Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Yeah, colds are great for productivity...

I had meant to post regularly during my recent trip to San Bruno but events transpired against me. Randy from showed for two days of research, but came down on Monday afternoon, so he was there for three nights. Of course, we had to go out for dinner and some fun each night, and by the time thursday evening came around I was just wiped. Friday was the flight home....

So one of my hopes this trip was to go through the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard files and look for specific ships; I'd hoped to find new information on the destroyers Ward, Allen, and a few other ships. The records are stored in their original order, which is according to the US Navy Filing System of the time. The system allows a couple different ways of ordering records, and it turned out that the PHNY records are not ordered in a way that makes looking for a particular ship easy.

Everything was broken down into a specific code; S44 was the filing code for propellers, for example and S74 was for anti-aircraft guns. While it would be perfectly natural to organize records by hull number / S74, S74 / hull number was also permitted. But that later structure, which PHNY follows, means that if you want to research a ship you have to go through EVERY file code looking for your particular ship. Since some of the file codes may have 8 boxes 18 inches long or longer, that can make for a slow process.

So... that becomes a project for when there's a little time here and there.

Otherwise though I did have some good results and have more documents to post.