Dear Ms. Holmes,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Muster Rolls and Personnel Diaries of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1949 - 12/31/1971 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the muster rolls of the USS John D. Ford (DD-228) for 1/1/1939-11/2/1946. The original 16mm microfilm had been digitized and the images are available via the Catalog. A number of images may be illegible due to the poor quality of the original microfilm that was transferred to NARA by the Department of the Navy. The original paper records were destroyed by the Navy after filming.
Please note that muster rolls for this time period only listed enlisted sailors. Officer rosters were usually attached to the deck logs. We also located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in Record Group 24 that include the deck logs of the USS John D. Ford (DD-228) for January 1941 through 2 November 1945. These logs have not been digitized and are not available online. For more information, 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 RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Thanks for this helpful information! I managed to find the muster log for 1942 where my father came aboard the Ford. The logs for 1944 and 1945 were not in that batch. They may not be available. I have requested the deck logs as you suggested.
Dear Ms. Holmes,
Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!
We regret that the logs for 1944 and 1945 were not included in the file we located for you as was implied by the file unit title in the Catalog. We will contact the appropriate office to have the title revised.
The muster rolls are also available on Ancestry at U.S., World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, and on Fold3 at WWII Navy Muster Rolls. We checked these websites and verified that they have copies of the USS John D Ford muster rolls for 1944 and 1945. These muster rolls may be searched by the name of the sailor or browsed by ship name and dates. Accessing the muster rolls through these websites requires a paid subscription. Some libraries provide free access to their researchers. Also, if you are looking for information on a specific sailor, and if you let us know his name here on History Hub, we may be able to assist you further.
To clarify some terminology, muster rolls are lists of enlisted personnel. Deck logs are records of events on a ship. Deck logs from World War II usually have officer rosters attached to them. If a person is listed on a muster roll, that means he was enlisted, and therefore would not be recorded in the rosters attached to the deck log. However, if you are trying to get a complete list of crew members at any given time, you would need both the muster rolls and the officer rosters. And if you are trying to research the activities of the ship, you would want to access the deck logs.
If you let us know more about your research goals, we may be able to recommend additional records that would be useful to research your father’s service and/or his ship.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!