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The National Archives holds the deck logs (log books) of the United States Navy. A deck log is a brief record of the daily administrative activities of a ship. It includes journal-style entries of the ship's administrative activities; location and course of travel; disciplinary procedures; and any unusual events. The logs sometime include information related to operational activities, although the level of content and detail may vary widely. Deck logs are not detailed journals describing a ship's mission and all events transpiring in and around the ship, although they do sometimes provide information about a ship's operations. Also, deck logs generally include monthly rosters of officers for the period of 1941 through 1956. Beginning in March 1957, officer rosters are no longer included in the deck logs. From 1957 onwards, they are included in the ship's Muster Rolls/Personnel Diaries and can be obtained from that source.
The deck logs for United States Navy ships before 1940 are located at our Archives 1 location in Washington D.C. United States Navy ship deck logs from 1941 to 1983 are located at our Archives 2 location in College Park, MD. For more information about deck logs held by the National Archives, please visit https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/navy
The National Archives at College Park, MD has the UNCLASSIFIED Deck Logs of commissioned US naval ships dated 1979-1983. For access to CLASSIFIED Deck Logs dated 1979-1983 please contact the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) in the Washington Navy Yard. All Deck Logs dated 1984 and later are also in the custody of the Naval History and Heritage Command. For more information about the deck logs in their holdings and how to access them, please visit https://www.history.navy.mil/research/archives/deck-logs.html
A small number of deck logs in our holdings have been digitized and are available online through our catalog. The Deck Log digitization project is an ongoing project, however, we are unable to provide specific details, estimations, or time tables on when any particular ship's logs will be made available on our online catalog. Logs are made available on a month by month basis, however, these months may not be consecutive or complete a ships duration of service. If a month for a particular ship is not posted we cannot make any determination of when that month will be made digitally available. Access to these digitized deck logs can be found at https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/navy-online
We hope this information is helpful in your research. Questions about specific deck logs in our holdings can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.