Armed Guard Officer's Log/Diary
Posted by Mike Allard on April 16, 2009, 11:29 am
I have a log kept by an ensign/lieutenant (j.g.) who commanded Armed Guard detachments on a tanker and two Liberty Ships. He made three voyages on the tanker, O.M. BERNUTH, and served from October 1942 to June 1943. He then served aboard the cargo ship, ROBERT J. COLLIER, from June 1943 to October 1943, making one voyage. The lieutenant served last aboard the troopship JOSEPH T. ROBINSON from December 1943 to April 1944. |
This log records all crew, with full names, rates, service numbers, and dates of assignment to the ship. Each day's activities are entered, usually with exact times and durations. All ports, with arrival and departure times are recorded as well. Drills, exercises, instruction, etc., with gun crews and ships' crews are noted. All mundane duties such as cleaning and painting are there. Servicing of all weapons and munitions, and test firing of weapons is given great detail. Alerts, conditions, and watches are recorded. The officer even recorded the test numbers completed and the scores for each of the men who were trying to advance in rate.
From the discussion among those who have posted on this forum, I suspect this log is a VERY RARE item. It would be equally correct to call it a diary for all the detail it contains. Although the officer made record of all his time at sea, there are entries for his time not assigned to a ship. In his log he mentions having to make out reports due upon arrival in port. It is likely he made extensive use of these notes.
I hope to transcribe the log for it is a wonderful view into the daily lives of the Armed Guard aboard these ships. I will post some examples of the log entries.