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Dear Mr. Nichols,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
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. Logbooks for a ship typically begin with the commissioning date rather than the launch date. The USS Washington (BB-56) was commissioned on 15 May 1941.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 that include the deck logs of the USS Washington for 15 May 1941 through 27 June 1947. These logs have not been digitized yet and are not available online. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
I wanted to close the loop on this thread. I was able to get to the Archives in Silver Spring, MD. I spent two long days there digging through the deck logs for the USS Washington, BB-56. In addition to that material, the Archive staff helped me find the Action Reports (reports written to document specific battles and incidents) and the War Diaries that were written by officers to supplement the deck log. I found the deck log contact to vary significantly depending on who was the first officer at any point in time. Some entries were very detailed, lots of good information about the ship activities and life on the ship. Other entries were only a few sentences, such as Proceeding as before (that was the entire day summary). All in all, an interesting adventure. The staff was great, but there are many rules. I felt like I was in school again taking a test, with all the roaming staff making sure I was not doing anything wrong. I took over 800 pictures of the documentation I found. They loan out camera stands to take pictures. I was exhausted after 2 days of research and trying to get it all done before I had to get to the airport. Hope this helps.