Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Navy Online Journals

Navy Online Journals – http://www.navy.mil/navydata/infoIndex.asp?id=M

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What can you learn from a crashed plane?
  • How is the US Navy using unmanned helicopters?
  • Where can I find examples of Navy art?


This URL actually points to part of the Navy Information Index, which could be worth an entry of its own. The top part of this page points to the following online Navy magazines:

  • All Hands (August 1922 – Present) – The Magazine of the U.S. Navy
  • Chips (July 2004 – Present) – The Navy’s technical journal. Focus on IT
  • Naval Aviation News (Jan 1943 – Present) – the magazine of U.S. Navy aviation
  • Naval War College Review (June 1950 – Present)
  • Navy Reservist (2003 – Present) – the monthly publication of the Reserve Component
  • Shift Colors (January 2000 – Present) – The newsletter for Navy retirees
  • Undersea Warfare Magazine (Fall 1998 – Spring 2010) – the official magazine of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force

For the most part, these journals will be most helpful in establishing background and mood. All Hands, Naval Aviation News and Naval War College journals will probably be helpful for historical based stories or “How did they do it?” type questions. 

Here are a couple of example articles:

  • Technical Aviation Intelligence: Captured Equipment Reveals Enemy’s Secrets to Buaer’s Air Information Branch. Naval Aviation News. June 1943, page 1. – Provides information on the value of captured enemy equipment to Allied forces and describes in some detail how that value is extracted.
  • Bureau of Navigation News Bulletin No.1 (Now All Hands) August 30, 1922. A litany of complaints to Navy field personnel including a scolding for not turning in ships logs in the time and manner directed.
  • On 2d Anniversary… Waves Pass 70,000 All Hands, August 1944, page 8. Article on the Navy Women’s Reserve. Commended or freeing “enough officers and men to man a fleet of 10 battleships, 10 aircraft carriers, 28 cruisers and 50 destroyers.” Details on different types of positions that employed waves including but not limited to radio operators, navigation instructors, dentists, yeomans, chauffeur and film projectionists. Article notes that as of August 1944, Waves were limited to the continental United States

If you don’t have a high-speed internet connection, be aware that some of these magazines, especially the ones digitized from paper, may have large file sizes. For example, the August 1944 issue of “All hands” was 34 MB. Paper copies of most of these magazines ought to be available through Federal Depository Libraries or through interlibrary loan through your local library.


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