2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2021 4:39 PM by Annie Barzen

    Seeking records for John C Barzen

    Annie Barzen Newbie

      Several years ago, I ordered a copy the entire Official Personnel File for my grandfather, LTjg. John C Barzen, USNR as a Christmas gift for my dad. But the records in the file pretty much stop at the beginning of 1944 when the small coastal transport APc-91 that he commanded was decommissioned. If anyone has any information on ways to complete the record and/or other information, I would be most grateful.


      The only other facts I know are that he was serving in the Atlantic. My dad recalls my grandfather saying he was on a Destroyer Escort and a Minesweeper in the war but I can only find information on the APc that he commanded. Apparently there is also a story of an Italian submarine suddenly surfacing and surrendering themselves when the crew on my grandfather's ship didn't even know they were there! I think the crew won a medal for this but again, I can't find any records of this occurrence .

        • Re: Seeking records for John C Barzen
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Ms. Barzen,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          If you believe that you may not have received the entire Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) for your grandfather, please contact the National Archives at St. Louis via email at stl.archives@nara.gov with full details.  They will conduct a follow-up search to see if any sections of the file were omitted in the initial reply to your request.


          Unfortunately, if the OMPF does not indicate the names of the destroyer escort and the minesweeper he served on, there is no easy way to locate that information for officers.  While US Navy muster rolls for World War II have been digitized and are available as name searchable databases on Ancestry and elsewhere, these muster rolls do not list officers. Officers are typically listed on rosters attached to deck logs, the bulk of which have not been digitized for World War II.  There were hundreds of destroyer escorts and minesweepers in US Navy service during World War II, therefore reviewing all the deck logs would be exceptionally time consuming.


          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 APc-91 from 22 May 1943 through 16 February 1944. For more information, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@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 RL-SL and RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          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) that contains war diaries concerning the APc-91’s activities during parts of 1943. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online using the Catalog.  Please note that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order.


          Additionally, we searched online located a brief mention of the APc-91 in the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry for the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754), as well as a page about the USS APc-91 on the unofficial website NavSource.


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

            • Re: Seeking records for John C Barzen
              Annie Barzen Newbie

              Sorry for my late response. Thank you so much for your detailed reply! I have read the APc-91 diaries and seen the NavSource page - they are very informative, thank you! I do not have the copies of the personal file records so I can't check myself but my dad has said that there is unfortunately no mention of which ship John Barzen was on after the APc-91 I guess we will have to wait for the rest of the ship logs to be digitized. Hopefully that will happen sometime in the next few years. Again, thanks for all your help!