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 Author  Topic: Radio Call Signs / Boat Code Names
Alex Johnson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Alex Johnson  Posted on: Dec 11, 2009 - 9:11am
I hope you folks can help shed some light on basic radio procedure in the combat areas. What did the boats use for code names, call signs or call names of the individual PT Boats? Does anyone have lists of names used by boats in any squadrons or groups of squadrons which operated together? Perhaps some former radiomen or others can describe basic boat procedures related to how the different boats identified themselves over the airwaves. My thanks in advance. ALEX


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BobPic

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Dec 11, 2009 - 10:42am
I think the names were arbitrary and selected in the ready room before a mission. In port we were identified by our boat number or even a radioman's name. When we reviewed our mission before departing, we found out our identity. Names of drinks were our preference and we were often "Martini 1 or 2" . Sometimes we were sports terms or famous personnel. I never saw an identity in writing which may mean they were verbally assigned as needed.


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Dec 11, 2009 - 12:02pm
I soke to Lt. Jack Searles that told me they were referred as Whiskey, Scotch and Bourbon. This was for different boats in a sector. For instance, if a boat in Whiskey sector spotted Jap Destroyers, they would say something like, "Whiskey One to Base, Ice Cubes (meaning Destroyers) in the glass. Glass would mean that sector was SW Savo Island". Maybe this is not exact, but I remember Searles telling me this several years ago, and was confirmed by my friend, Lt. Lester H. Gamble. I am sure they changed up the names for different patrols, but like Bob stated, these codes were given to the boat Skippers during briefings.............


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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Dec 12, 2009 - 3:12pm
Not to beat the PT 109 topic into the ground, but...

I believe I've read the boats out of Rendova the night the 109 was rammed were code-named "Oak" -- I think the 109 was "Oak 14."


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John Sullivan

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of John Sullivan   Send Email To John Sullivan Posted on: Dec 12, 2009 - 7:09pm
The 107 boat was Oak 13 during the Solomons campaign. I was on it at this time and left the about may the first to come to the states for leave


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Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Dec 13, 2009 - 5:46pm
Hey Alex,
Hyperwar website has an entire explanation of Radio call signs
http://ibiblio.net/hyperwar/////USN/ref/CallSigns/CallSigns-18.html
Here is one page of PT Boat call signs

(PT) Motor Torpedo Boats:
PT20 NADY
PT24 NBEA
PT27 NBND
PT28 NBOA
PT29 NBPH
PT39 NULU
PT42 NUPI
PT47 NWGM
PT48 NWKS
PT49 NWLK
PT50 NABI
PT51 NACO
PT52 NADU
PT53 NAEI
PT54 NAGZ
PT55 NAFI
PT56 NAJU
PT57 NAWU
PT58 NAXZ
PT59 NBAW
PT62 NBWH
PT63 NBXX
PT64 NBYT
PT65 NBZZ
PT66 NIXS
PT71 NABW
PT72 NACM
PT73 NADD
PT74 NAEP
PT75 NAFM
PT76 NUSD
PT77 NUSH
PT78 NUTC
PT79 NUTM
PT80 NUTW
PT81 NUVX
PT82 NUXC
PT83 NUXL
PT84 NUXS
PT85 NUZK
PT86 NUZW
PT87 NWMB
PT88 NWMP
PT89 NWMY
PT90 NWOQ
PT91 NWOW
PT92 NWPF
PT93 NWPS
PT94 NWQB
PT95 NWQX
PT96 NXBL
PT97 NXCM
PT98 NXFB
PT99 NXGL
PT100 NXHS
PT101 NXKN
PT102 NXKZ
PT103 NXNS
PT104 NXOQ
PT105 NXQL
PT106 NXRA
PT107 NXRZ
PT108 NXSN
PT114 NXUB
PT115 NXUJ
PT116 NXUP
PT120 NXVQ
PT122 NXWA
PT124 NXWO
PT125 NXWX
PT126 NXYA
PT127 NXYF
PT128 NXYP
PT129 NXYZ
PT130 NXZC
PT131 NXZM
PT132 NXZU
PT133 NYAB
PT134 NYAL
PT137 NYBC
PT138 NYBJ
PT139 NYBQ
PT140 NYBW
PT141 NYCD
PT142 NYCL
PT143 NYCP
PT144 NYCV
PT146 NYDC
PT148 NYDP
PT149 NYDV
PT150 NYDZ
PT151 NXYC
PT152 NXZA
PT154 NYCG
(18-83)

Also the procedure used by PT boats for radio communications is explained in the posted "Motor Torpedo Boat Manual"
http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ref/PT-Manual/MTBM-4.html
Here is an excerpt from Pages 351 to 353

Call Signs
1. General.--There are two main types of calls, namely, radio and visual.

2. Radio call signs.--(a) Three-letter calls of which the first character is the letter "N" are assigned to all naval shore radio stations.

(b) Four-letter calls of which the first character is the letter "N" are assigned by international law to all naval vessels. This call, in addition to being their radio call, is also their INTERNATIONAL CALL.

(c) Four-letter call signs which are pronounceable, such as MUSK, PAUK, etc., are assigned geographical locations, offices ashore having no radio communications, geographical areas, and groups of any of the aforementioned; offices having no radio and Naval activities without radio.

(d) Call signs made up of letter-numeral-letter combinations are assigned to commanders of fleet or ship units, to groups of commanders, and to groups of ships. These calls are known as collective calls.

Examples.--

C 5 Q is the call of commander battleship division three.
O 3 A is the call of battleship division three.

--Page 351--

(e) Means are provided for encrypting any of the above calls.

(f) Secret calls of various combinations of characters can be compounded for use with all ships, stations, and offices.

(g) For information on tactical calls, see section (e) under "Visual Call Signs. "

3. Visual call signs.--(a) General.--There are three types of visual calls, namely: Ship, commander, and collective calls, the latter consisting of combinations of the former two types.

(b) A ship's call consists of the ship's class call letter and her call number in one, two, or three digits. All vessels and aircraft are assigned a class call letter to indicate the type. For example, B stands for battleships, R for aircraft carriers, D for destroyers, etc.

(c) Collective calls consist of the letter "F" and a numeral designating a specific group. By placing the letter "F" between the numerals, the commander of that group is formed. To illustrate, 22 stands for Battleforce (F22) and the. commander battleforce call is made by inserting the letter "F" between the two numerals. Thus we get 2F2. To illustrate further, "AP" means transports and "F7" means Base Force. Then APF7 is the call for transports of the Base Force.

(d) When it is desired to call a type commander of a fleet or force, the complete call is formed in this manner: place the class letter of the type designated and the alphabet letter "F" between the two numerals of the organization. For those calls below "10" the numeral "Zero" is used as the first element of the call sign.

(e) Tactical calls.--Different task forces of the fleet are assigned numerical task forces, groups, or units. A letter is provided for commander and collective calls, and which letter of the alphabet is used depends upon the geographical area in which the fleet is operating. The division of the task organization is the FORCE. Forces are subdivided into task GROUPS, and, in turn, task groups are subdivided into task UNITS. By placing the letter of the group between the first and second numbers, the commander call may be formed. The numbers preceding the letter of the organization form the collective call. To illustrate,

--Page 352--

let us assume that "U" designates the Atlantic Ocean. Then:

0U1 is the call of commander task force one.

U1 is the call of task force one.

1U2 is the call of commander task group 1.2 (commander task group 2 of task force 1). U12 is the call of task group 1.2 (task group 2 of task force 1).

IU12 is the call of commander task unit 1.1.2 (commander of task unit 2 of task group 1 of task force 1.)

U112 is the call of task unit 1.1.2 (task unit 2 of task group 1 of task force 1.)

(f) To indicate numerals greater than 9 the character "X" is placed before the number to be raised and performs the operation of adding 10 to that number. For instance:

X9 means 19 and X1 means 11.
1XU23 is the call of commander task unit 1.10.3.
U1X23 is the call of task unit 1.12.3, etc.

Page 353



Jerry Gilmartin

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