19 May 2006

Travel Log

So, after completing my third trip in as many weeks to DC, I offer the following short missives for your perusal:

-First Class is verrrrr nice. I finally was able to schedule flights that were on something other than a puddle jumper, and such I was able to take advantage of my frequent flyer miles. Dude, they even get better snacks up there!

-I know that we sailors are now allowed to (gasp) carry a pack or briefcase over our shoulder now (left shoulder only, only if black) and to wear a gadget on our belt (only one, take your pick, cell, blackberry, pager), but I must have missed the part in the regs that allows us to wear a FANNY PACK in uniform. It looks particularly silly if you happen to wear this insignia on your chest. Imposing warrior indeed…

-Whilst in Union Station for lunch this Thursday (only place I know of in DC to get fast food Tikka Masala) I noticed a fellow wearing a USS BARBEL ship’s ballcap. Then someone wearing one from the BONEFISH (that sub’s name still makes me shudder with fear of fire). And suddenly, it was if the floodgates had opened, and there were bedecked bubbleheads everywhere. Upon asking one of these veteran steely-eyed killers of the deep why they had suddenly all descended on Union Station, I was told they were there as part of a tour, and that a Sub Memorial was getting dedicated. So I attempted to find out when and where, as I felt it to be a good opportunity and, frankly, duty, to attend such an event, seeing as how it would be occurring, according to my informant, that afternoon, and my flight was not until the evening. However, I researched to no avail. Anyone hear anything about such an event?

-Since I had an unexpected afternoon free in DC (less the time it took me to discover nothing about the aforementioned memorial service), I thought I might look up some deck logs in the National Archives – specifically, those of the ship my Grandfather served on. Now, if any of you want to consider doing something similar, let me offer a few suggestions in “The Full Post,” but, the most important being, “Plan ahead! This is not something you can do on a whim!” Sigh.

So, for those of you intrepid enough to read the full thing, I will assume you are genuinely interested in researching some deck logs. Here is the procedure I found to conduct such research at the National Archives (very helpfully NOT on the National Archives website):

Deck Logs: Location
Held by The National Archives

Deck logs of commissioned U.S. Navy ships from the earliest times through 1940 are in the Old Military and Civil Records Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20408 [telephone (202) 357-5444. Logs from 1941 through those that are 30 years old or older are in the Modern Military Branch, National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park MD 20740-6001 [telephone (301) 837-3510]. These logs are open for research. Requests for research appointments, and inquiries concerning log information, should go to the National Archives office holding logs from the time period of interest.

Research in Deck Logs at the Ships History Branch
The Ships History Deck Logs Section staff consists of one person. Given the number of inquiries received, the staff cannot read hundreds of pages in response to any one inquiry. Thus the Ships History Deck Logs Section is unable to do extensive research in response to queries. Questions must be specific, and must be narrowed down to a particular time and/or place.
If a requestor wishes to search a log, this can be done at the Naval Historical Center (microfiched logs) or at the Washington National Records Center (paper logs). To arrange this, write to the Ships Deck Logs Section, at the address given above, at least two weeks in advance. Specify the ship(s) and time periods (month/year to month/year) involved and the date of the proposed visit.

Duplication of Deck Logs
Researchers using logs at the National Archives, or at the Washington National Records Center, can arrange to have pages copied there at the time they do their research.
The Naval Historical Center has no in-house capacity to do extensive copying. Small numbers of microfiche can be duplicated, and limited numbers of paper log pages can be copied on an office copier which is also used for other work. The "Fee Schedule" for the duplication of a large number of deck logs is 30 cents a page. Deck logs will scanned and placed on CD-ROM in Adobe Acrobat format. A copy of the CD-ROM will be made available to the requestor. The cost to duplicate deck logs on microfiche is $1.20 per fiche. Most of the deck logs for the period 1979 to 1993 are on microfiche and the paper copy of the deck logs do not exist. The Ships History Branch will provide a price quote upon request.

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At 5/23/2006, Blogger Vigilis said...

Welcome back, PBS. An excellent post as usual!


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