United States Navy Aircraft History Cards (Microfilm)

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0462
Creators:
United States. Navy
Dates:
1911-1973
Languages:
English
English
Physical Description:
1.96 cubic feet
128 35mm microfilm boxes; 63 16mm microfilm boxes; 1 microfilm carton
Repository:
This collection consists of duplicate microfilm of individual aircraft records for USN aircraft. (Master films held by Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Department of the Navy). Each record consists of location of aircraft at each monthly inventory, as well as listings for transfer of custody between regular inventories. Includes information on units, flight times, time since overhaul, etc. from acceptance by USN until stricken from USN register. Material consists of five major sets: Aircraft, 1911-1949 (all aircraft, all records); Stricken Aircraft, 1949-1962 (records for aircraft removed from USN inventory during time period); Stricken Aircraft, Dec 1962-Jun 1965 (records for aircraft removed from USN inventory during time period); Active Aircraft, Dec 1962-Jun 1965 (records for aircraft still on USN inventory in Jun 1965); and Active Aircraft, Jun 1965 and subs. The records of active aircraft are in fiscal year groupings. The records are received by fiscal year as they are declassified. For the most part the aircraft purchased on Navy controlled contracts for supply under Lend-Lease or later similar defense aid programs are not included in these records. There are over 120 reels of 35 mm and over 60 reels of 16 mm microfilm holding these records.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
In 1963 the Navy began microfilming the machine-printed AHCs for all stricken aircraft, resulting in 47 rolls of 35mm microfilm covering the 1950-1962 time period. The next year the Navy microfilmed the AHCs up through 1949 for all aircraft, resulting in 62 rolls of 35mm microfilm. With the transition to Fiscal Year activity reports the Navy microfilmed the AHCs for all aircraft stricken since the 1963 filming and for all aircraft active as of 1965, resulting in two sets of 16mm microfilm covering the period 1950-1965, one for the stricken aircraft (6 rolls) and one for active aircraft (13 rolls). From then on the activity records for each fiscal year were microfilmed on either 35mm or 16mm microfilm. In each case, loose AHCs were microfilmed in BuNo. order and computer-generated listings (either printout or direct to microfilm) were sorted in BuNo. order. The following table summarizes the film sets and microfilm types:
SeriesRecord TypeRollsFilm Size
1949records 1911-1949, all aircraft (handwritten AHCs)6235mm
1962records 1950-1962, aircraft stricken 1950-1962 (machine AHCs)4735mm
1965records 1950-1965, aircraft stricken 1962-1965 (machine AHCs)616mm
1965arecords 1950-1965, aircraft active as of 1965 (machine AHCs)1316mm
1966records for FY1966, all active aircraft (FY AHCs)735mm
1967records for FY1967, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)635mm
1968records for FY1968, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)635mm
1969records for FY1969, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)416mm
1970records for FY1970, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)416mm
1971records for FY1971, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)316mm
1972records for FY1972, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)316mm
1973records for FY1973, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1974records for FY1974, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)316mm
1975records for FY1975, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1976records for FY1976, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1976trecords for FY197T, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)116mm
1977records for FY1977, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1978records for FY1978, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1979records for FY1979, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1980records for FY1980, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1981records for FY1981, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1982records for FY1982, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1983records for FY1983, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1984records for FY1984, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1985records for FY1985, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
1986records for FY1986, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)216mm
The NASM holdings of these records consist of duplicate copies of the microfilm through FY1986, comprising 128 rolls of 35mm microfilm and 63 rolls of 16mm microfilm. The series identifications were assigned by NASM during the preparation of this finding aid to make explicit the different dates and record types included in the microfilm. The note "NASM M###" gives the roll identification assigned by the National Air and Space Museum in the 1960s when all microfilm held by NASM was sequentially numbered regardless of collection; these numbers are included for historical purposes and are cross-referenced in M-number order in Appendix 1 (page 12). More information regarding Navy Aircraft History Cards, and naval aviation in general, please contact the United States Navy at:
Naval Aviation History Office Building 157-1 Washington Navy Yard 901 M St, SE Washington, DC 20374-5060

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
This collection is arranged into the following series:
Series I: 1949 - records 1911-1949, all aircraft (handwritten AHCs) Series II: 1962 - records 1950-1962, aircraft stricken 1950-1962 (machine AHCs) Series III: 1965 - records 1950-1965, aircraft stricken 1962-1965 (machine AHCs) Series IV: 1965a - records 1950-1965, aircraft active as of 1965 (machine AHCs) Series V: 1966 - records for FY1966, all active aircraft (FY AHCs) Series VI: 1967 - records for FY1967, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series VII: 1968 - records for FY1968, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series VIII: 1969 - records for FY1969, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series IX: 1970 - records for FY1970, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series X: 1971 - records for FY1971, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XI: 1972 - records for FY1972, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XII: 1973 - records for FY1973, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XIII: 1974 - records for FY1974, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XIV: 1975 - records for FY1975, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XV: 1976 - records for FY1976, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XVI: 1976t - records for FY197T, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Sereis XVII: 1977 - records for FY1977, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XVIII: 1978 - records for FY1978, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XIX: 1979 - records for FY1979, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XX: 1980 - records for FY1980, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XXI: 1981 - records for FY1981, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XXII: 1982 - records for FY1982, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XXIII: 1983 - records for FY1983, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XXIV: 1984 - records for FY1984, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XXV: 1985 - records for FY1985, all active aircraft (FY computer printout) Series XXVI: 1986 - records for FY1986, all active aircraft (FY computer printout)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Since the United States Navy began to acquire aircraft before World War I it has maintained a variety of records relating to the aircraft in its inventory. From 1913 on it recorded information about individual aircraft added to the inventory from its being accepted until stricken from the list. Such records have had a number of official names --Aircraft Record, Aircraft History Card, etc --but are most commonly called "Aircraft History Cards." Originally the records were compiled by hand, but in 1950 the Navy converted its record-keeping system entirely to electronic methods.
Aircraft History Cards do not record the complete history and activity of an individual aircraft. They do not include information about missions or crews, nor do they record exact locations or manners of loss. Rather, they serve as a compilation of the locations and assigned units of the aircraft at set inventory times or as a record of transfers between locations or units. The type of information included and its presentation changes over time and falls into two main groups:
through December 1949
This period actually covers several different styles of record cards, but all are hand-written. The cards themselves are all preprinted and have various Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) form numbers and titles. The earliest, the "Aircraft Record," followed the aircraft through production to acceptance, then listed shipment information and trouble reports until the aircraft was stricken from the Navy list. Later, unnamed, forms continued this presentation until c.1939 when the Aircraft History Card (AHC) began to come into use (the transition is not uniform). The AHC recorded the location and unit assignment of the aircraft at the end-of-month inventory period and recorded dates of transfer in and out of the unit. Unfortunately, no inventory information was recorded for most aircraft for the late-1943 through mid-1944 period. Lend-lease aircraft purchased under Navy contract for delivery to allied powers were not recorded unless and until they returned to U.S. Navy custody. The AHC remained the standard record form until the end of 1949.
January 1950 and October 1986
Beginning in 1950, the Navy changed the format of the AHC and began to utilize electronic equipment to maintain its inventory records. From 1950 on AHCs were machine printed and recorded each transfer or change of status. Each such entry included location and unit assignment as before, but now also included aircraft status, flying time, number of landings, and age. In Fiscal Year 1966 1 (1 July 1965 to 30 June 1966) the Navy changed to a smaller (punch card sized) card listing only the activity for one aircraft during that fiscal year only. Beginning in FY1967, instead of printing the activity information on separate cards for each aircraft, the Navy printed out a single listing for all aircraft showing all the activity during the Fiscal Year, sorted by aircraft BuAer Number (BuNo.) and date. The printouts were in the same format as the machine-printed AHCs, but only contained the activity for a single year. In the mid 1980s the Navy did away with printouts entirely and printed the Fiscal Year activity directly to microfilm.
October 1986 and subsequent
According to the Naval Historical Center, the inventory records after the beginning of Fiscal Year 1987 (1 October 1986) are apparently available only in the Navy's on-line systems. As of this writing no hard-copy versions of these records are available.
1 Until 1976, the United States government fiscal year ran 1 July to 30 June. In 1976, the fiscal year was changed to run 1 October to 30 September. The three-month period between 30 June 1976 (end of FY76) and 1 October 1976 (start of FY77) was designated Fiscal Year 197T (for transitional).

Administration
Processing Information note
Arranged and described by Paul Silbermann, September 2000.
Encoded by Amanda Buel, 2014.
Author
Paul Silbermann
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Department of the Navy, Transfer, XXXX-0462

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use note
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Conditions Governing Access note
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation note
United States Navy Aircraft History Cards, Acc. XXXX-0462, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Microfilms Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airplanes, Military Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airplanes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aircraft history cards Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Military Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Navy Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/