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Vessels of the Maritime Administration

Vessel History Database

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) and its predecessor agencies, the U.S. Maritime Commission, the War Shipping Administration and the United States Shipping Board, built, owned, operated, or subsidized thousands of merchant vessels, predominantly during the two world wars. A large number of these vessels joined the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). The agency also owned and chartered active commercial vessels and subsidized the construction and operation of privately-owned vessels. More recently, MARAD began support of U.S.-flag commercial vessels through the Maritime Security Program.

You can learn more about the 12,000-plus ships owned, operated, or subsidized by MARAD and its predecessor agencies in the MARAD Vessel History Database.

This database includes vessel characteristics, images of vessel status cards, and, for select vessels, photographs, milestones, documents, and narrative histories.

Vessel Documentation

MARAD documents NDRF vessels in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and to ensure that a record of their legacy remains after they are recycled. For more information, see: National Historic Preservation Act Assessments.

Examples of vessel documentation also include: