Military Records

Information NOT Included in Deck Logs

A deck log will indicate when a ship is moored or dry-docked at a shipyard, but will not identify the kind of work being done, or the materials being used. Deck logs do not record day-to-day work assignments of individual crew members, nor events taking place elsewhere, including the activities of crew members on detached duty. Deck logs of aircraft carriers may indicate the commencement and cessation of flight operations, but do not indicate what specific aircraft took part in those operations, who was aboard the aircraft, or what the aircraft did while away from the carrier. (Also note that ship and aircraft passenger and cargo manifests are not permanent records.)

While deck logs should indicate when deaths or injuries occurred aboard ship, and whether or not medical treatment was provided, but they will not provide details as to specific treatment given, and do not record other medical matters, such sick bay visit or injuries sustained away from the ship. Pertinent information from binnacle lists and morning reports are only kept until the information in them has been transcribed into the medical records of the persons involved, and then they are disposed of. Individual medical records are then sent to the National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138, which is administered by NARA.

For further information, see this NARA resource on individual military personnel records, as well as The Naval History & Heritage Command's (NHHC) information about individual medical records.