Gerald R. Ford Museum
Exhibits, Events, Education Center

303 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616-254-0400 (tel)
616-254-0386 (fax)

Ford Museum Facebook Page

Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (Mon-Sat)
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sundays
(Closed New Year's, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Days)

Gerald R. Ford Library
Research, Events, Small Exhibits

1000 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

734-205-0555 (tel)
734-205-0571 (fax)

Ford Library Facebook Page

Hours: 8:45am-4:45pm (Mon-Fri)
(Closed Sat., Sun., & Federal Holidays)

Investigatory Records on Gerald R. Ford, Applicant for a Navy Commission, 1941-1942 (1975)

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Gerald R. Ford
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Gerald R. Ford, 1945 (Photograph H16-2)

Note on file formats:
The scans are stored as a PDF file. It requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader®. Adobe® also provides free PDF tools for the visually impaired.

View the Digitized File

Gerald Ford applied for a commission in the active Naval Reserve at age 28, less than a week after the Japanese bombing of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941.  His first choice was to serve in the intelligence branch, so the Navy began a background check to see if he qualified. This process took several months, during which Navy investigators checked government records and interviewed his high school principal, former employers, friends, and others.

The documents resulting from this investigation remained in the records of the Office of Naval Intelligence in the Department of the Navy until their transfer to the National Archives in 1987 as part of Record Group 289. The Ford Library has digitized the entire file (22 pages).