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Thank you for posting on History Hub.
I think the best place to start would be where the deed was done. "The Brooklyn Navy Yard"
Zircon was outfitted for naval service at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, and commissioned on 25 March 1941, with Lieutenant Commander Cornelius Martin Sullivan in command. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Zircon_(PY-16)
Best Wishes and good luck in your search.
Thanks for the suggestion, Alice!
Also... sorry for the slow response. I would suspect that most—if not all—paperwork from that era would have made its way to the archives, but I can check. I assumed it was defunct, but I just found a website for them.
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Dear Mr. Power,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 4 series of the Board of Inspection and Survey in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that may include records pertaining to the USS Zircon. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at email@example.com.
We also located the General Correspondence Filed Under Filing Classifications QA/Crone to RV54, 1940 - 1945 and the General Correspondence Filed Under Filing Classifications P1 to PYT3, 1940 - 1945 in the Records of the Bureau of Ships (Record Group 19) that may have files for under the manufacturer under QM or non-Navy vessel QS1 before it was commissioned and PY after its conversion. In addition, we located the series titled Records Relating to Contract Management, 1/1/1922 - 11/10/1967 in the Records of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts (Navy) (Record Group 143) that may include the purchase of the yacht. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 RDT1 & RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Lastly, we located a history of the USS Zircon on the Naval History and Heritage Command website that may be of interest.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
This is extremely helpful. I had already seen the Naval History and Heritage Command website, and I've gather a great deal of information about the ship from newspapers and magazines from that time, but it's the requisitions, etc. that I'd like to see. I also have the attached document that appears to have been distributed to Zircon sailors as a couple of people have shared it with me.
I suspect that there are no photos extant of the conversion, only of the completed ship at sea (of which I have several), but anything official would be of interest to me.
I will send inquiries to the email addresses you've provided.