Dear Ms. Deckard,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
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 prior to 1958 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. You can also fax the form to 314-801-9195. Veterans and their next of kin can also use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
For Navy personnel, NARA's National Personnel Records Center will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request with the verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals. For requesting medals and awards, please use eVetRecs on NARA’s website at https://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/ or complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and send it to NARA's Military Personnel Records, National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Provide as much information as possible in Section II under "other."
However, please be aware that due to the coronavirus public health emergency, the National Personnel Records Center is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals which may be faxed to 314-801-0764. We thank you for your patience and look forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.
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 includes listings for James Roger Beith, Service Number 758-89-27, that may be for your father. There are multiple listings for him on the USS Walton (DE-361) from 4 September 1944 through 1 May 1946, and from 1947 through 1948. He is listed on the muster rolls of the USS Woodson (DE-359), the USS Le Jeune (AP-74), the USS Yancey (AKA-93), the USS Repose (AH-16) and lastly, the LST 846.
As part of our on-going commitment to preserve our records, the National Archives has entered into partnership with Ancestry.com to digitize some of NARA's holdings. Digitized records include Muster Rolls/Personnel Diaries (crew rosters) of U.S. Naval Ships and Stations for the dates of January 1,1941 thru January 1, 1949. These records are now available in digital form and can be viewed online via U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Archives has partnered with Ancestry to make the vast majority of their NARA-digitized holdings freely available to the public. Anyone with Internet access may create an account, access NARA records, and use other Ancestry resources, such as their educational offerings and family tree-maker application. For more information see Ancestry’s announcement -- “Free At-Home Education Resources From Ancestry® and Access to Nearly 500M National Archives Records”.
You also may be interested in the articles about these ships in the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!