Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Finding Aid for ONI Records at NARA II College Park

According to Douglas Richmond in The Archaeologist Was a Spy: Sylvanus G. Morley and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Tim Nenninger created a finding aid for ONI records held at the NARA.
Here's a finding aid to the ONI records related to Interagency Groups on Nazi Assets that he helped compile.


File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat by DRG BRADSHER Mahoney, Marty McGann, Tim Nenninger, Dave Pfeiffer, Ken Schlessinger,This series is arranged mostly by the ONI Monograph Guide which is a numeric ...


This finding aid was prepared for the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets, directed by Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, the Under Secretary of Commerce. The finding aid is part of a report for the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets that was prepared under the direction of Dr. William Z. Slany, Chief Historian of the Department of State.

Development of this finding aid actually predated the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets,
beginning in early April 1996, when researchers began asking about our holdings relating to Swiss banks. The Archives II Textual Reference Branch staff was canvassed and a ten-page finding aid was produced by the preparer of this finding aid. It was made available to researchers on April 19, 1996. It identified the records in a half-dozen record groups and identified pertinent series of records. For the next six months an increasing number of researchers desired more information and, thus, the initial finding aid was periodically updated. Then in November 1996, with increased interest in the multitude of questions relating to Nazi looted assets, particularly gold, and the creation of the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets, increased attention was devoted to expanding the finding aid. The present version, prepared for the Interagency Group on Nazi nAssets, is not the end of NARA’s efforts to provide “ready access to essential evidence.” As time permits and researcher interest continues this finding aid will be periodically updated.

Purpose of the Finding Aid

The purpose of this finding aid is to assist researchers locating within the National Archives at bCollege Park those records that pertain not only to the subject matter of the report but also to those records relating to the broader subjects listed in the title to the finding aid.

Specifically, the finding aid provides a guide to records pertaining to:
• efforts in 1940-1942 to freeze, block, and seize Axis and other assets located in the United States; efforts, in conjunction with the Allies, during the 1942-1944 period, to blockade the Axis to prevent them from obtaining the resources necessary to wage war;
efforts during 1944 and 1945, to prevent the Axis from secreting and cloaking their assets in neutral and other countries (i.e., the Safehaven Program); efforts in 1945 and in the aftermath of the war to locate looted and other Axis assets; The U.S. postwar role in restitution and reparation activities; and, The U.S. diplomatic efforts to work with the neutral countries to obtain the return of and disposition of Axis looted assets as well as other enemy assets.

This finding aid is by no means comprehensive, given the wealth of the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and given the time constraints in its preparation.

There are, most likely, other series of records within the Record Groups mentioned as well as series in Record Groups not mentioned that contain information about World War II economic warfare, Nazi looted assets, Safehaven Program activities, post-war restitution and reparation activities, and the financial and diplomatic aftermath of the war. There is also a possibility that some pertinent records are still in the legal custody of one or more Federal agencies. This finding aid, nevertheless, should provide researchers with a relatively full guide to the archival records in College Park and give clues where other material may be held.

The National Archives and Records Administration and Archival Records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) acquires, preserves, and makes available for research records of enduring value created or received by organizations of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government. A relatively substantial amount of the NARA holdings relate to World War II and are held in its facility in College Park, Maryland. Other NARA facilities hold many records and donated material related to World War II, including records related to the subjects covered in this finding aid. This is particularly true of the Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Harry S Truman, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Libraries. Researchers should contact the other NARA facilities for assistance in their research

Arrangement of Archival Records

NARA arranges its holdings according to the archival principle of “provenance.” This principle provides that records be attributed to the agency that created or maintained them and arranged there under as they were filed when in active use. In the National Archives, application of the principle of provenance takes the form of numbered record groups, with each record group comprising the records of a major government entity, usually a bureau of an independent agency.

Most record groups include records of any predecessors of the organization named in the title of the record group. A few record groups combine the records of several small or short-lived agencies having an administrative or functional relationship with each other.
Within a record group, the records of a government agency are organized into series. Each series is a set of documents arranged according to the creating office’s filing system or otherwise kept together by the creating office because they related to a particular subject or function, result from the same activity, document a specific kind of transaction, take a particular physical form, or have some other relationship arising out of their creation, receipt, or use.

NARA endeavors to keep records in the order in which they were maintained by the creating agency, in the belief that this best preserves their integrity and interrelationships. The agency filing systems were designed for administrative purposes and not for the benefit of future researchers. This finding aid seeks to assist subject-oriented researchers in understanding the complexities of the recordkeeping systems and in locating relevant material among the vast quantities of records.

Introduction to the Finding Aid

This finding aid is divided into three parts--the records of military agencies, records of civilian agencies, and records in the National Archives Gift Collection. The latter are subdivided by the individual who donated their personal papers to NARA. The military and civilian agency sections of the finding aid are subdivided by Federal agency and then by Record Group.

Within each Record Group the descriptions of the records are, for the most part, in a hierarchial order. For each series of records a Series Title is provided. In most instances the date span of the series is provided as well as the series entry number. In many instances an arrangement statement and full description of the records in the series is provided. When applicable, the total number of boxes in the series is given along with the beginning location of the series. Where specific boxes are identified, the exact box location is provided. When a folder or file title in a particular box or boxes of a series is given, the term “File Title” is used to indicate only certain file titles are identified; when all the files in a box or series are given then the term “File Titles” is used.

The location of each series of records at Archives II at College Park, Maryland, is provided, with the stack area, the row, the compartment, and the shelf where the series begins. When specific boxes are indicated, generally the exact location of the box or boxes is given. Thus a location of 450/34/7/01 would mean stack area 450, row 34, compartment 7, and shelf 1. There is one exception to this general guidance. The newly accessioned Department of Treasury records, mainly from the predecessor offices of the Office of International Affairs, have been declassified and moved to an unclassified stack area. To make the pertinent records more accessible we have moved many boxes, including those of several other Federal agencies, to the Textual Research Room (Room 2000) hold area. Thus the location for these newly declassified records is the Compartment Number. Also provided is the original stack location.

For example: Compartment 6 [450/34/33/01]. Records in stack 631, as a general rule, are classified. As they are declassified, they are being moved to nonclassified stack areas. Thus, researchers should check with the staff to determine whether records identified as being in stack 631 are still classified or have been moved to a new location.

Access to the Records

Almost all of the records described in this finding aid are located in the Archives II building in College Park, Maryland. The records are serviced by the Textual Reference Division. The Division’s Archives II Textual Reference Branch assists researchers in locating records and the Division’s Archives II User Services Branch assists researchers in the research room. Some of the records are microfilmed as NARA microfilm publications and those records are self-service.

These microfilm publications are located in Room 4050 of the Archives II Building. Other NARA facilities have copies of many of these microfilm publications. To contact the Textual Reference Branch about our holdings or to request records please call 301- 713-7250 and ask to speak to either a military records archivist or a civilian agency records archivist depending upon the records in which you are interested. Please be as specific as possible so you may be directed to an appropriate staff member. If you would like to write us, please do so at the following address: Archives II Textual Reference Branch (NWDT2), Textual Reference Division, Office of Records Services-Washington, Room 2400, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001

The Naval Establishment Records

Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (RG 38)

By an Executive order of December 18, 1941, the Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet was removed from the authority of the Chief of Naval Operations and was put in supreme command of the Navy’s operating forces. On March 12, 1942, however, another Executive order made provision for combining the duties of the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and those of the Chief of Naval Operations and assigned them to one office with the title of “Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations.” This official would serve as the principal naval adviser to the President on the conduct of the war, and principal naval adviser and executive to the Secretary of the Navy on the conduct of the activities of the Naval Establishment. Admiral Ernest J. King, who had become Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, in December 1941, was given the dual role, and retained it during the remainder of the war. As Chief of Naval Operations he succeeded Admiral Harold R. Stark, who had held that office since before the outbreak of the war in Europe in 1939.

Records of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Administrative) Division of Pan American Affairs and United States Naval Missions 1940-1946 With the outbreak of World War II, the increased importance and complexity of problems with respect to Latin American relations resulted in the establishment of a Pan American Division set up directly under the Chief of Naval Operations in January 1942. Rear Admiral W. O. Spears, who had been named Director of the new division, had previously been assigned duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in June 1940 to exercise overall supervision of naval missions.

After World War II, the division became the Division of Pan American Affairs and United States Naval Missions, responsible for the administering of United States naval missions and advisory groups; for assisting in plans for effective naval cooperation with the American republics; and for the arranging of training in the United States of armed forces personnel of these and other countries.

Correspondence relating to Hemispheric Security 1940-1945 (Entry 48B)

This series contains copies of intelligence reports prepared by naval and military attaches
in Latin American countries concerning political elections; political developments; and other related subjects. Also included are memorandums concerning agreements made during the years 1940-1942 for cooperation against possible Axis aggression. Most of the records relate to Lend Lease. The records are arranged by country and thereunder according to an alpha-numeric filing scheme.

Boxes 1-2 location: 370/12/13/05
Records of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Operations)

The Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Operations), holding the rank of Vice Admiral,
under the authority and direction of the Chief of Naval Operations, prepared strategic plans and policies and was responsible for the organization, operational development, readiness, administration, and operations of seagoing forces, sea frontiers, and overseas naval command areas. He had the overall direction of the Intelligence Service, evaluated and disseminated operational information, and had representation on joint operational agencies.

Records of the Office of Naval Intelligence

During World War II the Naval Intelligence Division was part of the “Services” group
under the Sub Chief of Naval Operations. During the war the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) was responsible for the collection and distribution of naval intelligence for Navy bureaus and offices. It cooperated closely with the Military Intelligence Division (MID), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, the Office of U.S. Censorship, and the British Imperial Censorship Office. Since Headquarters, Commander-in-Chief , United States Fleet (COMINCH) and ONI both carried on intelligence activities, a more clear-cut distinction was made between them when COMINCH established the Combat Intelligence Division on July 1, 1943. The general line of demarcation between their duties was that the Naval Intelligence Division was responsible for strategic intelligence and the Combat Intelligence Division was responsible for operational intelligence.

The Foreign Economic Administration (FEA) asked the Office of Naval Intelligence to
furnish Safehaven data to it whenever possible. In case at least, that of Tangier, the Naval Attache sent reports of a very useful nature relating to enemy assets and enemy influence in that territory.

On the basis of its reception of these reports, the FEA requested that naval attaches in other neutral territories be requested to initiate similar studies.

ONI in April 1945, issued a special report (FT-11-2-45) defining its Safehaven program
and tying it in with current Naval interests. The report was planned to expedite the securing of Safehaven data and was distributed to Naval Commands abroad, Naval Attaches, Liaison Officers, and District Intelligence Officers.80 General Records 80 Clarke, “Safehaven Study,” p. 113.

Formerly Security Classified Administrative Correspondence 1941-1945 (Entry 85A)

This series is arranged according to the Navy Filing Manual, a copy of which is
located in the consultation area in Room 2400.

Boxes 1-451 location: 370/14/14/02
Subject Index to Naval Attache Reports in Series 98A, 98B, and 98C 1940-1947
(Entry 95A)81

This index is arranged alphabetically under 30 major headings, including: all nations;
commerce; financial; government, foreign relations; social and economic conditions; and, societies and organizations. Under each of the major headings the cards are arranged by subject or country, and there under by subject or country. Included on the cards are register number, file designation, date, title, the source of the information, and the original security classification on the document.

Also included on some cards are lists of the enclosures to the document and cross-references to other subjects in the index. The index has been microfilmed and is available as NARA Microfilm
Publication M1332.
Boxes 1-35 location: 370/13/9/05

Formerly Confidential Reports of Naval Attaches 1940-1946 (Entry 98A)

This series consists of intelligence reports submitted by naval attaches based upon their
observations concerning foreign naval activities. Most reports contain military, economic, and political information about the country. The series is arranged by subject classification number and there under numerically. See series 95A for a subject index for the World War II intelligence
summaries and reports.

Boxes 1-1276 location: 370/13/10/01
Confidential Reports of Naval Attaches 1940-1946 (Entry 98A)
This series is arranged alphabetically by the name of a city.
Boxes 1277-1349 location: 370/14/1/04
Formerly Secret Reports of Naval Attaches 1940-1945 (Entry 98B)

These records are much like those described above but were classified Secret. Arranged by subject classification number and thereunder numerically , with a few reports arranged by a separate number scheme at the end of the series. See series 95A for a subject index for the World

War II intelligence summaries and reports.
Boxes 1-488 location: 370/14/3/01
Formerly Top Secret Reports of Naval Attaches 1940-1947 (Entry 98C)

These records are much like those described in series 98A. Also included in this series is
correspondence relating to counter-espionage activities within the various embassies; excerpted foreign intelligence reports; and comments on current political events in foreign countries. The records are arranged by top secret document control number. 41 rolls 35mm negative microfilm;
19 rolls 35mm positive microfilm contained in boxes 16 and 17. Boxes 1-15 contained textual
records. A partial list of files is available in the first box of the series, as well as in the
consultation area in Room 2400.

Boxes 1-17 location: 370/14/13/03

Records of the Foreign Intelligence Branch

The Foreign Intelligence Branch was responsible for the obtaining, evaluating, and
disseminating information concerning foreign countries, especially that affecting naval and maritime matters. In addition, it directed the activities of US naval attaches and maintained liaison with foreign naval attaches accredited to the United States. An important aspect of the Branch’s task was the preparation of the so-called naval monographs, which were compiled for all countries with sea power. The monographs, which were indexed and kept current, supplied essential naval, political, and economic information in regard to possible enemies or allies.

Foreign Intelligence Branch Office and Historical Files 1939-1945 (Entry UD2)
Boxes 1-6 location: 370/14/35/06
Box # Subject
4 ONI Liaison Office to Board of Economic Warfare, 1942-1945
German Monograph Files 1939-1945 (Entry UD78)

This series is arranged mostly by the ONI Monograph Guide which is a numeric filing

Boxes 1-35 location: 370/15/27/07
Latin America Monograph Files 1920-1945 (Entry UD83)

This series is arranged first alphabeticlly by the name of the country and thereunder by the ONI Monograph Guide which is a numeric filing system.
Boxes 1-67 location: 370/15/29/01
Foreign Publications and Reports 1940-1950 (Entry UD 88)
Arranged alphabetically by name of country/geographical location. A folder list is
available in the consultation area in Room 2400.
Boxes 1-76 location: 370/15/30/06

Correspondence with Naval Attaches, Observers, and Liaison Officers 1930-1948

(Entry UD3)
Arranged alphabetically by name of cities.
Boxes 1-6 location: 370/14/35/07
Boxes 7-18 location: 370/15/1/02
Records of the Foreign Trade Section

Formerly Security Classified Reports and Dispatches Recieved Related to Enemy

Shipping 1941-1945 (Entry 176)
This series, which is arranged topically (sometimes by the name of ship), contains
intelligence reports, dispatches, booklets, pamphlets, and other material received from Europe and the Far East relating to enemy shipping, axis blockade runners and raiders.
81 This series also contains references to Reports (“Registers”) of Naval Attaches, 1886-1922 (Entry 98), which are located in the Archives I Building and serviced by the Archives I Textual Reference


Linda Minor said...

Have you read "Lee Harvey Oswald---a U.S. Intelligence Agent: The Evidence," Presentation by Hal Verb? It's at http://www.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/07th_Issue/copa_lho.html

William Kelly said...

Thanks Linda, I did miss that and will post it. BK