1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 21, 2020 11:43 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records of USS Woodrow Wilson & USS James K Polk


      Hello, I'm doing some research on some nuclear ballistic submarines that my father served on. The SSBN-624 Woodrow Wilson and the SSBN-645 James K. Polk. I'm mostly looking for some great historical information like logbooks, images of the crew, reconfigurations at port for new armaments, and anything else noteworthy. My father (Joseph Benjamin Doto, Jr., MD) served as the medical officer aboard those vessels during the Vietnam War. My father mentioned some stops in Spain and other countries. I guess I'm just looking for a nice historical log of the two ships' journeys and any time my father was aboard (ca. 1968-1975). I'd greatly appreciate a response before August 9th, which is my father's birthday. He'll be 80 this year. If that's too much to ask, that's okay. I just thought it'd be a nice history & photo gift of sorts. I'm willing to dig further and speak to any US Navy archivists. Thank you.

        • Re: Seeking records of USS Woodrow Wilson & USS James K Polk
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Doto,


          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 include the deck logs of the USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) for 1968 through 1975, and the USS James K. Polk (SSBN-645) for 1968 through 1975. These logs still may be classified. Also, due to the US Navy’s use of social security numbers for service numbers starting in 1971, there may be restrictions on access to the logs from 1971 through 1975 for reasons of personal privacy. To request copies of these logs, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. If necessary, RDT2 will let you know how to request the records under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request or a Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) request.


          We also located photographs of the Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) and the James K. Polk (SSBN-645) that have been digitized and are available online using the Catalog, but these were all from later than 1975. For possible additional photographs of the submarines that have not been digitized yet, please contact National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS) via email at stillpix@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 RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          In addition, we searched the website of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) and located articles about the USS Woodrow Wilson and the James K. Polk (SSB(N)-645), as well as a few photographs of the USS Woodrow Wilson and the USS James K. Polk.


          Plus, the NHHC may have command operations reports of the two submarines. Please contact NHHC via email at archives@navy.mil to inquire about accessing these records. Their website is https://www.history.navy.mil/research/archives.html


          Lastly, you may be interested in the material in the unofficial website NavSource relating to the USS Woodrow Wilson and the USS James K. Polk.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!