On August 9, 2019 the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) entered into an agreement to digitize the Vietnam-era US Navy and Coast Guard deck logs from 1956 through 1978. On 28 September 2020, the VA announced the completion of the digitization of declassified Vietnam era deck logs. The project generated an estimated 23.5 million images. All of these images will be retained by both NARA and the VA. Data contained in the digitized images is already being used by the VA to assist veterans in resolving claims.
Although the scanning is complete, the work is not finished for NARA. We are still receiving images and prepping them for upload to the National Archives Catalog. NARA has added over 5.4 million Navy deck log images to the National Archives Catalog. More will be uploaded in the coming weeks and months.
We are unable to provide specific details, estimations, or time tables on when any particular ship's logs will be made available on our online Catalog. Deck Logs after 1970 will take longer to add to the National Archives Catalog because the digital images must first be reviewed line-by-line for information protected under the Privacy Act of 1974.
Some of the Navy deck logs already available using the Catalog are listed on the web page Navy Deck Logs Available in the National Archives Catalog. This list is arranged by name of ship and thereunder by year. Clicking on the hyperlinked year will take you to the digitized deck logs for that ship and year.
Other Navy logs are available in the Catalog, but are not listed yet on that web page. To locate these logs, go to the Catalog description for Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) (National Archives Identifier 594258).
Click on the blue “Search within this series” button. In the menu that comes up, type in the name of the ship into the upper left hand search field, without using “USS” as a prefix. You may wish to include the hull number as well, especially if there were multiple ships with the same name. You can also add specific dates and months. After you typed in the name, click on the magnifying glass search button. This should link you to the deck logs for the ship. Please note that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order.
To see a specific log, click on the hyperlinked title in the search results.
To download the entire log as a single PDF file, click on the link under "Files Available for Download" and "Other Files". In many cases, the link will say "Download Image Provided by: Veterans Benefits Administration / Blue Water Navy Deck Log Project". Due to the size of the files involved, it may take a little while for them to download in full. Please be patient. If the files do not download to your PC, please email Catalog@nara.gov.
For more information about these records or to request copies to logs not already posted to the National Archives Catalog, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RR2R) at firstname.lastname@example.org. If RR2R can located the logs, they will provide copies. If it is necessary for them to redact the files first, it may take awhile, so please be patient.