8 Replies Latest reply on May 29, 2020 1:08 PM by Wesha Wilberg

    Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge

    Wesha Wilberg Newbie

      I am doing the research involving USS Kearsarge. In particular, sometime between 9 March 1960 and 17 March 1960 it stopped at a port of Honolulu, but I am not sure about the particular day. Can you help me out? Also, finding the ship logs for the period of 6 March 1960 through 18 March 1960 would be totally amazing.

        • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Wilberg,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the deck log of the USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) for March 1960. The deck logs you seek are closed for digitization. Please see the blog CLOSED - Vietnam War-era U.S. Navy & Coast Guard Deck Logs for Digitization Project for more information. When these records are reopened we will post a follow up reply. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you.

           

          In case you are also interested in latter years, the deck logs for 1961 through 1969 have been digitized and can be viewed online. Please see the following link:  https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/navy-online#k

           

          We also searched the website of the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command and located an article in their Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships about the Kearsarge III (CV-33) which contains a brief description of its activities in March 1960. We also located the article USS Kearsarge Rescues Four Soviet Soldiers Adrift in Pacific Ocean for 49 Days. Although the articles do not mention the Kersarge stopping at Honolulu, they do state that it arrived in California on March 15th.

           

          We also searched online and located the USS Kearsarge (CVS 33) WestPac Cruise Book 1959-60.  In addition we located an article in The Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu, Hawaii 09 Mar 1960 that stated that the Kearsarge was going to continue to San Francisco without stopping at Hawaii, and was due to arrive at San Francisco on March 15th.

           

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

            • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
              Wesha Wilberg Newbie

              Thank you for your help. Since my original request, I have found a plethora of articles in the newspapers of the day all stating that Kearsarge is skipping Honolulu and heading directly to S.F.; however  I have some (probably less reliable) data contradicting that, all related to the rescue of the four soviet soldiers: 1) The hand-drawn map of the incident; 2) an article from the central Soviet newspaper Pravda (Б. Стрельников. «Мы восторгаемся подвигом советских людей» — говорят американские моряки // Pravda : newspaper — 1960. — № 75 (15199) (March 16). — p. 1.) that explicitly says that "at this moment Kearsarge is traveling from Honololu to San Francisco", which implies it did stop at Honolulu sometime after saving the four but left before 15th (given the length of newscycle); 3) the distance drifted by Russians is reported to be ~~ 1020 miles  and the point of their rescue is located "1,200 miles off Wake Island [1]" or "about 1,000 miles west-northwest of Midway Island [2]", which, assuming that  the Kearsarge was sailing using the time-and-fuel-efficient Great-circle navigation, would have placed it much closer than that to the Kuril islands, whereas if we assume that the [at least original] destination was on Hawaii, then it would fit much better.

              Obviously, the ultimate answer (along with the coordinates of the rescue) should be in the presently-unavailable ship logs...

              • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
                Wesha Wilberg Newbie

                By any chance, do you have any idea where the text (or, if possible, the digitized document) of "DoD Press Release No. 257-60, 8 March 1960" can be obtained (online, preferably)? Unfortunately, press releases available on DoD website don't go that far back.

                  • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
                    Jason Atkinson Pioneer

                     

                    Dear Ms. Wilberg,

                     

                    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                     

                    We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Press Releases and Speeches, 1939 - 1960 in the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330) that may include DoD Press Release No. 257-60.  These records are not available online. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov for more information about these records.

                     

                    We also located Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, ca. 1947 - 1980 in the General Records of the Department of the Navy (Record Group 428) that includes the item KEARSARGE MEETS THE RUSSIANS dated 1960 that may be about this incident. This record is not available online. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Motion Pictures (RDSM) via email at mopix@nara.gov for more information about these records.

                     

                    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 and RDSM. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

                     

                    In addition, we located 13th Naval District Public Information Department Press Clippings, 1942 - 4/1960 in Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments (Record Group 181) that includes digitized items from the file unit 1956-Apr 1960 and are available online using the Catalog. Image 1004 includes an article about the rescue.

                     

                    Finally, we searched the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 again and verified that the 1960 logbooks for the USS Kearsarge are still not available online. NARA staff are currently working on making the digital images created through the Blue Water Navy Deck Log Project available in the Catalog, however due to the large number of files involved and the constraints of the current operating conditions we can not provide a timeline on when any specific logs will be available.

                     

                    Because DoD Press Release No. 257-60 was used as a source for the article by the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) linked in our previous reply, they may have a copy. Also, NHHC’s Archives has command operations reports and other US Navy operational records from this time period that may provide information about the rescue and the USS Kearsarge’s other activities in March 1960. Please email NHHC’s at archives@navy.mil for more information about these records.

                     

                    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

                      • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
                        Wesha Wilberg Newbie

                        Thank you for your help. Also, if possible, can you point me in the right direction as to locating the whereabouts of photographic originals identified by the following IDs: CVB-41900-NAVY, CVB-41960-NAVY, MW-50920-NAVY, HON0030902 and S30400RHH? (I tried searching but did not succeed; I assume I'm missing something.) I have those in my possession, but they are obviously journalistic reproductions as they have been marked, cropped or otherwise altered, but they do carry the aforementioned attribution to the originals.

                          • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
                            Jason Atkinson Pioneer

                            Dear Ms. Wilberg,

                             

                            Thank you for posting your second follow-up request on History Hub!

                            The designations seem to be ones assigned by “field” establishments or ships rather than those assigned by the Navy Headquarters.  The headquarters numbers are the ones used by the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS) in their finding aids. Therefore, they can not be searched using the field numbers.

                             

                            We searched the National Archives Catalog and the website of the 

                            Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) for digitized copies of these photographs but were unable to locate the specific photographs you are searching for.  There may be copies that have not yet been digitized.  To request a search of the National Archives’s non-digitized photographic holdings, please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov. Please attach or link any copies of the photographs you have in your reference request to RDSS.

                             

                            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

                             

                            You also may wish to contact NHCC’s Photo Archive via email at nhhcphotoarchives@navy.mil.

                             

                            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

                    • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
                      Alice Lane Scout

                      Hello Wesha,

                      I found a website dedicated to ships named Keararge. http://www.kearsargeassociation.com/History_of_the_Kearsarge.pdf

                      The following is an excerpt from their pages about March 1960 that I thought you might like.

                       

                      Kearsarge arrived in Yokosuka from Nagoya on 22 February to prepare for the voyage home. She passed out to sea on 3 March 1960 and was in stormy waters some 1200 miles off Wake Island on 6 March when her helicopter plucked four Russians from a disabled 50- foot landing craft which had drifted for forty-nine days from the Kurile Island north of Japan. It was estimated they had drifted about 1,020 Ships Named Kearsarge 23 miles, subsisting throughout their 49-day ordeal on three cans of jerky beef, one loaf of bread and what water could be gathered from rain fall. The Russians gave their names as Master Sergeant Victor Aygonschi, 21; Private Anthony Kruchowske, 22; Private Philip Poplayski, 20; and Private Fredor Ivan, 20. Kearsarge provided food and medical attention for the Russians until she reached the pier of the Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, on 15 March 1960. From the Vest Coast the four were flown to New York, thence to Moscow where they received a "heroes" welcome for their remarkable feat. They sent back to Kearsarge by radio message from Odessa, Russia, a relay of thanks: "Let us greet you for saving our compatriots who returned to their country and would like to shake hands with you. 01dunov." Kearsarge spent almost a year in operations along the western seaboard of the United States. On 3 March 1961 she departed San Diego for the Hawaiian Islands, thence to the Gulf of Siam off Bangkok where the Seventh Fleet was concentrating and prepared to deal with the communist threat to Thailand in conjunction with the crisis in Laos. After easing of the threat in the Southeast Asia area, she resumed readiness operations with the Seventh Fleet until 5 September 1961 when she sailed from Yokosuka for return to Long Beach, California, on the 19th.

                      Best Wishes in your search.

                      Alice

                        • Re: Seeking deck logs of USS Kearsarge
                          Wesha Wilberg Newbie

                          Thank you Alice Lane, I really appreciate your reply, however unfortunately the information you found represents a "broad" view of events that happened between Yokosuka and SF, whereas the events I'm trying to glean information about require finer details. The event of the rescue was quite well documented in numerous publications, and universally agreed upon date is March 07; so is arrival to SF on March 15th, but my research is about what happened (or didn't) somewhere inbetween the two -- in particular, the alleged Honolulu visit on or about Match 10th, 1960, that media have conflicting accounts about -- some say it happened, some say it didn't, and some don't say anything about these particular days at all (unsurprisingly: at the moment, all the media attention was on rescued Russians themselves), as I outlined in one of my previous question.

                           

                          Anyway, once again, thank you for your help!