Since the United States Navy (USN) 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, but are most commonly called "Aircraft History Cards." Aircraft History Cards do not record the complete history and activity of an individual aircraft, not do they include information about missions, crew or the exact locations or manners of loss. They do serve as a compilation of the locations and assigned units of the aircraft at set inventory items or as a record of transfers between locations and units.
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.