4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 16, 2021 12:26 PM by Harry DeLorme

    Seeking Naval service records for William Golding

    Harry DeLorme Wayfarer

      I am seeking Naval service records or crew lists related to William O. Golding, an African American sailor from Georgia for an exhibition and catalog of his art. Golding was shanghaied as a youth from the Savannah, GA waterfront, and spent years at sea before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1892. His veteran's master index card indicates Naval service dates of 3/18/1892- 5/23/1902 and the 1930 census indicated service in the Spanish American War and Philippine insurrection. I have yet to find him on a crew list of that period and we urgently hope to place him on a specific ship or ships. He claimed to have served on a man o’ war without naming the ship. He made drawings of Cavite and Luzon and made a drawing of the U.S.S. Texas as well as others of unidentified warships of the Spanish American War period as well as training ships like the St. Mary’s and drawings of Chinese and other pacific ports. He later served on merchant vessels during World War I. Newspapers indicate was one of the American crew that survived the sinking of the merchant vessel Galena by a U-boat in the English Channel in June 1917. Golden made more than 100 drawings of sail and steam ships and international ports while he was a patient at the U.S. Marine Hospital in Savannah in the 1930s. We would love to find him on specific ships or assignments during his navy years, and learn more about his service during his years in the Navy or merchant service, and appreciate any suggestions.

        • Re: Seeking Naval service records for William Golding
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          Here is some information below:




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          • Re: Seeking Naval service records for William Golding
            Jason Atkinson Ranger

            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 stl.archives@nara.govInclude 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 archives1reference@nara.gov.


            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!