Looking for USNS ship records. Are they held at the National Archives?

log books and other ships records for USNS ships

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    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    The National Archives does hold some records of USNS ships. Specifically, the Archives II Reference Section in College Park, MD has custody of some of the deck logs of ships that served under the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) after 1948 and then under the Military Sealift Command (MSC) through 1981. It is not a complete collection. The deck logs chronicle the daily operations of vessels both at sea and in port, although the level of content and detail may vary widely. If you are interested in the deck logs of a particular MSTS/MSC ship from this time period, please email us at archives2reference@nara.gov so that we can assist you further. 

    For deck logs after 1981, you may contact the Public Affairs Office, Military Sealift Command for more information. They can be reached at:

    914 Charles Morris Court

    Washington Navy Yard

    Washington, DC 20398-5540

    Tel: 202-685-5156

    Website: https://www.msc.usff.navy.mil

    The Public Affairs Office, Military Sealift Command will also have information on the availability of passenger and crew lists of ships that served under the MSTS or MSC, as personnel information, crew lists, or passenger lists are not included in the deck logs. You will need to request this information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). At the bottom of the home page, please click on FOIA and follow the directions in the FOIA Handbook. According to MSC, passenger and crew lists for the Korean War are no longer available. 

    We invite you to continue the conversation with community members on History Hub, but as mentioned earlier, if you have follow up questions for the staff at Archives II please email us at archives2reference@nara.gov

    We hope this assists you with your research! 

    Sincerely,

    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR)

    [RR2RR 24-47307-BAK]

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