FREE, PUBLIC DOMAIN U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) Recognition ID Manual Plans Drawings of World War II Ships Vessels

Note: Because of computer graphics, the drawings may appear to be over-shaded and difficult to look at on the screen, but they should print out much more nicely at their real size. Long drawings are vertical for ease of printing.

All these drawings were scanned by me from original ONI recognition manuals -- and as U.S. government documents, they are public domain -- they are not from privately published reprintings and videodiscs.

I use these public domain plans to design my cardstock model ships -- See my photos of some I've constructed.
I also have, here on my webpage, free, relatively simple cardstock model plans of MONITOR, MERRIMAC(K/CSS VIRGINIA), a BUTLER class U.S. Navy Destroyer Escort (DE), a HUNT Type 1 class British escort destroyer, and the "Raubvogel" class German torpedoboot.

I maxed out my Tripod webpage space with ship drawings and am moving them to make space, so see also for ONI ship drawings, including Japanese merchant ships.

American -- U.S. Navy:


Cruisers: Destroyers:

The Royal Navy fought heroically throughout the war, suffering heavy casualties. Its ships were reliable and adequate, but its skilled, courageous, and aggressive officers and men made the victorious difference time and time again. As has been said (in the documentary film series "Victory At Sea" and) many times, the very aggressive Spirit of (Admiral Horatio) Nelson permeated the Fleet, and its enemies knew they would have a fight on their hands in any confrontation.


Aircraft Carriers: Cruisers:


Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN):
Japanese ships had beautiful, exotic lines (and designs). Crew comfort was a secondary priority, though.

Heavy Cruisers:

Light Cruisers: Destroyers:

Italian Regia Marina -- "The Cardboard Fleet":

German -- Kriegsmarine -- (More to come, if I have space on here):

Destroyers and Torpedoboats:

I have the basic FM 30-50/NAVAER 00-80V-57 Recognition Pictorial Manual of Naval Vessels volume, of course, as well as its Supplement No. 1 which contains the large scale plans for the British cruisers and destroyers.
The late war German destroyer and torpedoboat and (all the) Soviet plans were found in the July 1, 1950 ONI
200 manual. (Many of the lighter German ships had been awarded to the Soviets and French as war reparations.)
I finally found a good quality plan of the SIMS class destroyer in my recently acquired copy of ONI 54, although that may have been inserted as a supplement, in which case I have no idea when or where it was distributed.
I also have the late war ONI manual for ALL the Japanese merchant ships -- most having drawings. (The early war edition I interlibrary loaned from MIT lacked drawings for most ships.)
I have the complete, original ONI manual for Japanese warships, having photos of models taken from different angles, to facilitate recognition by aviators as well as gunnery officers. Those would be much too space-consuming, though.
I have gotten a complete copy of the 1943 ONI manual for Italian warships. Unhappily, it omits the Trieste/Trento heavy cruisers and early/weak Colleoni class light cruisers: they had already been sunk!
I also have the little 1941 War Department recognition booklets for the U.S., British, and French, but those appear to have been little more than reprintings of Jane's drawings which weren't sufficiently accurate.

If you are a friend, and/or if you would like to share info and ideas about military and naval history and game designing and cardstock model shipbuilding, feel free to write me at: Lou Coatney, 626 Western Ave., Macomb, IL 61455 USA ... or e-mail me at

You may also telephone me at (309)836-1447. You can leave a message and/or your mailing address on my recording machine if I don't answer; but I cannot afford to return calls.

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[4Mar04, revised 21Jun09 ]