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I was pleasantly surprised on Monday morning when I checked my email and found a bill from the National Archives. You might think it hard to use the words “pleasantly surprised” and “bill” in the same sentence, but I was pleased to find out that they had identified 69 records related to muster rolls on the boat, and if I would be good enough to send them $55.20, they would email me copies of the reports.

I had expected it to be a few weeks between submission of my request last Thursday, so I was impressed with the fast response. I wasted no time paying the invoice, also happy to find that the archives actually accept electronic payment. Again, I’d expected having to mail a check and wait for a few weeks while my payment processed.

Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I opened my email and found copies of all 69 documents. Personnel Diaries, Officer Distribution Control Reports, Enlisted Distribution and Verification Reports, the entirety of 1973 reporting. I was in Yeoman heaven, or hell, depending on how much time you spent in the ship’s office, but I was darn near ecstatic to scan through the reports and see all those familiar names of shipmates I’d never served with.

I spent yesterday exporting images from pdfs, sorting and collating, and uploading images of each of the 69 pages to the site, all so that each of you can take a look for yourself and see the official records of personnel assignments and transfers from 1973.

You can find all the records at LOGROOM >> ARCHIVES >> PERSONNEL REPORTS >> 1973 Personnel Reports.

Because they’re personnel related, you must be registered and logged in to the site to view them, but I’ve uploaded large versions so you can zoom in and easily read them, well, at least in most cases.

There is a ton of work to be done going through these line by line and updating our database, but there will be more about that in a later post and call for volunteers. For now let it be known that I found two names not currently in our Master Sailing List, Gary Granai, and John Teply, both on the officers roster. That in the first twelve months. Looks like this will be a productive effort.

Not to be put off by the monumental task ahead, I have already submitted a request for the muster rolls of 1974. If you want to help, wait a day or so for the post requesting volunteers. If crunching data is not your thing, you can financial support the Master Sailing List Research project by supporting it financially. We still need to raise an estimated $900, so use your credit card or Paypal in the “Fund Master Sailing List Research” box on the right side of almost every page on the website.

In the meantime, take a look at what’s in the Legroom Archives in the way of Personnel Records. I found it strangely moving, looking back 45 years into the past. I hope you do too.

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Help fund SSN–680.org research and recover Personnel Diaries and Quarterly Muster Reports from the National Archives, helping us in our goal to identify every sailor that sailed on the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) and add them to the Master Sailing List.

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© 2019 Brad Williamson
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