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Four months into the Master Sailing List Research project and I have gained a whole new appreciation for those few, those precious few, that wore the crossed quills or the quill and logbook. Yeoman and Personnelman, (back in the day, now Personnel Specialists) held the boat together with the glue of administration and clerical responsibilities.

I didn’t give them as much credit as deserved back in the early eighties, but I was yet to get lost in Personnel Diaries and Distribution Reports. Let me tell you something. Find a shipmate that worked in the Ship’s Office, and thank him. You scarcely can imagine what he was up against, and I’m not just talking about an angry XO! But that’s not what this little missive is about.

I wanted to let you in on two items: 1) the Personnel Reports that have been processed and added to the website for your viewing and researching pleasure, and 2) the acquisition of our first Deck Log, the October 1974 UNCLASSIFIED Deck Log - Remarks Section.

First, we now have four years of Personnel Reports on the site; 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1981. They can be found in the Logroom at Logroom >> Archive >> Personnel Reports. Organized by year, documents include the four standard reports: Enlisted Personnel Diaries (EPDs), Officer Personnel Diaries (OPDs), Enlisted Distribution and Verification Reports (EDVRs), and Officer Distribution and Control Reports (ODCRs). Simply select the document type and a gallery of images will open.

Each document is presented as a series of full page images that can be accessed by clicking on any of the square thumbnail images. To advance the slide show, use the arrows in the panel that appears towards the top of the page, and to enlarge the image to full size, click the expansion icon (two little arrowheads) between the right arrow and the close (X) button. Obviously, this is best viewed on a desktop machine or a large-screen tablet.

These Personnel Reports are the source documents that we use to validate your Bates service from the day you arrived until the day you departed. If you view your profile, you will find links to the reference documents we have used to validate your dates, rate/rank, and department/division (if we have validated yours). Remember that we have only completed 1973, 1974, and 1981. 1972 is currently in progress.

Second, we have recently acquired our very first copy of the boat’s Deck Log for October of 1974. It can also be found in the Logroom Archives at Logroom >> Archives >> Deck Log >> 1974 Deck Logs. Again, simply select the month and year of interest, and you’ll be able to access full size images of the logs by following the previously mentioned instructions.

The Deck Logs are being used to validate the SSN 680 Timeline found at Logroom >> History >> SSN 680 Timeline, and fill in the many missing gaps.

The Deck Logs are not part of the Master Sailing List (MSL) Research project, but are obtained much the same way through Freedom of Information Act requests from the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA). Every page we publish costs $0.80 (eighty cents) from NARA, and while many of you have contributed to support the MSL Research Project, I’m footing the bill for the Deck Log research.

If you’d like to contribute towards obtaining more Personnel Reports or Deck Logs, please visit the Ship’s Store (Crew’s Mess >> Ship’s Store) and purchase a ball cap or challenge coin. Every penny of your purchase will get used for obtaining documents from NARA. If you have enough ball caps and challenge coins, then use the “Fund Master Sailing List Research” module on the right side of almost every page on the www.ssn-680.org website, and include a note as to where you’d like your contribution applied. I will make sure it is well spent.

We have a long cruise ahead of us to obtain all the Personnel Reports and Deck Logs and make them available to you here on the www.ssn-680.org website, but with your support I intend to make that happen.

Take a look at the records, find your name, or that of your shipmates, and be reminded of the great adventure that we experienced on board the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680).

Thanks for your support, and for being a part of this next great adventure!

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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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© 2018 Brad Williamson
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