3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2021 9:48 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking all military records of Charles Brooks

    Andrew Ross Newbie

      Hello,  I am seeking more information on my great grandfather, Charles Kenneth Brooks, as part of a project with my grandmother to follow his journey in the pacific theater. here is what I know so far from his old papers from before Pearl Harbor was attacked. Charles Kenneth Brooks was born on Sept. 26, 1913 in Salem, IN. He enlisted on Oct. 1, 1937 at Indianapolis, IN. He held this ratings - A.S. ;Sea2c. ;F3c. ;F2c. ;F1c. ;MM2c. ;MM1c.. He served at Service (vessels and stations): NRS Indianapolis, IN; NTS Greatlakes, IL; NTS Norfolk, VA; RS San Diego, CA; and USS DOBBIN. His Service Number was 291 51 86 and he was discharged on Dec. 16, 1941.


      He re-enlisted on the 16th to serve for the remainder of the war. From looking at his CSC book, it seems that he was stationed on the USS Dobbins until early to mid-1944, when he was transferred to the USS Dionysus for the remainder of the war. Unfortunately, besides a few events (mainly his discharge date, and his being present during the attack on Sidney harbor by midget submarines), there is not much information on his whereabouts during the war. I've also heard from family members of some other exploits of his - namely how one of his ships was torpedoed (I believe he was on another ship at the time, because both I have found no mention of either the Dobbins or the Dionysus being torpedoed), and he was saved from shark infested waters by a pack of friendly dolphins.

      As a side note, I am currently combing through the USS Dobbins war diaries, though I have been having trouble finding any other helpful information on his whereabouts. Thanks in advance for any additional information which you can give.

        • Re: Seeking all military records of Charles Brooks
          Elliot Schneider Ranger

          Hello Andrew,


          Here is some information not sure you have already.








          Not sure your Great Grandfather played baseball but found this photo of the USS Dobbin Baseball team 1941





          Additionally, I did find something interesting in 1943 the USS Shaw had been hit by 2 or so underwater 100lbs bombs that penetrated and caused damage to the ship. What is fascinating about this is that the USS Dobbins was the ship that was helping to provide assistance in examine the damage USS Shaw by utilizing ta diver from the Dobbins. Maybe this is what stories your family had heard over the years.




          Dec 1943 War Diary USS Dobbin:



          USS Dobbins War History:





          Hope this helps,


          Elliot Schneider

          • Re: Seeking all military records of Charles Brooks
            Jason Atkinson Ranger

            Dear Mr. Ross,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

            We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and medical records of enlisted men of the U.S. Navy who were separated from the service after 1885 and before 1959 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC.  If you do not know his social security number, it is not necessary to include it on the form. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1939 - 1/1/1949 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that includes a number of entries for your grandfather. For more information, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

            The following is a summary of the information we located using copies of these records available on Ancestry:  In addition to documenting his service on the USS Dobbins, he transferred to the USS Dobbin to the USS Gold Star on 6/13/1944, and the transferred to the Receiving Station (R/S)  Washington DC, on 6/18/1944. The muster rolls state that his transfer to R/S Washington was for further transfer to the Electric Hydraulic School for a course of instruction. At the time, the Electric Hydraulic School was located at the Washington Navy Yard in DC.  The next entry we located for him was for 4/28/1945 when he was assigned to the USS Dionysus as of the day it commissioned.  He may have also been a part of the pre-commissioning crew for this ship, however we do not have muster rolls for ships prior to their commissioning. The last entry we located for him was 10/29/1945, when he transferred from the USS Dionysus to the USS Presidio for further transfer to the nearest receiving station in the United States, for the purpose of reenlistment leave and reassignment.


            Next, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located 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 logs of the USS Dobbin from January 1941 through 27 September 1945, and the USS Dionysus from 28 April 1945 through September 1946. We also located World War II Action and Operational Reports in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that may include reports submitted by the USS Dobbin and the USS Dionysus. For more information about these records, please contact RDT2.


            Photographs of various U.S. Navy activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov to request a search for photographs of specific ships.


            We also located World War II War Diaries, Other Operational Records and Histories, ca. 1/1/1942 - ca. 6/1/1946 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) which contains war diaries and reports concerning the activities of the USS Dobbin and the USS Dionysus during World War II. These records have been digitized and may be viewed online using the Catalog.  Please keep in mind that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order.


            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 RDSS. Also, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.


            In addition, we searched the website of the Naval History and Heritage Command and located articles about the Dobbin and the Dionysus


            Finally, we located the article Japanese Midget Submarine Attack on Sydney Harbour.


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