the Bureaus and to substitute in their place an Office of Naval Material paralleling the Office of Naval Operations. The proposed reorganization met with practically unanimous disapproval from the Navy and was dropped.

In 1940, Secretary Edison proposed a reorganization which would have retained the Bureau system, but was expected to provide coordination of matériel through a Director of Shore Establishments, and in this way to bring about more effective and more harmonious relationships between the command, civilian, and staff elements of the Navy Department.


At the Committee Hearings Fisher was the Secretary's spokesman and principal advocate of the plan, but it was opposed by CNO and was dropped.

With the failure of what many naval officers considered to have been ill advised efforts to bring about improvements by legislation in the administration of the Shore Establishment, the influence of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in such matters gradually declined. A corresponding increase in the control over the Shore Establishment by CNO took place at the same time. Fisher continued his efforts to maintain orderly and responsible procedures in this area of departmental administration. He was particularly concerned over the growing practice of bypassing the Assistant Secretary, thus keeping that office in the dark about matters for which the Assistant Secretary was responsible. The files of SOSED contain many letters and memoranda in which Fisher pointed out harmful departures from established procedures in such matters.

A typical example is a letter from the Director of SOSED to the Chief of Naval Operations, dated 1 October 1940, protesting against bypassing the Secretary's office in the matter of creating additional shore stations, plants and facilities, and dealing with civilian employment therein, as follows:11

"1. there appears to be an increasing number of letters from the field or the forces afloat relating to such matters as civilian employees, plant or navy yard facilities, etc., in which SOSED, Y,&D., and the Shore Station Development Board are interested, that are being written direct to the Chief of Naval Operations. General Order No. 13 provides that all matters relating to civilian personnel come under the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. General Order No. 13 also assigned to the Shore Establishments Division questions of plant facilities at the yards and stations listed therein. The Bureau of yards and Docks, the Bureau of Ships, and the Shore Station Development Board are also concerned in such matters, the extent governed by the nature of the points involved.

"2. A recent example is a letter from Commander, Destroyers, Atlantic Squadron, dated July 16, 1940, which was addressed to the Chief of Naval Operations and forwarded buy Commander, Atlantic Squadron, on 17 July 1940, to C.N.P. This letter from Admiral Reichmuth not only deals with overhaul periods and related matters, but requests the provision of additional plants in the Caribbean, such as cold storage, berthing, dock, additional shop and supply facilities, laundry, dredging, etc. Not even a copy of this communication was sent to SOSED. It has been learned in conversation that a conference on Admiral Reichmuth's letter is to be held in the office of the C.N.O. on Friday, 2 August 1940.

"3. If agreeable to you, I will prepare a circular letter calling attention to this procedure, which if not checked may result in confusion and working at cross purposes."

In a letter of 2 October 1942 to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy he invited attention to the bypassing of that office in deliberations involving the organization of the navy yards as follows:12


"1. The Assistant Secretary of the Navy is charged, among other duties, with the Departmental administration of navy yards, including their administration, organization, and management.

"2. Rear Admiral Van Keuren, Chief of the Bureau of Ships, reported to you the other day, in my presence, that this important matter was now under consideration by the General Board. To the best of my knowledge and belief, neither the assistant Secretary of the Navy nor the Director of Shore Establishments has been consulted by the Geeral Board or any other agency of the Department in regard thereto, although it would seem obvious that the Assistant Secretary should have been among the first to whom such a matter was referred.

"3. it is recommended that the Assistant Secretary of the Navy be made a party of primary interest in any further discussions regarding the organization of navy yards and that no action be taken regarding this matter without reference to him."

By 1943 it was apparent that SOSED was losing its battle as the unit of the Assistant Secretary's office charged with the administration of the Shore Establishment at the departmental level. Its Director in effect had few administrative powers left and had become only an Adviser to the Assistant Secretary in such matters. On 15 March 1943 Admiral King in his capacity as Chief of Naval Operations wrote to Rear Admiral Fisher as follows:13

"... I note that your current duties appear not to warrant the continuation of the title 'Director of Shore Establishments.' From what I can learn, it would appear that your current functions would e correctly expressed by a title involving industrial relations.

"What are your views?"

To this Rear Admiral Fisher replied:

"I do not feel that a temporary situation which has required my major efforts along industrial relations lines should cause a change in the title of my division or its director which is so contrary to Article 398(1) of Navy Regulations, setting forth duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and to General Order Number 13, which assigns many duties other than industrial relations to the Shore Establishments Division. ... I also feel clarification as to who is responsible for running Navy Yards in the Department is something which, if not undertaken without delay, will inevitably lay us open to justifiable criticism from anyone who may be interested in investigating this question. I consider the present line-up to be wholly indefensible."

Division of Shore Establishment and Civilian Personnel (SECP)

In July 1943 the CNO proposed that the functions of SOSED be transferred to Op-30. but Fisher recommended against such a wholesale transfer. The administration of civilian personnel continued under constant fire from the Bureaus and from the principal Navy employers of labor in the field, such as the navy yards. There were constant complaints about unworkable policies and delays in PS&M in acting on matters under its


cognizance. It will be recalled that SOSED and PS&M collaborated in handling civilian personnel with SOSED exercising broadly what in private industry are the interests of management and PS&M the interests of labor. The problems and interests of both became, however, so complicated during the war that the analogy holds true only approximately.

In September 1943 Assistant Secretary of the Navy Bard appointed a committee to study the whole subject, with the result that as of 20 January 1944 SOSED and PS&M were merged to form the Division of Shore Establishments and Civilian personnel (SECP). Rear Admiral F.G. Crisp was assigned to duty as the Director of the SECP. In order to give him a free hand in getting the new organization underway, the former heads of the SOSED and PS&M were assigned to other duties. Rear Admiral Fisher was detailed to a key position on the Navy Manpower Survey Board, and Mr. Piozer was appointed "Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary and Adviser on Civilian Personnel Administration," with duties involving liaison with Congress and the budget authorities.

To round out the history of this segment of wartime administration of the Navy Department, it may be mentioned that in September 1945 the name of the "Division of Shore Establishment and Civilian Personnel (SECP)" was changed to the "Office of Industrial Relations (OIR)" as being more nearly descriptive of its functions than the former title.

It was announced, when the change in name was made, that "the OIR acts in a staff capacity for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in all matters concerning civilian employees. OIR's technical and advisory functions do not in any sense encroach on the line management responsibilities of the Bureaus and Offices of the Navy Department for the proper administration of the Navy's Industrial Relations program in the Naval Shore Establishment."

The history fo SECP is covered in some detail in the chapter in this work on "Civilian Personnel."


In addition to the units of the Executive Offices of the Secretary just mentioned, which devoted full time to the administration of the Shore Establishment, the Secretary of the Navy made extensive use during the war of Boards and Committees to advise him on all manner of matters connected with the Shore Establishment. Among the more important subjects dealt with by boards were surveys into the adequacy of the Shore Establishment for carrying out the Navy's mission, recommendations on the creation of new and the expansion of existing navy yards, bases, and facilities, and the determination of the priorities to be observed in the expenditure of money, manpower, and material for such purposes.


The chapter on "Naval Logistics" covers this sector of naval administration in its broader aspects, and the chapters on the bureaus describe the seps taken by them to clarry out the recommendations of special boards so far as they concerned matters under their cognizance. The task of carrying our programs having to do with the creation of additional bases and the expansion of existing ones fell mainly on the Bureau of Yards and Docks, and will be found convered in some detail in the chapter on that Bureau.

Hepburn and Greenslade Boards. Although covered in some detail in the chapter on "Naval Logistics," it is appropriate to mention the Hepburn Board at this point, as its report was the basis for the massive Shore Establihsment expansion and development that took place just before and during the early part of World War II.

The abrogation of the Naval Limitations Treaties in 1935 and the growing deterioration of the international situation led to the appointment in 1938 of a Board, with Admiral A.J. Hepburn at its head to make recommendations as to additional base, air training stations, and other facilities needed in the Pacific and Caribbean areas for national defense. The report covered also additional submarine and destroyer maintenance facilities needed outside of the continental limits of the United States. The recommendations of the Board received the approval of the President and of Congress during December 1939. Steps were taken immediately to get the work under way, in accordance with priorities recommended by the Hepburn Board and by the Shore Station Development Board.

When the large shipbuilding programs were approved in the early summer of 1940, Rear Admiral Moreell, the Chief of th Bureau of Yards and Docks, and Rear Admiral Fisher, the Director of SOSED, brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Navy the need for expanding continental shore facilities of all kinds to build and support the additional ships and aircraft that had been authorized. This resulted in the appointment in May 1941, of a board, headed by Rear Admiral John W Greenslade, to study and make recommendations on this segment of Shore Establishment expansion.

The reports of the Hepburn and Greenslade Boards became the principal long range planning guides for the Shore Station Development Board and for determining the priority to be assigned to the projects.

The Shore Station Development Board was the permanent mechanism in the Secretary's office for planning the expansion and development of the Shore Establishment. The mechanism had been in existence in principle since May 1916 when it was set up in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy as part of the Navy Department's preparedness planning to meet possible involvement in World War I. After World War I it was


continued, under the name Board for the Development of Navy Yard Plans." In June 1934 the name was changed to "Shore Station Development Board."14

As implied by the name the original purpose of the Board was planning the development of Navy Yards, but coordinating all Navy Shore Establishment needs soon became one of its important functions. Congress for one was dissatisfied with the Navy Department's practice of having each bureau present its own needs without reference to the needs of the other bureaus in this field. Recommendations coming in this piecemeal form were often contradictory and did not take collateral considerations into account. This emphasized the importance of coordinating the various Shore Establishment needs of the Navy Department.

The early deliberations of the Board seem not to have concerned themselves overmuch with priorities. They were devoted largely to the improvement and development of existing shore stations such as the Navy Yards and with planning additional facilities. However, with the approach of World War II the order in which to take up new programs and projects raised the whole complicated question of priorities. All projects were not of equal importance and all could not in any case have been undertaken and pushed simultaneously with equal vigor. Until the outbreak of the war priorities revolved around the availability of money; later the availability of manpower, and of critical materials were the controlling factors.

Over the years there had been an almost continuous change in viewpoint as to which Navy Department offices were to be represented on the Board and as to who was to be its Senior Member. The voting membership of the Board at the outbreak of World War II consisted of the following: (a) Director, Naval Districts Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; (b) an officer from the Shore Establishment Division; (c) an officer from the Bureau of Yards and Docks; (d) an officer from the War Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Representatives of the Bureaus interested in specific developments became temporary members of the Board when projects sponsored by them were under consideration.

It was not to be expected that the creation of a mechanism such as the Shore Station Development Board would automatically resolve all problems of expansion and development. In some respects the arrangement merely transferred the competition between the bureaus for shore


station expansion and maintenance money before Congress to the Board via the priority procedures that were adopted.

After the United States entered World War II the Shore Station Development Board began recommending for approval practically all projects submitted to it by the bureaus and the Naval District development boards. This resulted in a log jam of projects. To correct this situation consideration was given to transferring the main functions of the Board to the newly reorganized Plans Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, but that unit was not prepared to take on the work.

In February 1942, the Office of Procurement and Material of the Under Secretary's Office took over the SSDB functions having to do with the expansion of the industrial facilities of the Shore Establishment. On June 10, 1942 the Secretary of the Navy suspended the functions of both the Department Shore Station Development Board, and of the local Naval District boards. Although the Board was suspended, the approval of projects and the determination of priorities had to continue. The procedures dated June 25, 1942, which provided that (a) projects orginiating in the field were to be forwarded directly to the cognizant bureau for study and recommendation; (b) the cognizant bureau, in case it approved the project, forwarded the papers to the Bureau of Yards and Docks; (c) the Bureau of Yards and Docks after study and estimates obtained clearance for the project from the Shore Establishments Division (SOSED) of the Assistant Secretary's office, and where necessary from other interested government agencies; (d) the papers then went to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations and if he approved were forwarded for final approval to the Secretary of the Navy.15 Those originating elsewhere than in the field followed a similar course, but short circuited some of the steps.

In matters involving naval public works and shore establishment expansion in general the Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks served as the technical and cost adviser to the Secretary, the CNO, the bureaus, and the Shore Station Development Board. he also prepared and presented the justification for such projects to the Budget Bureau and to the cognizant Congressional Committees. The spade work for programs and projects of this kind was consequently done largely by the Bureau of Yards and Docks. The organization adopted and the procedures followed by that Bureau in this connection are covered in the chapter on the "Bureau of Yards and Docks" in this work, and need to be repeated in this place.


As early as 1943, even before the Shore Establishment had reached its peak, the Chief of Naval Operations asked the Bureaus, Offices, and Districts to submit recommendations for the curtailment or elimination of activities. From then on, reductions were emphasized more than expansions. Within six months after V-J Day more than 1000 Navy or Marine Corps stations operated in the continental United States were de-activated or disposed of and more than one-third of the overseas bases and stations had been restored to their prewar owners or status.16

In 1946 the Secretary of the Navy reestablished the Shore Station Development Board in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. The Naval District boards were also re-activated.

Navy Manpower Survey Board. The addition of this Board to the administrative machinery of the Secretary's Office was occasioned by questioning of the War Manpower Commission (one of the war emergency agencies) as to whether the Navy's manpower, in uniform as well as civilian, was being used to the best advantage in its Shore Establishments. The Commission proposed at one time to have its own investigators inspect naval shore activities in order to obtain information on all aspects of manpower utilization.

Under date of 12 November 1943 Secretary Knox appointed Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews as the senior member of a Board which was directed to make "surveys of all Naval Shore Establishments in all naval districts for the purpose of determining whether they are overmanned or undermanned, and whether the Navy's manpower is being utilized to the best advantage. Such surveys shall cover officers and enlisted men in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, and all civilians of the Naval Shoer Establishment."

The procedures followed by the Board and the results achieved are described in the chapter on "Civilian Personnel."

Industrial Survey Division

As pointed out elsewhere in this volume the Navy Department never had an Inspection Corps staffed by officers making a full-time career of inspection work such as the Corps going by that name in the Army and in the Marine Corps. Each Bureau developed inspection practices suited to its particular needs. Their inspection forces were manned by officers specifically detailed to the duty, for limited tours as on other assignments. The Board of Inspection and Survey inspected new ships for conformity with plans and specifications, and ships in service as prescribed by law.


On the recommendation of Admiral King the Office of the Naval Inspector General was established in the Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, on May 18, 1942, by General Order No. 173. He was "charged with the inquiry into and the report upon all matters which affect the efficiency and economy of the United States Naval Service."

Secretary Knox felt the need in addition for information as to the efficiency with which the industrial operations of the Shore Establishments were being conducted and whether the personnel, both civilian and in uniform, employed in the various activities, was being utilized to the best advantage. A directive was accordingly drawn up in September 1943, creating an inspection force in th Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to investigate and report on such matters. The force was to consist largely of part-time personnel, both officer and civilian, drawn from the Bureaus.17 For some reason that is not clear the idea was never fully carried out.

Under date of June 6, 1944 the Chief of Naval Operations called on the Naval Inspector General to inspect shore establishments and shore-based fleet activities to determine if they were being utilized to the best advantage, and if their facilities and military personnel were in excess, adequate, or deficient. He was called upon also to make appropriate recommendations as the expansion, reduction, elimination, or continuation of the shore establishments and shore-based fleet activities that had been inspected.

This was followed a few weeks later by the creation of the Industrial Survey Division by a directive of the Secretary of the Navy, dated June 20, 1944. The mission of the new mechanism in the Assistant Secretary's office was to keep the Secretary informed as to the efficiency of operation of the industrial activities of the shore establishments of the navy, including the effective utilization of personnel engaged in industrial work. The Division was directed to inspect the Navy's industrial activities and to report the results thereof to the Secretary with pertinent observations and recommendations.

The directive stipulated that the Industrial Survey Division was in no way to change or interfere with established channels of administrative authority and that the bureaus and offices were to continue to have direct responsibility for the operation and upkeep of the respective shore establishments assigned to them. Neither was the Industrial Survey Division to alter the existing authority of the Naval Inspector General. Its functions were to be those of a staff activity rather than those of an operating and


executive division. It had no power to enforce its recommendations. While in connection with its inspections considerable attention was given to the adequacy of the physical plant and to mechanical processes performed by the activity, the emphasis gradually shifted to manpower utilization, labor relations, and the management of personnel. Further coverage of this aspect of its work will be found in the chapter on "Civilian Personnel."

The policies governing the activities and operation of the Industrial Survey Division and of the Shore Establishments and Civilian personnel Division (SECP) came in for some criticism in a report of the Johnson Subcommittee on Naval Affairs, House of Representatives, which made an investigation in 1945 to determine whether the war effort was being carried forward efficiently, expeditiously, and economically.18 The Johnson Subcommittee felt that "the Surveys, though complete within themselves, are uncoordinated and unintegrated, and do not yield organized data which could serve as a basis for managerial control and supervision" The Subcommittee took issue among other matters with the broad principle adopted by the Navy Department that the Survey Division should perform an advisory and staff function and should not be an organization empowered to carry out its own recommendations, or those of others. The Navy Department very wisely adhered to this principle. An analysis of the report is contained in the chapter on "Civilian Personnel." The Shore Establishment administrative procedures that were put into effect at the end of the war, which will be reviewed presently, corrected certain matters which were criticized in the Johnson Report.

War End Reorganization

More effective administrative relationships between the Shore Establishment and the Navy Department had during World War II be recognized by may people as necessary. Secretary of the Navy Forrestal and Fleet Admiral King in his capacity as Chief of Naval Operations had discussed the subject frequently, but it was decided to make no radical changes during the war. However, within a month after V-J Day a plan covering reorganization of the fleet service facilities of the Shore Establishment, and making provision also for more comprehensive military and management controls of the facilities at the Navy Department level was inaugurated by General Order No. 223 of 14 September 10945. The provisions of the General Order were to become effective on or before 1 December 1945.


In a press release of 23 September 1945 Secretary Forrestal summarized the contemplated reorganization as follows:

"... the shipbuilding and repair activities of each of the nine Navy Yards and two Naval Drydocks will be integrated under a compact organization to be designated a 'U.S. Naval Shipyard.' Each Shipyard will be commanded by a regular naval officer specifically trained in naval construction or marine engineering and widely experienced in the management of such naval activities. The Shipyards will be under the general management of the Bureau of Ships, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

"In each locality, the Shipyard, plus other activities formerly in or adjacent to Navy Yards, such as Hospitals, Supply Depots, Ammunition Depots, Prisons, Received Stations, etc., will be grouped under an overall organization to be known as the 'U.S. Naval Base,' whose mission will be to furnish supplies, personnel and industrial services to the fleets and seagoing forces. The Naval Base will be under the military command of a line officer designated 'Commandant of the Naval Base,' who will in turn be responsible to the Commandant of the Naval District in which the Base is located."

He said further, "The plan of organization which has been determined is the result of intensive study by officials of the Navy, who were greatly assisted by the criticism and advice of the Mead Committee of the Senate, the Johnson Subcommittee of the House Naval Affairs Committee and by prominent private industrialists. The development of the pattern of operation involved the review of many plans and proposals advanced during World War II in serving the needs of the world's largest naval force." In connection with the last sentence mention might have been made of Rear Admiral D.W. Taylor's recommendation of 25 years before that the bureau having the major interest and responsibility for the work done in a particular shore activity be given management control of the activity at the Navy Department level.

The method used in acquainting the naval service with the proposed reorganization differed from the procedure usually followed in promulgating General Orders. The Secretary of the navy, under date of 14 September 1945, sent to a wide distribution list a letter giving the reasons and philosophy behind the plan that had been adopted, the purposes to be accomplished, and a brief summary of its principal features.19 The letter was accompanied by six so-called attachments also dated 14 September 1945, each covering some specific aspect or detail of the reorganization or prescribing operational procedures involved in such matters as management control. The six attachments were the following:


General Order No. 223 identified as Attachment No. 1 in the Secretary's letter directed that the Navy Yards located at Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Boston, Massachusetts; Brooklyn, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Bremerton, Washington; Mare Island, California; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, be known thenceforth as "U.S. Naval Bases."

It prescribed the duties and authority of the Commandant of a Naval Base and his command relationships with the Commandant of the Naval District in which located. Each of the component activities of a Naval Base was under the direct control of a Commanding Officer who reported to the Commandant of the Naval Base for matters of internal security, defense, administration of military personnel and for coordinating his activity with other components of the Naval Base in providing logistic services to the Operating Forces.

The General Order established within each of the Naval Bases an organization to be known as the "U.S. Naval Shipyard." This was the main theme of the six attachments to the Secretary's letter. By far the largest and most important components of the Naval Base in matters of logistic support for the Fleet was the Naval Shipyard.

The General Order covered broadly the duties and authority of the Commander of a Naval Shipyard and its internal organization. The organization prescribed was practically the same as the one under which the Industrial Department of a navy yard had been operating for many years except that an Industrial Relations Division and a Management Planning and Review Division were now added.

The General Order finally prescribed that the U.S. Naval Drydocks at Hunters Point, California and at Terminal Island (San Pedro), California and any similar shore stations established later be known as "U.S. Naval Shipyards."


Attachment No. 2 requires no further explanation than given by its title.

Attachment No. 3 was a letter from the Secretary to the Chief of Naval Operations, calling on him to submit a report on the installations located in each Naval Base area rendering service to the Operating Forces. The CNO was directed also to recommend any additional installations that should be included or existing ones that need not be considered part of the Naval Base. The CNO was directed also to make recommendations as to additional Naval Bases that should be established within the continental limits of the United States.

Navy Yard Management Control Assigned to BuShips. Attachment No. 4 was a directive addressed by the Secretary to all Bureaus, Boards and Offices of the Navy Department and to Headquarters, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard, summarizing the functions of the U.S. Naval Shipyards. The directive designated the Bureau of Ships as the agency in the Navy Department responsible for the management control of the Naval Shipyards, such control to be exercised in accordance with the orders and directives of the Secretary of the navy and in such manner as to satisfy the requirements of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Operating Forces. The directive specifically left technical responsibility for prescribing and providing the methods, procedures, equipment, personnel, facilities, and funds required for the performance of their work to the respective bureaus and offices of the Navy Department as before. The bureaus and offices were authorized to deal direct with the shipyards in such matters.

Paragraph 3 of Attachment 4 provided that "The Bureau of Ships shall be kept advised of, and shall collaborate as agreed with the cognizant agencies of the Navy Department in the development and issuance of orders, directives, instructions, and recommendations affecting the Departmental administration of the Shipyards, including the followed matters:

  1. The assignment of work to the Shipyards.

  2. The allotment of funds to the Shipyards.

  3. The promulgation of policies and procedures governing the employment and administration of civilian personnel, the internal organization of the Shipyard, and methods and systems for the conduct of the work of the Shipyard, except such policies and procedures which must be uniformly issued to all naval establishments by reason of Executive Orders, laws or regulations pursuant to law issued by appropriate government agencies.

  4. Recommendations regarding personnel complements for the Departments and Divisions of the Shipyards.

  5. Recommendations for the detachment, replacement, assignment and


    classification of Department and Division Heads and other key personnel (both officer and civilian) of the Shipyards.

  1. Recommendations and plans for the expansion, alteration or improvement of the buildings and facilities of the Shipyards.

  2. Recommendations for the location, utilization, acquisition and release of storage space.

  3. Technical inspections of the various Departments and Divisions of Shipyards which may be undertaken by the various bureaus as a part of their regular responsibilities.

Specific agreements defining the extent of the participation of the Bureau of Ships in each of the above matters were to be developed between the Bureau of Ships and the cognizant agencies of the Navy Department, and submitted to the Secretary of the Navy via the Chief of Naval Operations for approval at the earliest practicable date.

Paragraph 5 of Attachment 4 stated that "This directive in no way alters the military and coordination control of U.S. Naval Shipyards, which is exercised by the Chief of Naval Operations through the Commandant of each Naval District as provided in reference (c) and the Commandant of each Naval Base as provided in reference (a).20

Attachment 5 was a directive to the Chief of the Bureau of Ships to prepare, in collaboration with appropriate agencies of the Navy Department, a long-term program looking to the further improvement in organization and management of Naval Shipyards. This directive emphasized again that organization and management procedures should be kept in a fluid state, and that the instruments of management cannot be fixed irrevocably for all time.

Attachment 6 was a directive from the Under Secretary of the Navy to the Director of the Industrial Survey Division of the secretary's office to collaborate with officials of the Bureau of Ships, in preparing the form and contents of the Monthly Reports to be submitted to the Secretary of the progress made in meeting the specific objectives for improving the organization and operating efficiency of the U.S. Naval Shipyards.


The Naval Shore Establishment accomplished in an outstanding manner its mission of assisting in creating and in maintaining and supporting the Operating Forces of the Navy during World War II. Many of the


ships added to the Navy during the war were built in Navy Yards. The task of repairing, modernizing, equipping, and in storing and arranging the delivery at tidewater of their consumable supplies fell almost exclusively on the Navy-operated Shore Establishment.

All Bureaus were involved in this task, so far as it concerned ships. But no one bureau had a mandate until the end of the war to exercise management control over the principal agency on shore capable of performing this task. That agency was the Navy Yard. The magnitude of the part played by the Navy Yards in providing this segment of matériel logistics for the Operating Forces can be gauged by the fact that the Navy Yards employed about 44% of the persons on the Shore Establishment payrolls at the peak during World War II.21

On the other hand, aircraft were produced almost exclusively by private industry; however, their repairs and maintenance were the business of the Naval Air Stations, which came under the management and technical control of the Bureau of Aeronautics.

Weapons, ammunition and fire control equipment were also largely produced by private industry supervised by the Bureau of Ordnance. Where these items were produced in Navy-operated plants, such as the Gun Factory, the Torpedo Station, and others, that Bureau exercised complete technical and management control over the establishments.

Management control of Naval Training Stations was the responsibility of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. The Bureaus of Medicine and Surgery, Supplies and Accounts, and the Marine Corps also exercised exclusive management and technical control over shore activities under their cognizance.

The original Bureau of Navy Yards and Docks had exercised what has become known as management control of Navy Yards, but with the increase in the number of Bureaus in 1862 and redistribution of their functions, it became, under a slightly changed name, a technical bureau whose principal functions were concerned with the public works of the Navy. It was largely a service bureau to the other bureaus during the years before World War II.

Through the years the major preoccupation of the Navy Department with Shore Establishment administration revolved therefore around the management of the Navy Yards because all Bureaus had interests in the work done for them by the yards. These interests were often conflicting and were at the root of many problems.

So long as the construction, repair and equipment of ships, including propelling machinery, remained concentrated in one Bureau, as called for by the Organic Act of 1842, there was little trouble with Navy Yard


management, either at the Departmental or Navy Yard level. But when the work was split up among three Bureaus in 1962, difficulties began to arise. The problems were accentuated after 1868, when the organization of the Navy Yards was allowed to follow the pattern of the Navy Department Bureau organization. This resulted in the duplication of shops, other facilities, and operating personnel, and in concomitant management problems described in the foregoing pages.

Efforts to improve the organization and management of Navy Yards were continuous, but failed to get at the root of the trouble, which was primarily the fragmentation among a number of coequal bureaus of th responsibility and authority over the design, construction, and repair of ships. Secondarily, the problem lay in the failure to assign management control of Navy yards to a single bureau. But, this could not have been done easily until the Bureaus of Construction and Repair, and Engineering were merged in 1940 to form the Bureau of Ships. Once the Bureau of Ships was established and began to function smoothly, single bureau management control of Navy Yards, with all of its advantages, was an easy second step to take, certainly easier than it would have been at any time during the turbulent years of Navy Department administration following the Spanish-American War.

It is unnecessary to elaborate on the difference between the management control of the shore activities of the Navy as exercised by the bureaus and the actual on-the-spot management of activities, such as the Navy Yards. Decentralization of the latter task from the seat of government into the field had very early become necessary in the case of all of the Navy's shore establishments. Decentralization must, however, leave with the central organization the making of policies, the standardization of procedures of many kinds, the determination of missions, inspections, and the management control as well as the technical control of the various activities. The granting of authority commensurate with the responsibilities passed along in the process of decentralization is of even greater importance.

Some of these essentials to the successful administration of the Navy Department with respect to the Shore Establishment had, however, been given only vague and intermittent recognition through the years. The line between policy-making and giving effect to policies had in particular not always been observed, thus violating a fundamental principle of good administration. Those charged with formulating plans and making policy decisions had frequently, and still continue in many instances, to take on operating functions that should be performed by those charged with operating responsibility. The avoidance of such practices is one of the most important lessons to be learned from the administrative experiences of the Navy Department in World War II.


Table of Contents

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1. For further details on the development of the Shore Establishment, see "Early Naval Administration under the Constitution," by Charles Oscar Paulin, contained in Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland. Numbers 115, 119, 120, 122, 124, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 140, 151, and 152 cited hereafter as "Paulin."

2. Catalogue of Activities of the Navy, NAVEXOS P-76, Official Edition No. 1, January 1945. See also Secretary of the Navy Annual Report for Fiscal Year, 1945, Part III, Statistical Record of the Navy's War Program.

3. Secretary of the Navy Annual Report, 1902.

4. Paulin, p. 743, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, June 1913, whole No. 146.

5. One of the most articulate was Naval Constructor Holden A. Evans, U.S.N., who in 1940 set down his recollections of this phase in the development of Navy Yards in his book, One Man's Fight for a Better Navy (Dodd, Mead, 1940).

6. Hearings on the Proposed Reorganization of the Navy Department, Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, 1910, pp. 1802-1821, and Appendix No. 2, commonly known as the PANTHER Pamphlet, together with Appendices A to K, inclusive, bearing on the subject.

7. Assistant for Material to CNO, 7 Feb 1920. This letter is held by the War Records Section, Naval Branch of the National Archives, file No. 22376-96.

8. Memorandum of Chief of Bureau of Construction and Repair to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 6 June 1921. This memorandum is held by the War Records Section Naval Branch, National Archives, file 13508/a. Rear Admiral Taylor's line of reasoning did not come to fruition until 25 years later, when it was adopted by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal and the Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral King, by assigning management control of the navy yards to the Bureau of Ships.

9. An organization chart dated July 1, 1941, Appendix A, signed by the Director of SOSED, accompanying Vol. 1 of United States Naval Administration in World War II, Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Civilian Personnel goes into greater detail than given herein with respect to the duties of the various divisions of SOSED. The volume is in the History Division of the Navy Department and is hereafter cited as Civilian Personnel, Vol. I.

10. Rear Admiral C.W. Fisher, as a young Naval Constructor, had been one of the assistants of Holden A. Evans, previously mentioned, during the time the latter was introducing the principles of scientific shop management at the Mare Island Navy Yard. After tours of duty at other navy yards and in Brest, France, during World War I he served from 1921 to 1925 in the newly created Navy Yard Division. He again had duty at Mare Island, from 1925 to 1931 as Manager, followed by four years on the Pacific Coast Board of Inspection and Survey. In September 1935, he was ordered to duty in the Shore Establishment Division and became its Director on September 16, 1939. He remained on that duty until January 1944. He was the Navy Department's outstanding expert on all matters connected with the administration of the Shore Establishment at both the departmental and field levels.

11. Civilian Personnel, Vol. I, p. 29.

12. Civilian Personnel, Vol. I, p. 31.

13. Civilian Personnel, Vol. I, p. 33.

14. Rear Admiral H.E. Lackey, USN, "The Shore Station Development Board, A History of its Evolution," July 1937, with a continuation to 1942 by Commander O.L.C. Atkinson, USN. Unpublished manuscript held by the Navy Department Library.

15. SecNav letter SO 6251021 of June 25, 1942. The review function of the Shore Station Development Board was largely assumed by the two Councils in the Office of the CNO (the Home Base Development Council and the Overseas Base Development Council) which continued to rule on project priority until the Board was reestablished with CNO in 1946.

16. "Roll-up of Wartime Naval Organization Proceeding Rapidly," Navy Department Press Release, April 12, 1946.

17. Proposed letter SecNav dated September 13, 1943 to All Bureaus and Offices, Navy Department, including Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, and Headquarters, U.S. Coast Guard, and All Naval Shore Establishments, Symbol SO 9-13-43.

18. House Resolution 154 of the Seventy-Ninth Congress, First Session. Report contained in Document No. 85.

19. Secretary of the Navy letter of 14 Sept. 1945 "Reorganization of Navy Yards and establishment of Naval Bases," together with six attachments. (Copy on file in the Navy Department, History Division.)

20. Reference (a) is General Order No. 223 and Reference (c) SecNav Directive dated 4 June 1945, serial 221713, subject "Command Relationships in Naval Districts."

21. Secretary of the Navy Annual Report for fiscal year 1945, p. A-129.

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