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 Author  Topic: Code Names for Places in and around Tulagi
Randy Finfrock

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Randy Finfrock   Send Email To Randy Finfrock Posted on: Jul 16, 2008 - 7:50pm
In the Solomon's, particularly at Tulagi and Guadalcanal, I've heard many different code names for places there. Among them are:

Ringbolt
Buttons
Sesapi
Cactus Control
Pinger
Macambo
Rancho
Tengo
Caesar Can

I'd appreciate it if I could get an idea as to what each of these code names stood for.

-----

Also, I may have to rely on Earl and others who were there, but does anyone recall or know where these places are?

Munda
Patti Bay
Purvis Bay
Sandfly Pass
Santa Isabel
Arilego (close to Savo Is.)?

THANK YOU!


Randy Finfrock

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Jul 17, 2008 - 8:54am
hello randy not sure of all the different code names.we also had names like orange and apple.i believe they were names for areas we patrolled,i think ,around new ireland,etc..sesapi was a village in tulagi harbor that was used as a pt base and prior to that an encampment for some australian troops that originally secured the island.purvis bay in florida island tulagi area.munda on new georgia in solomons across from rendova area. someone correct me if i am wrong. earl

earl richmond

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timreidy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Sep 6, 2008 - 7:49am
Randy and Earl,

I am not sure of the code or how it worked but I do have a document of my grandfather that list some of the code words. Earl, maybe you can explain how it worked but it seems that perhaps a family member back in the states actually had this list and used it to decode letters that Grandpa sent home?






Tim Reidy

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Sep 6, 2008 - 11:07am
do not know about this code but it seems as if you give a persons name/title and the show a number after it you would know where the person presenmtly is.then you could go on to descriptions/information about the area????sorry i can,t help more with this one. we all tried some kind of code to let someone know about where we were and what was going on without actually saying anything other tham trivia stuff. earl

earl richmond

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Randy Finfrock

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Randy Finfrock   Send Email To Randy Finfrock Posted on: Sep 6, 2008 - 3:09pm
That's interesting Tim. Thanks for sharing and posting the typed record of your grandfather. Perhaps many people serving abroad in combat areas did a similar thing? I was talking once with my father-in-law (RMC Bill R. Tatroe) about the letters that he sent home to his wife. He said:

"They had to screen everything sent out, so you couldn't include anything that would compromise the safety of your base or squadron. We couldnt communicate positions of course it would give valuable information to the enemy if letters were to fall into their hands."

So, what he did was develop a 'two-fold code'. First the type of salutation or greeting written to his wife would indicate whether or not there was a 'coded message' within the letter. (He didn't always send an imbedded message). He continued to tell me:

"My greeting to her the way I arranged the words: 'Dear Jo', or 'My Dear Jo', or 'My Dearest Jo', meant one thing or another. One of them meant that I had a Code in the letter. Then, for instance in reading it, you'd take the first letter of every 10th word, or on other occasions, the first letter of each sentence. Then spelling those letters out would tell her the place name where I was.

In one letter he told me he 'spelled out' FINSCHAVEN (in Papua & New Guinea). That would take some creativity in writing a letter.

That seems like a lot more work than your grandfather's system. But, it did work for them!



Randy Finfrock

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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Sep 7, 2008 - 7:31am
Randy,

I have a few maps that can possibly help.

The first map shows Port Purvis. I have read that larger boats were anchored there. When my father returned home to San Francisco wounded he was aboard the USS Denver (cruiser). Earlier the Denver was temporarily repaired in Purvis Bay in Nov/Dec 1943 before going to Espirito Santo, New Hebrides for further temporary repairs before going to Mare Island, San Francisco for the complete repair.
The map shows Makambo Island which is an alternate spelling for Macambo Island.


This map shows Sesapi village where Earl was first stationed. My father's PT (with Pat Rogers) would return to Sesapi to upgrade and for repair.


Santa Isabel Island is northwest of Tulagi. Pat remembers establishing a small PT base there (one or two boats) to watch its northern coast for a possible Japanese surprise attack from that direction.


This map shows Munda. Pat Rogers remembers calling that area (Rendova and Munda) just Munda. Pat and my father were stationed there in the summer of 1943.


Pat Rogers refers to Cactus Control as the radio central and air traffic control for the whole area. It was possibly located near Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. Even when Pat was off the coast of Bougainville he was in contract with Cactus Control. Once he used harsh language over the radio 1 mile off the Bougainville coast and he was afraid Cactus Control would pick it up. This was November 1943.


Nat

natsmith

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  Pat Rogers

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Pat Rogers  Posted on: Sep 8, 2008 - 11:36am
This is to say that I concur with the remarks of Nat Smith with regard to Sesapi, Munda, Santa Isabel and Cactus Control. The first three were geographic locations that are very well shown on the maps that Nat showed in his message.

In regard to Santa Isabel, PT154 and one other boat were sent there for a month or two to maintain a watch for any Japanese fleet activity. (There was none.) We did participate in some air sea rescue work when ever a US airplane went down in Kula Gulf. It was generally a Marine Corsair and it did occur on several occasions. We also had some anxious moments when we were patrolling in the gulf and a Corsair would suddenly appear and begin to track us.

Cactus Control was the radio station, located by or with Henderson Field, the airstrip on Guadalcanal. It really covered the entire area. I believe that it may have been set up by the Marines and then taken over by the Army at a later date. Since I was the radiomanon my boat, I had several communications directly with Cactus Control while I was in the area. I can still recall the sound of the operator saying "This is Cactus Control, this is Cactus Control, the condition is red, the condition is red." I was impressed with the even tone of his voice

Pat Rogers, Radioman
Ron 9, PT154


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Nathaniel Smith

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nathaniel Smith   Send Email To Nathaniel Smith Posted on: Sep 8, 2008 - 2:13pm
My father broke Navy regulations with a secret code in letters he sent back to his wife. Hamlin Smith (PT-154) had a world map and my mother had the same map. My father would line the map up with his letter page and poke a pin-hole through the map and through the letter. My mother would find the pin-hole and line it up with her map to find out where he was. Sadly I have not found neither these letters nor the map.

natsmith

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