As self-appointed Chief Archivist and Master Historian for the U.S.S. William H. Bates (OK, I made up the title too!) I can attest that we have spent significant energy debating the timeline of the Bates in the Scuttlebutt. Sometimes it seems we are no closer to nailing it down than when we started, which is becoming more of a concern as our memories fade and we join the queue to shuffle off this mortal coil.

I’m driving hard to complete two separate activities that will help capture and preserve our collective Bates history.

I have discovered that access is available to monthly officer and crew rosters as well as the Deck Log for the life of the ship through the Naval Archives. This will not only help nail down our Master Sailing List, but help solidify the documentation of the unclassified ship’s movement. In itself, this is a big project, and comes at a cost. The Archives charge for printing, microfilm copying, and access, which requires the researcher to know exactly what they are looking for. Daunting, but on my list of projects to pursue. More on this later.

For now, be aware that there is now a new feature on the ssn-680.org website where this historical information will reside. Accessed via Logroom >> History >> Timeline, the timeline consists of a list of individual events related to the U.S.S. William H. Bates, whether a significant ship’s event, homeport change, SRA, deployment, exercise, or port call. Relevant world events are included to place our history in a larger perspective, and any time-related item in the Logroom Archive or Upscope Photo Galleries are linked in as well.

02 timeline podClicking on the event itself will take you to a detail page that includes a brief description of the event, where it took place, and of course, the date. Here’s where you can help. At the bottom of the detail page is the related data that tells us how confident we are in the accuracy of the year, month, and day, references the source, any relevant notes, and the editor. You can help improve the accuracy of the timeline by sharing any documentation or knowledge you might have.

To add an event, or modify an existing one, use the About Time tab on the right edge of your screen! Enter whatever information you have, make your best guess as to the date accuracy, attach any documentation or images that your would like to reference, and click submit! Nothing simpler.

Note that the About Time tab only appears in the Legroom and Up Scope Galleries sections of the site, because that’s probably where you’ll be when you come up with a new event or date information.

The Timeline is only complete through 1976 - I have hundreds of events yet to add, but one entry at a time is slow going. In the meantime, jump right in. Your input will dramatically improve the value of the website for all of us!

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© 2017 Brad Williamson
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