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 Author  Topic: WW II Service Records & PT Logs
Jeff Sherry

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff Sherry  Posted on: Oct 30, 2011 - 1:51pm
I need the advice of the forum members. I'm thinking of writing my Dad's wartime story : PT-342, Ron 24. They sunk one of the largest Japanese ships with a torpedo in in the New Guinea Campaign-a minelayer. Before he passed away in 2008, I wrote down quite a bit of his story and even recorded some of him talking about combat just after we visited Fall River. ANYWAY..I'd like to get his service records and if possible PT 342's logs.

My question is this. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Can I get those from The National Archives-copies of course-and anything else relating to Ron 24. I have a partial history of Ron 24 as well.

Your expert help has always been extremely helpful. Thanks in advance.

Jeff Sherry


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kgretter

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 30, 2011 - 3:42pm
Jeff

I'm considering a similar project with my father's story. I requested his military records and received them fairly quickly and at no charge. They contained lots of bureaucratic paperwork, similar forms that all contained the same basic info, etc. About what you'd expect from a government agency. If you read through them carefully, however, you'll find some interesting tidbits. In my case I discovered a medal my father never mentioned.(he didn't talk much about the war.)
Logs from his boat are something I would love to see but haven't pursued yet. I'm certain there are some members on here who can tell you how to access those. Let us know how your research in that area goes. Incidentally, my father served in RON 34, but at the very tail end of the war he was assigned to RON 24. I don't know if he actually made it to a boat there.

Good luck,
Keith

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PT127

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PT127  Posted on: Oct 30, 2011 - 5:28pm
Jeff/Keith,

To find the deck logs, and far more interesting, the after action reports you need to either physically go to the national archives in DC or hire a researcher to go there for you.

If you do a google for national archives you'll find them on the web.

http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/index.html

Once you get to their website you look around for WW 2 records and those pages will show you which building contains those records. (its in a suburb of DC.) If you email the archive staff they can provide you a list of researchers whom you could hire.

I'd HIGHLY suggest going yourself. There is something beyond surreal to handle the actual documents and deck log books yourself.

If you go plan to spend three to five days. Once you get the documents you can either photocopy them or shoot them with your digital camera. I did the latter. The have camera stands with lights for this. But you need your own camera. It takes hours but it is very much worth it. And as a bonus, the people at the archives were the nicest and most helpful federal employees I've ever dealt with.

Feel free to let me know I'd you have any other questions.

-mark

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PT127

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PT127  Posted on: Oct 30, 2011 - 5:31pm
And the other thing you'll want to copy is the War Diary of the Ron your interested in.

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29navy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of 29navy  Posted on: Oct 30, 2011 - 5:49pm
The deck logs and war reports, if they still exist, are at the National Archives (commonly called NARA II) in College Park, MD. The first thing is to determine if they have them. Unforntunately, they don't have all logs from all boats or all Squadrons.

Charlie

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victorkchun

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 31, 2011 - 11:24am
Jeff,
From the book I got many years ago from the Government Printing Office called "List of
Logbooks of US Navy Ships, Stations, and Miscellaneous Units, 1801-1947" I found the
following pertaining to your inquiry: PT-342, Nov. 1, 1944 - June 30, 1945, Number of Logbooks - 3. Way back in 1978 I wrote to National Archives and successfully gotten the
log book I requested. By luck I still have the letter from them advising me how to proceed
and price, etc. Of course that was many years ago and many changes were made. However,
if you give me your address, I can land mail you their letter.
Victor Chun
victorkchun@aol.com

Victor K Chun

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Jeff Sherry

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff Sherry  Posted on: Nov 4, 2011 - 9:57am
Mr. Chunn,

I got your letter today concerning the National Archives. Thank you very much. I'll let you know how the research goes.
Jeff


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PT127

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PT127  Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 - 7:37am
There was a time one could request copies from the national archives and for a fee they (the archive staff) would provide them. Those times have long sinced ended. The two choices are to go there yourself or hire a researcher to go there for you.

Good luck in your search.


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 - 9:50am
Hi Jeff,
I agree with Mark. When I went there in April May I spent 6 days. I reviewed numerous PT Boat "Deck Logs" and like Charlie says, they are not always complete. Also even when you find the Deck Log, it doesnt go into as much detail of the action seen by the boat as I had wanted. The Squadron Action Reports and if they exist the Squadron Diary are much more informative. They dont so much as name individual names, but they describe exactly what happened during any encounters with the enemy. Most of the mundane stuff, like taking on supplies, arrival and departure of personnel, repairs to the boat, changing engines, etc is kept on the Deck Log. In one instance, all the Deck Log said for a major action was "Changed Course and Speed to xxx, fired two torpedoes, expended 800 rounds of 50 caliber ammunition. Returned to base" It was a little disappointing to say the least. If you look at Marks PT127 website, he has the Action Reports for his Dads Boat on there and you can see how much more interesting they are to read.

I guess to summarize what I am saying is:

1. Focus your time first on getting the "Action Reports" and "Squadron Diary"
2. Look for the Deck Logs after that.
3. You may want to look at deck logs of the other boats in the same Squadron while you are there as well, sometimes they will record something about the same event from a completely different perspective.
4. Bring your own digital camera, lots of extra batteries and some sort of steady stand (like a small tripod or special document picture mount) that allows you to take digital pictures of the individual pages of the books. This will speed up your imaging and you will come across a lot of stuff you will want to record.
5. Dont forget to devote at least a day to check out the Photographic Archives up on the 3rd floor, they have lots of extremely interesting related photos that you can take pictures of as well. Here they have several of those camera stands with built in lighting for good photography.
6. Consider going to the Washington Navy Yard (over near the Smithsonian) to the Navy History and Heritage Command Photographic Records Office. Definitiely call and make an appointment first. They have numerous photos not available in Archives 2.

Good Luck,
Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

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timreidy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Dec 23, 2011 - 8:25am
Jeff,

My grandfather was in RON 24 and also passed in 2008. Since that time I have been putting together a book for our family of his war story. I have had a lot of success lately with the National Archives particularly as more and more of their documents become public record. Typically, when requesting records online from the Archives they only send the DD214 or Separation Papers. However, if you make a note in the comments box that you request the OMPF, official Military Personnel File, you will receive EVERYTHING they have including medical records, pay, travel papers, etc. A lot of bureaucratic papers but helps further tell the story of the war.


If you need assistance with your research needs, I would be more than happy to help you track down the records you desire.

Tim Reidy
Reidy Historical Consulting
www.reidyhistoricalconsulting.com

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