Naval History and Heritage Command

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Location of Archival Materials

Crew Member Information

Government Sources:

The Naval Historical Center does not have custody of crew lists or current addresses for former crew members. However, this information can be compiled from several sources. The names of the officers usually appear on the first page of each month's deck log. The enlisted men assigned to a naval ship or command are listed on muster rolls which were also submitted monthly. 

The Old Military and Civil Records Branch, National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408 (202-501-5385) holds copies of the deck logs from 1801 through December 1940, as well as the muster rolls through 1938 in bound books. 

The Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 (301-837-3510) has custody of the deck logs from 1 January 1941 to the year over thirty years from the present date, as well as microfilm copies of the muster rolls from 1939 through 1975. 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. The Bureau of Naval Personnel lists of the World War II Casualties, which have been placed on microfilm and microfiche, can be ordered from the Naval Historical Center. 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 muster rolls or crew rosters from 1976 to the present are in the custody of the Navy Personnel Command (PERS-00J6), 5720 Integrity Drive, Millington, TN 38055 [phone (901) 874-3165].

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.

Non Government Sources:

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 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. 

For those that have access to a CD-ROM drive, PHONE-DISC, which costs approximately $100, provides the names, addresses and phone numbers for all people listed in the U.S. telephone books. Several Internet sites such as "Switchboard" are designed to help you locate the addresses and phone numbers of people.

The United States Naval Institute in Annapolis, Maryland has established a reunion hot line (410-295-1023). 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.

Military Reunion News Co-Op Mail, P.O. Box 55, Bulverde, TX 78163-0355 (210) 438-4177 can provide searches for individual reunions. They request that you provide a self-addressed stamped envelope with all reunion search requests. 

The Reunion Reveille( is a private online resource for submitting and viewing details on many upcoming reunions.

Another source of information, that is updated annually, on locating ex-servicemen is:

Johnson, Richard S. How to Locate Anyone Who Is Or Has Been In the Military: Armed Forces Locator Guide. 7th ed. Spartanburg SC: MIE Publishing, 1996.

If your firm or organization wants to be considered for inclusion in the above listing, please supply a written description of your services to the Website Committee at the Naval Historical Center.

12 February 2008

Published:Fri Jun 20 11:16:47 EDT 2014