Deck Log Policy and Information related to requests from the Veterans Administration


Note: This applies only to requests coming directly from VA Offices. Veterans who submit requests as an individual must follow the procedures that apply to the general public.

1. Due to the extensive nature of deck log records the amount of deck log duplication for Veterans Administration requests is limited to a two month period. The Ships History Deck Log Section will require the VA requesting office to narrow its request for deck logs to a two month period. The office will not duplicate deck log requests exceeding a two month period. Veterans who submit requests as an individual must follow the procedures that apply to the general public.

2. The Ships Deck Logs Section only maintains custody of deck logs for commissioned U.S. Navy ships covering the past thirty years. Every year the calendar year deck log collection that reaches the 31 year mark is transferred to the National Archives. So, if you are looking for a deck log from 1973, which is over 30 years old, it will be necessary to contact the National Archives.

3. Deck Logs under the control of the Naval Historical Center are stored at the Washington National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland. It can take between 7 days to 3 weeks to recall deck logs from the Records Center in Suitland, Maryland. The National Records Center in Suitland, Maryland is managed by the National Archives, it is not a Navy Command.

4. Deck logs from the earliest times through 1940 are located in the Old Military and Civil Records, National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408.

5. Deck logs starting from 1941 through the period thirty years back from the present day are located in the Modern Military Branch, National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park MD 20740.

6. Deck Logs covering the period up to 1979 are in the original paper copy. Most logs from 1979 to about 1993 are on microfiche and the original paper copy for this timeframe was normally destroyed when the deck logs were microfiched. Deck logs for the post 1993 timeframe are in the original paper form. While some logs are classified, most of them are FOUO and are not available for research by the public.

7. Deck logs rarely mention an individual's name. Instances where a name is mentioned in the the deck log include: Captain's Mast, arrival and departure of the Commanding Officer of the ship or VIPs, and major accident or death of an individual. The deck log will not go into detail regarding specific treatment given to an accident victim. A deck log records events taking place on board the ship or, if pertinent, in its immediate vicinity. It does not include events taking place elsewhere, even if it involves crew members who are on liberty or detached duty.

8. Deck logs may or may not indicate the arrival or departure of individual boats or aircraft. However, they do not list passenger names on these boats or aircraft. The only exception to this may be if that individual is a VIP.

8. Deck logs do not log the routine arrival or departure of individuals going ashore. They do not record medical treatment of injuries or other medical matters, such as visits to sick bay or injuries received off the ship. A deck log does not record day-to-day work assignments of individual crew members.

9. A monthly deck log can vary in size from approximately 80-200 pages a month to 300 or 400 pages a month, depending on the type of ship. Aircraft carrier deck logs can range up to 300 or 400 pages or more a month, while a destroyer usually ranges around 80 to 200 pages a month.

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