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M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, Chapter 2, Section F – Merchant Marine Service Records

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:
Topic
Topic Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

1.  General Information on Veteran Status Based on Merchant Marine Service


Introduction

This topic contains general information on Veteran status based on Merchant Marine service, including

Change Date

September 21, 2018

III.iii.2.F.1.a.  Eligibility for a U.S. Merchant Marine Discharge Certificate

Members of the U.S. Merchant Marine who served under the Coast Guard, Naval Transportation Service, or Army Transport Service in active, oceangoing service during the period from

  • December 7, 1941, to August 15, 1945, are eligible to receive discharge certificates under Public Law (PL) 95-202, or
  • August 16, 1945, to December 31, 1946, are eligible to receive discharge certificates under PL 105-368.
Each of these services will issue a DD Form 214Certificate of Discharge or Release from Active Duty, or a DD Form 1300Report of Casualty, as applicable.
Important:  Claims processors must pay close attention to the law under which
the DD Form 214 or DD Form 1300 is issued to avoid entitlement errors.
References:  For more information on the eligibility of merchant mariners under

III.iii.2.F.1.b.  Merchant Mariners Who Are Eligible for All VA Benefits Under PL 95-202

On January 19, 1988, in response to Section 401 of PL 95-202, the Secretary of the Air Force approved service aboard certain merchant or public vessels in oceangoing or foreign waters as active duty in World War II (WWII).
If the discharge document shows eligibility under PL 95-202, the merchant mariner and his/her survivors are eligible for benefits in the same manner as any other Veteran or survivor.
Reference:  For more information on the eligibility of merchant mariners under PL 95-202, see 38 CFR 3.7(x)(15).

III.iii.2.F.1.c.  Merchant Mariners Who Are Eligible for Burial Benefits Only Under PL 105-368

PL 105-368, Section 402, provides that the qualified service of certain merchant mariners between August 16, 1945, and December 31, 1946, is deemed active duty service for purposes of all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) burial benefits, including:
  • burial flags
  • burial, plot, and transportation allowances
  • headstones and markers
  • interment in national cemeteries, and
  • markers in memorial areas of national cemeteries.
Important:  Merchant Marine service after August 15, 1945, does not establish eligibility for compensation and/or pension.
Reference:  For more information on merchant mariner benefits under Section 402 ofPL 105-368, see 46 U.S.C. 1120111204.

III.iii.2.F.1.d.  Applying for a DD Form 214 or DD Form 1300 for Merchant Marine Service

To apply for a DD Form 214 or DD Form 1300, a claimant must
  • complete and sign DD Form 2168Application for Discharge of Member or Survivor of Member of Group Certified to Have Performed Active Duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, and
  • submit the DD Form 2168 to the appropriate service department.
Notes:
  • The applicant should also submit copies of any documentation of sea service that he or she may have.
  • An applicant must resubmit the DD Form 2168 and supporting documentation to establish periods of duty other than those that are shown in Item 18, REMARKS, on the DD Form 214.
  • If the merchant mariner is deceased, the applicant must submit evidence of death with the DD Form 2168.  A photocopy of a death certificate, a funeral obituary, or other evidence showing the date of death is acceptable for this purpose.
  • For certification under PL 105-368, the applicant must enclose a $30.00 check or money order, payable to the U.S. Treasury.

III.iii.2.F.1.e.  Determining Where to Send DD Form 2168

Use the information below to determine where the claimant should send the DD Form 2168.
If …
Then the claimant sends the DD Form 2168 to …
the alleged service was employment as a civil servant for the U.S. Army Transport Service (or the U.S. Army Transportation Corps, Water Division)
Commander
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Department 420
Ft. Knox, KY 40122-5402
ATTN: AHRC-PDR
the alleged service was employment as a civil servant for the Naval Transportation Service
Commander
U.S. Navy Personnel Command (PERS-312)
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38054-5045
  • the alleged service was employment with the War Shipping Administration orOffice of Defense Transportation or their agents, and
  • the U.S. Coast Guard or Department of Commerce acknowledged the employment in a document such as a Merchant Mariner Document/Certificate of Service
Commanding Officer
U.S. Coast Guard – National Maritime Center
ATTN: Records Management Branch (NMC-41)
100 Forbes Drive
Martinsburg, WV 25404
Phone:  (888) 427-5662
Reference:  For more information about verification of maritime service through the Coast Guard, see the National Maritime Center website atwww.uscg.mil/nmc/.

2.  Merchant Marine Service Verification Required for a VA Claim


Introduction

This topic contains instructions regarding information required for a claim, including

Change Date

September 21, 2018

III.iii.2.F.2.a.  Forms Required for a Merchant Marine Claim

Notify the claimant that benefits may not be paid without a discharge document.
  • If there is a Veterans Assistance Discharge System (VADS) record or other evidence of Merchant Marine service, inform the claimant that VA cannot pay benefits until the claimant provides a DD Form 214 or DD Form 1300. Assist the claimant by developing the claim pending receipt of a discharge document.
  • If there is no evidence of Merchant Marine service, inform the claimant that VA cannot initiate development until the claimant provides a DD Form 214 or DD Form 1300 or other evidence of Merchant Marine service.
Notes:
  • If there is a VADS record or a discharge document, establish a claim.  Otherwise, send an information letter under end product 400.
  • Although it is ultimately the claimant’s responsibility to provide a discharge document, VA is not precluded from accepting the discharge document from any legitimate source such as the service department or power of attorney when warranted.

III.iii.2.F.2.b.  Correct Voyage Entries and Release Dates on DD Form 214

The DD Form 214 issued should show the
  • entered on date as December 7, 1941, or the date of the earliest voyage, and
  • released from active duty (RAD) date as the date of completion of the last voyage or
    • August 15, 1945 (for PL 95-202), or
    • December 31, 1946 (for PL 105-368).
Notes:
  • The actual voyages and inclusive dates of each voyage will be shown in Item 18, REMARKS, on the DD Form 214.  If all of the voyages cannot be entered in Item 18, an attachment sheet will be provided.
  • For computation of service, only the actual dates of each voyage are considered as qualifying active duty for VA purposes.
  • Do not use the information provided in Item 12, RECORD OF SERVICE, to determine an applicant’s entitlement to VA benefits.

III.iii.2.F.2.c.  Information Required on the DD Form 1300

If the death of a merchant mariner occurred during service, DD Form 1300 is issued in lieu of DD Form 214.
The DD Form 1300 should show the equivalent military pay grade.  If the pay grade information is necessary but not provided, request pay grade verification by following the instructions in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.J.10.
Note:  A DD Form 1300 is valid even without pay grade information or a Social Security number (SSN).

III.iii.2.F.2.d.  Establishing a Merchant Marine Claim

During claims establishment, update the corporate record by entering the beginning and ending dates of the three earliest voyages, unless the claim was established based on a VADS entry and voyage information is not yet available.
If the three earliest voyages do not satisfy the minimum 90-day active duty requirement for pension, enter the three longest voyages.
Reference:  For more information on establishing a claim based on a VADS entry, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.2.a.

III.iii.2.F.2.e.  VADS Entries Prior to January 1, 2015

Prior to January 1, 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD) sent paper copies ofDD Forms 214 to the VADS unit at the Austin Data Processing Center.
When processing paper copies of DD Forms 214 for certain categories of service members, the VADS unit entered DEV as the separation reason into the corporate record.  This DEV entry ensured that merchant mariners who served during the WWII era did not receive the benefits information package that is intended to be sent only to recently discharged.
Important:  For paper copies of DD Forms 214 sent to the VADS unit prior to 2015, it is not necessary to clarify the separation reason code if it is DEV.  Consider the service satisfactory unless other evidence of record reveals otherwise.
If SAT is shown in Item 26, SEPARATION CODE, on a paper copy of the DD Form 214, update the corporate record to reflect the correct entry.
Reference:  For more information on the VADS data format field in the corporate record, see the Share User Guide.

III.iii.2.F.2.f.  VADS Entries Beginning January 1, 2015

Beginning on January 1, 2015, DoD terminated the practice of sending paper copies of DD Form 214 and began electronically transmitting pertinent discharge data to the VADS unit at the Austin Data Processing Center.
If it is apparent that discharge data for Merchant Marine service was transmitted to VADS on or after January 1, 2015, then proper development for the separation reason code is required if it is not satisfactory service, or SAT.
Note:  If using a paper copy of DD Form 214 to verify service, and SAT is shown in Item 26, SEPARATION CODE, update the corporate record to reflect the correct entry.
Reference:  For more information on the VADS data format field in the corporate record, see the Share User Guide.

III.iii.2.F.2.g.  Prior Coast Guard Certification of Certain Merchant Marine Service

Previously, the Coast Guard would certify 90 days of service in certain cases, without providing specific periods of service, if there was proof that a mariner sailed on oceangoing vessels, but the records of vessels or dates of voyages were incomplete.
Even if Item 18, REMARKS, on DD Form 214 shows no voyage information, consider a previously issued DD Form 214 to be valid if it contains the following statements:
  • The above individual falls into a special class of World War II Merchant Mariners.  The complete sea service records for these individuals, which indicate specific sailing dates and vessel names, cannot be located due to their no longer being in the Federal records system; were lost with the ship; or the individual served aboard the ship in a capacity for which official records were not kept.
  • Based on the information available, the Coast Guard certifies that the above individual has at least 90 days of service aboard oceangoing vessels during the period between 7 December 1941 and 15 August 1945.
Reference:  For more information about what a currently issued DD Form 214must contain, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.2.b.

3.  Merchant Marine Service Record Requests


Introduction

This topic contains information on Merchant Marine service record requests, including

Change Date

December 27, 2013

III.iii.2.F.3.a.Problems Associated With Merchant Marine STRs

Merchant Marine service treatment records (STRs)
  • are difficult to obtain, and
  • may not be as detailed or as complete as those VA has historically received from the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy.
Reference:  For more information on obtaining Merchant Marine service records, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.J.10.

III.iii.2.F.3.b.  Determining Continuity of Treatment

If a disability compensation claim is filed,
  • ask the claimant to provide evidence of continuity of treatment for the claimed conditions from the date of separation to the present, and
  • advise the claimant
    • that difficulty may be encountered in obtaining STRs
    • to provide as detailed of information as possible, and
    • that the disabilities claimed must have occurred during actual voyages, not merely while attached to a vessel.

III.iii.2.F.3.c.Information Required when Requesting Merchant Marine Service Records

When requesting medical records, pay grade data, or other records,
  • send a copy of the DD Form 214 with the request, or
  • include the following information from Item 18, REMARKS, of the DD Form 214:
    • identification number of the vessel
    • name of the vessel
    • merchant mariner’s SSN (not included in death cases)
    • Z number, if available, and
    • merchant mariner’s date of birth (DOB).
Notes:
  • The names of vessels may not be sufficient for identification of service records, since the names of the vessels could have been changed.  However, the identification numbers were always retained.
  • The Z number was a number assigned to merchant mariners that is comparable to a service number.
Reference:  For more information on the address codes for Merchant Marine service records, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.J.10.

III.iii.2.F.3.d.  Requesting Records for U.S. Maritime Service

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) (address code 13) has records of merchant mariners trained by the U.S. Maritime Service.
Request these records through the Personnel Information Exchange System (PIES), using the ARMY branch of service tab.  The following information must be provided in the request:
  • the name used by the merchant mariner during training, and
  • the merchant mariner’s
    • DOB, and
    • SSN.

Note:  The Coast Guard does not use training time with the U.S. Maritime Service as evidence of active, ocean-going service during WWII for issuing U.S. Merchant Marine discharge documents.


III.iii.2.F.3.e.  Requesting FPOW Records for Merchant Mariners

Time spent as a former prisoner of war (FPOW) does count as qualifying service for merchant mariners.  The Coast Guard (address code 52) has most of the names of those who were held captive.  The names were obtained from a list compiled by the Coast Guard and DoD in 1950.
Notes:
  • If verified FPOW dates are available, they should be listed in Item 18,REMARKS, block of the DD Form 214, above the actual voyages/dates of each voyage.
  • For FPOW records, the RAD date on the DD Form 214 can be later than August 15, 1945.  If the merchant mariner was captured, the period of qualifying service is from the beginning date of the voyage during which the merchant mariner was captured to the date the merchant mariner was repatriated.
Example:  John Smith served on the ship Ft. Benjamin Harrison.  The voyage began December 7, 1941, and the crew was captured and held until September 13, 1945.  Mr. Smith was repatriated on September 13, 1945.  His service from December 7, 1941, to September 13, 1945, is considered one period of qualifying service.

 

4.  STRs for Merchant Marine Service


Introduction

This topic contains information on STRs for Merchant Marine service, including

Change Date

September 21, 2018

III.iii.2.F.4.a.  Availability of STRs for Merchant Mariners

It is not possible to request STRs for merchant mariners because these individuals do not have a medical file as such.
However, merchant mariners were eligible to receive medical treatment at Public Health Service (PHS) hospitals.  Microfilm copies of certain medical records are maintained by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HSRA) of the Department of Health and Human Services, at the National Hansen’s Disease Center in Baton Rouge, LA.

III.iii.2.F.4.b.  Requesting PHS Medical Records From HSRA

If the claimant alleges treatment at a U.S. PHS hospital and the claimant can furnish the minimum information as required below, send a request to the HSRA.
For the HSRA to conduct a search, the request
  • must include
    • the Veteran’s full name and any aliases
    • the Veteran’s DOB
    • the location (state, at a minimum) of the clinic(s)/hospital(s) where the Veteran was treated, and
    • the month and year of treatment (provide at least the decade), and
  • should include, if available,
    • the Veteran’s SSN and/or Z number, which is comparable to a service number, and
    • any other identifying information.

Important:  Do not send a request to the HSRA if the Veteran

  • is unable to furnish the minimum required information, or
  • did not claim treatment at a PHS facility.

Note:  Because HSRA searches reels of microfilm to find treatment records, the more specific the information furnished, the greater the likelihood of locating the records.


III.iii.2.F.4.c.  How to Request PHS Records From HSRA

Prepare a request using the example letter in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.9,
Send the request to:
Public Health Service Health Data Center
National Hansen’s Disease Program
1770 Physicians Park Drive
Baton Rouge, LA  70816
Note:  Telephone 1-800-642-2477 or 1-225-756-3773 if priority/expedited assistance is required.
Important:  All correspondence must include the name and telephone number of the requester.

III.iii.2.F.4.d.  Action to Take if Unable to Provide Required Information to HSRA

If the information required to submit a request for PHS records to HSRA is not available, review M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.5 and 6 to determine if there is any possibility that records may be available from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or the Maritime Administration Office of Sealift Support.
Once all possible sources for records have been queried, route the claim to the rating activity for rating action.
Notes:
  • The rating decision must outline the efforts made to obtain the records.
  • The decision notice must explain that a search cannot be conducted for medical records without the minimum required information outlined inM21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.4.b.

III.iii.2.F.4.e.  Locating Records of Military or Overseas Treatment for Merchant Mariners

The HSRA does not possess records for Veterans treated at military or overseas facilities.
Use the table below to determine how to obtain medical records if the claimant alleges military or overseas treatment.
If a claimant alleges …
Then …
any overseas treatment (military or private)
  • obtain as much identifying information about the treatment facility as possible from the claimant, such as the
    • complete name, address, location, and nation administering the facility
    • date(s) of treatment, and
    • conditions treated, and
  • write to the facility,
    • enclosing a VA Form 21-4142that is signed by the claimant, and
    • explaining what is needed and why.
treatment at a U.S. military facility
send a PIES request to NPRC asking for clinical records, using request code C01.
Reference:  For information on preparing PIES requests for service records, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.D.

III.iii.2.F.4.f.  Information Concerning Treatment of Merchant Mariners Onboard a Ship

The HSRA does not possess records of medical treatment furnished onboard a ship.
If the claimant alleges treatment for injury or illness onboard a ship, it may be appropriate to undertake the development described in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.5, for information from logbooks.

III.iii.2.F.4.g.  PHS Records for Merchant Marine Treatment More Than 50 Years Ago

HSRA is authorized to destroy PHS treatment records after 50 years from the date of treatment for merchant mariners serving under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard.  Most merchant mariners who served during WWII are affected by this policy.  However, records administrators may choose not to destroy such records, so claims processors should not assume that such records do not exist.
In addition, documentation of the date and treatment was recorded on index cards that are stored indefinitely.  If a merchant mariner served under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard and that service was more than 50 years ago, the index cards may be the only available records.
After initiating the routine development described in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.4.c, if the claimed treatment was more than 50 years ago, send a copy of the request to the National Maritime Center.  Ask for any treatment records or copies of treatment index cards if the treatment records were destroyed.
Reference:  For the address of the National Maritime Center, see the table in M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.1.e.

5.  Merchant Marine Logbook Records


Introduction

This topic contains information on Merchant Marine logbook records, including

Change Date

August 13, 2009

III.iii.2.F.5.a.  Purpose of Logbook Records

Captains of Merchant Marine vessels employed by the Coast Guard maintained daily logbooks.  The logbooks are now in the possession of NARA regional archives.
These logbooks are not the traditional ships’ logs often referred to as “deck logs,” in which masters recorded the daily entries that concerned the position and operation of the ship.
The logbooks in the NARA regional archives were issued to masters of vessels in accordance with Federal laws and regulations passed to protect the health and welfare of merchant mariners.  Entries were required to
  • record offenses and desertions punishable by forfeiture of wages, and
  • injuries or illnesses of crewmembers.

III.iii.2.F.5.b.  Effects of Privacy Restrictions

Since logbooks contain information relating to many individuals that may be of a personal nature, they are subject to privacy restrictions.  Therefore, entries that relate to medical or disciplinary matters concerning individuals other than the subject of the inquiry may be deleted by NARA.

III.iii.2.F.5.c.  Obtaining Information on Shipboard Injuries

Logbooks may contain entries pertaining to injuries suffered by merchant mariners.
If a claimant alleges an injury or illness occurred onboard a ship, send a letter to NARA that requests a logbook search for evidence of the illness or injury.  No release of information authorization is required.

III.iii.2.F.5.d.  Information to Include in Requests to NARA

Letters to NARA requesting logbook searches for evidence should be accompanied by a photocopy of the Veteran’s DD Form 214 and should include the following information:
  • the full name
    • under which the Veteran served, and
    • of the vessel on which the incident occurred
  • the name of the port where the voyage ended, and
  • the approximate dates of the voyage (month and year).
Note:  If the voyage started at one port and ended at a different port, write to the NARA regional archives for the port where the voyage ended.
Reference:  For information about the addresses of the NARA regional archives, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.8.

III.iii.2.F.5.e.  NARA Information Furnished to Claimants

NARA will furnish individual merchant mariners or their surviving dependents with one set of copies, free of charge, of the logbook entries needed to verify the mariner’s service in the Merchant Marine between December 7, 1941, and August 15, 1945.
Claimants should state in their requests that the information sought is needed to obtain financial benefits from VA.
Note:  NARA requires reimbursement for
  • extra copies of logbook pages, as well as copies of logbook materials not needed to verify service in the Merchant Marine during WWII, and
  • copies of entire logbooks.

III.iii.2.F.5.f.  Records Available for Vessels With Foreign Registration

Logbook records are not available for vessels registered in foreign countries, such as Panama.
Notes:
  • These vessels were not required to maintain and turn in logbooks, even if the vessel was
    • owned by a U.S. company, and
    • operated under War Shipping Administration control.
  • Neither the Coast Guard nor NARA are able to provide crew lists for such vessels.

III.iii.2.F.5.g.  Records Available From U.S. Army Transportation Corps or Naval Transportation Service

Logbooks are not available for merchant mariners who were employed by the U.S. Army Transportation Corps or the Naval Transportation Service.

6.  Records Available for Combat-Related Injuries


Introduction

This topic contains information on records available to confirm the incurrence of combat-related injuries, including

Change Date

December 27, 2013

III.iii.2.F.6.a.  Obtaining Information on Combat-Related Injuries

Logbooks in the NARA regional archives do not usually contain descriptions of wartime actions in which the vessel was involved.
Note:  If a claimant alleges a combat-related injury, write to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration Office of Sealift Support, before initiating development with NARA for information from logbooks.
Reference:  For more information on obtaining information from the Office of Sealift Support, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart iii, 2.F.6.d and e.

III.iii.2.F.6.b.  Records Maintained at the Maritime Administration Office of Sealift Support

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration Office of Sealift Support, maintains records of citations and medals issued to WWII merchant mariners.

III.iii.2.F.6.c.  Information About the Mariners Medal

The Mariners Medal was authorized for combat-related injuries and is similar to the Purple Heart.  Because the medal was only authorized for combat-related injuries, evidence of award of the medal may be used as supporting evidence of a claimed service-connected injury.
If a Veteran did receive the medal, a copy of the citation should be of record and will contain details of the incident.

III.iii.2.F.6.d.  Where to Send Requests for Evidence of Combat-Related Maritime Injuries

If a claimant alleges a combat-related injury that cannot otherwise be documented, send a letter to the Maritime Administration Office of Sealift Support at the address shown below, requesting a review of its records for evidence the Veteran received the Mariners Medal.
Address:
Office of Sealift Support
Maritime Administration
Room W25-322
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC  20590
ATTN:  Awards
Notes:

III.iii.2.F.6.e.  Information to Include in Requests to the Office of Sealift Support

A photocopy of the Veteran’s DD Form 214 should accompany requests to the Office of Sealift Support.  The following information should be provided if not shown on the DD Form 214:
  • name under which the Veteran served
  • Veteran’s Z number, and
  • Veteran’s home address while serving during WWII (city and state).

7.  Records Available From MIB


Introduction

This topic contains information on the records available from MIB, including

Change Date

September 21, 2018

III.iii.2.F.7.a.  Types of Records Available at MIB

Some Merchant Marine records may be obtained from the Marine Index Bureau, Inc. (MIB), a private agency.

III.iii.2.F.7.b.  Who May Request MIB Records

The claimant must request the records directly from MIB.
Regional offices (ROs) may not send requests directly to MIB.

III.iii.2.F.7.c.  MIB Fees

MIB charges a fee of $25.00 for making the records search, and the fee must be paid by the claimant.
Important:  MIB cannot guarantee that its records will be acceptable to VA as proof of eligibility for VA benefits, nor can MIB guarantee that any records pertaining to the Veteran’s wartime service are actually on file.

III.iii.2.F.7.d.  Information Required for an MIB Request

The claimant should contact MIB directly and request the forms for documentation of sea service that may be on file at MIB.
The claimant will need to provide the Veteran’s
  • complete name
  • DOB
  • place of birth
  • SSN
  • Z or Book (Bk) number
  • current mailing address, and
  • mailing addresses during the period 1941 to 1946, if known.

III.iii.2.F.7.e.  Address for MIB

Claimants must send requests for information from MIB to the following address:
Marine Index Bureau, Inc.
67 Scotch Rd.
Ewing, NJ  08628.

III.iii.2.F.7.f.  Notifying the Claimant of MIB Records

If all other development actions have failed to produce records in support of the claim, deny entitlement and send a decision notice to the claimant that

8.  NARA Regional Archives


Introduction

This topic contains information on NARA regional archives, including

Change Date

September 21, 2018

III.iii.2.F.8.a.  Logbooks Contained at NARA Regional Archives

NARA regional archives have logbooks only for individuals whose service was documented by the U.S. Coast Guard or the Department of Commerce.
Important:  The NARA regional archives do not have logbooks for individuals who served with the U.S. Army Transportation Corps or the Naval Transportation Service.

III.iii.2.F.8.b.  Where to Send Requests for a Logbook Search

The table below provides the addresses of the NARA regional archives to which to send requests for a logbook search.
If a vessel’s voyage ended in …
Then send the request for a logbook search to …
  • Boston, MA, from 1942 through 1953
  • Portsmouth, NH, from 1942 through 1955
  • Portland, ME, from 1941 through 1955, or
  • Providence, RI, from 1941 through 1953
National Archives
New England Region
380 Trapelo Rd.
Waltham, MA  02154
Phone:  (781) 663-0144
Fax:  (781) 663-0154
New York, NY, from 1942 through 1960
Important:  Before submitting a request for a logbook search, obtain the year and logbook number from the U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Inspection Office.  This office maintains a card index arranged alphabetically by name of vessel.   Its address is
U.S. Coast Guard
Marine Inspection Office
Investigation Section
Room 312
Battery Park Building
New York, NY  10004-1466
National Archives
Northeast Region
One Bowling Green
New York, NY  10004
Phone:  (212) 401-1620
Fax:  (212) 401-1638
  • Philadelphia, PA, from 1942 through 1956
  • Baltimore, MD, from 1942 through 1957, or
  • Norfolk, VA, from 1940 through 1955
National Archives
Mid-Atlantic Region
14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, PA  19154
Phone:  (215) 305-2044
Fax:  (215) 305-2038
  • Savannah, GA, from 1941 through 1953
  • Tampa, FL, from 1942 through 1951
  • Miami, FL, from 1943 through 1956
  • Charleston, SC, from 1919 through 1958, or
  • Jacksonville, FL, from 1943 through 1951
National Archives
Southeast Region
5780 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, GA  30260
Phone:  (770) 968-2100
Fax:  (770) 968-2547
  • Houston, TX, from 1942 through 1973
  • New Orleans, LA, from 1942 through 1976
  • Corpus Christi, TX, from 1943 through 1972
  • Galveston, TX, from 1941 through 1974
  • Mobile, AL, from 1942 through 1956, or
  • Port Arthur, TX, from 1939 through 1970
National Archives
Southwest Region
1400 John Burgess Drive
Fort Worth, TX  76140
Phone:  (817) 551-2051
  • Los Angeles, CA, from 1941 through 1956, or
  • Wilmington, Long Beach, San Pedro, Port San Luis, or Port Hueneme, CA, from 1942 through 1954
National Archives
Pacific Southwest Region
23123 Cajalco Road
Perris, CA  92570
Phone:  (951) 956-2000
Fax:  (951) 956-2079
San Francisco, CA, from 1927 through 1957
National Archives
Pacific Sierra Region
1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, CA  94066
Phone:  (650) 238-3501
  • Seattle, WA, from 1940 through 1958, or
  • Portland, OR, from 1942 through 1958
National Archives
Pacific Northwest Region
6125 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA  98115
Phone:  (206) 336-5115

9.  Exhibit 1:  Example of a Merchant Marine STR Development Letter for PHS


Change Date

December 13, 2005

III.iii.2.F.9.a.  Example of a Merchant Marine STR Development Letter for PHS

A Merchant Marine STR development letter for PHS is shown below.
Public Health Service Health Data Center
National Hansen’s Disease Program
1770 Physician’s Park Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

SUBJ: Merchant Marine medical treatment records

We are attempting to locate all medical records for the following Veteran:

NAME: (required)

SSN: (if known)

DATE OF BIRTH: (required)

WHERE THE VETERAN WAS TREATED BY THE USPHS: (at least the State)

MONTH AND YEAR OF TREATMENT: (at least the decade)

VETERAN’S Z NUMBER: (if available)

OTHER IDENTIFYING INFORMATION:

The Veteran has filed a claim for VA disability compensation based on World War II Merchant Marine service. To process this claim, we need all available medical treatment records for that service.

We have enclosed VA Form 21-4142, “Authorization and Consent to Release Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs,” and an additional copy of this letter for you to attach to your response so that we can quickly associate the reply with our records for this Veteran. If you have any questions about this claim, please contact _________________________ at telephone number _____________________.

Your assistance in resolving this claim is very much appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Veterans Service Center Manager

Enclosures


 

10.  Exhibit 2:  Example of an MIB Letter to a Claimant


Change Date

December 13, 2005

III.iii.2.F.10.a.  Example of an MIB Letter to a Claimant

An example of an MIB letter to a claimant is shown below.
[date]

[claimant’s name] [claimant’s address]

[salutation]:

A private agency, MIB (Marine Index Bureau, Inc.), may have records on file pertaining to the Veteran’s sea service as a U.S. merchant marine during World War II. You should be aware that there is no guarantee records in the MIB folders will be acceptable to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as proof of eligibility for VA benefits. There is also no guarantee that MIB has any records pertaining to your (the Veteran’s) wartime service.

If you wish to request a search of the MIB file system, you should make such a request directly to this agency. There is a fee of $25 for this search, which must be paid by you. Submit a check or money order drawn to Marine Index Bureau, Inc., with your request. Send your request to: Marine Index Bureau, Inc., 67 Scotch Rd., Ewing, NJ 08628.

When submitting your request, you must provide: the Veteran’s complete name, date of birth, place of birth, Social Security number, Z or Bk number, current mailing address, and any known mailing addresses during the period 1941 to 1946. You must also certify that you are requesting only the Veteran’s records, and that they will be used to apply for Veterans benefits and for no other purpose.

Upon receipt of your request, along with any information needed to enable MIB to conduct its search, MIB will perform a search of its record system for any reports concerning service during the World War II period. A document containing the results of the search will then be sent to you.

Sincerely yours,

Veterans Service Center Manager

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