Author Topic: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request  (Read 5776 times)

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Offline Occam

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HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« on: September 20, 2017, 14:20:20 »
I'm interested in finding out how many personnel (bonus points for breakdown between ship's crew and Air Det) were embarked on a particular HMC Ship deployment from the early 1990's.  Would also be good to find out how many joined/departed while in theatre.  I'm aware that names or other identifying data would be redacted on an ATI request, which is fine - I'm only interested in numbers.

I know there are various sources that might have this information; looking for advice on which might prove most fruitful on a ATI request.

- ship's log
- I've heard of a "Captain's Ship Book" (or something similar)
- Annual historical reports
- post-deployment reports

Anything I might've missed, or advice that can help narrow the scope of my ATI request?

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 15:17:23 »
I don't think any of the documents you mention will contain the information you seek, Occam. We do not keep track of exact number of people onboard in either the ship's logs, historical report or post deployment reports(at least not in my days, which includes the early 1990's).

As for the "Captain's ship book" you mention, I believe you may be referring to a regular (weekly, monthly, daily, depending on the Captain) "event" called books for the Captain's signature. It is just a scheduled day and time where all of the various books or documents that require the Captain's signature and review on a regular basis get presented to him/her together so they can all be quickly reviewed and signed by him/her (such as the Ship's log, activity report, OOW notebooks, etc.)

As bizarre as it may seem, though it will not give you a breakdown by department, the best bet to know exactly how many people are onboard on a given day is to look at the Food Services records of the chief Cook. His ration records will tell you exactly how many people were entitled to draw rations on any given day. On steaming days, that's basically the whole crew, so you know the numbers then. I have no idea, however, if such records are kept in archives after any given fiscal year's audit period has expired.

Other than that, I can't see too many other ways to get the info you want, except making an ATI for all posting messages in and out of the ship of your interest for about two or three years before the day you are interested in and then, for you to try and reconstruct the crew on a daily basis. Since they will likely redact any personal information, even that will likely not work.

Offline Occam

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 15:47:04 »
Thanks for that, OGBD.

What about any standard messages, such as CANMOVE or OPSUM messages?  Surely they must mention number of souls on board.  I'm aware the problem with those is that they're likely long purged from any archives.

By department is too granular - I'd settle for crew and Air Det numbers, or even as a last resort, total crew (souls on board).

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 17:44:18 »
There was a daily status report message that the ships send out, I don't recall the name.  I suspect it would have been classified traffic.

There would also be LOGREQ messages, sent to shore establishments prior to visiting a port of call which may have had some of that info.

Not sure what else might help?

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Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 17:55:11 »
The following messages should have crewing info.  What deployment are you looking for?

OPSTAT UNIT
Daily Opsum


Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 18:03:41 »
I'm interested in finding out how many personnel (bonus points for breakdown between ship's crew and Air Det) were embarked on a particular HMC Ship deployment from the early 1990's.  Would also be good to find out how many joined/departed while in theatre.  I'm aware that names or other identifying data would be redacted on an ATI request, which is fine - I'm only interested in numbers.

I know there are various sources that might have this information; looking for advice on which might prove most fruitful on a ATI request.

- ship's log
- I've heard of a "Captain's Ship Book" (or something similar)
- Annual historical reports
- post-deployment reports

Anything I might've missed, or advice that can help narrow the scope of my ATI request?

Ship's log only deals with movements of the ship (ie where it is, jetties, etc), things like daily routine for colours, sunset and whatever, and some random daily things like that.  It won't have crew numbers.

The Captain's Ship book has a bunch of documents related to the actual vessel's technical info, environmental data, and some historical info if there any battle honours.

The current deployment reports may have that info, but they are confidential, so probably wouldn't get released.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 18:40:46 »

Anything I might've missed, or advice that can help narrow the scope of my ATI request?

Instead of narrowing the scope of an ATI request by stating specifically the documents you want (they may not exist, be classified or not contain the information you want) since if the request specifies the document(s), they will only provide those documents, broaden the scope of your request.  State clearly you want any document including but not limited to "any and all logs, reports, returns, summaries, scribbles on toilet paper (think of any form of record that may have been kept)" that will have the information you want, i.e. total number of bodies embarked on HMCS Whatever between dates on OP NUMBNUTS.
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Offline Occam

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 18:54:52 »
Thanks folks.  I think Blackadder1916 has it right, I should be widening the scope of the request.  I don't need the actual reports, but simply the crew numbers from them.  Even if the source was a classified message, the crew numbers ought to be able to be declassified easily enough.  For Dolphin_Hunter:  it's Op DELIVERANCE, which I was there for - but I only have rough numbers.

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 18:59:44 »
Aside from an ATI, you could try a request to the directorate of history and heritage (DHH).

http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/adh-sdh/cl-lc/index-eng.asp

I fielded a few historical requests as a jr Lt(N) for things like that; it might take longer but that way someone else is doing all the digging through the records for you and wouldn't have to worry about getting stymied on an ATI for being too broad/too specific.  They route them around to whoever might hold the info, and the record holders will look at declassifying/releasing portions of the records while they are at it.

Some of them were pretty interesting and spent a few days digging through old engineering drawings on the pre trump 280s and the st. laurent class looking things up for a historian. 

Offline Occam

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 08:41:10 »
Thanks, Navy_Pete - I assume you mean asking DHR how many Somalia medals were awarded to crew/airdet?  That would probably work as 90 cumulative days service in theatre would've been required to be awarded the medal, and would eliminate any transient pers.

Or did you mean DHH from simply a historical records search perspective?

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2017, 19:48:25 »
Thanks, Navy_Pete - I assume you mean asking DHR how many Somalia medals were awarded to crew/airdet?  That would probably work as 90 cumulative days service in theatre would've been required to be awarded the medal, and would eliminate any transient pers.

Or did you mean DHH from simply a historical records search perspective?

The only ones I saw were verbatim requests from a couple of historians, but they were along the lines of 'I'm so and so, and I'm looking for some information on (insert topic) for some research/stories/blogs/book etc'.

You could try asking just generally what you are looking for (How many people were part of the crew on Op Deliverance during xxx timeframe) and explain a bit of background why.  I don't think there is any particular format but don't really know anything about the front end part of it.

In the current post deployment reports, part of it includes a crew roster and crew movements (including the backfills for the people on the deployment leave).  Those are confidential (and really long), but if you really just want the number of crew, then someone with access to the records could go and do a count for you and give you that info.  Also, if you don't know specifically what document it might be in, they may be able to find it.  If you have an idea of some places to look, that would help; it'll probably get routed to a bureaucrat that has never seen a ship and they pass it on to various departments/directorates to see if they can find something.  The medal count might do it, but it could also be a matter of someone at the Library and Archives doing a search, pulling the right record and finding something in a document.

ATIs can be tricky, and if you ask for a specific document that no one can find, you won't get anything back.  For something like this, where it's a relatively long time ago, the remaining documents on file would be limited but some stuff like that they archive for historical interest instead of shredding it once it's not required to be held by the office that keeps the current records.

Worse case DHH can't help and you go back to the ATI route, but worth a try.

To give you an idea though, there was some parts removed from the HURON and some other ships that went to a number of different museums after the disposal.  We had a few requests to provide some additional info for use on the info boards that went along with the display, and provided some suggested edits to their draft wording to make it accurate.  Also, we were able to provide some extra info (like scans of old drawings) that went to the museums.  That was just what came to the tech side, and I believe that someone else pulled info from the archives for some of the ships logs and whatnot as well.  Had some other requests from an author but it was for items that we had no info left for, but I did spend a day poking through some drawers with old files seeing if we could help.

Offline Duy

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 00:46:03 »
Ship's log and AHR won't have what you are looking for. You would be really going out of your way for a curiosity IMO.

Offline Colin P

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2017, 13:06:23 »
You can also break up your requests by date and region. Example; "Pacific Region, 2014-2015, number of personal onboard DDE sailing out of Esquimalt". That way you exclude small vessels and focus on the meat of what you want.

Offline Furniture

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 14:58:32 »
When I was RPO before we left every port the IMD would get the crew numbers for the pre-sail message. I'm sure something of the sort has existed since the days of Nelson.

Offline Colin P

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Re: HMC Ship deployment crew numbers - ATI request
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2017, 17:43:29 »
Apparently the records from the Nelson days are quite complete and detailed.