Deck Log Policy and Information related to requests from the General Public


Note: If a veteran does not submit his or her request via a Veterans Administration Office then there request will be considered a General Public request.

1. Due to new policy regarding deck log records, the Naval Historical Center will consider any requests from the public for copies of deck logs as a FOIA request (Freedom of Information Act). Under FOIA requirements the Naval Historical Center will charge 15 cents a page to duplicate a paper deck log. Charges for microfiche deck logs are 25 cents a microfiche sheet. When you submit a request for deck logs to the Naval Historical Center (address: Naval Historical Center, Ships History Branch, 805 Kidder Breese St., S.E., Washington Navy Yard, D.C. 20374) the request will be forwarded to the Navy's FOIA Office with an estimate of the cost for scanning and placing the deck logs on a CD-ROM or duplication of a microfiche deck log. The Navy's FOIA Office will respond to your request providing the appropriate data regarding costs. If you notify Navy FOIA Office you are willing to pay for the reproduction of the deck logs then your request will be forwarded to the appropriate Atlantic Fleet or Pacific Fleet command for review and final release determination of those specific deck logs you have requested. Once the deck logs have been reviewed and authorized for release you will receive a CD-ROM or microfiche of those deck logs.

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 a calendar years worth of deck logs that reaches the 31 year mark is transferred to 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 year 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 until they have been reviewed and authorized for release by the appropriate Atlantic Fleet or Pacific Fleet command.

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 provide information 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. They do not list passenger names on these boats or aircraft. The only exception to this may be if that individual is a VIP.

9. 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.

10. 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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