UNITED STATES NAVAL CHRONOLOGY, WORLD WAR II
Prepared in the Naval History Division, Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations, Navy Department.
Published by the United States Government Printing Office,
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Preface to United States Naval chronology, World War II
This United States Naval Chronology, World War II has been
complied in the Naval History Division of the Office of Naval
Operations, Navy Department, as a reference volume for official and
general use. The starting point is September 1, 1939, the date marking
the opening of World War II hostilities.
In order to avoid constant repetition of "U.S.", "U.S.S.",
"U.S.N.", etc., all ships, forces, aircraft, bases or stations, and
names of individuals appearing in the Chronology are American, unless
otherwise indicated. If a possibility existed for misunderstanding as
to nationality, an appropriate identifer has been used. To illustrate:
United States bases or stations established in territory not normally
under the United States flag have United States before the name of the
activity; American officers named in entries concerning Allied
operations have "USN", "USMC", or "USA" following their names.
The local date at the place of the event recorded has been used
but for one purposeful exception: the Gilbert Islands campaign in the
fall of 1943. These islands are in east longitude close to the
International Date Line, but as most of the action reports were found to
use west longitude dates, the same have been accepted in the Chronology.
Latitudes and longitudes shown for ship sinkings and damagings
have been arrived at by using the best available data. Nevertheless,
they must be approached with reservation, for in any number of instances
the original records only give approximate position.
No amphibious types smaller than the Landing Ship Tank (LST) have
been included with the ship casualties.
It is believed that the abbreviations and designations used in the
Chronology will be understood without difficulty. United States naval
ships are always shown with the type written before the name, and the
type designator and individual hull number following in parenthesis,
i.e., submarine Gato (SS-212), destroyer Bailey (DD-492). Naval
aircraft squadron designators may not be as familiar. Their meanings
VPB....Patrol Bombing Squadron
The initial draft for a naval chronology was prepared in the Naval
History Division by Lt. Comdr. Dorothy E. Richard, USN (W), with
assistance from Mrs. Constance D. Lathrop, then Navy Department
Librarian, and the Library staff. Rear Adm. Samuel Eliot Morison, USNR
(Ret.), reviewed the manuscript at this stage, and offered many helpful
suggestions. Comdr. Miles S. Whitener, USN, checked it, particularly
with an eye for naval aviation items.
In 1954, the chronology draft was turned over to Mr. William J.
Morgan (Lt. Comdr., USNR, Inactive), Head of the Historical Research
Section in the Naval History Division, with instructions to prepare the
manuscript for publication. It was rewritten, revised, and reexamined
in the light of sources made available since the original was complied.
In bringing the Chronology to its present form, Mr. Morgan had the
research assistance of Lt. Harold P. Deeley, Jr., USN; Lt. Jack F.
Ayers, USN; Lt.(jg.) Thomas J. Wohlgemuth, USNR; Lt. (jg.) William J.
Keogh, USNR; Lt. (jg) Henry A, Vadnais, Jr., USNR; and Lt. (jg.) Edwin
S. Mullett, USNR. assigned to his Section at different times.
Conspicuous among those who supplied answers to innumerable
questions are Miss Loretta I. MacCrindle, Head of the Classified
Operational Archives Branch, naval History Division, and her assistant,
Miss Barbara A. Gilmore; Mr. Frederick S. Meigs, in the Navy Department
Library; Miss Meta K. Hannay, of the Shore Establishment Development and
Maintenance Division, and Mr. Adrian O. Van Wyen in the Aviation History
Unit of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Miss Helen R.
Fairbanks, in the Bureau of Yards and Docks, and Mrs. Jessie M. Miller,
in the Bureau of Ships. Much information for Appendix I was supplied by
Mrs. Olive A. Finch, in the Officer Records Branch of the Bureau of
Naval Personnel. Mr. Roger Pineau and Mr. Donald R. Martin, assistants
to Rear Admiral Morison, in the Operational History Section, Naval
History Division, dug into their files for essential material. A
difficult and lengthy typing job was handled by Samuel C. Anaya, YN2,
USN; Raymond E. Gorsky, YN2, USN; and Miss Nancy J. Lindemuth. Charts
for the end pages were prepared by the Hydrographic Office. At various
stages, and in the final editing, I had the help and constructive
criticism of Capt. Samuel G. Kelly, USN (Ret.), Assistant Director of
To all go appreciation and thanks.
John B. Heffernan, Retired Admiral, USN (Ret.)
Directory of Naval History
March 17, 1955