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Frank M. Snyder papers

Identifier: MSC-137

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, articles, research materials, speeches and lectures, books, audio and video cassette tapes, maps, photographs, and scrapbooks relating to Frank M. Snyder’s naval and academic careers from 1941 through 2010. The bulk of this collection documents Snyder’s academic work following his retirement from the Navy in 1970. Included are various research materials, audiocassettes, slides, and other materials collected and utilized by Snyder for his lectures and publications on several topics such as naval battles of World War II, Navy command and control systems, naval operational planning, the attack of the Liberty in 1967, the Spanish-American War, and Newport as a fleet base.

Additionally, this collection includes three scrapbooks of documents collected by Snyder documenting his career from enlistment into the Navy through his retirement as a faculty member of the Naval War College. These scrapbooks include photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, certificates, Snyder’s naval orders, and some research information about the ships he served on during his active duty in the Navy.

This collection was arranged by Frank M. Snyder into related subjects, an order which has been respected by NHC staff members throughout the processing of this collection.


  • Creation: 1941-2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1969-1994


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Access is open to all researchers, unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Material in this collection is in the public domain, unless otherwise noted.

Biographical note

Captain Francis “Frank” Maurice Snyder, USN (Ret.) was born on March 28, 1926 in Sayre, Pennsylvania to Abraham Frank (1896-1994) and Mildred (Harrington) Snyder (1896-1984). Frank Snyder married Margaret “Maggie” Kelly (d. 2013) of Chicago, Illinois in 1950 and they had one child, Anne Louise

In May 1943, Snyder was selected for enlistment in the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Cornell University, transferring in February 1944 to continue his training at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. On 13 July 1944, Snyder was discharged from the V-12 program and entered the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) to complete his undergraduate education.

Following his graduation from the USNA in 1947, Snyder was commissioned as an ensign and advanced to the rank of Captain in 1969. On active duty in the Navy, Snyder specialized in surface warfare with a subspecialty in command and control. His duties at sea included assignments on nine ships and on the staff of Commander Sixth Fleet (twice an executive officer and twice in command). Ashore he served at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, twice on the staffs of Naval Forces Europe, three times on the Chief of Naval Operations staff with his last assignment there as the Naval Command and Control System Architect, and in the office of the Secretary of Defense as Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary (Telecommunications). During his naval career, Snyder earned a Masters’ degree from Stanford University in 1953 and received five personal decorations. He retired from active duty on 1 July 1976.

After his retirement from the Navy, Snyder worked in Washington, D.C. at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, on its Committee on Telecommunications and Computer Applications staff, and with the Mitre Corporation. Around 1980, the Synders moved to Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island, and Frank joined the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), as a member of its Operations Department. In 1985 he became Head of the Planning and Decision Making Division.

While on the faculty, Snyder created an elective course on Command and Control, which he taught annually for fourteen years. In 1987, at the request of the President of the National Defense University, he developed his elective course on Command and Control as a course that could be used by all war and staff colleges in the United States. His Command and Control course curriculum was first published in 1988 by the Center for Information Policy Research at Harvard University and, after some revisions, was republished by the National Defense University in 1993. Frank Snyder retired from the Naval War College in 1990 and at that time he was named the Raymond A. Spruance Professor Emeritus of Command and Control.

Chronology of Naval Service note

Born in Sayre, Pennsylvania
Joined Navy in V-12 program at Cornell University
Transferred to NROTC at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute
Attended and graduated from U.S. Navy Academy
USS Princeton
USS John W. Weeks
Instructor, NAPS, Newport, R.I.
USS Adirondack, Legal Officer and Communications Watch Officer
M.A., Stanford University
CO, USS Gull and CO Mine Division 33
Communications Plans Officer, CINCNELM, London, England
XO, USS Henley
USS Northampton
Placement officer, BUPERS
XO, USS Henley
Office of the CNO, Manpower Plans Division
USS Springfield; Sixth Fleet
Manpower Plan Officer and Inspector General, Naval Communications Command
Assistant Chief of Staff, Communications, CIC Naval Forces Europe
Assistant to the Secretary of State, Telecommunications
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Staff, CO, Telecommunications
Office of the CNO
Retirement from active duty
Employed by Mitre Corporation
Naval Operations Faculty, Naval War College
Retired from NWC, named Raymond A. Spruance Professor Emeritus of Command and Control


12.5 Linear Feet (11 half banker’s boxes, 10 Hollinger boxes, 1 half Hollinger box, 2 oversize boxes)


Frank M. Snyder (1926-2017 ) is a career naval officer who worked as a Professor and Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval War College. His papers include articles, research materials, speeches and lectures, audio and video cassette tapes, photographs, and scrapbooks relating to Snyder’s naval and professional academic career.


The collection is arranged into the following subjects:

  • Box 2-3: Battles of World War II - Pacific
  • Box 4-5: Battles of World War II - Atlantic
  • Box 6: Command and control
  • Box 7: The planning process
  • Box 8: Navy in Newport
  • Box 9-10: Attack on USS Liberty
  • Box 11-12, 16: Naval War College
  • Box 13-15: Battle of Santiago Bay, Spanish-American War
  • Box 17: Battle of Midway
  • Box 18-20: Talks and presentations
  • Box 21-22: Research and publications
  • Box 22-24: CAPT Frank M. Snyder’s active duty and academic career

Please note: Boxes 23, 25 and 26 include folders relating to multiple subjects. The folders in these two boxes are listed in the following inventory under their appropriate subject.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Frank M. Snyder in a number of installments, beginning in July 1992 through April 2015.

Related Materials

Captain Frank M. Snyder, USN (Ret.), OH 279, Naval Historical Collection, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I.

Processing Information

Former Archivist, Evelyn Cherpak, originally processed boxes 1 through 18, maintaining the order established by Snyder. Mr. Snyder had his papers arranged by subject and this was respected in all additions to his original donation.

In January 2016, Elizabeth Delmage processed the last accretion to this collection and created this finding aid from the box and folder list created in 2003. Items were removed from three-ring binders, but remain in plastic page protectors in archival folders.

Guide to the Frank M. Snyder papers1941-2010 (bulk 1969-1994)
Dacs Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Delmage.
Jan 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Naval War College Archives Repository

US Naval War College
686 Cushing Rd
Newport RI 02841 US