Thanks Elliot! I had not seen the first record - gives me a new path to research to see if it's the same William Golding. I've identified about 120 drawings by him and we'll be exhibiting 70 in Savannah at the Jepson Center next April. He drew many ships but I haven't found a record placing him on a specific vessel or other assignment during his Navy years. Hoping that will turn up!
Dear Mr. DeLorme,
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. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests. His OMPF should list where he served and on which ships.
The Merchant Marine Personnel and Licensing Records dated before 1968 in the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (Record Group 26) are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). Please contact RL-SL via email at email@example.com. Include the name, date of birth, dates of service, "Z" number, and date of death, if known, in your email. His records should include on which ships he served.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Muster Rolls of Naval Ships, 1/1/1860 - 6/9/1900 and the Muster Rolls of Naval Ships and Shore Establishments, 1/1898 - 6/30/1939 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24). Please note that these records are not arranged or indexed by the names of the sailors. For information about the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 RL-SL and RDT1. Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. 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 this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Many thanks for your help Jason and for pointing me in the right directions! Here's hoping that the pandemic eases in time to allow research before our publication deadline.