1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 17, 2020 1:54 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records of Nathan Champagne

    John Champagne Newbie

      I am trying to obtain any information on my father, Nathan Joseph Champagne, from Lockport,Louisiana. I believe he served on the USS Coral Sea or USS Anzio, I am unsure. I was 4 when he passes away and trying to get any information I can. I sent a letter to the Navy Liaison office several months ago but have not received anything. I heard at one point he was washed off the ship when it traveled through a Typhoon and he had to be rescued. Any assistance or direction would greatly be appreciated. Thanks

        • Re: Seeking records of Nathan Champagne
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Champagne,


          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.  Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


          USS Coral Sea (CVE-57) was an escort aircraft carrier named Alikula Bay during construction, renamed Coral Sea just before launching in 1943 and then renamed to Anzio on 15 September 1944.


          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 include the muster rolls of the USS Anzio. The muster rolls have been digitized and can be viewed through the National Archives Catalog. We located listings for Nathan Joseph Champagne (service number 275 08 01) who enlisted 6 December 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was received on board the ship on 2 October 1944 (Image 4) and transferred off of the ship on 17 October 1945 (Image 280). His rating while he served on the ship was Seaman 2nd Class.


          There may be a record of a man overboard incident in the deck logs. 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 Anzio during from October 1944 through October 1945. For more information, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Plus, we located General Photographic File of the Department of Navy, 1943 - 1958 in the General Records of the Department of the Navy (Record Group 80) which includes Photograph Taken on Christmas On Board the USS Anzio (CVE-57) [dated 12/25/1944] which has been digitized and may be viewed online using the Catalog.  There may be additional photographs in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov to request a search for photographs of specific ships.


          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. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is is currently only servicing emergency requests and will soon expand its service to include time-sensitive requests from veterans for records needed to secure VA home loan guarantees and employment opportunities.


          We also located World War II War Diaries, Other Operational Records and Histories, ca. 1/1/1942 - ca. 6/1/1946 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) which contains war diaries, histories, and reports concerning the USS Anzio’s activities during World War II. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online through the Catalog.  Please keep in mind that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order.


          We also searched the website of the Naval History and Heritage Command and located a Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships article on Anzio I (CVE-57) as well as multiple photographs and other resources.


          Finally, the unofficial website NavSource has a page on the USS CORAL SEA (CVE-57), later USS ANZIO (CVE-57).


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