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NavSource Naval History

FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find the Muster List for a ship and/or Deck Logs showing where the ship was and what it was doing.

Two official documents should provide you with the names of all who served aboard a particular ship. The first, the Deck Log is a daily summarized report of the operations of the ship along with administrative and legal comments about those aboard. The Muster Rolls list all those who served aboard in daily detail along with quarterly reports of the ship's company.

Deck Logs 1801 - 1940 / Muster Rolls 1801 - 1938

The Textual Reference Branch, National Archives, Washington, DC 20374, phone (301)837-3510, holds copies of the deck logs from 1801 through December 1940 , as well as microfilm copies of the muster rolls through 1938.

Deck Logs 1941 - 1974 / Muster Rolls 1939 - 1974

The Textual Reference Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 has custody of the Deck Logs from 1 January 1941 through 1974, as well as microfilm copies of the muster rolls from 1939 through 1974. Officer Muster Lists are included with the Deck Logs until May 1956 after which they are included in the microfilm muster rolls. Home addresses for enlisted personnel are extremely rare in either the Deck Logs or the Muster Lists. Officer home addresses were normally a part of the Deck Logs until after World War II. The Muster Roll microfilms normally include the Personnel Diary and the Quarterly Reports of the entire enlisted crew. By using the list of officers in the deck logs and the muster rolls, one should be able to compile a complete list of the entire ships complement. The Textual Reference Branch at College Park also has custody of the Bureau of Naval Personnel Casualty Files, which have the official list of Navy casualties for each World War II action. Also, in the NARA collections are the Ship's Action Reports, Casualty Reports, Damage Reports and World War II War Diaries.

Deck Logs, 1975 - 1978 / 1990 - Present

The deck logs from 1975 through 1978, and from 1990 to the present are at the Washington National Records Center, but access to them is controlled by the Deck Logs Section, Ships History Branch, Naval Historical Center, 901 M Street SE, Washington, DC 20374-5060, phone (202)433-0824. From 1979 through 1989, the logs only exist on microfiche which is held by the Deck Logs Section. For specific information contact the that office.

Muster Rolls, 1975 - Present

From 1975 to the present, the muster rolls are held by the Enlisted Personnel Management Center, Diary Control/Research Branch (Code 312), New Orleans, LA 70159.

Basic Reunion Information

First, check the individual Ship's Page within NavSource and see if a Reunion Contact is listed. If one is, this may be the quickest and easiest way to find a shipmate.

Individuals have had success in locating former and retired military personnel by placing advertisements or reunion notices in military oriented periodicals such as those appearing on the attached list. These magazines have a combined circulation of over one million and their readership includes many former and retired military personnel. The editors of the magazines should be contacted separately about placing advertisements.

An online search engine for all people listed in the U.S. telephone book white pages is available at

The Armed Forces World-Wide locators will forward letters to former members of the Navy, receiving retirement pay for active duty or reserve service. For this assistance, one should place their letter in a stamped envelope with just the name of the retired serviceman on the front and with no return address

to: Navy Reserve Personnel Center, 4400 Dauphin Street, New Orleans, LA 70149.

The United States Naval Institute in Annapolis, Maryland has established a reunion hot line (410-295-1023) that is operated by Ann Hassinger. The American Legion maintains a reunion service, VETS (900-737-8387). For $1.95 per minute, operators are on call Monday through Friday from 1 pm to 9 pm Eastern Standard Time to provide information on scheduled reunions registered with The American Legion magazine. The average call takes two minutes.

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This page was created by Paul R. Yarnall
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