4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2018 6:43 AM by mtom22

    Info not in Deck Log. What other logs should I search?

    Rebecca Collier Ranger

      The information I am looking for was not in the ship's Deck Logs. Where can I access other logs from United States Navy ships?

        • Re: Info not in Deck Log. What other logs should I search?

          The Naval Submarine Patrol Reports after 1953 are held by the Navy. I submitted a FOIA toward a Patrol Report from 1968 and did not receive it. I was provided with a vague vessel history, but not the report. The Surface Warfare Vessel reports would be ACTION Reports. The WW2 Action reports and sub patrol reports are online.

          I received the Naval Deck Log of the USS Nimitz, Carrier Strike Group 11,  which encountered the UFO on November 14, 2004.

          The Nimitz was in the West San Diego OPAREA, Lat  31-12.3 N, 117-52.2 W, conducting Operation Waterfall and Full Bore. while launching NATO 1 missiles. There was NO mention of encountering a submerged object or capsule shaped object, per radar or during flight ops in the deck log. Perhaps it's mentioned in the After Action or Lessons Learned? There was also a CVW-11 Event Summary for 14 Nov 2004. Would the Action Report for Operations Waterfall and Full Bore mention the UFO encounters?  Operation Thunderhead was also an interesting mission during the Vietnam era.

          • Re: Info not in Deck Log. What other logs should I search?



            According to the Navy’s Records Management Manual a ship’s Deck Logs are the only log books of a commissioned United States Navy ship that are retained as permanent records. Log books, other than Deck Logs, of commissioned ships are temporary records. Temporary log books are retained by the United States Navy for a duration determined by the Navy’s records schedule. Temporary logs are destroyed by the Department of the Navy at the end of the record’s scheduled retention. For more information on the Navy’s records retention schedule please reference the “SECNAV M-5210.1 Department of the Navy Records Management Program, Records Management Manual.”


            We hope you find this information useful in conducting your research.



            National Archives

            RDT2 Reference

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            • Re: Info not in Deck Log. What other logs should I search?
              Alex Daverede Adventurer

              The Navy does not maintain many permanent record types pertaining to specific ships.  The deck logs, the command histories, and muster rolls have been the only records consistently linked to individual ships.  Depending on the circumstances, usually dependent upon whether the ship participated in a combat action, an after action report  or patrol report may be available; however, those reports tend to be classified.


              There can be many logs kept aboard ship.  Many work centers maintained logs to track specific shipboard functions: for example, the quartermaster may maintain his/her own log of events on the bridge before creating the ship's formal deck log.  The signalmen may keep a visual signals log for messages transmitted by flag or flashing light between ships.  The engineers may have a bell log down in the engineering watch office or main control, which could also hold the oil king's log on carbon-fueled ships.  A carrier might maintain a log for flight deck operations, hanger deck operations, and aviation fuels operations, and so on.  However, the Navy does not recognize those secondary logs as permanent records, hence they are not accessioned by the National Archives. 

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                • Re: Info not in Deck Log. What other logs should I search?

                  The current Action and Patrol reports are most likely not provided to NARA. The aircraft, missile and weapon system reports, and reports of survey are most likely not provided to NARA. The Written Deck logs can also be replaced with current technology use voice transcription. Just think 50 years ahead of the present, and that may be the technology level utilized. The advancement of artificial intelligence will ...one day allow ships and aircraft to navigate without human interference. As AI progresses, it will become independent of human control and eventually determine the outcome of the process and information.  Eventually AI will make the decisions involved in the deployment of weapon systems.

                  It will no longer be dependent on human consequences, emotions and outcomes.