Military Records

Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) and Military Sealift Command (MSC) Deck Logs, 1946-81

The Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) was established in 1949 to consolidate shipment of military supplies from the four separate services used during World War II into a unified command. Many of the ships that formed MSTS in the early years were reassigned from the Army Transportation Service (ATS). These logs, which evolved over time and have varying degrees of consistently recorded information, date from as early as 1946 and reach to 1981.

Information captured in these logbooks includes ship name, date, location or port of departure and planned destination, ship's course, total distance traveled, and meteorological information, as well as brief entries giving a running account of the principal activities aboard the ship. Entries typically mention the ship departing or entering a port, mustering the crew, drills and inspections, passing navigational buoys, setting lookouts, bringing a harbor pilot aboard, and sea conditions. If a crewman took ill or was injured and sent to sick bay, this also may be noted.

For information regarding records located at Archives II, researchers may email to, or write to:

National Archives
Archives II Reference Section
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740.