2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2022 3:46 PM by Alex Daverede

    How do I find out who was on board the USS Coral Sea?

    susan allen Newbie

      How do I find out who was on board the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) at any given time? I see logs of where it went, when the sun came up, who was absent, who was hit in the head...but nothing on who was working on board anywhere.  I just seem to go around in circles and never can find anything.

        • Re: How do I find out who was on board the USS Coral Sea?
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Ms. Allen,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          To determine which sailors served on the USS Coral Sea for a specified time (according to your other request, you are interested in 1964-1968), we searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Muster Rolls and Personnel Diaries of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1949 - 12/31/1971 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that may include the muster rolls of the USS Coral Sea for 1964-1968. While the muster rolls for some ships have been digitized and are available for viewing using the  Catalog, the muster rolls for the USS Coral Sea are not yet available online. For more  information about the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          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.


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


          • Re: How do I find out who was on board the USS Coral Sea?
            Alex Daverede Scout



            An unofficial way to find an answer to you question can be found in a ship’s cruise book.  These books are essentially yearbooks, such as you might have for high schools or universities, but in a Navy sort of way.  Cruise books vary in many ways, but what they have most in common is crew pictures.  Organized by ship’s departments and divisions, each crewman has a portrait in the cruise book (or at least they were supposed to).  So if you are looking for someone, it would be easiest to know what their job was, then look for the department and division to which that line of work belonged.  For example, if one is looking for a boiler technician (BT), you would look in the Engineering Department in one of the boiler divisions.


            The date for the cruise books differ from their school counterparts.  School yearbooks are arranged by academic year.  Navy cruise books are arranged by the cruise.  In Coral Sea’s case, a cruise book maybe labeled WestPac or WestPac/Vietnam 1969/70 for one cruise.


            Now comes the hard part—finding a cruise book.  Hard copy cruise books are difficult to come by.  The Navy Department Library in the Washington Navy Yard has a collection of cruise books, but accessing the Navy Yard is quite difficult without a Department of Defense identification card. The website http://navysite.de has digitized many cruise books, but I cannot say how complete that collection may be.


            I hope you find this information useful and good luck in your research!

            A. J.