USS North Carolina in Wilmington, NC
USS Nimitz
LST-World War II



The Ships table is the most comprehensive and nearly complete of the tables in this site. It includes about 48,800 different vessels. It is primarily, but not exclusively, Navy ships, that have helped make American history.

Fewer than half of the vessels in the table are named. Most of the others are identified only by a number but one that is unique to that vessel (called hull numbers by the Navy.) The most famous of the latter is PT-109, John Kennedy’s PT boat that was sunk in World War II. Another famous group is the “LSTs”, the Landing Ships-Tank of World War II fame. (Some crew members who served on these big, ungainly vessels said that LST stood for Large Slow Target.) Following World War II, the Navy started giving the LSTs names, but those in the war were identified only by their hull numbers.


The most authoritative and most common source of information about the Navy’s commissioned and named ships, plus the LSTs, is the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS). This series of eight books was published by the Navy and was not available through commercial book stores. The books are now out of print, but are available through the used book market. Much if not all of their content is now also available on line at

Many thousands of watercraft had non-unique numbers, or semi-unique numbers, the latter including landing craft that carried the number of the transport that carried them plus a number of their own (such as PA-91-15). I have not tried to include these latter craft in this project.

The World War II Commercial Fleet

The Navy in World War II utilized many commercial vessels, even in the dangerous landing operations, the most famous being the Liberty Ships, which were mostly freighters, and their larger replacements, the Victory Ships. These and other commercial vessels from that war are included in the table. The U.S. built thousands of these ships and other commercial type ships during and shortly after World War II. Lists of the various types of commercial design ships built for the war, and separate lists of what ships were built by each shipyard, are at the Maritime Commission site,

Some of these were turned over to the Navy to operate, but most were operated by commercial shipping companies, even in battle and particularly in dangerous convoys crossing the Atlantic.

The liberty ships were named for people, and a book has been published that identifies who these people were. It is Liberty Ships, the People Behind the Names, compiled by Capt. Robert Deschamps and published in 1999. It is probably available on line.

The Army’s Ships
The Army has also used thousands of ships and other watercraft over the years, especially in the Civil War and World War II. Major sources of information about these vessels are:

The Army’s Navy Series Volume I, Marine Transportation in War. The U.S. Army
Experience 1775-1860, by Charles Dana Gibson and E. Kay Gibson

The Army’s Navy Series Volume II, Assault and Logistics Union Army Coastal and River Operations 1861-1866 by Charles Dana Gibson and E. Kay Gibson

U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II, by David H. Grover

Smaller Vessels

Many books and web sites have been published about the tens of thousands of smaller vessels that the Navy used during World War II. I have found several of them and am sure there are many more that I’m not aware of.

Two fine examples are:

Ten Thousand Men and One Hundred Thirty “Mighty Midget” Ships–The U.S.S. LCS(L)s in World War II, by Raymond A. Baumler. This is about the Landing Ship Support (Large) vessels. This book was privately published and printed in 1991 by PIP Printing, Rockville MD.

At Close Quarters, PT Boats in the United States Navy, by Robert J. Bulkley, Jr. This book has extensive information about the history of each PT-Boat, many of the men who served on them, and their organizations. This book was first printed in 1962 for the Navy by the Government Printing Office, and has been reprinted by the Naval Institute Press.

Ruwix is a collection of online puzzle programs and tutorials. Discover the secret of your unsolved Rubix Cube.


Boxer Brig C & D Churchill Middletown CT Lost 1817-10-25 1st Boxer
14 gun brig
Launched 1815. Commissioned 1815
Gulf of Mexico, protecting American commerce and suppressing slave trade
Lost off Balize 10/25/1817. Crew saved
Boxer Brigantine 1905-05-11 Portsmouth Navy Yard Portsmouth NH Transferred 1920-05-14 4th Boxer
Newport RI as training vessel
1912-14, Naval Academy
Returned to Newport
Transferred May 14 1920 to Department of Interior
Boxer CV 21 Ticonderoga 1945-04-16 * Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA Reclas 5th Boxer
Busy Bee
Korean War
Reclassified CVA-21, qv, Oct 1952
Reclassified CVS-21, qv, 11/15/1955
Reclassified LPH 4, qv, 1/30/1959
8 Battle Stars Korean War as CV and CVA
Boxer CVA 21 * Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA Reclas 1955-11-15 5th Boxer
Reclassified CVA-21 Oct 1952
Reclassified CVS-21 11/15/55
Reclassified LPH 4, 1/30/59
Boxer CVS 21 1955-11-15 * Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA Reclas 1959-01-30 5th Boxer
Reclassified CVA-21 Oct 1952
Reclassified CVS-21 11/15/1955
Reclassified LPH 4, 1/30/1959
Boxer LHD 4 Wasp 1995-02-11 Ingalls Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Pascagoula MS Active San Diego 6th Boxer
Boxer LPH 4 1959-01-30 Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA 5th Boxer
Originally commissioned CV-21, qv
Reclassified CVA-21, qv, Oct 1952
Reclassified CVS-21, qv, 11/15/1955
Reclassified LPH 4,1/30/1959
Decommissioned and struck Dec 1 1969
Sold Feb 1971 for scrapping
Boxer Sch 1831-11-22 Boston Navy Yard Boston MA Sold 1848-08-07 2nd Boxer
Launched Nov 22 1831
1840, re-rigged as brig
Laid up 1844
Recommissioned 1846
Sold Aug 7 1848
Boxer SwGbt 1865-06-21 Greenock SL Sold 1868-09-01 3rd Boxer
Ex Tristram Shandy, qv
Renamed Boxer Jun 21 1865
Sold Sep 1 1868
Renamed Firefly