Frequently I receive requests from descendants of chaser crewmen or people researching chaser crewmen, asking for information about the specific chaser the man served on, and in what capacity. If the researcher knows the chaser number, sometimes it's easy to find answers: muster rolls, if there are any, list the crewmen and their ranks/positions.
But often it's a needle-in-a-haystack problem: There were hundreds of chasers, each with up to a couple dozen crewmen. Probably the best approach, if you don't know the chaser number, is to request the sailor's military record, although that takes a fair amount of time and effort. But various collected resources might provide a lucky hit. There are American Legion post newsletters that list members, photos that occasionally are captioned -- things like that.
Another avenue is to look at any other data you have: Photos, of course. But also stories that might narrow down the assigned station or an event that would point to a group of chasers, or mentions in letters or accounts of other men the crewman served with.
This month's addition of the Commanding Officer's list from November, 1918, is a good example. If you know the name of the captain, this type of resource helps identify the chaser.
Thanks to Aryeh Wetherhorn for submitting the scans. And for any other researchers out there: If you come across other types of chaser-related lists, please let me know.
--Todd Woofenden, editor
Commanding Officers list, November 1918
A very nice photo of SC 126, one of the chasers with small hull number markings. This chaser sank in Bermuda, on the way to overseas duties.