1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 29, 2020 1:59 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking deck logs of PT-498 thru PT-508 prior to August 1944.

    Patrick Boswell Newbie

      Greetings All, I am trying to locate a certain date range of deck logs for a Second World War U.S. Navy motor torpedo boat, known as PT-498. There were twelve PT boats, sequentially numbered 498 thru 509, assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 34, (MTB RON 34). PT-509 was tragically sunk in action AUG 1944, with all but one crew member lost, so eleven squadron boats deck logs would have survived. A search of Special List #44 shows that some deck logs are available for all of the surviving eleven boats, including 498: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/military/logbooks/sl-44-ship-number.pdf However, all of these logs begin on 01 AUG 1944, well after the squadron was commissioned and in action. MTB RON 34 boats were among the very first boats at Utah Beach, escorting the minesweepers that cleared the lanes to the beach on 05 JUN 1944.

       

      The 01 AUG 44 date on Special List 44 may provide a clue. That date is coincident with a change of mission and command structure for the squadron. As the Allied ground forces advanced, the squadron’s invasion-related duties changed. Patrolling the Channel Islands - St. Malo area from their new forward base in Cherbourg became their new primary duty. Where the Squadron had been under the command of Task Force U at Utah, it was now assigned to CTF 125, Commander U.S. Ports and Bases, France. I would be very interested to know the status of the squadron’s deck logs for the period prior to 01AUG 44. PT-498, for example, was commissioned in late 1943, arrived in England in May 44, and was among the very first vessels to arrive, on D-Day. There are likely several months of very interesting and historically significant history contained in the deck logs for all of these boats, prior to 01 AUG 44. So, to summarize, does anyone know the status of deck logs for PT-498 thru PT-508, for the period prior to 01 AUG 1944?

        • Re: Seeking deck logs of PT-498 thru PT-508 prior to August 1944.
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Mr. Boswell,

           

          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 PT boats you are researching. However, according to our internal finding aids, we do not have any deck logs for these boats other than the one listed on Special List 44.  We also could not locate a listing for squadron level deck logs for MTB Squadron 34.

           

          Under normal circumstances, you would contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov and request that someone physically search the relevant boxes to confirm that the finding aids are accurate.  However, NARA has recently closed the National Archives at College Park due to deteriorating local public health conditions, therefore the RDT2 staff are unable to physically access these records for the purpose of fulfilling non-emergency reference requests. Please monitor https://www.archives.gov/coronavirus for updates to NARA’s operating status in regards to the ongoing public health crises.

           

          If the deck logs are not at the National Archives, then that means that they were most likely either lost or improperly disposed of by the US Navy prior to coming into National Archives custody. We are unaware of any repositories of World War II era deck logs that include US Navy deck logs not located at the National Archives. 

           

          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 and reports concerning the MTB RON 34’s activities during World War II, to include dates prior to August 1944. These records have been digitized and may be viewed online using the Catalog.  Please note that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order

           

          Finally, we located Records Relating to Commander Task Force (CTF) 122-126, 1944 - 1945 in the Records of the Records of Naval Operating Forces (Record Group 313).  There may be additional records relating to CTF 125 and its superior and subordinate organizations.  These records are not available online. For more information about these and other World War II related US Navy records, please email RDT2.

          Due to the previously mentioned health crises, 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!