Ports of Call
I had contacted the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for detailed information about the movements of the Chaumont during the time Roland served on board. All we knew was quite vague, something like "across the Pacific and to some port in China at least once."
The short answer is that U.S. Navy records are kept in three different locations:
Records up into mid-1941 are kept at the facility along the National Mall in downtown Washington DC.
1941 through 1967 are kept at the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland.
1967 to the present at kept at the Navy Yard on the south side of Washington DC.
I had asked about the logs themselves, as that seemed like the obvious place to start. The problem is that the logs would add up to about 1,000 pages per year! The helpful staff at NARA suggested that I instead look for summaries of vessel movements derived from the detailed logs.
What I was looking for would be contained in: Record Group 45, Navy Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library (Registers of Movements of Naval Vessels January 1900 through June 30, 1941).
They offered to make digital reproductions, although at a rather hefty per-page cost. But since I get to Washington on business a few times a year, I decided to do the research myself.
Doing the Research
Here you see the NARA building, at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue on the north side of the National Mall. This is the south side of the building, facing the mall. The entrance for the public exhibits is here.
For research, you need to go around to the north side, on Pennsylvania Avenue.
You first must pass through physical security. X-ray of everything you carry, and you must go through a magnetometer.
Then you sign in, and you must fill in a form listing descriptions and serial numbers of any laptop computer, digital camera, mobile phone, etc. You get a visitor's badge, and in you go.
The first stop once you have your badge is to get a researcher's pass.
You have to go through a PowerPoint presentation made with The World's Worst Font, and then show a government picture ID.
They take your picture, and you get an ID good for one year.
Once badged and IDed, you can go talk to a researcher specializing in the area of interest (for this case, maritime history) and fill in a material request. I had already exchanged letters with a researcher and so this was very simple.
They pull material off the shelves at specific times, three or four times a day. If the pull is scheduled for 11 AM, you will be lucky if the material shows up at the research room upstairs by noon.
You can go ahead upstairs and settle into the research room. First, however, you have to put pretty much everything you have with you in a coin-operated locker. $0.25, you get the quarter back when you unlock it.
You can take a laptop computer and its power supply, and a digital camera. You can not take them in their cases, you have to carry it all loose.
No pencils, certainly no pens, no note paper, and so on.
If you want to take old-school hand-written notes, you must use the pencils and paper that they provide.
Non-flash digital photography seems to generally be just fine.
Eventually your requested volumes arrive on carts.
Now you can get to work.
Even with your laptop
it's still pretty traditional.
Here you vaguely see the
KDE desktop environment
is fired up and ready to transcribe.
Large desks and old-timey lamps.
The lamps are fastened to the desks.
Hope that's where you want it placed and how you want it aligned....
The good news is that the records are carefully cared for.
The bad news is that penmanship was not a strong requirement when the records were created, so the records may be rather difficult to decipher.
These volumes of "Movements of Vessels" were created back in Washington after the logs had been turned in. They are extremely terse records compared to the logs.
You see that different people did different parts of the work. The record for one ship will be harder and easier to read in various places.
Below are my transcriptions. Notice that the full-sized images (approximately 1 MB each) are also available. Contact me if you see any errors in my transcriptions!
Due to a mix-up by NARA staff, I was also given Quarterly Cruising Reports with even better information (also including times of arrival and departure, and time and distance covered en route) for July 1922 through June 1923. Here are images of those pages:
Movements of USS Chaumont
To make the most sense of these, see "Air Target Maps and Photos, China Coast, Ningpo to Canton. U.S. Pacific Command, 15 October 1944".
Washington DC, NARA
Record Group 45, Navy Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library
Registers of Movements of Naval Vessels January 1900 through June 30, 1941
RG45: Vessel Movements (CHAUMONT / AP-5): 11W4 Row 8
Volumes 39, 40, 41
My comments are in square brackets,
Click here for full-sized images of the top half of volume 39, page 129 and the bottom half of volume 39, page 129, about 1 MB each.
Volume 39 Page 129 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1937 Woosung July 1 July 1 Woosnung Chinwangtao Chinwangtao July 3 July 5 Chinwangtao Chefoo Chefoo July 5 July 7 Chefoo Tsingtao Tsingtao July 8 July 10 Tsingtao Shanghai Shanghai July 11 July 14 Shanghai Manila Manila July 22 July 24 Manila Guam Guam July 29 July 30 Guam Honolulu Honolulu Aug 10 Aug 13 Honolulu San Francisco San Francisco Aug 19 Aug 21 San Francisco Mare Island Yard Mare Island Yard Aug 21 Aug 25 Mare Island Yard San Diego San Diego Aug 27 Aug 29 San Diego Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor Sep 5 Sep 5 Pearl Harbor Shanghai [written in margin: "Fairway Burg Sept 19"] Sep 18 Yangtze Entr. Shanghai Shanghai Sep 19 Sep 22 Shanghai Chefoo Chefoo Sep 24 Sep 26 Chefoo Tsingtao Tsingtao Sep 27 Sep 28 Tsingtao Shanghai [written in margin: "Fairway Bring abt Sept 30"] Shanghai Sep 30 Oct 1 Shanghai Hong Kong Hong Kong Oct 4 Oct 4 Hong Kong Manila Manila Oct 6 Oct 12 Manila Shanghai Oct 17 Fairway Bnay Shanghai Shanghai Oct 17 Oct 20 Shanghai Tsingtao Tsingtao Oct 21 Oct 22 Tsingtao Chefoo Chefoo Oct 23 Oct 23 Chefoo Yokohama [arrived Oct 27]
Click here for full-sized images of the top half of volume 39, page 130 and the bottom half of volume 39, page 130, about 1 MB each.
Volume 39 Page 130 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1937 Yokohama Oct 27 Nov 2 Yokohama Chefoo Chefoo Nov 6 Nov 6 Chefoo Tsingtao Tsingtao Nov 7 Nov 7 Tsingtao Woosung S.E. Knoll Bnay Nov 10 Nov 10 S.E. Knall Bnay Hong Kong Hong Kong Nov 12 Nov 13 Hong Kong Manila Manila Nov 14 Nov 24 Manila Off Northern Luzon Mue Honolulu Honolulu Dec 7 Dec 8 Honolulu San Francisco San Francisco Dec 15 Dec 16 San Francisco Mare Island Yard Mare Island Dec 17 Dec 31 Mare Island San Francisco San Francisco Dec 13 1938 Jan 5 San Francisco San Pedro San Pedro Jan 6 Jan 7 San Pedro San Diego San Diego Jan 8 Jan 8 San Diego Honolulu Honolulu Jan 16 Jan 17 Honolulu Guam Guam Jan 19 Jan 31 Guam Manila Manila Feb 5 Feb 7 Manila Shanghai Shanghai Feb 11 Feb 18 Shanghai Manila Manila Feb 22 Feb 25 Manila Guam Guam Mar 2 Mar 3 Guam Honolulu Honolulu Mar 14 Apr 4 Honolulu San Francisco San Francisco Apr 10 Apr 18 San Francisco San Pedro San Pedro Apr 20 Apr 21 San Pedro San Diego San Diego Apr 22
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 39, page 161.
Volume 39 Page 161 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1938 Apr 26 San Diego Canal Zone Canal Zone May 6 May 9 Canal Zone Guantanamo Guantanamo May 12 May 12 Guantanamo N.O.B Norfolk N.O.B. Norfolk May 16 May 18 NOB Norfolk Nyd Norfolk Nyd Norfolk May 18
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 40, page 129.
Volume 40 Page 129 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1938 Aug 19 NOB Norfolk Guantanamo Guantanamo Aug 23 Aug 23 Guantanamo Canal Zone Canal Zone Aug 26 Aug 29 Canal Zone San Diego San Diego Sept 8 Sept 10 San Diego San Pedro San Pedro Sept 11 Sept 13 San Pedro San Francisco San Francisco Sept 15 Sept 27 San Francisco Honolulu Honolulu Oct 4 Oct 6 Honolulu Guam Guam Oct 18 Oct 20 Guam Manila Manila Oct 25 Oct 27 Manila Hong Kong Hong Kong Oct 29 Oct 31 Hong Kong Woosung Woosung Nov 3 Nov 3 Woosung Chinwangtao Chinwangtao Nov 5 Nov 7 Chinwangtao Shanghai Shanghai Nov 11 (via Chefoo & Tsingtao) Nov 19 Shanghai Manila Manila Nov 23 Nov 26 Manila Guam Guam Dec 1 Dec 2 Guam Honolulu Honolulu Dec 13 Dec 15 Honolulu San Francisco San Francisco Dec 21 Dec 22 San Francisco Mare Island Yard Mare Island Yard Dec 22 1939 Jan 9 San Francisco San Pedro San Pedro Jan 11 Jan 13 San Pedro San Diego San Diego Jan 14 Jan 17 San Diego Canal Zone Canal Zone Jan 27
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 40, page 130.
Volume 40 Page 130 Jan 30 Canal Zone Guantanamo Guantanamo Feb 2 Feb 2 Guantanamo N.O.B. Norfolk NOB Norfolk Feb 6 Feb 23 N.O.B. Norfolk Chulelra [?] Chulelra [?] Feb 28 Mar 3 Chulelra [?] Guantanamo Guantanamo Mar 5 Mar 5 Guantanamo Canal Zone Canal Zone Mar 8 Mar 11 Canal Zone San Diego San Diego Mar 21 Mar 23 San Diego San Pedro San Pedro Mar 24 Mar 25 San Pedro San Francisco San Francisco Mar 27 (Mare Island March 28-31) Apr 11 San Francisco Honolulu Honolulu Apr 18 Apr 20 Honolulu Guam Guam May 2 May 3 Guam Manila Manila May 8 May 11 Manila Shanghai Shanghai May 15 May 15 Shanghai Chinwangtao Chinwangtao May 18 May 19 Chinwangtao Tsingtao Tsingtao May 21 May 23 Tsingtao Shanghai Shanghai May 23 June 2 Shanghai Hong Kong Hong Kong June 5 June 6 Hong Kong Manila Manila June 8 June 10 Manila Guam Guam June 15 June 16 Guam Honolulu Honolulu June 27 June 29 Honolulu San Francisco [arrived July 6]
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 41, page 129.
Volume 41 Page 129 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1939 San Francisco July 6 July 20 San Francisco Honolulu Honolulu July 27 July 29 Honolulu Guam Guam Aug 10 Aug 11 Guam Manila Manila Aug 16 Aug 18 Manila Shanghai Shanghai Aug 22 Aug 22 Shanghai Chinwangtao Chinwangtao Aug 25 Aug 26 Chinwangtao Taku Bar [Inku Bar? No, the first letter looks like most of this writer's T's, second letter is probably "a" but possibly "u", next two letters are definitely "ku".] Taku Bar Aug 26 Aug 27 Taku Bar Chinwangtao Chinwangtao Aug 27 Aug 30 Chinwangtao Taku Bar Taku Bar Aug 30 Aug 30 Taku Bar Chefoo Chefoo Sep 1 Sep 1 Chefoo Tsingtao Tsingtao Sep 2 Sep 2 Tsingtao Shanghai Shanghai Sep 4 Sep 12 Shanghai Hong Kong Hong Kong Sep 15 Sep 16 Hong Kong Manila Manila Sep 18 Sep 20 Manila Guam Guam Sep 25 Sep 26 Guam Honolulu Honolulu Oct 9 Oct 9 Honolulu San Francisco San Francisco Area Oct 14 Oct 30 San Francisco San Pedro San Pedro Nov 1 Nov 2 San Pedro San Diego San Diego Nov 3 Nov 6 San Diego Canal Zone Canal Zone Nov 16 Nov 20 Canal Zone Guantanamo Guantanamo Nov 23 Nov 24 Guantanamo NOB Norfolk NOB Norfolk Nov 28 [remained in Norfolk until following April]
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 41, page 130.
Volume 41 Page 130 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1940 Apr 3 NOB Norfolk Charleston [after 4 months at Norfolk] Charleston Apr 4 Apr 5 Charleston Guantanamo Guantanamo Apr 8 Apr 9 Guantanamo Canal Zone Canal Zone Apr 12 Apr 15 Canal Zone San Diego San Diego Apr 24 Apr 29 San Diego Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor May 7 May 14 Pearl Harbor San Pedro San Pedro May 22 June 5 San Pedro San Francisco San Francisco June 6 June 21 San Francisco Honolulu Honolulu June 28
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 42, page 159.
Volume 42 Page 159 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1940 July 1 Honolulu Guam Guam July 13 July 15 Guam Manila Manila July 20 July 22 Manila Shanghai Shanghai July 27 July 28 Shanghai Chinwangtao Chinwangtao July 31 July 31 Chinwangtao Chefoo Chefoo Aug 1 Aug 1 Chefoo Tsingtao Tsingtao Aug 5 Aug 5 Tsingtao Shanghai Shanghai Aug 7 Aug 8 Shanghai Hong Kong Hong Kong Aug 11 Aug 11 Hong Kong Manila Manila Aug 13 Aug 14 Manila Guam Guam Aug 19 Aug 19 Guam Honolulu Honolulu Aug 28 Aug 29 Pearl Harbor (Hon.) San Francisco San Francisco Sep 5 Sep 16 San Francisco Honolulu Honolulu Sep 22 Sep 23 Honolulu San Pedro San Pedro Sep 29 Sep 30 San Pedro San Francisco San Francisco Oct 1 Oct 12 San Francisco Honolulu Honolulu Oct 18 Oct 19 Honolulu Midway Midway Oct 25 Oct 25 Midway Guam Guam Oct 31 Oct 31 Guam Manila Manila Nov 5 Nov 6 Manila Chinwangtao Chinwangtao Nov 12
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 42, page 160.
Volume 42 Page 160 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1940 Nov 12 Chinwangtao Shanghai Shanghai Nov 14 Nov 19 Shanghai Hong Kong Hong Kong Nov 21 Nov 23 Hong Kong Manila Manila Nov 25 Nov 27 Manila Guam Guam Dec 1 Dec 2 Guam Wake Island Wake Island Dec 6 Dec 6 Wake Island Honolulu Honolulu Dec 11 Dec 12 Honolulu San Francisco San Francisco Dec 18 1941 Jan 10 San Francisco San Pedro San Pedro Jan 11 Jan 13 San Pedro San Diego San Diego Jan 13 Jan 15 San Deigo Honolulu Honolulu Jan 21 Jan 23 Honolulu Wake Island Wake Island Jan 30 Jan 30 Wake Island Guam Guam Feb 5 Feb 6 Guam Manila Manila Feb 10 Feb 11 Manila Chinwangtao Chinwangtao Feb 16 Feb 17 Chinwangtao Shanghai Shanghai Feb 19 Feb 20 Shanghai Hong Kong Hong Kong Feb 22 Feb 24 Hong Kong Manila Manila Feb 26 Mar 10 Manila Guam Guam Mar 14 Mar 15 Guam Wake Is. Wake Is. Mar 19 Cont'd on page 162
Click here for a full-sized image of volume 42, page 162.
Volume 42 Page 162 Arrived Date Sailed From For 1940 [Erroneous header! Pretty obviously should be 1941!] Mar 19 Wake Island Honolulu Honolulu Mar 24 Mar 25 Honolulu San Francisco San Francisco Mar 31 Apr 15 San Francisco San Pedro San Pedro Apr 16 Apr 17 San Pedro San Diego San Diego Apr 17 Apr 19 San Diego Canal Zone Canal Zone Apr 28 May 1 Canal Zone Guantanomo Guantanamo May 3 May 3 Guantanamo NOB Norfolk NOB Norfolk May 7 June 5 Norfolk Bermuda Bermuda June 7 June 9 Bermuda St Thomas St Thomas June 12 June 12 St Thomas San Juan San Juan June 12 June 14 San Juan Guantanamo Guantanamo June 16 June 18 Guantanamo Kingston, Jamaica Kingston, Jamaica June 19 June 19 Kingston, Jamaica Colon, C.Z. Colon, C.Z. June 21 June 23 Colon, C.Z. Guantanamo Guantanamo June 25 June 25 Guantanamo Norfolk Norfolk June 29 Cont'd in Volume 43 page 225
Volume 43 is not at the downtown Washington NARA facility. These records starting with 1941 must be at the NARA College Park, Maryland facility.