1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 2, 2020 2:09 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking PT Boat sailors stationed in Australia


      I'm looking for a service man named Powers who married a nurse, Elizabeth Gray Powers.  He was stationed in Australia in 1943.  He may have left in August or September.  We believe he was killed in action.  He may have been a Captain and served on a PT boat.

        • Re: Seeking PT Boat sailors stationed in Australia
          Jason Atkinson Guide

          Dear Ms. Montgomery,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that may include deck logs of the PT boat (Motor Torpedo Boat) squadron which may have attached rosters of officers. We also located  Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1939 - 1/1/1949 in the Record Group 24 which may have muster rolls which list enlisted sailors in the squadron. Neither series is indexed by personal name or by geographic assignment of the squadrons.  For more information, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          The Muster Rolls have been digitized and can be searched on Ancestry as the data collection U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949. A search for the last name “Powers” brings up 158,841 results. These results do not include officers, such as captains. 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”.


          It may be possible to identify which PT boat squadrons served in Australia using At Close Quarters” by Robert J. Buckley. Also, providing the full name of the sailor in question as well as other biographical details could significantly narrow down the results.

          If you have not already done so, we suggest that you attempt to locate a marriage certificate for Elizabeth Gray Powers which should identify the full name of her husband. If she was an Australian national and the marriage was in Australia, see the National Library of Australia’s guide to Australian birth, death and marriage records. If the marriage took place in the United States, see the National Center for Health Statistics’s page Where to Write for Vital Records.


          If you can identify the full name of the sailor, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports of officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. Navy who were separated from service 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.  For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          Navy and casualty records from 1940-1989 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL), P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. For access to these records, please contact RL-SL via letter or email at stl.archives@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 and RL-SL. Also, 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 hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


          [Some information provided by Nate Patch, Subject Matter Expert]

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