Documenting claims of injury and disability


Bill Grubb who was A Division Officer on the 1967 Vietnam cruise states:

For documentation, if there was an injury, it would probably be in the officer of the deck's logs for that day as every watch had to logs all events. The logs are at Modern Military Branch, National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park MD 20740-6001 [telephone (301) 837-3510]. These logs are open for research. Requests for research appointments, and inquiries.

page44_1

This is an excerpt from the web page:

"Deaths and Injuries. In cases of deaths and injuries suffered on board ship, the log should record the simple fact of the death or injury and note whether medical treatment was given to the injured. It does not go into detail as to specific treatment given, and does not record other medical matters, such as visits to sick bay or injuries not suffered on board ship"
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq73-1.htm#anchor182964

Deck Logs: Location

Held by The National Archives

Deck logs of commissioned U.S. Navy ships from the earliest times through 1940 are in the Old Military and Civil Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20408 [telephone (202) 501-5385. Logs from 1941 through those that are 30 years old or older are in the Modern Military Branch, National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park MD 20740-6001 [telephone (301) 837-3510]. These logs are open for research. Requests for research appointments, and inquiries concerning log information, should go to the National Archives office holding logs from the time period of interest.

Held By The Naval Historical Center

Deck logs that are less than 30 years of age are in the custody of the Ships Deck Logs Section, Naval Historical Center, Building 57, 805 Kidder Breese Street SE, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060. All inquiries concerning deck logs that are less than 30 years old should be sent to the Ships Deck Logs Section.

Logs that are less than 30 years old are held in either paper or microfiche form, stored in the Washington National Records Center, 4205 Suitland Road, Suitland MD 20746. Logs from 1979 through February 1993 are on microfiche in the Ships Deck Logs Section. Logs from 1990 through 1993 are partly on microfiche in the Deck Logs Section, partly on paper at the Records Center. All logs from March 1993 are on paper and stored at the Records Center. All deck logs, whether they are classified or FOUO (For Official Use Only) must be sent to the proper authorities at SubPac, SubLant, SurfPac or SurfLant for declassification review or review and release determination before they can be researched or copied. All Deck Logs that are less than three years of age must be sent to PacFlt for review and release determination.

Deck Log: Format, Research and Duplication

Format: Deck logs are bulky documents. Prior to the 1980s, logs were kept on oversized (10 by 15 inches) paper, a typical log consisting of four or more pages per day. In the 1980s, in keeping with a Congressional mandate to standardize on 8½ by 11 inch paper, deck logs began to be written, by hand, on pages of that size. This greatly increased the page count. We have seen single months' logs from recent years run to as many as 300 or 400 pages.

Under the old format, a ship's deck log might run 120 pages or more per month, or over 1200 pages per year. (There are the inevitable exceptions, but this seems to hold fairly true.) Under the new format, logs can run from 100 to 400 pages per month or, say, from 1,200 to several thousand pages per year.

Research in Deck Logs at the Ships History Branch

The Ships Deck Logs Section staff consists of one person. Given the number of inquiries received, the staff cannot read hundreds of pages in response to any one inquiry. Thus the Ships Deck Logs Section is unable to do extensive research in response to queries. Questions must be specific, and must be narrowed down to a particular time and/or place.

All deck logs are either FOUO (For Official Use Only) or classified. Under new regulations/procedures all deck logs must be reviewed for release determination prior to its release to the general public. Reqeusts for copies of deck logs will be treated as a FOIA requests (Freedom of Information Act). When a request for copies of a deck log are received the Ships History Branch, Deck Logs Section will make a page count of the deck logs requested and determine the estimated cost to either make a microfiche copy or scan the paper deck logs and place them on CD-ROM. The incoming request, along with the estimated cost of reproduction will then be send to the Navy's FOIA Office. The Navy FOIA Office will send out a letter to the requestor telling them of the cost. If the individual decides to pay the reproduct cost they must notify the Navy FOIA Office that they want to continue their request to reproduce the deck logs. One the Navy FOIA Office gets that notification letter then the Ships History Deck Logs Section will either scan the paper deck logs or duplicate the microfiche deck logs and forward those records to either SubLant, SubPac, SurfLant or SurfPac for final review and release determination. The individual will be notified which command is reviewing the deck logs for release determination and that command will provide the final copy of the deck logs that have been authorized for release.

Duplication of Deck Logs

Due to the restrictions on FOUO deck logs the logs are not available to the general public for research purposes. As stated in the "Research of Deck Logs Section" above, the duplication fee schedule will be what is charged under FOIA. The cost to scan paper deck logs and place them on CD-ROM is 15 cents a page and the cost to duplicate existing microfiche is 25 cents a sheet. Most of the deck logs for the period 1979 to February1993 are on microfiche and the paper copy of the deck logs do not exist. The Ships History Branch will provide a price quote via the Navy's FOIA Office.

Deck Logs: What information is not in a deck log

Shipyard Work; Individual Work Assignments; Events Occurring Elsewhere

When a ship is being overhauled at a shipyard, the deck log records the ship's presence at the shipyard, but does not identify the work being done or the materials being used. These logs do not record day-to-day work assignments of individual crew members. A deck log records events taking place on board the individual ship or, if pertinent, in its immediate vicinity. It does not include events taking place elsewhere, such as the activities of crew members on detached duty.

page44_2

Deaths and Injuries

In cases of deaths and injuries suffered on board ship, the log should record the simple fact of the death or injury and note whether medical treatment was given to the injured. It does not go into detail as to specific treatment given, and does not record other medical matters, such as visits to sick bay or injuries not suffered on board ship.

Medical Records

The Naval Historical Center does not receive medical records of any kind. Individual medical records, as well as any existing medical logs from Navy ships, are sent to the National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records), 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis MO 63132-5100. Under the records disposal schedule established by the Secretary of the Navy, in consultation with the National Archives, binnacle lists and morning reports of sick are not permanent records. They are kept until the information in them has been transcribed into the medical records of the persons involved, and are then disposed of."

page44_3