Military Records

Information NOT Included in Deck Logs

The information captured in a deck log and the level of detail provided changes based on the information the Navy requires to be recorded. That being said, there is some information that has consistently not been recorded within 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 (or any ship that launches aircraft) 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 ship. Also, note that ship and aircraft passenger manifests and cargo manifests are not permanent records. Temporary records, such as manifests, are retained by the Navy and then destroyed at the end of the records’ scheduled retention. 

While deck logs may indicate when deaths or injuries occur aboard ship, and whether or not medical treatment was provided, they rarely provide details as to specific treatment given, and do not record other medical matters, such as sick bay visits 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. For information regarding personnel files and medical records see this NARA resource on military service records, as well as the resources on individual military personnel records and individual medical records.