The Naval History and Heritage Command does not have custody of crew lists, nor do we have current contact information of former crew members. You can locate this information through various sources:
The Old Military and Civil Records Branch, National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408, holds copies of deck logs from 1801 through 1940, as well as muster rolls through 1938 in bound books.
The Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, has custody of deck logs from 1941 to 1983, as well as muster rolls created after 1938. After 1956, a list of the officers is usually included with the muster rolls. The Modern Military 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. By using the list of officers in the deck logs and the muster rolls, one can compile a list of the crew. Then by using the crew list and the list of casualties, the names of the survivors of a World War II ship or vessel can be created.
The Navy's World Wide Locator is a service established to find the present duty station of active duty personnel, and is for official business use only. To use this service, please write to the following address and include the service member's full name, Social Security number, grade or rank, and, if possible, last known duty station.
Navy World Wide Locator
Naval Personnel Command
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-3120
The Navy does not keep track of anyone once they have left the Navy. However, correspondence sent to the above address will be forwarded to retirees if their addresses are known.
Note: Distribution of this information by the Department of the Navy does not constitute endorsement by the Department of the Navy of the information or services from the firms, organizations, and websites listed hereafter. This information is provided for informational purposes only.
Individuals have had success in locating former and retired military personnel by placing advertisements or reunion notices in military-oriented periodicals or websites. A simple web search for your ship/unit name (e.g., “USS Enterprise reunion”) will bring up relevant websites.
The following websites post reunion notices and provide resources for locating veterans:
The Alliance of Military Reunions
The American Legion
Armed Forces Locator
Association of the United States Navy
Bluejacket.com (Navy and Marine Corps)
Historic Naval Ships Association
Hullnumber.com (Navy ships and air squadrons)
Navy League (Navy and Marine Corps)
Tin Can Sailors (Destroyers)
United States Naval Academy Alumni Association
Another source of information on locating ex-service members is the following publication:
Johnson, Richard S. How to Locate Anyone Who Is or Has Been in the Military: Armed Forces Locator Guide. 8th ed., Spartanburg SC: MIE Publishing, 1999.