A friend recently asked me to help him retrieve deck log information from the USS Rogers DD876. Ron and I did a West Pac (West Pacific) deployment to Vietnam together in 1966. He is searching for proof in a claim with the VA. Below is a lengthy but very detailed message I received from a person at the National Archives Center. For all the negative reports we hear about government employees, this lady replied promptly and went out of her way researching my specific request: Thank you Victoria.
Dear Mr. Affield,
This is in response to your email of July 29, 2018, to the Electronic Records Division Reference Branch (RDER) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). You inquired about documentation of firing engagements and visits to ports in Vietnam for the USS Rogers for the years 1966 to 1969.
First, you may be able to find this information in the USS Rogers deck logs for those years. Navy deck logs are in custody of NARA’s Textual Records Division (RDT2). You may contact staff at RDT2 by email at email@example.com or write to them at: Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RDT2), 8601 Adelphi Rd, College Park, MD 20740-6001.
Additionally, if it is of interest, NARA has digitized a number of the Navy deck logs in RDT2’s custody. While I did find the USS Rogers on the list, you may wish to view the list of Navy deck logs available in the Catalog on the National Archives website at https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/navy-online. For more information, you may also view NARA’s “Logbooks of the US Navy at the National Archives” page at https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/navy.
Second, you indicated that you had viewed the FAQs for the “Records About Naval Gunfire Support During the Vietnam War (CONGA), 3/1966 – 1/1973,” available on NARA’s Access to Archival Databases (AAD) resource at https://aad.archives.gov/aad. As you are likely aware, the CONGA records contain data that document naval gunfire support missions in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and the shore bombardment of North Vietnam as part of Operation Sea Dragon and subsequent bombardments. For reference, a link to the CONGA series on AAD is https://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-description.jsp?s=1805&cat=WR28&bc=,sl.
It is possible to search the CONGA records on AAD using the criteria you listed with a fielded search. To begin a fielded search from the series description page I link above, click on the “Search” button to the right of the file unit title, “Combat Naval Gunfire Support File (CONGA), [Fixed-length Version], 3/1966 – 1/1973,” which is at the top of the description. This will take you to the Fielded Search page for this file. You may then enter your criteria for the fields you wish to search; you may also select the “show more fields” button to view a list of all fields available. Once satisfied with your search criteria, you then click “Search” to bring up the Display Partial Records Page with the records that matched the specified criteria. You can then can view any full record by clicking on the page icon next to the record you wish to view. For your reference, I have attached a copy of our “AAD Handout & Basics” for further information about searching for records on AAD.
To provide an example, I conducted a search of CONGA using your criteria in the following way. For MISSION FIRING DATE, I selected BETWEEN from the down-drop box, then entered the dates “01/01/1966” and “12/31/1969” in the corresponding text boxes. For NAME OF FIRING SHIP, I entered “Rogers”. For HULL TYPE OF FIRING SHIP, I used the Code List (click “Select from Code List”) to select “DD” for Destroyer. I also entered “876” for HULL NUMBER OF FIRING SHIP. My search returned 87 records that matched this criteria. A link to Partial Results for this search is: https://aad.archives.gov/aad/display-partial-records.jsp?dt=842&sc=18067%2C18087%2C18090%2C18091%2C18092%2C18093%2C18096%2C18100%2C18101&cat=WR28&tf=F&bc=%2Csl%2Cfd&q=&as_alq=&as_anq=&as_epq=&as_woq=&nfo_18067=D%2C6%2C1966&op_18067=8&txt_18067=01%2F01%2F1966&txt_18067=12%2F31%2F1969&nfo_18087=V%2C6%2C1900&op_18087=0&txt_18087=&nfo_18090=V%2C16%2C1900&op_18090=0&txt_18090=Rogers&nfo_18091=V%2C4%2C1900&cl_18091=DD&nfo_18092=V%2C4%2C1900&op_18092=0&txt_18092=876&nfo_18093=V%2C1%2C1900&cl_18093=&nfo_18096=V%2C13%2C1900&op_18096=0&txt_18096=&nfo_18100=V%2C2%2C1900&cl_18100=&nfo_18101=V%2C2%2C1900&cl_18101=
We also suggest that you review the other technical documentation for these records to assist in your use of the data. You will find links to the technical documentation on the Fielded Search page by hovering your mouse over the “FILE UNIT INFORMATION” text at that top of the page and then selecting “FAQs & Technical Information”; a direct link to the technical information for this file on AAD is https://aad.archives.gov/aad/popup-tech-info.jsp?f=3371.
I hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have further questions concerning NARA’s electronic records holdings, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (301) 837-0470.
Electronic Records Division Reference Branch (RDER)
National Archives at College Park
I post this in hopes that it will help one Blue Water Sailor in his/her quest for seeking clousure with the past.