Military Records

Logbooks of US Lightships and Buoy Tenders

Our holdings of Logbooks of US Light House Service vessels are located at the National Archives Building (Archives I) in Washington DC and are described in Record Group 26, Records of the US Coast Guard. The two types of vessels that served the Light House Service for which we have logs include Lightships (or Light Vessels), which were Aids to Navigation in their own right, each equipped with a light atop the main mast; and Buoy Tenders, vessels designed and equipped to set, repair, and retrieve navigational buoys that marked shipping channels and lanes. For information about the history of these vessels, visit the USCG Historian's web site. Below is a list of sources of these logbooks:

Logs of Light House Vessels 1897-1941
Record Group 26, (NC-31) Entry 79, National Archives Identifier 559752 File forthcoming

Logs of Journals Related to Misc. Ships and Stations 1886 - 1947
Entry (UD) 31, National Archives Identifier 478388

Buoy Tender Logs 1873-1941
Entry 328
File forthcoming

US Coast Guard Log Books 1942-47
Entries (NC-31) 159 D-I, National Archives Identifier 587169
Series are arranged by year, and thereunder by type of vessel/station:

Comprehensive lists of US Coast Guard ships and stations for 1942-1947 are also available.

Logs Of (USCG) Ships And Shore Installations, 1948-1972
Entries (A-1) 330A - Z, National Archives Identifier 559642
File forthcoming

Information recorded in these logs generally includes brief weather descriptions and data, maintenance operations, personnel changes, as well as supplies delivered and used. Sometimes lists of the crew members are included.

Inquiries regarding the records may be directed to, or write to:

National Archives
Archives 1 Reference Section
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408-0001.