Military Records

1979-1983 and Later Deck Logs

The National Archives holds the unclassified Deck Logs of U.S. Navy ships dated from 1979 to 1983. Starting with Deck Logs dated 1979 the U.S. Navy began transferring the paper copies of the deck logs onto microfiche. These microfiched copies replaced the paper copies and the original paper copies were normally destroyed. The practice of transferring deck logs from paper to microfiche concluded in 1993.

Prior to the 1980s, logs were kept on oversized (10 by 15 inches) paper, with a typical log consisting of four or more pages per day. In keeping with a Congressional mandate to standardize on 8.5 by 11 inch paper, deck logs began to be written, by hand, on pages of that size. This also had a tendency to increase the monthly page counts of the logs.

By the mid to late 1970s and early 1980s, the frequency of individual personnel being identified in deck logs for any reason (whether reporting aboard, transferring to another command, sustaining wounds, or being subject to disciplinary action) had declined to being fairly infrequent occurrences. References to individuals in logs continued to be included, however, the frequency and amount of data recorded was generally less than previously annotated.

For access to CLASSIFIED Deck Logs dated 1979-1983 and for Deck Logs dated 1984 and later please contact the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) in the Washington Navy Yard. For more information about the deck logs in the holdings of the Naval History and Heritage Command and how to access them, please visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website.