Dear Capt. Defoe,
I regret that I only today found your message, in which you requested assistance in finding information about Convoy QP-15, in which you sailed aboard SS ESEK HOPKINS. Because your message was included in a message thread that began in April 2010, it was buried deep within the message board. I only occasionally go back to earlier threads to see if more recent messages have been posted, as in your case.
I can trace ESEK HOPKINS in several convoys leading up to and after it sailed in QP-15.
- Departed Halifax in Convoy HX-200 on 27 July 1942; arrived Liverpool 7 August 1942
- Departed Loch Ewe, Scotland, in Convoy PQ-18 on 2 September 1942; arrived Archangel 21 September 1942
- Departed Kola Inlet 17 November 1942; arrived Loch Ewe 30 November 1942
- Departed Liverpool in Convoy ON-151 on 3 December 1942; arrived New York on 23 December 1942
I do not have information on the ship's short-range movements (e.g., to Halifax in July 1942, from Loch Ewe to Liverpool in November/December 1942), but the identities and dates for these short voyages are irrelevant for purposes of this message.
My understanding is that once a merchant ship returned to the U.S. following a foreign voyage during World War II, the "Official Log" and the "Secret Log," if any, both maintained by the master, would be turned over to the Coast Guard. In subsequent years the Coast Guard forwarded these logs to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). These logs are currently maintained in the NARA Regional Archive facility in or nearest to the port in which the ship ended its voyage.
Deck and engine logs were routinely turned over to the headquarters of the shipping company that operated the vessel in question. In many cases, these shipping companies later forwarded these logs to NARA, but NARA destroyed most such logs in the 1970s for lack of storage space and an expectation that there was not sufficient interest in them. Most shipping companies of the day are no longer in business.
Since ESEK HOPKINS ended the voyages that included Convoy QP-15 in New York, her Official Log and any Secret Logs are presumably found here:
NARA - Northeast Region
210 Varick Street 12th Floor
New York, NY 10014-4811
web site: http://www.archives.gov/northeast/nyc/
NOTE: Official Logs for the Port of New York are filed by number. To obtain the correct logbook number, send requests that include full ship name and the dates of the desired voyage(s) to:
U.S. Coast Guard
Marine Inspection Office
Investigative Section, Room 312
USCG Battery Park Building
1 South Street
New York, NY 10004-1466
For additional details see http://rmhh.co.uk/files/researching_WW2_us_merchant_seamen.rtf
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website