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Here is the muster rolls for him which he was on the USS California and was transferred on 12/13/1941 according to the line item #22 to the USS Lexington.
Name: William Thomas Cone Ship, Station or Activity: California Ship Number or Designation: BB-44 Muster Date: 31 Dec 1941
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Dear Ms. Cone,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
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 include the muster rolls of the USS California (BB-44) for December 1941. These records have been digitized and are available for viewing using the Catalog. See Image 14 for Cone, Bernard Ray (line 21) and Cone, William Thomas (line 22). Bernard was transferred to the USS Astoria and William was transferred to the USS Lexington.
We also 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 California (BB-44) for December 1941. For more information about the non-digitized deck logs, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information. 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.
Lastly we located the history of the USS California on the Naval History & Heritage Command website that provides a synopsis of what happened to the ship on December 7, 1941.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!