To commemorate Veterans Day, Ancestry.com today added more than 600 Navy cruise books to its online collection of military records. This effort is the result of an agreement between Ancestry.com and the United States Navy.
The collection of Navy cruise books, available exclusively online at Ancestry.com, represents nearly 40 years of cruises following World War II (roughly 1950-1988) and chronicles an estimated 450,000 servicemen deployed at sea during that time. The Navy Department Library has on file an estimated 3,500 cruise books, which Ancestry.com plans to digitize and add to this collection over time.
Cruise books are modeled after yearbooks and typically include portraits of sailors, officers, and other personnel on board the ship. Other features of a cruise book may include candid photographs of crew members at work and play, details and history of the ship, and short biographies on officers. Below is a page taken from a Navy cruise book as an example.
A few famous personalities can also be found in the collection, including famed television host and comedian Johnny Carson. Carson is found in the 1946 edition of the U.S.S. Pennsylvania cruise book. Following World War II, Ens. Carson was assigned to the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, a battleship stationed in the Pacific. Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is also found in the collection in the 1946 edition of the U.S.S. Jacinto cruise book.
Above: Ens. Carson (third row from the front, seventh from the left) on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania.
The Navy cruise books are part of the Ancestry.com U.S. Military Collection, which includes 100 million names and spans more than three centuries of American military service. Now through Nov. 13th, Ancestry.com has made its entire U.S. Military Collection searchable for free.
If you’re like me, you have family members who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. My own father spent 30 years in the Air Force. Why not take a moment this Veterans Day to see if you can learn a bit more about your military heritage and visit Ancestry.com’s U.S. Military Collection.