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General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships 1944 

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Restricted [Declassified]
Navy Department

General Instructions
Commanding Officers
Naval Armed Guards
Merchant Ships

Fourth Edition
Short Title

Navy Department


General Instructions
for Commanding Officers of
Naval Armed Guards
on Merchant Ships
Fourth Edition


This edition supersedes all previous editions. All copies of the
preceding editions should be destroyed by burning.


These instructions must be burned or sunk, before it is possible
for them to fall into the hands of an enemy.


Washington, D.C., 21 Mar. 1944.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMMANDING OFFICERS OF NAVAL ARMED GUARDS ON MERCHANT SHIPS, 1944 FOURTH EDITION, is approved and issued to the service for use. This edition supersedes all previous editions, copies of which should be destroyed.

F.J. Horne,
Vice Chief of Naval Operations.


Short Title

United States Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C.


Chapter I. The Armed Guard Commander 1
  Section 1. General 1
  Section 2. Relations with Crew and Passengers 11
  Section 3. Relations With the Master of the Vessel 13
Chapter II. Prior to Sailing 16
  Section 1. General Arrangements 16
  Section 2. Equipment 20
  Section 3. Watch, Quarter, and Station Bills 26
  Section 4. Security in Port 30
Chapter III. After Sailing 32
  Section 1. At Sea 32
  Section 2. Lookouts 36
  Section 3. Action 39
  Section 4. Air Attacks 43
Chapter IV. Arrival in Port 47
  Section 1. Foreign Port 47
  Section 2. United States Port 50
  Section 3. Reports 52
Chapter V. General Information 62
  Section 1. Pay and Subsistence 62
  Section 2. Advancement in Rating 77
  Section 3. Mail and Censorship Regulations 78
  Section 4. Communications 85
  Section 5. Care of the Wounded 86
  Section 6. Notes on Abandoning Ship 102
  Section 7. Armed Guard Training Facilities 107
  Section 8. Basis for Assignment of Armed Guards to Ships 108
  Section 8. Miscellaneous Information 110
Chapter VI. Armed Guard Voyage Narratives 133


Chapter I.
The Armed Guard Commander

Section 1. GENERAL

1101. These instructions are for the Commanding Officer of the Naval Armed Guard. In addition to these instructions the Armed Guard officer should refer to and familiarize himself with Wartime Instructions for Merchant Ships.

1102. The Navy Department places its principal trust in the intelligence and initiative of the commander of the Armed Guard. It expects him to foresee and provide for carrying out the details of the difficult and important duties with which the Armed Guard is charged.

1103. The Armed Guard commander represents the Navy Department aboard merchant vessels and Army transports. Whether he be petty officer, chief petty officer, or commissioned officer, his duties are manifold and his responsibilities great.

1104. As commander of the Armed Guard you have been placed in command of a detachment of men of the United States Navy assigned to important detached and dangerous duty. You will be closely associated with officers and men who are not under your command; who may know little of naval customs and traditions. The hearty cooperation of the officers and men of the ship on which you are to serve will be essential to your success. Such cooperation can best be gained by showing toward all officers and men of the Merchant service a uniform courtesy and respect. The Merchant service has its customs and traditions which should receive your respect and observance; inform yourself of these customs and instruct your men in their observance.


1105. Do not forget nor allow your men to forget, that wherever they go, they represent the United States Navy. The Navy Department and the country expect that your conduct will bring credit to the Navy and to the United States.

1106. You must be the leader of your men. Good manners, coolness, and self-control are the first attributes of an officer. You must so control your men as to gain their respect and confidence. Remember it is expected of you to lead, and of them to follow, wherever duty demands, even if death be the result. Be firm; be strict; be fair. Develop the teamwork of your command. Do not fail to use your utmost endeavors and to require equal effort on the part of all your command. Never forget that "good men with poor ships are better than poor men with good ships."

1107. Your success will depend very much on the discipline you maintain in your command. Instruct your men so that they will see the necessity of observing strictly the rules and regulations that you prescribe. Make them realize that the safety of the ship as well as their own lives depends upon the strictest possible performance of duty.

1108. Many of the instructions contained herein are based upon careful study of Voyage Reports and are designed to solve some of the problems confronting the Armed Guard commander insofar as is practicable in General Instructions. Conditions may vary with the many different ships, but if the Armed Guard commander will read these instructions carefully and refer to them when facing difficulties, he will find the solution to many of his problems, or at least information of assistance in solving the problems.

1109. Armed Guard Bulletins - The Chief of Naval Operations issues Armed Guard Bulletins from time to time for the information and guidance of the Armed Guard officers. They are designed to be additions to and interpretations of the General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships. Armed Guard officers shall keep their files of Armed Guard Bulletins complete, and upon detachment from the Armed Guard Service, the officer will return his complete file of Armed Guard Bulletins to his Armed Guard Center. In view of the fact that Armed Guard


officers' actions are governed according to the General Instructions and these Bulletins, it is important that the Armed Guard officer review the General Instructions and his Bulletin file at least once a month.

1110. The commander of the Armed Guard attached to a merchant vessel in the Navy Department's representative. He is the master's military adviser and is specifically charged with the vessel's armed defense. He has exclusive control over the military functions of the Armed Guard and is responsible for the execution of all the regulations under which it functions. In accordance with law, the master commands the vessel and is charged with her safe navigation and the safety of all persons on board. The Armed Guard is subject to the orders of the master only in matters pertaining to the general organization of the ship's company. The Armed Guard will not be required to perform any ship duties. Their military duties will be performed invariably under the direction of the commander of the Armed Guard. The master will have been furnished with copies of these instructions and has been directed through proper authority to be governed thereby.


1111. The following is quoted from the Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions for Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships 1944, Fourth Edition.

"1301. The decision to open fire is of utmost importance and must be based on two considerations:

(a) The necessity for prompt defensive action.
(b) Safety of friendly units.

1302. The commander of the Armed Guard is responsible for the proper indoctrination of the Armed Guard in fire discipline.

1303. In submarine waters the commander of the Armed Guard may, when not present to exercise control, delegate authority to open fire to the gun captain in charge of the gun, without waiting for orders from the bridge.

1304. In the aircraft danger zone the commander of the Armed Guard will direct gunners on antiaircraft guns to open fire immediately without orders upon any un-


identified aircraft which flies within 1,500 yards of the ship, or flies directly toward the ship.

1305. Enemy aircraft will be immediately engaged upon approaching within effective range.

1306. The decision when to open fire is the responsibility of the Armed Guard commander since that officer is charged with the defense of the ship. When practicable, however, without delaying opening fire, the Armed Guard commander will, in deference to the master of the ship, inform him that fire will be opened.

1307. The commanders of Naval Armed Guards are directed by the Chief of Naval Operations to open fire immediately in the general direction of the attacking submarine even if the attacker is not actually sighted. This authority is delegated to the gun watch by paragraph 1303. The Armed Guard crews are instructed not to abandon ship unless sinking is imminent and gunfire impossible. They are required to take advantage of every opportunity to destroy the enemy by gunfire.

1308. In order to carry out the effective defense of the vessel it is essential that the commander of the Armed Guard and the master of the vessel thoroughly understand their relative responsibilities and authority. The ship must be defended in every means available as long as possible. * * * It is emphasized that the ship's master is by law in full command of the ship, which authority is in no manner restricted by the instructions referred to. The authority to open fire quickly is delegated to the Armed Guard commander by reason of strict military necessity since attacks may develop suddenly by day or by night. There is no situation where either the master or the Armed Guard commander should delay opening fire on the enemy.

1309. The Armed Guard officer is directed to consult with the master on matters of procedure which may vary with circumstances, and which may not be clearly defined in these orders.

1310. Arbitrary conduct and independent actions by the Armed Guard officer in matters where the master has cognizance would tend to lessen respect for the master of the


ship, an officer who by law, tradition, and experience, is entitled to certain prerogatives.

1311. Both Armed Guard officers and masters are enjoined to compose personal differences, should any exist, to the end that harmony and concerted action may save the ship and promote the interests of the United States."

1112. The Armed Guard commander is first and primarily a commanding officer, and as such he is charged by Article 1 of the Articles for the Government of the United States Navy to show in himself "a good example of virtue, honor, patriotism, and subordination; to be vigilant in inspecting the conduct of all persons who are placed under his command; to guard against and suppress all dissolute and immoral practices, and to correct, according to the laws and regulations of the Navy, all persons who are guilt of them." He should at all times be careful of his person as to dress, speech, and action, so that no person aboard the vessel may have occasion to criticize him for conduct unbecoming an officer. He must at all times remember that the Navy is being judged by him and his conduct. Toward his men he should maintain a uniformly friendly attitude, yet never should he impose undue familiarity upon them nor tolerate undue familiarity on their part. He must set down a discipline for his men and maintain it rigidly and impartially. Petty breaches lead to excesses, intolerable in a military organization. Toward the owners and masters of the vessels he should be uniformly friendly, and, where matters of military security are involved, be courteous, but firmly insistent upon the prompt and efficient prosecution of procedure and action best calculated to protect the ship. Where the rights of his men are in any way jeopardized he must be unyielding in guarding those rights. No greater duty is imposed upon any officer than that of protecting the enlisted men against encroachments upon their rights. The officer whose constant interest in his men has been proved finds his men willing and ready to stand with him until the deck sinks below them.

1113. In many cases, both ashore and afloat, Armed Guard commanders must deal with Army officers of varying ranks. As early understanding of the position of the Armed Guard commander by the Army officers aboard will result in enthusiastic and valuable cooperation. The Army Transport Service


is anxious to assist Armed Guard commanders to carry out their duties. Discussion with Army officers aboard merchant vessels will generally result in understanding and cooperative action in the direction of helping the Armed Guard officer and crew in protection of the ship. (Refer to Army Regulations No. 55-330).

1114. In later paragraphs the rights which may be enforced and powers given to the Armed Guard commander will be further elaborated. The basic quality to be exhibited by the Armed Guard commander is Leadership. Leadership requires tact in dealing with men, and with other officers, subordinate and senior. As it is stated in Naval Leadership, "Of far greater importance to officers than the material or tools committed to their charge is the personnel with which they are concerned."

1115. Petty Officers - As in the fleet, so also in the administration of Armed Guard units, success or failure rests largely with the petty officer. The following is a paraphrased quotation from Naval Leadership:

"Petty Officer means 'small' officer or 'sub-officer.' He is a picked man, chosen because of his possession of certain attributes of character, ability, and experience lacking in his less gifted shipmates. He is capable of assuming responsibility; he is capable of leading and controlling other men; he knows more about his job than do any of those under him. For these reasons he is given the authority to practice his capabilities."

1116. Every effort should be made to impress on the petty officer the importance and responsibility of his position. The average petty officer does not appreciate either his importance or the influence for good or evil that he has in his possession. The importance of the petty officer is well shown in the Navy Regulations which clothe him with full authority to carry on all the duties of his office.

U. S. Navy Regulations, chapter 35, section 1 - Petty Officers, Art. 1275.

"(1) Petty officers shall show in themselves a good example of subordination, courage, zeal, sobriety, neatness, and attention to duty.

(2) They shall aid to the utmost of their ability in maintaining good order, discipline, and all that concerns the efficiency of the command.


(3) for the preservation of good order petty officers are always on duty and are vested with the necessary authority to report and arrest offenders. This authority attaches to them while ashore on liberty.

(4) When an enlisted man is appointed petty officer, the commanding officer shall bring to his attention the provisions of this article."

1117. Again quoting from Naval Leadership: "The captain of a ship recognizes the importance and responsibility of the officer or petty officer when, in issuing him an appointment, he says, 'I do strictly charge and require all petty officers and others under my command to be obedient to my orders.' Both afloat and ashore, at sea and in port, in peace and in war, the petty officer occupies a most important position and plays an essential part in the success or failure of his ship. It is often said that 'petty officers are the backbone of the organization on board ship."

1118. "Do all you can to draw a distinct line between petty officers and nonrated men. Treat the petty officer with consideration. Let him feel freer to talk to you than the other men, and let him feel that he may do so in a somewhat less formal way. When a petty officer asks a special privilege or liberty, try to grant it. Invite his suggestions and advice. Ask him, when you think it appropriate, how he feels about some matter which should be settled. You need not take his advice, but your evident evaluation of it will make him take a greater interest, and increase his sense of importance and self respect. Make him feel his superiority over the other men - he is superior, he is a picked man, that's why he is a petty officer. Make the other men realize that to be a petty officer amounts to something; that if they would aspire to the authority and privileges, they must do their work in such a manner as to be considered for rating themselves. Discourage fraternizing between petty officers and their men. Petty officers should never permit nonrated men to address them by their nicknames or Christian names. Let your petty officers know exactly how you feel about this. He owes this to the office he fills.

1119. "Watch you[r] petty officers closely. When they do well tell them so. Do this publicly. Tell them so when they do


badly. Do this privately. Instruct them constantly as to your desires, your methods, your general policy. See that they understand thoroughly what you are trying to do and how it is you want them to help you do it. As in all branches of leadership, be consistent in your demands and requirements. Let them know precisely where they stand and what is expected of them. Indoctrinate them."


1120. The maintenance of discipline is a vital part of the responsibility of the commanding officer. It is, therefore, necessary that he understands fully his responsibility in the matter, as well as his authority. In connection with disciplinary procedure, it may be necessary from time to time for the commanding officer to assign punishment for infractions of regulations. The assignment of punishment in the Navy is governed by law, and strict adherence to the law is required of all commanding officers. The Articles for the Government of the United States Navy in Article 24 outline punishment which may be inflicted by a commanding officer as follows:

  1. Reduction of any rating established by himself.
  2. Confinement not exceeding 10 days, unless further confinement be necessary, in the case of a prisoner to be tried by court martial.
  3. Solitary confinement, on bread and water, not exceeding 5 days.
  4. Solitary confinement not exceeding 7 days.
  5. Deprivation of liberty on shore.
  6. Extra duties.

No other punishment is permitted except by sentence of a court martial and all punishments inflicted by the Armed Guard commander, or by his order, except reprimands, must be entered upon the Armed Guard log, and a report submitted to the Armed Guard center concerned, for entry in the man's service record.

1121. Since it has been determined that the officer in command of an Armed Guard Unit is a commanding officer of a separate and detached command, he has all of the authority and responsibility in regard to the administration of discipline as is given to the commanding officer of any vessel of the Navy. This includes the authority given by Article 28 of Articles for the


Government of the United States Navy to order summary court martial upon enlisted men in the naval service under his command. And since any officer who is authorized to order a summary court martial may also order a deck court, this authority is also possessed by the commanding officer of an Armed Guard unit. However, in order to try a man by either a summary court martial or a deck court it is necessary to have either a man's complete record or a certified transcript thereof. Since the required records are not carried with the Unit, it is not considered desirable that commanding officers of Armed Guard Units exercise the authority to convene courts martial while aboard a merchant vessel. In more serious cases in which a greater degree of punishment than that which can be inflicted by a commanding officer is determined necessary, the man should be placed on report to the commanding officer of the nearest Armed Guard center and transferred to that activity at the earliest opportunity. If the man's records are not at the nearest Armed Guard center they can be secured by that activity in accordance with current procedure.

1122. Emphasis should be given to the fact that the commanding officer of an Armed Guard Unit has a heavy responsibility and by the same token a high honor. His authority in many respects is equivalent to that of the commanding officer of a combatant ship, because he is in charge of guns and in command of men who fire them. The commanding officer of an Armed Guard Unit and his crew are under the observation of the merchant officers and crew of the vessel under his protection; they are observed by passengers, if any, who happen to be aboard that vessel; they are scrutinized by Army and other Navy personnel if any happen to be aboard. It follows, therefore, that to a large degree the public impression and estimate of naval personnel and efficiency will depend on the example shown by the Armed Guard officer and his crew.

1123. It therefore behooves the commanding officer of an Armed Guard Unit to use the wide authority given him to keep his crew alert, well disciplined, well trained, neat in person, and shipshape in all that the term implies. He must command the respect of his petty officers and men, and keep such control of them that he is conscious every hour of the


day and night that he can depend on their readiness for instant, alert, and efficient action.

1124. Such authority can best be exercised by good organization, which means that the commanding officer must work through his petty officer or officers and clothe them with a portion of the authority which resides in him as commanding officer.

1125. Armed Guard commanders should particularly caution their men to observe the following rules while on board ship:

  1. Armed Guards shall keep themselves clean, in proper uniform, and shall bear themselves as befits a man-o'-war's man.
  2. All unauthorized persons shall be kept clear of guns and ammunition at all times.
  3. Drinking wines, beers, or liquors by Armed Guards is strictly prohibited.
  4. Gambling by Armed Guards is prohibited.
  5. No flame or open light will be allowed on deck at night. Otherwise, it is not necessary that smoking be restricted. It is expected that regulations as regards smoking will be governed as the local situation may dictate.
  6. Unnecessary noises or loud talking should not be permitted around sleeping quarters or the navigation bridge. Armed Guards should be especially cautioned to maintain quiet around the Master's and officer's quarters both day and night.
  7. Armed Guards should not be permitted on the navigation bridge unless actually on duty.

1126. Gratuities - The Navy Department has been informed that in certain instances foreign governments, their agencies or representatives, commercial firms, or merchant crews have presented gifts of money to naval personnel assigned to Armed Guard duty on merchant vessels.

The acceptance of such gratuities by Naval personnel under any circumstances is considered to be contrary to the customs and traditions of the Naval service.

Hereafter, if any such gratuity is received by a member of the Naval service, it is directed that the gratuity be returned to the donor with a statement that its acceptance is not permitted under existing Navy regulations.



1201. Limitations of space on merchant vessels necessarily limit Navy personnel available for duty aboard armed merchant vessels. For this reason it is necessary to call upon many duties of the Armed Guard.

1202. It is desirable that all persons aboard a vessel shall be drilled in battle stations so that in time of engagement a minimum of confusion may result, and that persons necessarily engaged in servicing the guns may know their duties.

1203. Where available, it is desirable that military personnel embarked for transportation be utilized to assist the Armed Guard Unit. A request to the senior officer of such military personnel aboard will undoubtedly meet with consent and cooperation. Also members of the merchant crew should be trained and drilled in assisting the Armed Guard Unit. Military personnel which might be available on the outbound voyage might not be available on the homeward voyage, in which event trained members of the merchant crew should be at hand. No one can tell when and to what extent additional trained members of the merchant personnel might be urgently required in manning defensive armament of the vessel for the protection of the ship and themselves.

1204. The following is quoted from Army Regulations, AR 55-330, dated December 1, 1942, for the information of commanding officers of Armed Guard crews on board U. S. Army Transports:

No. 55-330
Washington, December 1, 1942.

"* * *.
5. Provision for and status of Armed Guards -

  1. Where Navy armed guards are assigned to Army transports their status and the relationship of their commander to


  1. The transport commander and Unit commanders aboard will, at the request of the master, organize details of troops with machine guns and rifles or other available weapons to stand watch, if necessary, and assist in the defense of the ship when called upon to do so, and will cause such drills and exercises of these details to be held as are required to make them proficient in quickly manning stations and opening an effective fire; but the fire of any such weapons will be at all times under the exclusive control of the person charged by the governing regulations with the control of the fire of the permanent armament aboard. Where the permanent Armed Guard is military personnel this will be the master.
    * * *."

    For further information refer to Army Regulations 55-330.

1205. It is important that a thorough look-out be kept at all times for surface and air attack. The officer must insist upon absolute military standing of look-out watches. Failure to stand watches in military fashion shall be a matter of immediate disciplinary action. The ammunition train must be drilled to act quickly, doing a particular job as a reflex action. The prompt servicing of the gun is of vital importance to the successful termination of any engagement. The officer must remember that his guns constitute the sole defense of the vessel upon which he is serving. There is no armor plate or blister to ward off the shells, bombs, or torpedoes of attacking craft. The support of nonmilitary passengers and the merchant crew should be solicited through the master of the vessel. The officer whose efforts and tact fail to bring the necessary cooperation may recall Chapter 4, Section 333, Naval Courts and Boards: "The officers, members of crews, and passengers on board merchant ships of the United States, although not in the naval service of the United States, are, under the laws of the United States, the decisions of the courts, and, by the very necessities of the case, subject to military control while in the actual theater of war."



1301. The Armed Guard commander must bear in mind that the condition of his battery for firing is but a small part of his duty. He is the military adviser to the master of the vessel and as such his duties are manifold. The Armed Guard commander must realize that the master of the vessel is a man of wide experience and proven judgment in matters of the sea, whereas the Armed Guard commander is generally a man of limited maritime experience. However, the Navy Department recognizing the need for military protection of the vessel, a field in which the master has had little, if any, training and experience, places the Armed Guard Unit aboard as a distinct entity, separate from the ordinary complement of the vessel, in charge of an officer specially trained in the military function. Such responsibilities upon the Armed Guard commanders are not endangered by lack of seagoing experience, for being essentially military in nature, the Armed Guard commander has received the necessary military and naval training, to protect the ship in time of war.

1302. By courtesy, tact, and display of ability the Armed Guard commander must obtain the confidence of the master as a prerequisite to the cooperation between these two officers that is required for the protection of the vessel in time of war. As soon as the master is cognizant of the duties, position and responsibility of the Armed Guard commander, and has gained confidence in him as a man, few difficulties or misunderstandings should arise. It is largely the responsibility of the Armed Guard commander to establish such cordial relationship. In cases where the master absolutely refuses to recognize the sphere of the Armed Guard commander, the problem should be taken up with the port director in a United States port or the naval authority in a foreign port.

1303. Whenever complaints are made by officers of the Merchant Service against members of the Armed Guard, be sure that you conduct a dignified investigation of such complaints, no matter how trivial they may seem. Always inform the master of the result of your investigation. Where punishments are required which cannot be administered by yourself, make


a written report to the officer in charge of the Armed Guard center to which your crew is attached. If you are in a United States port, furnish a copy of this report to the port director, or in a foreign port to the naval attaché, and be guided by his advice. Show a copy of such reports to the master of your ship. In all cases arising out of complaints made by the ship's officers, assure both the master and the ship's officers that the Navy will properly punish all offenders. Complaints by unlicensed personnel against members of the Armed Guard must be made through the master.

1304. In cases where food of poor quality or improperly prepared is served to the Armed Guard mess, the Armed Guard officer should take the matter up with the Master of the vessel with the view of making necessary corrections. If the deficiencies are not corrected, the matter should be taken up with the port director or naval authority in the next port of call for assistance in correcting the conditions.

1305. The maintenance of discipline among the merchant crew is the master's responsibility. If he is absent, the responsibility falls on the next senior deck officer on board the ship. This is not the responsibility of the Armed Guard officer.

1306. Naval personnel are placed aboard merchant vessels for military duties only. Armed Guard commanders must not permit their men to be utilized as messengers, deck hands, gangway, or cargo hold watchmen, or the like.

1307. The Armed Guard commander shall detail personnel for sentry duty at the gangway while in ports where such a watch is necessary for the security of the vessel or required by the naval authorities of the port. The sentry will not replace or assume the duties of the ship's gangway watchmen. The duties of the ship's gangway watchmen include tending mooring lines, checking merchant personnel on and off the ship, in some cases searching Merchant Marine personnel, tending boat lines, receiving boats alongside, tending the gangway against movements of the ship, receiving stores and packages, etc. It is the responsibility of the master or merchant officers to provide gangway watchmen.

1308. It is the desire of the Navy Department to instruct and train the officers and men of the merchant crew in all matters pertaining to gunnery and the defense of their vessels.


The Armed Guard commanders should make every effort to carry out this training. The training periods should be alternated between mornings and afternoons to enable each watch to attend instruction classes, gun drills, and spotting board practice. The cooperation of the master should be requested by the Armed Guard commander in arranging details of any training which involves Merchant Marine officers or seamen.

1309. Masters and Armed Guard commanders should have a settled plan of action to meet all emergencies. The merchant officer on watch on the bridge should be given instructions by the master accordingly. In formulating these plans, the following should be borne in mind: (1) Weather conditions likely to be encountered; (2) the areas and times in which enemy attacks may be expected; and (3) the types of enemy forces likely to be employed. Particular caution should be exercised during morning and evening twilight.

1310. The master of the vessel shall keep the commander of the Armed Guard informed at all times concerning:

  1. The ship's position.
  2. The course.
  3. Location of mine fields of which the master has knowledge.
  4. All war warnings received.
  5. Confidential instructions received from Naval authorities as to measures tending to the safety of the ship.
  6. The known assistance that may be expected from Allied ships and aircraft.
  7. The proximity of a course to the nearest port to which boats may proceed in case the vessel is sunk should be daily determined and responsible personnel informed.

1311. The Armed Guard commander should keep track of the ship's approximate position in order to inform the lifeboat and liferaft crews of the course and approximate distance to land when necessary to abandon ship.

1312. The necessity for immediate and efficient action in carrying out prearranged routine the moment an emergency arises or an enemy is sighted cannot be too strongly emphasized. The Armed Guard and merchant crew men should be trained to


react practically automatically in an emergency. This means indoctrination, drill, and training. Alert lookouts, quick use of rudder, prompt manning of guns, smooth operation of the established routine, may save your ship and sink the enemy.

1313. In making out the organization every possible detail must be foreseen and covered to the best of your ability. Remember that in organization and provision against submarine attacks there must be close coordination and cooperation between naval and merchant personnel. The commander of the Armed Guard and the master of the vessel should agree upon the procedure for handling the ship and for handling the guns to meet all conditions. It is most important for the master to know how the guns are to be controlled, and for the commander of the Armed Guard to know what the master is going to do when the enemy is sighted. Remember that unless every detail is provided for, covered in drills, and understood by every man on board, confusion will result. In certain waters submarines do not operate. At other times, you are safe from aircraft. In good weather in certain waters you are in danger from both. Confer with the master arranging a flexible, workable system for defense of the vessel depending upon the area in which the vessel is operating.

1314. Take up these questions in succession with the master and come to a working agreement as to exactly what is to be done; then, having decided, make it a daily practice to rehearse by questions and answers with the ship's officers until all are entirely familiar with the plans.



2101. On being informed that you have been detailed to command an Armed Guard on a certain merchant vessel, apply to the proper Authority for any special instructions issued to commanders of Armed Guards. These instructions are not included here as they vary at each port due to local conditions. Get information regarding the vessel's owner or agent and his business address, cable address, telephone number, and telephone number of vessel if not in the stream. Ascertain the vessels definite location.


2102. Duties of Armed Guard officer. Upon notification of assignment, and during the period of arming, officers will follow, in general, the procedure outlined below:

  1. Your job is important and complicated. You will realize its importance and minimize its complications by reading and following these instructions.
  2. As Armed Guard commander you will make arrangements with the port director concerning personnel and equipment that is to be placed aboard the vessel.
  3. Visit the vessel, reporting to the master or his representative if the master is not on board. Inform him of your orders. Inspect the installation being undertaken in connection with the defense of the vessel or Armed Guard accommodations.
  4. Arrange with the master for stowage of your confidential books and papers in his safe while vessel is in port. At sea, such material should be kept in a weighted canvas bag so that in an emergency they may be disposed of promptly to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy.
  5. If this visit discloses that no Navy subsistence or quarters are available and the merchant vessel is unable to subsist yourself or crew prior to sailing, apply to the Port Director for subsistence allowances in accordance with Bureau of Naval Personnel dispatch 021603 of March 1942 and Bureau of Naval Personnel letter Nav-65-CL/L16-8(A) (4344) dated December 16, 1941.
  6. Make certain that you present a certified copy of your written orders to the master of the vessel. See that a certified and endorsed copy of your crew's orders is given the master. This officially places you and your crew aboard, and gives the ship an official record for its negotiations with the Maritime Commission. You will make the "Reported" endorsement on your orders. You will make the same endorsement on the original and copy of your crew's orders.
  7. The Armed Guard officer shall furnish to the manager, agent, maritime superintendent, or port captain of steamship company or line to which the vessel belongs, such information relating to number and rating of the personnel of the guard as will serve to assure proper record for officials concerned.
  8. You must use all the initiative possible in regard to your


2103. Responsibility for Equipment. Much of the equipment and gear furnished to Armed Guard units consists of title B items. The commander of the Armed Guard unit is personally responsible for the safekeeping, care, and judicious use of all items of title B equipment.

2104. This equipment is signed for by you on a dock receipt. Accompanying the equipment is a list of invoices which list all items of equipment contained in the shipment. It is important for you to check the items contained therein against the invoices to determine whether all items with which you have been charged have been included. If shortages in title B items are discovered, two actions should be taken: (1) Call the Port Director and report the shortage; (2) write the supply officer who issued the equipment, reporting the shortage. An attempt will be made to supply such deficient items before your ship sails. Shortages in title C items should be reported to the Port Director for necessary action.

2105. Do not release title B equipment for use of other than Navy personnel. Never release title B equipment to anyone not a member of your Armed Guard Unit for repair, storage, or any other purpose without securing two written receipts for same. One copy of the receipt should be kept in your possession, and if the transfer of title B equipment is permanent, one copy should be sent to the office of the port director at which you were originally equipped. On being detached from your ship do not fail to receive custody receipts for title B equipment. Your responsibility for such equipment does not cease until you have done so.

2106. After assignment to command the Armed Guard of a merchant vessel the officer so detailed, before sailing, will make such inspection of the vessel as to satisfy himself on the following:

  1. That the battery is in all respects satisfactorily installed and that all equipment in connection therewith has


  1. That the Armed Guard first-aid chests and gun bags have complete equipment and supplies in accordance with Bureau of Medicine and Surgery requirements for vessels without a medical representative on board.
  2. That the authorized allowance of binoculars in on board for use of Armed Guard lookouts.
  3. Shortages of equipment should be reported to the Port Director, as that officer has liaison between the Armed Guard and the supply officer in matters of equipment. The industrial manager of the naval district is cognizant of details of arming of the vessel and his office should be advised through the port director of deficiencies in armament or items of the defense installation.
  4. That satisfactory arrangements and equipment for abandoning ship have been provided for the Armed Guard, and are shown in the ship's organization bill.

2107. Make arrangements with the master for the detail of members of the ship's crew necessary to assist the Armed Guard in its duties in the military defense of the vessel. The Armed Guard crew must be augmented by men from the merchant crew to complete all gun and machine-gun crews and to supply ammunition from the magazines to the guns. The port director shall inform the master of this requirement and impress upon the master of the necessity of daily training of the merchant crew at battle stations to insure that they are well trained in their duties. This training is essential to the defense and safety of the ship and, under the law, is not considered as overtime or time in excess of the 8-hour day.

2108. An ammunition ledger shall be maintained showing date, amount, mark, and modification of all ammunition received aboard. The expenditure of ammunition, stating reason and date and amount remaining, shall be entered. Care shall be exercised to see that ammunition received is of the proper


mark to fit the guns. This particularly applies to 4" and 3" ammunition.

2109. Armed Guard commanders shall not make any material change or alterations nor remove ordnance equipment installed aboard vessels.

2110. Should there be a dissatisfaction with any of the equipment installed, complaint concerning it should be made to the Port Director upon return to port. Inspection will be made to ascertain if complaint is justified.

2111. This does not prohibit such action as deemed necessary by the Armed Guard commander in purely emergency situations.

2112. Remember that we are a Nation at war; that our object is to win; that it is the sole objective of the Armed Guard to do its job properly; but that, of necessity, some confusion may be attendant; you may lack some equipment; your men may not be all that you desire. Every effort will be made to remedy these situations. In the meantime, do the best you can with what you have. Take advantage of every opportunity to continue the training of men assigned to your command.

Section 2. EQUIPMENT

2201. Armed Guard officers are cautioned that care should be exercised by all members of the Armed Guard crew to conserve materials and supplies, spare parts and tools for guns, etc. Such supplies issued to Armed Guard units are necessarily limited due not only to shortages occurring from time to time, but also to lack of stowage space aboard ship. All supplies and equipment should be carefully inventoried, checked against allowance lists, and stowed to prevent damage. Rags and wiping cloths should be washed and dried after use so that they may be used again rather than thrown over the side. All Title B equipment should be handled with care in order that it will not be necessary to replace such items after each voyage. It is the responsibility of the Armed Guard commander to caution his men in the conservation of supplies and equipment in order that supplies may be utilized to the greatest extent.


2202. Armed Guard officers are directed to take necessary precautions to prevent loss or theft of Armed Guard equipment, both at sea and in port.

2203. Pistols and binoculars should be safeguarded, especially while in port when shore personnel are aboard. Binoculars should be checked in and placed under lock and key while in port. Binoculars and long glasses should not be left on the bridge or in the pilot house except when navy personnel are on duty to safeguard this important and critical equipment.

2204. The serial numbers of all equipment should be recorded so that losses may be reported to the Port Director without delay. Armed Guard petty officers and enlisted men should be held strictly accountable for equipment placed in their care.

2205. The officer in command of the Armed Guard will ensure that each member of his crew has the following equipment:

  1. Complete outfits of clothing.
  2. One steel helmet.
  3. One gas mask.
  4. One life jacket (Navy type).
  5. Full bag and hammock.

2206. Proper steps must be taken to fix the responsibility for the above outfits, and any man having received an outfit will be held accountable for articles in his possession. In cases where proper care has not been taken, or where articles have been misappropriated, lost, or destroyed through carelessness or otherwise, the officer in command of the Armed Guard will make a report to the Armed Guard center in order that the necessary disciplinary action may be instituted and proper notation made on the enlisted record. Send a copy of this report to the port director in order that steps may be taken to replace or repair the material.

2207. It will be noted that two types of winter clothing are provided Naval Armed Guards and communications groups. Special winter clothing is primarily for use during average winter weather at sea. The heavy winter clothing is primarily intended for use in extremely cold climates such as that experienced in Russian waters and the Alaskan waters west of Skagway.


Armed Guard commanders should instruct the members of the Armed Guard in the wearing of suitable combinations of their clothing to take full advantage of the equipment furnished. Best results are obtained by standing on matting or wooden decking in extreme cold weather rather than standing a steel deck. Rubber soles become damaged when they come in contact with oil or oily decks and care should be taken to see that this is not done.

2208. Foul weather clothing of the oilskin type is issued to Armed Guards and communications groups to protect personnel during wet weather where the temperature does not warrant wearing winter clothing.

2209. Armed Guard commanders should instruct their men to take good care of their winter clothing. At the end of the voyage clothing that needs renovation and repairs should be turned in for suitable reconditioning.

2210. The outfit of clothing will vary dependent on the itinerary of the vessel. This information will be furnished to the Armed Guard commander by the port director who is responsible for assistance to insure that Armed Guards and communications groups sail properly equipped with foul weather clothing and either special winter clothing, or heavy winter clothing, depending on the itinerary.

2211. Foul weather clothing.

1 pair oilskin overalls - type C.
1 short oilskin coat - type B.
1 long oilskin coat - type A (1 per officer).
1 oilskin sou'wester.

2212. Special winter clothing. For Average Winter Weather (issued by Armed Guard Centers in accordance with destination and itinerary of ship).

NOTE: Armed Guard special winter clothing constitutes one Navy Standard Sea Outfit per man.

1 jacket, winter N-1 2 drawers, winter N-1
1 trousers, winter N-1 3 socks, winter N-1
1 coat, parka, winter N-1 (officers) 1 jacket, parka, rain, N-2
1 helmet, winter N-1 1 trousers, rain, N-2
1 helmet, winter N-2 1 arctics, sea, N-1
1 mask, face, winter N-1 1 mittens, waterproof N-1
2 undershirts, winter N-1 1 mittens, winter, N-2
  1 goggles N-1



2213. Sufficient special winter clothing should be provided for the watch standers in the Armed Guard and the communications liaison group on armed merchant vessels operating to the Far East via the Southern Hemisphere which may encounter winter weather during the voyage.

2214. Heavy Winter Clothing. The following heavy winter clothing is authorized to be issued to officers and men of the Armed Guard serving on merchant ships engaged in service to North Russian ports, or Alaskan ports, west of Skagway.

NOTE: Armed Guard heavy winter clothing constitutes one Navy Standard Sea Outfit per man, with additional cold weather items.

1 jacket, winter N-1

1 trousers, winter N-1

1 jacket, parka, rain N-2

1 trousers, rain N-2

1 coat, parka, winter N-1

1 helmet, winter N-1

1 helmet, winter N-2

1 mask, face, winter N-1

1 goggles N-1

1 scarf, winter N-1

1 sweater, winter N-1

1 mittens, waterproof N-1

1 mittens, winter, N-2

2 undershirts, winter N-1

2 drawers, winter N-1

6 socks, winter N-1

1 arctics, sea, N-1

1 boots, sea N-1

1 extra pair of hair felt duffle socks with boots, sea N-1

2 extra pairs wool felt innersoles with boots, sea N-1

2215. (a) The commander of the Armed Guard will be issued pistols and rifles and a supply of ammunition for use by himself and the Armed Guard for general quarters and drills, sentry or emergency duties. The practice of wearing sidearms while on routine watches at sea is not approved.

(b) Two .30 caliber AA machine guns are usually installed on the bridge of area 2 vessels for use by ship's officers in repelling air attack. These guns are included in the battery controlled and maintained by the commander of the Armed Guard.

(c) Steel helmets will be furnished for the ship's officers. Similarly, steel helmets and Navy type life jackets will be furnished merchant personnel who are assigned to gun loading and ammunition parties. On ships whose prospective voyage warrants, gas masks and steel helmets will be furnished for all personnel, naval and merchant.

(d) Cargo and tank ships will be provided with at least four life rafts. The total capacity of the life rafts shall be sufficient to accommodate all of the ship's complement, and the Armed Guard crew.


2216. Familiarize yourself with and check your equipment against current BuShips and BuOrd allowance lists obtainable at the port director's office. Do not report items of equipment as missing until you have thoroughly checked all gear on board.

2217. The attention of Armed Guard officers is invited to the fact that the Navy does not require rubber lifesaving suits for Armed Guard personnel. This policy is the result of careful investigation of several types of lifesaving suits, and since such suits were not approved, the Navy Department desires that Armed Guard officers decline to accept issue of the rubber lifesaving suits to themselves or their men.

2218. Recreation and welfare gear. In view of long periods at sea the Armed Guard officer will improve the contentment of his crew by providing some recreational equipment. The following suggested list may be procured in whole or in part. The Armed Guard officer should arrange with the Port Director or the Armed Guard Center, as the case may be, for issuance of such recreation and welfare gear as may be available depending upon the estimated duration of the voyage.

Suggested Recreational Equipment
  25 magazines.
25 books.
1 dart set.
4 packs playing cards.
2 sets checkers.
1 chess set.
2 sets dominos.
2 sets Acey Ducey games.
1 Chinese checkers set.
Knitted Wear:
(a) Sweaters (1 per man).
(b) Socks (1 pair per man).
(c) Watch helmets (1 per man).
(d) Wristlets (1 set per man).
(e) Scarfs (1 set).
1 set boxing gloves.
1 striking bag.
1 soft ball.
1 Victrola.
20 Victrola records.
Shaving kits (1 per man).


2219. As soon as possible after your arrival on board you will check all material to be used for signalling. This includes all signal flags, halyards, flag bags, blinker tubes, signal searchlights, spare bulbs, semaphore flags, recording boards, paper and pencils for recording, and any other equipment or material pertaining to signalling. Any deficiencies in this class of equipment should be reported immediately. Use your initiative to see that all equipment is used to the best advantage. The use of some equipment will require close cooperation with the ship's master.

2220. Bulletins and publications. (Issued to Armed Guard units by Armed Guard centers or Port Directors.)

  1. Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions for Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships, Fourth Edition.
  2. General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships, Fourth Edition.
  3. Chief of Naval Operations Armed Guard Bulletins.
  4. Safety Precautions for Armed Guard Officers -- contained in Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions (No. 1 above).
  5. Bureau of Ships Type Allowance List for Armed Guard Units, Navy Communications Liaison Groups and Convoy Commanders Assigned to Merchant Vessels.
  6. Articles for the Government of the United States Navy - 1930.
  7. Deflection Computers and Instructions for Assembly.
  8. Customs Declaration (when necessary).
  9. German Raider Tactics (contained in CNO conf. ltr. Op-22A, (SC) A8-3/EF30 of January 2, 1942).
  10. Recognition Silhouettes of United States and Foreign Men-of-War (Op-16F-10 restr. ltr. serial 3510016 of January 1, 1942).
  11. Aircraft Silhouettes: German, Japanese, Italian, U. S. Army; Service Type. ONI serials G-2-42; J-3-42; I-1-42; 1A-42.
  12. Axis Submarine Manual (ONI 220-M).
  13. Special instructions for local protection of the vessel.
  14. Any special instructions issued locally by the Port Director or Armed Guard center required for local administration or which shall be issued by reason of the nature of the voyage.


2221. Do not leave your vessel when you are expecting anything important, such as the arrival of ammunition, accessories, or gun telescopes. Your life may be dependent upon your armament being in first-rate condition, and your guns are more important than a little liberty ashore. If it is essential that you go ashore, select your top ranking petty officer to represent you during your absence. Inform him as to anything that you consider important and what you want done. Never leave the ship unguarded. A minimum of one-third of the crew must be aboard at all times. Also see that the rest of the crew know that this petty officer is in command during your absence.

2222. Remember, in case you lack materials or tools for any of this work, that the chief engineer, or his assistants who are machinists, or the master of the ship will generally be glad to


2301. Before sailing, plan your organization, as far as practicable, covering all stations of your crew under the various conditions.

A.    A watch, quarter, and station bill shall be drawn up for the vessel and published, showing location of stations and allocation of naval personnel on watch duty on a 24-hour basis. The watch bill will in all cases include the following conditions of readiness which have been established for the Armed Guard service.

1.     Condition 1 - General Quarters. Showing disposition of naval personnel at the ship's armament, with all hands at battle stations, including the merchant crew.

Condition 2. In areas where submarine, surface, or air attack is imminent and contact with the enemy may be expected at any moment, the entire Armed Guard will stand watch and watch. Each of the 2 watches under this condition will be divided into two sections. This will provide sufficient men


for each section to stand 2 hours' lookout duty each 4-hour watch. The stand-by section will be stationed at the guns ready for instant action. If conditions warrant, the stand-by section shall also be stationed on lookout duty.

Condition 3. During normal steaming at sea, the Armed Guard will be divided into sections not to exceed 3 watches. The Armed Guard lookouts shall stand their watches at the guns at all times. When anchored in an unguarded anchorage or roadstead, condition 3 shall be maintained.

2.     Show to what extent the merchant crew are used in supplying ammunition and maintaining the ship's armament under each of the above conditions. Consult the Master of the ship concerning details of assigning merchant crew members to complete your gun crews and ammunition parties.

3.    General Alarm Signals. Post signal to be sounded on ship's general alarm system for each type of attack. When the general alarm is sounded, all hands, including the merchant crew, will report to General Quarters battle stations. The following signals should be made standard on all armed merchant ships:

Submarine sighted or attack from starboard: One long and one short ring.
Submarine sighted or attack from port: One long and two short rings.
Air attack: One short and one long ring.

The above signals do not conflict with the fire and emergency or abandon ship, or boat lowering signals established by the Safety of Life at Sea Convention of 1929. It is essential that the above system of signals be adopted on all armed merchant ships to prevent confusion when members of the Armed Guard or merchant seamen change ships.

The code of signals should be displayed at all operating and bell stations for the information of personnel. The Armed Guard and ship's lookouts should be directed to ring only the authorized submarine or aircraft attack or warning signals. All other signals should be sounded under the authority of the ship's officers.


It is essential that the entire ship's company (Armed Guard and merchant crew) be called to their action stations without delay when a torpedo wake, periscope, submarine or unidentified surface or aircraft is sighted. The general alarm bells should be sounded for this purpose in order that personnel may be aroused from their sleep in the shortest possible time and also that action stations may be fully manned without delay.

4.     Cleaning stations for battery and Armed Guard quarters.

B.    U. S. Army Transports. It will be noted in paragraph 1203 that, in cooperation with the Transport Commander, military personnel embarked for transportation may be utilized to assist the Armed Guard unit. It must be remembered, however, that in nearly all cases, troops are disembarked at their destination, and are not available for watch standing on the homeward voyage. Therefore, it will be necessary for the Armed Guard commander aboard a USAT to have two watch quarter and station bills; one for the outbound voyage when troops are aboard, and the other for the homeward voyage when troops are not aboard. Both watch bills will be made up for the Armed Guard crew as indicated in A above.

(1)   Outbound. Include battle and extra lookout stations to be manned by the troops aboard under conditions 1, 2, and 3. Due caution should be exercised so as not to assign military personnel afflicted with so-called "night blindness" to lookout duty. On the outbound voyage while troops are on board the merchant crew should be assigned by the Master to man their abandon ship and boat lowering stations during condition 1. The merchant crew should be drilled at gun and ammunition detail stations during the outbound voyage, in preparation for the homeward voyage or passages when no troops are on board.

(2)   Homeward bound. Sufficient of the merchant crew should be assigned to gun stations to complete all gun crews and pass ammunition as outlined in A above.

C.    Fire and abandon ship stations.

(1)   The attention of Armed Guard officers is directed to the necessity for assigning Armed Guard personnel under their command to Fire and Abandon Ship stations. This should be accomplished by consulting with the Master and extending the merchant ship's station bill to include Armed Guard crew members at Fire and Abandon Ship Stations, such station bill to be signed by both the Master and the Armed Guard officer.


(2)   It is to be especially noted that two men, from opposite watch sections, are to be assigned to each magazine flood valve. This eliminates the possibility of a man, whose fire station is the magazine valve, being on lookout watch when Fire Quarters is sounded.

(3)   During the fire drill men are to stationed at all ready service boxes, prepared to jettison the ammunition. Ready service ammunition should not be jettisoned unless stowed adjacent to or in the path of the fire.

(4)   After manning fire stations, and when the location of the fire is known, the Armed Guard crew shall assist the merchant crew in fighting the fire. During action, only those of the Armed Guard crew whose battle stations are adjacent to the area affected by the fire will assist the merchant crew in fighting the fire.

(5)   In assigning Abandon Ship Stations, the Armed Guard officer should distribute his men equally among all the lifeboats. When Abandon Ship drill is sounded, the Armed Guard crew, except those men on lookout watch, should report to boat stations for instructions.

(6)   Boat stations are assigned for drill purposes, to instruct the Armed Guards in the clearing away and lowering of lifeboats. Auxiliary stations on life rafts should be assigned to the Armed Guard crew for the reason that during action or when under enemy attack, the Armed Guard personnel will remain aboard until gunfire is no longer possible and sinking imminent. It is expected that the men will be picked up from the water by raft or by their boat or boats when the ship has been completely abandoned.

Drill the men under your command as much as possible prior to sailing. Once under way you will have little time for drills.

Report and request a relief from the port director for any man not suitable to sail on Armed Guard duty.

If sailing in convoy, attend the Convoy Conference with the Master, at which time all final confidential instructions should be received. Close cooperation between the Port Authorities, the Master, and the Armed Guard officer is essential


in order that the Armed Guard officer may be informed of the time and place of the Convoy Conference in sufficient time to attend. If not otherwise notified of a pending conference, the Armed Guard officer should make inquiry as to time and place to insure his attendance. Arrangements have been made with the British Admiralty to permit Armed Guard commanders to attend Convoy Conferences in British controlled areas. The Armed Guard commander should attend the Communication Conference, provided this does not interfere with attendance at the Convoy Conference. If not sailing in convoy, obtain routing and other secret information from the port authority.


2401. Security.

  1. The necessity for complete secrecy in the following particulars must be constantly emphasized.

    1. Name of ship.
    2. Cargo.
    3. Time of sailing.
    4. Route and destination.
    5. Armament.
    6. Escorts - if any.
    7. Details of any action prior to release by the Navy Department.
    8. After arrival the route taken is still secret.

  2. Make no attempt to learn details that do not concern you. Do not inform your men of matters that do not concern them. Warn your men strictly against careless talk, especially just before sailing. Idle curiosity and useless talk and speculation serve no useful purpose. Your lives are at stake.

2402. Armed Guards do not stand ship's gangway watches or cargo watches in port. This is the responsibility of the ship's master and officers. The Armed Guard commander shall detail personnel for sentry duty at the gangway while in ports where such a watch is necessary for the security of the vessel, or required by the naval authority of the port. The sentry will not replace or assume the duties of the ship's gangway watchmen.


2403. Armed Guards do not stand security watch over guns and equipment in port. At least one member of the Armed Guard will be on board, alert, and actually standing sentry watch at all times, day and night.

2404. In ports where air attack is possible the Armed Guard commander shall retain such men on board to man antiaircraft machine guns for the proper protection of the vessel under all conditions. In the event of an air raid alarm while in port, the gun crews with the necessary merchant marine personnel aboard an armed merchant vessel shall man all antiaircraft guns and be prepared to repel air attacks in accordance with the particular port regulations. The guns shall be manned until the all clear is sounded. Upon arrival the Armed Guard commander shall consult with the port director regarding the regulations or instructions in effect for defense against air attacks in that port. The guns shall be kept covered and the ammunition in the ready-service lockers under normal conditions in port. When word of an alert is received aboard, the man on watch will call all hands to general quarters, as provided in the antiaircraft battle bill.

2405. It is the duty of the master to see that all local port regulations are enforced both in United States and foreign ports. The defense of the vessel is the responsibility of the Armed Guard commander. The safety of the vessel is the responsibility of the master or senior deck officer in charge.

2406. Care should be exercised by all members of the Armed Guard around the decks while cargo is being handled. Hatches should be passed on the side opposite to that from which cargo is being handled. Extreme caution should be exercised when cargo is being handled from both sides of a hatch. Further care should be taken during darken-ship hours, to prevent falling into an open hatch, manhole, or scuttle.


a.     In two sinkings of vessels in the Caribbean the submarine commander was fully informed concerning all details of armament, crew, cargo, etc. of the vessels sunk. This he demonstrated by coming alongside the lifeboats, informing the master of the sunken vessel of the above details - in one case, correcting the master when the latter gave false information.


b.     The "leak" had apparently occurred in ports of departure, and, since the submarine commander was in possession of such details as number in gun crew, armament, etc., it is reasonable to suppose that he was also informed concerning the vessel's routing and had lain in wait along the track she would take.

c.     Armed Guard commanders and masters must make every possible effort to see that their crews give out no information. There is no question but that many fine ships and men been lost through loose talk in water-front bars. The enemy agent is literally everywhere and always on the alert for information of value to his government.


Section 1. AT SEA

3101. The Armed Guard watch shall be set at least one half hour prior to getting under way. The lookouts shall be stationed at the guns in accordance with instructions in paragraph 3202.

3102. Condition 1 shall be set each day during morning and evening twilight. The Armed Guard shall go to their battle stations one-half hour before dawn and again one-half hour before sunset and remain until full daylight or dark. It is essential that this be done, as morning and evening twilight are the "zero hours" of the seaman for it is during these periods that most submarine attacks occur. An entry shall be made in the Armed Guard Log showing time of setting and securing Condition 1, both morning and evening, each day while at sea.

3103. The personnel off watch shall be assembled at quarters, weather conditions permitting, when entering or leaving ports where Allied naval or merchant ships are passed within a reasonable distance. This does not apply when entering or leaving ports of neutral nations.


3104. The following daily routine is suggested while at sea:

1.     Cleaning of battery, gun stations, Armed Guard crew quarters and storerooms.


2.     Quarters for muster and inspections of men and quarters.

3.     Setting-up exercises.

4.     Short "General Quarters" drill for Armed Guards and merchant personnel assigned to battle stations including drill at charging stations, casualty drill, sight setting, and such pointing and loading drills as are practicable; testing everything. During gun pointing drills, full utilization should be made of the check sights, using other vessels and surface or air escorts as targets. Inspection should be made of the gun before holding PTS drill to ensure gun is not loaded, in accordance with instructions contained in paragraph 1205 of Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions for Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships. All members of the Armed Guard should be trained to take over the pointer and trainer stations in case of necessity. Merchant seamen should also be trained for this purpose. The merchant personnel should be intensively drilled with the view of securing them after about 15 minutes instructions at their stations. The standard signals for submarine or air attack should be used for this drill.

Casualty drill should consist of simulated actual battle conditions. The wounded men should be removed, replaced by other members of the gun crew and merchant crew, and given preliminary first aid.

Remember your time for drilling is limited. The safety of the ship and all on board may depend on your readiness for action. Gun lookout watches must not be relaxed during quarters and drills.

5.     Test all circuits, communications, and fresh water cooling systems for antiaircraft machine guns.

6.     Instruction covering pistols and machine guns, if furnished. Special caution must be observed in cleaning and handling the pistol.

7.     Talks to crew on antisubmarine tactics, most probable conditions of sighting submarine or torpedo; vital importance of bright lookout; importance of keeping cool, no matter what happens; necessity of fighting the guns so long as a single man remains and as long as the ship floats and gunfire is possible.

8.     Armed Guard officer and petty officers instruct personnel in seamanship and on other subjects for advancement in rating.


9.     A second short "General Quarters" drill sometime before dark.

10.  Hold frequent short antiaircraft drills on recognition, tactics of enemy planes, rapidity of open fire, and fire control.

11.  Instruct Armed Guard in first aid, with emphasis on treatment of burns, shock, and resuscitation.

12.  Make daily inspection of magazines and ready ammunition boxes for maximum and minimum temperatures and daily inspection of samples. Record temperatures and conditions of ammunition in log.

3105. In addition to the foregoing:

1.     For loading crews and ammunition parties utilizing the members of the ship's company detailed by the master. (See paragraph 5803.)

2.     Instruct merchant personnel in their battle stations.

3.     Hold target practice in accordance with Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions, when practicable.

4.     Hold semaphore and signal drills.

5.     Inspect ready ammunition and antiaircraft fuse settings daily just prior to dawn.

6.     Where aircraft attack is possible test daily at dawn all machine guns by firing very short bursts. Indicate by signal to other ships when "testing".

7.     Make positive tests of all firing circuits daily at dawn and dusk.

8.     Inspect all gun crews and lookouts frequently.

9.     Read approximately 18 paragraphs from Articles for the Government of the United States Navy - 1930, during quarters on Saturday morning with the view of complying with Navy Regulations regarding the reading of the Articles.

3106. The Armed Guard Log. A daily record of activities on board the merchant vessel shall be kept in a manner similar to the rough log maintained on board a United States man-of-war. The Watch Officer's Guide is an excellent reference with regard to keeping the log. Information required for various reports may be extracted from the Armed Guard log. A smooth copy of the Armed Guard log shall be forwarded to the "Navy Department, Office of Naval Records and Library, Washington, D. C." via the port director, upon completion of


the voyage. The correct name and gross tonnage of the vessel shall be indicated in the log. Both the rough and the smooth log shall be classified as confidential. The rough log shall be retained on board the vessel and shall be available for inspection by naval authorities.

3107. Commanding officers' inspections. Commanding officers of Armed Guard units should hold regular daily and weekly inspections of personnel, material and quarters.

a.     Daily inspections should consist of inspection of magazines, guns, material, and other equipment coming under the cognizance of the commanding officer. Cleanliness of Armed Guard crew quarters should be noted in this inspection. A second inspection should be made daily, immediately after securing from evening Condition One, to ensure that all appropriate Armed Guard equipment has been secured for the night.

b.     Weekly inspection should consist of inspection of personnel, crew quarters, magazines, storerooms, messrooms, and equipment, with emphasis on cleanliness and ship shape conditions. This inspection should be carried out in a manner similar to the Captain's inspection on board a Naval vessel. An entry should be made in the Armed Guard log when weekly inspection is held, along with any pertinent remarks.

c.     Additional inspections should be made upon leaving port, and upon encountering rough weather, to insure that all Armed Guard equipment, magazines, storerooms, and quarters have been secured for sea.

3108. Caution - The Armed Guard commander should caution his men not to sleep or rest on hatch covers at any time. When a torpedo explodes in a hold, the force of the explosion is partially vented by blowing off the hatch covers, tarpaulins, and fastenings upward into the air. There have been a number of cases of seamen being killed in this manner.

3109. All magazine ventilators of the mushroom or cowl type must be secured for sea and made watertight upon encountering rough weather. In some cases it is necessary to unship the ventilator, insert a wood plug and make watertight by lashing a canvas boot over the end of the vent pipe. The rubber or


hemp gasket in mushroom ventilator covers must be free of paint and in condition to be secured watertight.

3110. Magazine hatches, doors, and ammunition hoist covers must be dogged tight to prevent entrance of water when seas sweep over the decks. It is a common occurrence for magazines to be flooded due to failure to properly secure all openings during rough weather. This especially applies to the magazines in the forward end of the ship. Flooding of magazines indicates poor seamanship on the part of the Armed Guard personnel.

3111. Ammunition should be secured in magazines to prevent shifting. It may be necessary to shore up and to tom down the ammunition during rough seas and heavy rolling of the vessel. Stacks of shells, cartridge cases, shell boxes, and powder containers should be stowed as low as possible, leveled off and properly secured to prevent damage.

3112. The Armed Guard commander shall instruct his crew that each man shall carry his life jacket with him at all times whether eating, sleeping, or during drills and shall wear it while on watch or in action. When general quarters is sounded there is no time to locate a life jacket.

Section 2. LOOKOUTS

3201. It must be remembered that it is of little use to arm a ship unless a bright lookout is kept. The safety of the ship depends fully as much upon a proper lookout as it does upon protection afforded by the guns.

a.     Impress all hands that if lookouts are alert and see a submarine in time to permit report, maneuver, and gunfire, before the torpedo is fired, there is small chance that the attack will succeed.

b.     Lookouts must be assigned a definite arc and confine themselves exclusively to watching this arc. Relaxation of vigilance must not be tolerated. Constant supervision of lookouts is essential.

c.     Lookouts should never stand a longer watch than 2 hours for submarines and 1 hour for aircraft.

d.     In general a submarine may either be sighted before she submerges, when she may be seen at considerable distance, or after she submerges, in which case her periscope only will be


visible, and which will probably never be seen at a distance greater than 4,000 yards. It is imperative, therefore, that the lookouts should be cautioned to look for a periscope or torpedo near the ship inside of 2,000 yards.

e.     Submarines may make many attacks on the surface at night.

3202. The lookout watches stood by the Armed Guard crews shall be stood at the guns, whether sailing independently or in convoy.

a.     At each gun of 3-inch or larger two men will be on watch day and night.

b.     When the Armed Guard crew is four men or less, one man at each gun.

c.     There will be no relaxation of lookout watches regardless of the presence of escorts. Each ship must maintain the required lookout watches at all times, including when traveling in convoy. Armed Guard lookout watches will be stood at the guns, as required above, so that the guns may be brought into action immediately upon sighting the enemy. The stationing of stand-bys, who are not required to be on the alert, at the guns, while lookouts are stationed other than at the guns, is not approved. The stand-bys shall alternate with the lookouts so as to divide the lookout watches as equally as possible among the men available in the watch section. If rough weather makes exposed gun positions dangerous to personnel, the lookouts should be shifted to a place of greater safety.

d.     All Armed Guard lookouts should be instructed and trained so that the two men on lookout duty at each gun of 3-inch or larger will be able to load the gun, set sights, point and train, and open fire in the general direction of the attack without delay while the balance of the crew are reporting to action stations.

e.     In order to make for a more equal distribution of watch duties, Armed Guard watches should be dogged once a week during the evening watch on Saturday. This would make two watches of the 1600 to 2000 watch, i.e., 1600 to 1800, 1800 to 2000.

f.      In areas where aircraft attack is possible, one man shall be stationed at each antiaircraft gun during daylight. This watch should be 50 percent Armed Guard and 50 percent ship's crew, on vessels carrying .50 caliber or 20 mm antiaircraft guns.


g.     Lookouts shall be assigned sectors. If two men are on watch, one port, the other starboard. If four men on watch, one shall be assigned to each of the four quadrants. Lookouts must confine themselves to their own sector.

h.     All lookouts should be provided with binoculars.

i.      Lookouts should be selected with due regard to keenness of vision at night. It should be noted that men of equal vision in daylight do not by any means make equally good lookouts at night. So called "Night Blindness" is much more common than generally supposed and its presence can only be detected by actual test under conditions of darkness and twilight.

j.      Lookouts should be at their station 15 minutes before taking over so that their eyes may become accustomed to darkness.

k.     There should be no noise or talk on the bridge or on deck which might interfere with the lookout's hearing. He must listen as well as look. At night, the lookouts should be instructed to listen for sounds of Diesel motors such as produced by a submarine operating on the surface or charging batteries.

l.      If there is moonlight, lookouts should be particularly vigilant on the side of the ship away from the moon as the submarine would probably attack from that side to get a silhouetted target.

m.   Subs can attack in very bad weather and also can operate near ice packs. Do not for a minute relax your vigilance.

3203. The function of an Armed Guard crew is to sink the submarine or force it to submerge without attacking. The Armed Guard officer must dispose lookouts under the different conditions, considering the number of men available, so that the battery may be quickly and effectively brought into action under all conditions.

3204. All lookout watches required on the bridge, in the crow's nest, at the bow, or at the stern, for navigational or other purposes, will be stood by merchant seamen.

3205. The Armed Guard officer shall instruct the lookouts in their duties. This instruction shall include method of reporting object sighted, stating relative bearing and extremely brief description such as: torpedo, periscope, submarine, ship, etc. Lookouts should be shown pictures and silhouettes of


periscopes with and without feathered wake, of conning towers, and of submarines in awash condition.

3206. In the interests of uniformity of training and procedure aboard ship, lookouts should be instructed to use the usual Navy point system of relative bearings, giving the position angle in degrees, when reporting aircraft sighted. Example: "Aircraft sighted, 2 points on port bow, elevation 20°."

3207. The general alarm bell circuit is extended to the crow's nest and to the forward and aft gun stations. The lookouts at these stations, either Armed Guard or merchant personnel, should be instructed to ring the authorized signal on the general alarm bell system when sighting a torpedo, periscope, submarine or unidentified aircraft so that all hands may be aroused and proceed to their battle stations. The lookouts must be instructed in the proper signals to be sounded on the general alarm circuit. It is essential that the proper signal be sounded without delay to permit personnel to leave their sleeping quarters.

Section 3. ACTION

3301. It is extremely important that the battery and gun crews be kept in instant readiness for action; a few seconds gained in opening fire may save a ship.

3302. Men detailed to a gun crew must remain in the vicinity of their gun, taking it as easy as possible. When off duty, rest. While on duty vigilance is required. Men off watch should sleep by their guns, weather permitting; otherwise in shelter near the gun.

3303. Whenever anything resembling a submarine is sighted it is extremely important that the course of the ship be changed instantly in compliance with doctrine. Change of course upsets all the submarine's arrangements for firing a torpedo, and gives the ship time, which is very important. In cases where the lookout sights something that is not instantly seen from the bridge, the same rule should hold - change course at once and investigate afterwards.

3304. If a gun crew sights a submarine, fire should be opened on it at once without waiting for orders.


3305. Rules for Change of Course.

Case 1 - Submarine more than 60° bearing either bow, any range - turn away using gunfire.

Case 2 - Bearing less than 60° on bow, range over 1000 yards, no torpedo in evidence, turn away using gunfire.

Case 3 - Bearing less than 60° on bow, range less than 1,000 yards, turn toward, using any guns that bear, attempt ramming.

Case 4 - Under all conditions when torpedo track in sight take quick avoiding action to bring the ship parallel to the track of the torpedo.

Case 5 - In case ship is torpedoed, turn away, and use stern guns.

These rules for changing course do not apply in convoy.

3306. Every man not actually serving the guns should keep the sharpest possible lookout for other submarines. If one of the guns does not bear on the submarine in sight, keep it manned and ready to open fire on a second submarine, if sighted.

3307. Fire should be opened in the general direction of the attack to keep submarine submerged while the vessel is maneuvering to avoid the torpedo attack. Every effort should be made to destroy the periscope by surface-gun and machine-gun fire. Short shots are preferable in that the shots may result in hits and the splashes will disconcert the enemy; however, not time should be wasted in getting on target.

3308. Sirens and howlers are designed for use aboard ship as "Watertight Doors" or "Collision Quarters" alarm signals, and should not be used as general alarm or "Cease Firing" signals. Armed Guard officers should not deviate from this standard practice. In the event of failure of battle phone circuits during action, the Armed Guard officer should use his police whistle to attract attention in cases such as when ordering "Cease Firing".

Tips on Submarines

3309. Under conditions of clear weather and smooth sea:

1.     A submarine on the surface is visible on the horizon.


2.     A submarine that is "awash" is visible at distances up to 5 miles.

3.     A submerged submarine with periscope showing is visible at distances up to 2 miles.

4.     A torpedo wake may be picked up at a distance of 1 mile when the light is favorable.

3310. Submarines in the "awash" condition may often be mistaken for a small fishing craft.

3311. Submarines intending to submerge and attack with torpedoes when in somewhat open water, with only occasional vessels passing, will usually lie in the "awash" condition in order to increase the range of vision while maintaining readiness for quick submergence. In areas patrolled by aircraft, submarines will usually remain below the surface and utilize listening equipment to locate merchantmen. They will also expose their periscopes for a few seconds at about half-hour intervals to check listening devices.

3312. Submarine motor sound - Before several submarine attacks at night, the lookout reported sounds of a Diesel motor. In one instance, the master paid no attention to this report. If motor sounds are heard by lookouts, there is every likelihood that a surfaced submarine is maneuvering about the ship in order to take up a forward position for a torpedo attack. The master of a ship has some opportunity to maneuver in such a way as to keep stern to the motor-noise and to force a stern chase. If the submarine should be sighted in such maneuvering, and if the gun crew of the ship can worry the submarine enough to force it under, the submarine no longer holds the advantage, since its speed is halved. If moonlight produces a path down which the escaping ship can move, the submarine cannot surface astern without offering a good target for the gun crew.

3313. After submarine attack, an especially sharp lookout by the crow's nest and other lookouts must be kept as the submarine may attempt to work in position for another attack.

3314. There shall be no surrender and no abandoning ship so long as the guns can be fought. In case of casualty to members of the gun crew the remaining men shall continue to serve the gun. The Navy Department considers that so long as there remains a chance to save the ship the Armed Guard


should remain thereon and take every opportunity that may present itself to destroy the submarine. It is suggested that in as much as it is probable that before broaching the submarine will first circle with only her periscope exposed in order to assure herself that that the ship has been abandoned, thus all men at the guns should lie down or otherwise conceal themselves and wait until the submarine has fully emerged and, if possible, until it is seen that its conning tower has been opened. Then rapid fire should be opened by all guns that bear.

3315. When a vessel is torpedoed or mined, the damage must be ascertained at once and necessary measures taken without delay to keep her afloat. The Armed Guard commander should have a general knowledge of damage control procedure, which knowledge may prove to be of great value in an emergency.

3316. Enemy Surface Raiders - Enemy raiders operating on trade routes may be warships or armed merchant vessels. Instructions as to tactics, if confronted by such craft, are found in the publications that the master and Armed Guard commander receive. Again, it is the Armed Guard commander's absolute duty to make prearrangements with the master as to the contingency.

3317. Publications received by the master at the convoy conference, and those you receive as Armed Guard commanding officer, should be consulted regarding tactics in case of various types of attack and conditions. It is vital that you work out plans with the master for every type of situation.

3318. Tactics in case of submarine attack by gunfire are found in publications that are issued to you or to the master of the vessel. Make certain that both you and the master are completely familiar with them.

3319. The Armed Guard officer, when attending convoy conferences, should request the latest information regarding the enemy's tactics which may be expected during the course of the prospective passage.

3320. Armed Guard officers shall submit a list of all Armed Guard and communications liaison personnel with their voyage reports covering action with the enemy. This list should indicate those killed, wounded, missing, or survivors. It is imperative that the above be complied with in order to reduce the possibility of error in personnel records.


Section 4. AIR ATTACKS

3401. Rapid identification of enemy aircraft is necessary so that an enemy may be quickly engaged. A general rule is to open fire on any unidentified plane flying directly toward the ship at a range less than 1,500 yards. This rule does not apply to the Western Hemisphere.

3402. For effective antiaircraft defense the gunners on machine guns or gun captains on larger guns are authorized to open fire immediately without orders from the bridge:

1.     Upon aircraft definitely identified as enemy.

2.     Upon unidentified aircraft flying directly toward the ship at a range of 1,500 yards when within 1,200 miles of enemy shore-based aircraft.

3403. The Armed Guard commanders should be familiar with the information in Wartime Instructions for Merchant Ships regarding opening fire against aircraft in certain specific areas. This information is subject to change depending upon local conditions and therefore cannot be included in this book.

3404. Instances have been reported in which shipmasters have been alarmed by patrol planes which flew low over merchant ships. It is probable that such action may be due to failure of the ship to break out identification signals promptly, and fly same in such fashion that they may be seen and understood by the planes. It is the duty of protecting aircraft to attack enemy ships. Any merchant vessel which is slow in identifying itself risks the danger of bombing and machine gun attacks from such aircraft.

3405. Aircraft Escorts - Attention of all shipmasters is directed to the great importance of maintaining a sharp lookout for signals from any airplanes in the vicinity of the ship.

3406. In a recent instance, the pilot of an escort plane saw a torpedo break water at a distance of over a mile from a convoy. He raced over the wake of the torpedo toward the leading ship, rocking his wings violently and gunning his engine in an effort to attract the attention of the watch officer to the torpedo - which was on the surface and splashing along like a high-speed motor boat. The pilot was unsuccessful in his attempt to warn the watch officer, and the ship was struck by the torpedo.


3407. Diving and zooming, rocking the wings, and "gunning" the engine are standard methods used by pilots of aircraft to communicate warnings. Furthermore, if the aircraft is able to indicate the direction of a torpedo (as in the above instance) there is always the chance that appropriate avoiding action may be taken in time.

3408. Even if you are in a well-escorted convoy maintain your watches just as if you were alone. The asdic device and plane detection system do not always foresee the danger in time to warn the merchant ships. This is especially true of air attacks. Always keep the required watch standing by your antiaircraft guns when in area subject to air attacks.

3409. In the event of an air raid, or an air raid alert, be certain that all antiaircraft guns are properly manned. On some ships it may be advisable to have the dual purpose broadside guns operate independently under the control of the gun captain after the order to open fire has been given by the Armed Guard commander. AA machine gun fire should be controlled by the Armed Guard commander. Bear in mind that the greatest faults in machine gun fire control are opening fire too soon and expending available ammunition before the target is within range, and failure to lead the target sufficiently to make hits.

3410. The German scout bombers will patrol in almost any kind of weather, even in foggy weather and light snow squalls. It is the practice of the bombing planes to attract attention, thus diverting attention from low flying torpedo planes which generally fly directly toward the ship at low altitude and drop their torpedoes from a considerable distance. The fire of the broadside and 3-inch AA guns should be used to lay a barrage as protection against the torpedo planes. Fire of machine guns should be withheld until the plane approaches within effective range.

3411. The German scout patrol plane is usually a two-motored, single tail, long fuselage Dornier. It usually flies slowly around the convoy just off of the water. For this reason it is sometimes mistaken for a friendly plane. Do not hesitate to open fire if it approaches within 1,500 yards of your ship.

3412. After sighting a German patrol plane you may expect either an air, surface, or sub attack within a few hours. Be prepared for it.


3413. When expecting an air attack have your men cover an assigned area. Do not let all your men face the plane even when you are firing at it unless it is a clear day and you know there are no other planes in the vicinity.

3414. If attacked at night by planes keep your men searching the sky in all directions and do not let them just follow the plane caught in the searchlights. It is a common practice for one plane to draw the searchlights and fire while another drops the bombs. The planes come from different directions and criss-cross above the ships. Enemy planes have flown in low with running lights burning in hopes they would be mistaken for a friendly plane.

3415. The days with low clouds with occasional breaks are the type that the bombers like best. Keep extra alert on such days and be sure someone is always looking for them

3416. If ships are without escorts and an enemy plane is sighted then open fire with several bursts from all guns although plane is out of range. This has been observed to cause pilot to bank away from ship that opens fire and center his attention on non-firing ships. "Keep your eyes on the nose of the plane" and each time it points in the direction of your ship open fire with several bursts again. Try to unnerve the pilot by quantity of fire if he comes within bombing range so his aim will be inaccurate.

3417. If more than one 20 mm gun is firing on any one plane care should be exercised to fire alternately to prevent the guns from running out of ammunition necessitating a change of magazines at a critical moment. Machine gun magazines and feed boxes should be refilled immediately upon discharge during action and returned to the ready service boxes.

3418. When enemy planes dive or drop bombs they usually open fire with machine guns. Do not expose your men unnecessarily.

3419. Be sure your men wear steel helmets, especially where large antiaircraft batteries are firing.

3420. Acquaint your gun crew and ship's crew with signals used during convoy so they may constantly be on the alert and immediately give proper alarm.

3421. Keep deck of antiaircraft gun platforms and larger guns free of ice and snow at all times.


3422. Attention is directed to antiaircraft gun fire control contained in the current Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions for Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships.

3423. The authorized allowance of ready service boxes on armed merchant vessels has proved sufficient and should not be exceeded. The stowage of ammunition in ready service boxes in excess of the authorized allowance is not approved. In case of fire aboard ship, such excess ammunition would prove dangerous and extremely embarrassing.

3424. The Armed Guard officer should train the merchant seamen in the passing of ammunition from the various magazines to the guns so that they will be prepared to perform this duty in action.

3425. Ready service boxes for eight 20 mm magazines are provided at each gun. The additional four 20 mm magazines allowed per gun shall be stowed in the magazines and/or clipping rooms. The merchant crew should be trained by the Armed Guard officer to load the 20 mm magazines and to pass them to the guns as needed.

3426. Attention is directed to the fact that it is possible to pass magazines from the 20 mm guns on the unengaged side of the ship in order to continue firing in case of delays. The four extra 20 mm magazines per gun are provided so as to allow for magazines in transit from the clipping rooms to the guns; therefore, it is considered unnecessary to provide for service stowage for more than eight 20 mm magazines per gun.

3427. In prolonged action emergency clipping rooms should be set up for loading the 20 mm magazines. Such locations should be in sheltered passageways or other protected spaces as near as possible to each group of guns.

3428. Armed Guard officers with battle experience have realized the need for planning along the above lines, and have had impressed upon them forcibly the urgent need for properly training the merchant crew in loading 20 mm magazines, passing ammunition from the magazines to the guns, and in returning empty 20 mm magazines to the clipping rooms or magazines for reloading. Ammunition party drills should be conducted regularly, with Navy personnel instructing the


merchant crew members in all phases of ammunition handling so as to be ready for action.



4101. Upon arrival at a foreign port the officer in command of the Armed Guard will report arrival, with name of vessel, to the United States naval attaché or Navy liaison officer, if present, or other naval authority. Where no American naval authority is present and before permitting any of the Armed Guard to go ashore, consult with the United States consul. Furnish the consul with a complete list of the Armed Guard and obtain from him a certificate of identification for each man. If the naval authority or American consul indicate that naval personnel ashore are subject to internment, do not permit the crew to leave the ship in such port, or any other port of the same nationality.

4102. Should it be ascertained that the vessel is not to return direct to a United States port, but is to be diverted to some other route or service, the officer commanding the Armed Guard will promptly communicate this information to the United States authority with request that it be cabled to the Department.

4103. Requests for such repairs as may be necessary to insure effective functioning of the armament should be directed to the naval authority for action. Recommendations for changes or alterations in the armament or layout should be deferred pending arrival in a United States port.

4104. If in a British port, contact the local D. E. M. S. officer for repairs to armament or defense installations, or for special instructions regarding any British defense weapons temporarily installed on board. Armed Guard officers are not authorized to request the installation of foreign armaments or defensive equipments which are not approved by the Navy Department. In several British ports the D. E. M. S. offers instruction in antiaircraft gunnery which has proved to be of value to Armed Guard crews who have received this instruction. The course offered is generally based on conditions which the vessel may


expect to meet on its prospective voyage. The naval authority of the port should be requested to arrange for the instruction of the Armed Guard crew, and those members of the crew who have not undergone a refresher course within the previous four months should be directed to the D. E. M. S. if port conditions and time warrant this action. In cases where ships are assigned to special missions by the British War Transport, the Armed Guard officers are authorized to request the Naval authority to arrange with D. E. M. S. to furnish the latest information available which may be of value in carrying out the new assignment. In such cases it may be expedient to take advantage of the D. E. M. S. antiaircraft refresher course regardless of the elapsed time since the completion of the last U. S. refresher course.

4105. The original and one copy of the voyage report covering the out-bound passage shall be forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations via the naval authority under his endorsement. The Report of Changes in Naval Personnel Made Outside Continental United States should be forwarded to the addressees.

4106. Post sentry watches at the gangway and guns while in port. Attention is again directed to the fact that an Armed Guard posted at the gangway does not relieve the ship's master or officers from their responsibility to provide the ship's gangway watchmen. The Armed Guard personnel shall not in any way assume duties or responsibilities of the ship's gangway watchmen. The duties of the ship's gangway watchmen include tending mooring lines, checking merchant personnel on and off the ship, in some cases searching merchant marine personnel, tending boat lines, receiving boats alongside, tending the gangway against movements of the ship, receiving stores and packages, etc. It is the responsibility of the master or merchant officers to provide gangway watchmen. The commander of the Armed Guard should conform to the special instructions issued by the local naval authority, which may vary from port to port. However, Armed Guard officers are cautioned that as commanding officers of separate and detached units their responsibilities aboard ship are of first importance and should not be infringed upon by assignments to duty ashore in foreign ports.


4107. In ports where air attack is possible the Armed Guard commander shall retain such men on board to man antiaircraft machine guns for the proper protection of the vessel under all conditions. In the event of an air raid alarm while in port, the gun crews with the necessary merchant marine personnel aboard an armed merchant vessel shall man all antiaircraft guns and be prepared to repel air attacks in accordance with the particular port regulations. The guns shall be manned until the all clear is sounded. Upon arrival the Armed Guard commander shall consult with the Port Authority regarding the regulations or instructions in effect for defense against air attacks in that port.

4108. It is the duty of the master to see that all local port regulations are enforced in foreign ports. The defense of the vessel is the responsibility of the Armed Guard commander. The safety of the vessel is the responsibility of the master or senior deck officer in charge.

4109. The naval authority, consul or port authority should be consulted regarding liberty, health conditions ashore, and places considered out of bounds for U. S. armed forces. All enlisted men should be informed and cautioned of these conditions if granted liberty. They should be especially cautioned to preserve security of all information regarding the ship, its movements, armament, cargo, escorts, and particularly cautioned to maintain secrecy regarding sailings, destination, routes, and enemy actions. Men who cannot be trusted to maintain security of this information should not be granted liberty in foreign ports where they may be exposed to questioning by enemy agents.

4110. Each merchant vessel carries so-called pilot books or sailing directions which contain information regarding local conditions, health, climate, etc., of the various ports. The information contained therein, particularly precautions to be taken, should be of interest to the Armed Guard officer, and should be consulted before reaching port. The pilot books are part of the ship's navigation library; therefore, the Armed Guard officer should obtain the master's permission to consult the books. The pilot books must be promptly returned to the navigation officer and should never be retained by the Armed Guard officer except when actually being used for reference.


4111. In view of wartime transportation conditions, travel in foreign countries should be limited to only that necessary to carry out official duties. This applies especially to travel in the United Kingdom.


4201. The entire battery of guns, gun foundations and splinter protection, magazines, storerooms, and Armed Guard crew quarters should be made ready for inspection upon arrival in a United States port at the completion of a voyage.

4202. All reports and requests regarding guns, ammunition, supplies, repairs, and personnel should be prepared and ready for submittal to the port director upon arrival.

4203. The Armed Guard officer shall cooperate fully with the master by having the Armed Guard crew and their quarters ready to pass the port doctor, immigration and customs authorities.

4204. Report arrival of the vessel to the port director, request instructions and give the following information:

a.     Name of vessel and time of arrival.

b.     Steamship company, line, or agent.

c.     Pier at which docked or, if in stream, when and where it is expected to dock.

d.     Telephone number (with extension number) of nearest telephone to vessel's berth.

4205. Post port security watch as required in Chapter II, Section 4, Security in Port, and confer with the port director regarding local regulations relative to repelling air attacks.

4206. While at the port director's office:

a.     Deliver any secret data from an embassy entrusted to your care for further transmission.

b.     Obtain the probable sailing date of the vessel.

c.     Deliver the confidential report of voyage, stating whether or not report of outward passage was forwarded from abroad.

d.     Request for supplies addressed to the port director.

e.     Request for spare parts addressed to the port director.

f.      Request for ammunition addressed to the port director. State caliber, mark, and modification of guns, also amount of


ammunition remaining on board. Arrange for disposal of empty cartridge cases and powder tanks.

g.     Request for all necessary repairs and alterations addressed to the port director. (Check against out-bound voyage report.)

h.     Complete list of personnel in Armed Guard and communications group addressed to the port director, giving Armed Guard center to which attached, and including any request (stating reasons) for replacement of any member. Be sure to furnish the port director with complete data to comply with Bureau of Naval Personnel Circular Letter No. 27-42, a copy of which may be read from his files.

i.      Any recommendations for advancement in rating or special commendations; any recommendations for immediate disciplinary action or for transmittal of disciplinary cases to the Armed Guard center.

j.      The attention of Armed Guard officers is directed to paragraph 1120 with regard to the report of discipline inflicted aboard required to be submitted to the Armed Guard center concerned.

NOTE - Each of the above should be a separate letter.

4207. Arrange with the port director to have your men paid. Arrange for rating examinations for those of your men who are eligible. See that partial pay cards are changed when a man's rate is changed.

4208. Make certain that the process of requisitioning supplies and equipment is started early enough to insure delivery before the sailing date.

4209. Representatives of the port director's office will board incoming ships to inspect the entire battery of guns, gun foundations and splinter protection, magazines and insulation, and Armed Guard crew quarters. Make certain your ship is ready. Be present at the inspection and call attention to anything that has not been satisfactory during the past voyage.

4210. Follow up on repairs, alterations, or additions to the vessel's armament and inform the port director of the progress being made to insure completion before sailing date. Also inform him of failure to receive supplies or personnel in ample time to insure delivery.


4211. Attention is directed to Chapter V, General Information, for additional subjects to be covered while in a United States port.

4212. Ordnance inspectors are available at port directors offices. Advantage should be taken of this service, which may be obtained upon request.

4213. Unsatisfactory relations between the master, merchant officers, and the Armed Guard should be brought to the attention of the port director with the view of holding a conference in his office between the parties involved to reach a satisfactory understanding of their respective responsibilities before the next voyage.

4214. The Armed Guard officer may grant leave and travel time up to a total of 4 days when the ship is in a continental United States port. Before such leave is granted, the Armed guard officer shall consult with the port director and make sure that said leave will expire 12 hours before sailing. If there is any likelihood of the ship sailing prior to the expiration of leave as above, leave will not be granted. In cases of emergency, additional leave may be granted by the Port Director.

4215. The Armed Guard commander should arrange through the port director for refresher courses for the Armed Guard crew, especially when in the ports of New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco where antiaircraft instruction and firing ranges are available for this purpose. At other ports, requests for such gunnery instruction as may be available should be made through the port director.

4216. In the port of New York, Armed Guard Mobile Training Units will visit the docks for instruction of merchant officers and seamen and Armed Guard crews at the ship. The master and Armed Guard commander should arrange to have as many merchant seamen and Navy men as are available take advantage of this instruction.

Section 3. REPORTS

NOTE: The full name of the ship, correctly spelled, the gross tonnage, and flag or registry shall be included in all reports, requisitions, and other correspondence for the proper identification of the ship. The class should also be stated,


such as S. S. (Steamship), M. S. (Motor Ship), U. S. A. T. (U. S. Army Transport), cargo, tanker, or passenger ship. This method of identification is essential to differentiate between ships with duplicate names. The correct gross tonnage will be found in the ship's papers and also marked on the main beam (generally in one of the hatch combings).

4301. Voyage Reports - Upon completion of a passage either outward or homeward the officer or petty officer in command of the Armed Guard shall submit to the Chief of Naval Operations via the port director or naval attaché a confidential report in triplicate embodying the following:

a.     Name of the vessel, type of vessel, correct gross tonnage, flag or registry, type of cargo, owner of vessel, charter under which vessel is operating.

b.     Port of departure, date of departure, sailing in convoy or singly; if in convoy, number of ships, number of escort vessels or escort aircraft, speed of convoy, date and port of arrival.

c.     Contacts and action with the enemy, stating time and approximate position, or latitude and longitude and conditions of sea and weather. Give time of opening fire, ceasing fire, estimated firing range, tactical procedure during the engagement, casualties, other incidents. Give number and strength of the enemy, his actions during the encounter. Make as clear an estimate as possible of the results of the engagement. Include a list of Armed Guard and communication liaison personnel aboard during action. This list should indicate those killed, wounded, missing, or survivors. Notation should be made of the personnel whose actions were worthy of special mention, stating the reason therefor.

d.     A general résumé of the voyage (this shall not include all the daily routine entries in the Armed Guard log); any incidents out of the routine; what was the speed of the vessel; what lights were shown (if any); did vessel zig-zag in accordance with instructions?

e.     A brief statement should be included if the vessel was delayed in port due to lack of port facilities or for any other reason that resulted in loss of time or reasonable turn-around of the vessel.


f.      Did the commercial radio operator's appear to carry out wartime radio instructions for merchant vessels, particularly in regard to keeping intercepted messages confidential?

g.     Any defects or deficiencies in location or arrangements of the battery, or in equipment as regards material, personnel, or operation.

h.     Did master and officers of the ship carry out Wartime Instructions for Merchant Vessels?

i.      Recommendations tending to the improvement of greater efficiency of the service. Such recommendations should be carefully considered before including them in a formal report to the Chief of Naval Operations. In order to reduce the number of recommendations, all of which are subject to review at the Navy Department, The Armed Guard officer should check the Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards to determine whether the suggestion is already covered in the above publications.

j.      Reports of improper procedure on the part of friendly aircraft approaching a merchant vessel. The report should state the time and location of the merchant vessel at the time of the occurrence. Accurate identification of the aircraft should be noted if obtainable.

k.     A brief description of training given at sea.

4302. Classification of voyage reports - The above report is confidential and shall be made at the conclusion of both the outward and homeward passages, except that, in the case of area 2 vessels (operating from East, West, or Gulf Coasts of the United States to Alaskan waters south of Skagway, Hawaiian Islands or to East or West Coasts of South America including Central American waters) the report will be made as the conclusion of the homeward passage. In the case of coastwise vessels, it may be made monthly, on the first arrival of the vessel in home port following the beginning of the month.

4303. Defects and deficiencies, reporting - Arming or defensing defects and deficiencies noted in the outbound voyage report should be repeated in the homeward bound voyage report if not corrected. This procedure will bring the defects or deficiencies to the attention of the port director for correction. If, for any reason, the defects or deficiencies are not


corrected at the first U. S. port of call, the Armed Guard commander should present the request to the port director at the next port.

4304. Port director's endorsement - The port director will initiate action toward correcting deficiencies or defects and will make a brief statement of action taken in the premises when endorsing the report to the Chief of Naval Operations. If unable to make repairs or replacements due to lack of time or facilities, the forwarding endorsement should state if arrangements were made to correct deficiencies at the subsequent ports. The port director's endorsement should be on the back of the first page. Letters of transmittal are not required. The original and duplicate of the Voyage Report should be forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations. The triplicate may be retained by the port director.

4305. Code names of bases - Armed Guard commanders are not to use the secret or confidential code names of bases in their reports or correspondence.

4306. Value of Suggestions - Many valuable suggestions have been received in Voyage Reports from Armed Guard commanders. While it is not always possible to adopt a particular suggestion each is carefully considered as to its practicability toward furthering the war effort.

4307. Multiple Addressees - In preparing reports and correspondence addressed to more than one addressee, it is essential that a copy be made and marked with a check mark against the addressee for whom the copy is intended.

4308. Voyage Report Form - the following form is suggested for use in making out the Voyage Report. Copies of this form should be furnished the Armed Guard commander by the port director.



Port ____________________
Date ____________________
From: __________________________________, Armed Guard Commander.
{MS/SS} __________________________________, Gross Tons ____________
Flag or Registry ____________________________________________
To: Chief of Naval Operations.
Chief of Naval Personnel.
Armed Guard Center, _______________________________________
Subject: Changes in Naval Personnel Made Outside Continental U. S.
Reference: (a) General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships, 1944, Fourth Edition, paragraph 4309.


1. The following report of changes in naval personnel is submitted in accordance with reference (a):

Armed Guard Personnel Removed
Date Name Rating Branch Service No. * A.G.
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------

Armed Guard Personnel Put Aboard
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------

Communications Liaison Personnel Removed
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------

Communications Liaison Personnel Put Aboard
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------

Naval Personnel in Transit or on Board Not Previously Reported
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
* Armed Guard Center to Which Attached.
** State in brief reason for change.

Commanding Officer of Armed Guard
Forward one copy to each addressee.


Note. - This form is to be filled out by the Armed Guard officer just before sailing from a foreign port and left with the Naval authorities for forwarding on another vessel (one to which this report does not pertain).

All Armed Guard personnel removed or put aboard, communications liaison personnel removed or put aboard, naval personnel in transit or survivors of other vessels not previously reported shall be reported on this form.

Information appearing on this form shall be forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations by the naval authorities by confidential dispatch with information copies to BuPers and the Armed Guard center or centers involved.

Commanders of Armed Guard Units shall obtain copies of this form from the port directors.


4310. Structural Test Firing. - Proof rounds of 6-pounder, 3-inch, 4-inch, and 5-inch ammunition are to be fired in newly installed guns on merchant vessels at the first available opportunity after sailing. These rounds should be fired prior to entrance of the vessel in the zone of hostilities, at such time as is agreeable to the master, when weather conditions and safety precautions permit.

4311. Make certain that the ship is in a clear area before conducting test firing. In convoy guns should not be test fired without first securing permission of the escort commander through the convoy commodore. Especial care should be taken in the observation of all safety precautions when test firing guns.

4312. Test firing shall be as follows:

a.     For guns mounted on centerline of vessel - One shot at zero degrees (0°) elevation. Three shots at five degrees (5°) less than maximum elevation.

b.     For guns mounted on broadside - One shot at zero degrees (0°) elevation. Two shots at five degrees (5°) less than maximum elevation.

4313. Structural test firing of machine guns is not required. .30 caliber and .50 caliber machine guns, and 20 mm. antiaircraft guns should be tested with live ammunition daily at


dawn while in the zone of enemy aircraft operations. A short burst of fire is sufficient.

4314. Ammunition for test firing shall be from the vessel's regular allowance of service ammunition.

4315. After firing test shots the Armed Guard commander shall examine foundations, holding-down bolts etc., for sign of any damage thereto, and report the result of this examination by letter to the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of the Bureau of Ships, and the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. If difficulties or defects develop during test firing, a report should be made to the port director or other naval authority at the first port of call in order that the armament may be put in a serviceable condition.

4316. The following form shall be used for the test firing report required by paragraph 4315:


Date ________________
From: _______________________________________________________________________
Commanding Officer, Naval Armed Guard
(c/o Armed Guard Center __________________________________________________)
{M.S. / S.S.}_____________________________ Gross Tons_______________________
Flag or Registry____________________________________________________________
To: Chief of Naval Operations.
Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance.
Chief of the Bureau of Ships.
Subject: Structural Test Firing of Guns Installed on Armed U. S. Flag Merchant Vessels.
Reference: (a) General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships, 1944, Fourth Edition, paragraph 4315.

1. In accordance with reference (a) structural test firing of the following guns was carried out on the date indicated. Foundations, holding-down bolts, etc., were found to be in the condition noted.


Date Guns test fired -
size and location
Number of rounds fired Condition of gun foundation -
holding down bolts, etc.
Misfires or
(if any)
At 0° elevation At 5° less than maximum


Commanding Officer of Armed Guard

(Note - Make one copy for each of multiple addressees.)

4317. Medical Report. - In the event that there is sickness or physical injury among members of your gun crew, a formal report should be made to the Armed Guard center to which he is attached so that this may appear on the person's records even though the malady appears to be cleared up.

4318. Disaster Report. - The Armed Guard commander shall instruct his men that in case of loss of the ship, the senior survivor should make a report of the loss insofar as circumstances permit. This report should include the approximate latitude and longitude of the occurrence with available particulars. The Armed Guard commander should provide his petty officers and leading seamen with copies of the Navy personnel crew list for information in case of loss of the vessel.

4319. Ship Turn-Around Report. - The port director shall give the commanding officer of the Armed Guard copies of the instructions for Armed Guard officers' report to the Director, Naval Transportation Service on cargo handling and ship turnaround in foreign ports or advance bases, and shall ascertain from Armed Guard commanders on incoming ships if the report is ready and assist in forwarding it. This report should be brief and contain only such information as is requested. It


should be forwarded to the Director, Naval Transportation Service via the Port Director, and should not include other information contained in, or be confused with, the Voyage Report.

4320. Master and Armed Guard Officer. - If the Armed Guard officer experiences any difficulties or misunderstandings of any import with the master, officers, or merchant crew with reference to defense of the ship, blackout, or other matters, the matter should be referred to the port director, or other naval authority as the case may be with the view of clearing up the difficulty. A conference between the port director, or naval authority, the master, and the Armed Guard officer generally results in a better understanding of the general situation and difficulties may be cleared away by this means. Trivialities or personal differences must be subjugated to essentials during time of war and should not be the subject of conferences or reports.


4321. The Master is responsible for the proper operation of the ship's Degaussing equipment in accordance with specific instructions furnished to him. The questions on the Degaussing Questionnaire for Merchant Vessels are to be answered by the Master and are subject to check by the Armed Guard officer.

4322. The Armed Guard officer should note the operation of the Degaussing system from time to time in order that he may be sufficiently informed to note the contents of the questionnaire as filled out and signed by the Master and then affix his signature indicating whether or not he has any comments regarding the answers submitted. If the Armed Guard officer differs with the Master's views in the premises, he shall write up his comments and attach them to the questionnaire before the Master submits it to the port director. A copy of such comments should be attached to the Armed Guard officer's Voyage Report.




Instructions on Subsistence and Payment of Personnel Serving on Board Commercial Vessels

5101. Subsistence.

a.     Officers ordered to duty on board commercial vessels will be required to pay for any subsistence furnished them. They will not be reimbursed by the Government for the cost of their subsistence on board such vessels. Should the subsistence charge appear to be unreasonably high, the Armed Guard officer should present the facts to the port director and request that representation be made to the owners or agents. If satisfactory action is not taken forthwith, The Armed Guard officer will have to pay the subsistence in any event, but should forward to the Bureau of Naval Personnel a complete statement of the circumstances, length of time on board, and representations made to the master, owners, or agents.

b.     Enlisted men on duty on commercial vessels will be subsisted thereon. Bills for reimbursement for subsistence should be submitted by the master or other authorized representative of the owners to the War Shipping Administration or the Maritime Commission when the vessel is operating under a bare boat or time charter with either of these activities, and to the Navy Department (Disbursing Division, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts) only when the vessel is not operating under such a charter. Armed Guard disbursing officers receiving bills for subsistence will return them to the originators with the information that these bills should be forwarded to the War Shipping Administration, Maritime Commission, or the Navy Department as appropriate. Dealers' bills submitted to the Navy Department for payment will be in duplicate and will be itemized to show names and ratings of the men subsisted (inclusive dates), the rate at which subsistence is charged and the total amount. A certificate of the officer or petty officer in charge of the detail, or of the individual, stating that the subsistence was received is required.


c.     Suggested form of invoice for reimbursement for subsistence of enlisted personnel on merchant ships as Armed Guards or as communication groups when invoice is prepared on board ship for submission to the Navy Department.


Disbursing Division, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Navy Department, Washington, D. C.
(name of steamship company or ship) Dr.


Subsistence of Armed Guards on S.S. _________________ during _________________
(name of ship)























I certify that the above bill is correct and just, that payment therefore has not been received.


(Name of ship or steamship company)


(Signature) (Title)


I certify that the above subsistence was received.


(Signature) (Title)

Instructions: Submit original and one copy of invoice. The original must be signed by an official of the company with his title, i.e., captain, purser, comptroller, auditor, cashier, etc. The certificate that subsistence was received must be signed by the officer or petty officer in charge of the Armed Guard.

Note - When the invoice is not prepared aboard ship, the certificate that subsistence was received will be a separate certificate showing the names and ratings of the men subsisted and the number of meals furnished of the inclusive dates of period during which subsistence was received. This certificate must be signed by the officer or petty officer in charge of the detail and accompany the invoice.

5102. Pay and allowances in general.

a.     When Armed Guard units, communication groups, and other naval personnel are ordered to duty of indefinite duration on board commercial vessels, the disbursing officer carrying their pay accounts will prepare a transfer of pay account (S.


and A. Form 4) for transfer to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer. If the commanding officer so directs, the transfer of pay account will be delivered to the individual concerned for further delivery to an Armed Guard disbursing officer. Prior to transfer, each officer and enlisted man will be advised to draw from the funds available in his account an amount sufficient to provide for his needs until he is paid again, and he will be encouraged to register allotments for support of dependents and payment of insurance premiums. Enlisted men will be afforded an opportunity to make application for family allowances.

b.     Naval personnel on duty of indefinite duration on board commercial vessels will be paid on the basis of a U. S. Navy partial pay card (S. and A. Form 2), which is intended to provide for payments in amounts sufficient to provide personal expense money. The pay accounts of such personnel will be carried only at an Armed Guard center (Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf).

c.     Blank partial pay cards are furnished by the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts on the request of disbursing officers authorized to issue such cards, and will be afforded safekeeping in the manner prescribed for U. S. Treasury checks. Each individual to whom a partial pay card is issued will be advised by the issuing officer that the card will be handled in the same manner as a check or currency.

5103. Issue of partial pay cards.

a.     By Armed Guard disbursing officers - If practicable the transfer of pay account (S. and A. Form 4) prepared in accordance with paragraph 5102 (a) will be delivered to an Armed Guard disbursing officer who will issue a partial pay card. Memorandum transfer of pay account issued under Authority of Article 1804, N. R., will not be used for this purpose except in cases of urgent military necessity.

b.     By other disbursing officers specifically authorized.

1.     In General - Other Navy disbursing officers may be authorized to issue partial pay cards for and in the name of an Armed Guard disbursing officer. The cards will be issued only to individuals whose accounts are being transferred to or are being carried by an Armed Guard disbursing officer. The name of the Armed Guard center to which the account is being


transferred or at which the account is being carried (not the activity of the issuing officer) will be shown on the face of the card in order that all payments will be invoiced to the proper office.

2.     Original issue - Authorized disbursing officers may issue partial pay cards to individuals ordered from a vessel or activity not in the vicinity of an Armed Guard center to duty of indefinite duration on board a commercial vessel. The pay account of the individual will be taken up, the individual will be paid money due him to date, and a partial pay card will be issued. The disbursing officer will prepare a transfer of pay account with an endorsement thereon showing the serial number and date of issue of the partial pay card, and will forward the transfer of pay account with a copy of the individual's orders and the partial pay card index card to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer.

3.     Renewal - Authorized disbursing officers also may issue a partial pay card to an individual whose old partial pay card (1) shows a net pay per month in excess of that to which he is entitled because of registration of allotment, court martial sentence to loss of pay, or other deduction from pay, (2) has only two remaining spaces for recording payments, or (3) will expire before the individual can have the card renewed at another port. The same gross pay and allowances per month (subpar. (c) (5)) will be shown on the new card unless specific authorization for a change has been received from the Armed Guard disbursing officer carrying the pay account. No attempt should be made to renew partial pay cards unless the new partial pay card will be in the possession of the individual before the ship leaves port. The disbursing officer will pay the individual the amount due on the old partial pay card, cancel the old card with a notation "Cancelled - superseded by partial pay card, Serial No. _____", and determine if the individual wishes to register any additional allotments, stop an allotment, of file a family allowance application. The original and all copies of such forms will be forwarded to the Armed Guard disbursing officer with the old partial pay card and the new partial pay card index card.


4.     Replacement of lost partial pay cards.

A.    In the event of the routine loss of a partial pay card, authorized disbursing officers may issue a new card only after written or dispatch information and authority have been obtained from the Armed Guard disbursing officer carrying the individual's pay account. An affidavit will be obtained from the individual and will include a statement of the circumstances surrounding the loss, the dates and amounts of payments recorded on the lost card or received subsequent to the loss of the card (including the name and location of the person making the payments), and a statement that the old partial pay card, if subsequently found, will not be used to obtain additional payments but will be mailed immediately to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer. The date of issue shown on the new card will be the date that the affidavit is submitted and not the date of loss of the old card. The partial pay card index and the affidavit of the individual will be forwarded to the Armed Guard disbursing officer. Any money due an individual between the date of last payment and the date the new card was issued will not be paid to the individual or credited on the new partial pay card.

B.    For procedure in the event of casualty resulting in the loss of a partial pay card, see paragraph 5, article 2150-3, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Memo.

C.    The Armed Guard disbursing officer will advise all disbursing officers authorized to issue partial pay cards of all partial pay cards reported lost, showing the date and serial number of the card and the name of the individual to whom issued.

5.     Extension - If a partial pay card has expired but the spaces provided for entries of payments have not been filled, officers authorized to issue partial pay cards, instead of issuing a new card, may extend the expiration date for a period not exceeding 90 days. The new "Void" date followed by the signature and station of the disbursing officer making the changes will be entered on the face of the card. A report of each such change will be made immediately to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer. Other disbursing officers may extend partial pay cards in the same manner after authority has been


received from the Armed Guard disbursing officer carrying the individual's pay account.

6.     For disbursing officers authorized to issue partial pay cards, see paragraph 5107.

c.     Entries to be made on partial pay cards when issued.

1.     Name, rank or rating, file or service number, signature, and right index fingerprint of the individual;

2.     Pay number, when issued by an Armed Guard disbursing officer (Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf);

3.     Address of the Armed Guard center where the account is carried or will be carried;

4.     A partial pay card issued by other than an Armed Guard center to replace one in use will show a notation of the total amount paid on the old card below the address of the Armed Guard center, in the following form: "Total paid and charged on prior PPC No. _______ $__________";

5.     Gross pay and allowances per month (base pay plus permanent additions thereto, including rental and subsistence allowances and money allowances for quarters for dependents, but excluding sea and foreign service duty credits);

6.     Deductions from gross pay (total of allotments, family allowance checkage, court martial checkage, and in the case of officers monthly amount required to liquidate any previous advance pay (i.e., one-sixth of the advance, etc.));

7.     Net pay per month (subpar. (5) minus subpar. (6)). (Neither a balance due nor a balance overpaid will be entered. Any authorized overpayment will adjust itself automatically. After an account has been closed for transfer to the Armed Guard disbursing officer, payment of any amount which remained due can be made only by that officer);

8.     Date of issue and date card becomes void, specifically 1 year from date of issue (e.g., if issued 15 October 1943, void date will be 14 October 1944);

9.     Amount of any unauthorized overpayment on the first line of the "amount" column (this will be treated in all respects as money issued); and

10.  Signature of the issuing disbursing officer.

d.     Partial pay card index card - Issues and cancellations of partial pay cards will be recorded in a ledger, showing (1) serial number, (2) name of individual, (3) rank or rating,


and (4) date of issue or cancellation. Upon issue of a partial pay card, a 3- by 5-inch index card (standard stock item, ruled and unruled) will be prepared as follows and forwarded to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer:

(Name in full, surname first)

(Card number)

(Rank or rating)

(File or service number)

(Pay No.)

(Date of issue)

(Signature of holder of card)

Gross pay and allowances


Allotments, H. F., etc.


Advance pay (1/6 per mo.)



Net pay per month


Unauthorized overpayment
charged in "Amount"


(Right index fingerprint)

Issued by

(Name, signature, and activity of disbursing officer)

For Armed Guard center

(Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf)

5104. Procedure for making payments on partial pay cards.

a.     In general.

1.     Any Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard disbursing officer or special disbursing agent is authorized to make payment for an individual who presents a properly executed partial pay card and who satisfactorily establishes his identity as the person to whom it was issued. U. S. Navy identification card - photo (Form BNP 546) and regular metal identification tag are the authorized mediums for this purpose. Disbursing officers inland and at stations remote from commercial shipping should require evidence that holders of partial pay cards are on authorized leave before making payments on the basis of the partial pay cards. Payments also may be made by masters of vessels or, when necessary, by Army finance officers or State Department representatives outside the continental limits of the United States.

2.     The officer or petty officer in charge of an Armed Guard Unit will be responsible for reporting absence over leave (and


return), transfers, deaths, misconduct status, etc., and will forward immediately to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer any required payroll vouchers. When practicable such vouchers will be forwarded via a Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard disbursing officer making payments to the Unit. When an individual returns to duty on board the vessel after an authorized absence, the officer or petty officer in charge will place an appropriate entry in the money column of the partial pay card, the amount being computed as one-thirtieth of gross pay and allowances per month multiplied by the number of days absent.

3.     The officer or petty officer in charge will assist paying officers in preparing pay receipts and letters of advice (S. and A. Form 16). Immediately upon return to a United States port, he will forward to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer the copies of letters of advice and public vouchers furnished him by the paying officers. 

b.     By Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard disbursing officers, and special disbursing agents.

1.     Pay due. - The amount of pay due will be determined as follows: (1) compute elapsed time in months and fractional months from date following date of issuance of card to current date, (2) multiply by net pay per month, and (3) deduct the sum of all previous payments. (Example: Net pay per month $16, card issued 11/5/43, paid $10 on 12/20/43, current date 1/20/44; time elapsed, 2 15/30 months times $16 equals $40; less total previous payments of $10 equals $30 due). If an individual's card shows that he was overpaid a certain sum on the date the card was issued to him such overpayment must be deducted from any pay due in the same manner as a payment.

2.     Letter of advice (S. and A. Form 16). - A letter of advice will be prepared in quintuplicate covering payments made to individuals whose accounts are being carried by the same Armed Guard disbursing officer. A letter of advice will not include payment to any individual whose account is not being carried by the Armed Guard disbursing officer to whom the letter of advice is addressed; separate letters of advice will be employed. Partial pay card serial numbers will be shown on each letter of advice but names will be listed in pay number order.


3.     Pay Receipts. - If it is practicable for the individual to cash a U. S. Treasury check locally, payments will be made by check; otherwise payments will be made by cash, the payer obtaining a receipt therefore. Pay receipt (S. and A. Form 57), if available, will be used for obtaining the receipt for cash placed in the space provided on the face of the pay receipt.

4.     Entry on partial pay card. - Partial pay cards will be endorsed to show date and amount paid, ship or station, and signature of paying officer.

5.     Public voucher. - Public voucher for purchases, and services other than personal (Standard Form 1034) (original and seven copies) will be prepared in the manner prescribed in art. 2160-2 (c), S. and A. Manual, except that a letter of advice (S. and A. Form 16) will be used in lieu of a money list. Public vouchers will show separate totals for officers, for crew, for cash, and for check payments. A public voucher may cover more than one letter of advice but will cover only those showing payments to individuals carried by the same Armed Guard disbursing officer.

6.     Distribution of public vouchers, letters of advice, and copies thereof.

A.    To the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer (by air mail if practicable):

Original letter of advice.
One copy of the public voucher.

B.    To the Navy Department, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Field Branch, Cleveland, Ohio (Master Accounts Division), by registered mail:

Two certified copies of the letter of advice.
Two certified copies of the public voucher.
Pay receipts (Stamped "Paid" with the date of payment and the name, symbol number, and activity of the disbursing officer making the payment).

C.    To the officer or petty officer in charge of the Armed Guard Unit:

One copy of the letter of advice.
One copy of the public voucher.

D.    Filed by the disbursing officer for forwarding to the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts (Accounts and Reports Division)


In the usual manner (see arts. 2178-10 and 2179-8, S. and A. Manual): Two copies of the public voucher.

E.     Filed by the disbursing officer for forwarding with his official returns:

Original public voucher.
One certified copy of letter of advice.

F.     Retained by the disbursing officer: One copy of the public voucher.

c.     By master of the vessel.

1.     If it is not practicable for a Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard disbursing officer to make payments and if 30 days have elapsed since the date of last payment, personnel of Armed Guard Units may be paid by the master of the vessel or other authorized representative of the steamship company when such procedure is satisfactory to the steamship company concerned. Armed Guard disbursing officers should ensure that masters are informed of the appropriate procedures and provided with the necessary forms.

2.     Cash payments will be made as outlined in subpars. (b), (1), (2), (3), and (4). Immediately after making payments the master or other authorized representative will forward the original and one copy of the letter of advice to the Armed Guard disbursing officer carrying the accounts of the personnel paid and one copy to his company. One copy of the letter of advice will be delivered to the officer or petty officer in charge of the unit and one copy will be retained.

3.     The master or other authorized representative of the steamship company will claim reimbursement from the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer on an invoice submitted in duplicate , accompanied by the pay receipts and one copy of letter of advice (if available, the copy of the letter of advice acknowledged by the Armed Guard disbursing officer).

4.     Suggested form of invoice for reimbursement for payments made to Armed Guard Units. See paragraph 5108.

d.     By Army finance officers and State Department representatives.

1.     In cases of urgent necessity only, and when a Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard disbursing officer is not available, Army finance officers and State Department representatives outside the continental limits of the United States may be called


upon to make necessary payments to Armed Guard personnel. The provisions of subpars. (b) (1), (3), and (4) will be followed, and reimbursement will be effected by the Navy Department upon presentation by the War or State Department of a voucher for adjustment between appropriation and/or funds (Standard Form 1080).

2.     When payment is made to the individual, the Army finance officer or State Department representative will forward to the Navy Department, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Field Branch, Cleveland, Ohio, (Master Accounts Division), one copy of the pay voucher and a list of the personnel paid, indicating the amount paid to each and the Armed Guard disbursing officer carrying the pay accounts. Upon receipt of the pay voucher and list, the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts (Master Accounts Division) will prepare and forward to the appropriate Armed Guard disbursing officer the original and two copies of a list of personnel paid and amounts to be charged on the pay roll. The Armed Guard disbursing officer will certify on the original that charges have been made or requests for checkage originated for individuals on the list whose accounts are carried by another Armed Guard disbursing officer, and immediately return the original to the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts (Master Accounts Division), retaining two copies as pay roll vouchers.

5105. Clothing and small stores. - Unless otherwise directed, Armed Guard personnel to whom partial pay cards have been issued and who require articles of clothing and small stores will procure such articles for cash. When clothing and small stores are lost in a marine disaster, issues in kind will be made by any supply officer on the basis of an approved claim as prescribed in art. 1431-11, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Manual.

5106. Transfer of Armed Guard personnel to a naval activity. - When an individual is released from duty on a commercial vessel and transferred to a Navy vessel or station for duty, he will deliver the partial pay card (and, if an officer, a certified copy of his orders) to his new disbursing officer, who will transmit the card (and copy of orders) to the Armed Guard disbursing officer with request that the account be closed and that the transfer of pay account be forwarded via air mail to such ship or station.


5107. Disbursing officers authorized to issue partial pay cards (S. and A. Form 2):

Armed Guard Center (Atlantic) South Brooklyn, New York.
Armed Guard Center (Gulf) Naval Station, New Orleans (Algiers), La.
Armed Guard Center (Pacific) Treasure island, San Francisco, Calif.


Adelaide, Australia, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Alexandria, Egypt, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Balboa, C. Z., Disbursing Officer, Fifteenth Naval District.
Baltimore, Md., Disbursing Officer, Fifth Naval District, Baltimore Area.
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Bombay, India, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Brisbane, Australia, Disbursing Officer, Naval Supply Depot.
Cardiff, Wales, Disbursing Officer, United States Navy Port Liaison Office.
Colombo, Ceylon, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Durban, South Africa, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Gibraltar, Disbursing Officer, United States Naval Liaison Office, American Consulate.
Gourock, Scotland, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Disbursing Officer, Naval Station, Naval Operating Base.
Iceland, Disbursing Officer, Naval Operating Base.
Karachi, India, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Liverpool, England, Supply and Disbursing Officer, United States Navy Port Liaison Office.
London, England, Disbursing Officer, Office of the Naval Attaché.
Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Disbursing Officer, Naval Operating Base.
Los Angeles, Calif., Disbursing Officer, Naval Training School, 850 Lilac Terrace.
Melbourne, Australia, Disbursing Officer, Naval Supply Depot.
Newport News, Va., Disbursing Officer, Receiving Station.


Norfolk, Va., Disbursing Officer, Inshore Patrol, Naval Operating Base.
Oran, Algeria, Disbursing Officer, Receiving Station.
Pacific Fleet Service Force, c/o Fleet Post Office, San Francisco, Ca., Disbursing Officer.
Pearl Harbor, T. H., Supply and Disbursing Officer, Fourteenth Naval District Small Craft, Aiea, Oahu.
Philadelphia, Pa., Disbursing Officer, Receiving Station.
Port Said, Egypt, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Recife, Brazil, Disbursing Officer, Naval Operating Facility.
San Diego, Calif., Disbursing Officer, Receiving Station, Destroyer Base.
San Pedro, Calif., Disbursing Officer, Naval Supply Depot.
Seattle, Wash., Disbursing Officer, Thirteenth Naval District.
Shelton, Norfolk, Va., Disbursing Officer, Armed Guard School.
Suez, Egypt, United States Naval Liaison Officer.
Sydney, Australia, Disbursing Officer, Receiving Barracks.
Townsville, Australia, Disbursing Officer, Naval Activities.
Trinidad, British West Indies, Disbursing Officer, United States Naval Operating Base.

5108. Suggested form of invoice for reimbursement of steamship companies for payments made to Armed Guards.

To: Armed Guard Center
(Name of steamship company or ship) Dr.
Payments to Armed Guard crew, S. S. _____________________________________ on
(Name of ship)
_______________________________; 19
Card N. Name in full Rate Amount

I certify that the above bill is correct and just; that payment therefore has not been received.

(Name of ship or steamship company)
(Signature) (Title)


Instructions. - Submit original and one copy of invoice. Original to be signed and title indicated, i. e., comptroller, cashier, manager, etc.

The pay receipts should accompany invoice to substantiate it. If available a copy of the letter of advice should accompany the invoice.

5109. When the officer or petty officer in charge of an Armed Guard crew incurs expenses incident to the performance of official duty while assigned to a specific commercial vessel, reimbursement may be made by the disbursing officer of any Armed Guard center or school upon sundry expense account (S. and A. Form 326). The individual concerned must certify that such expenses were incurred in the performance of official duty, that government facilities were not available and, if taxi fares are included, that transportation by common carrier was not available. The sundry expense account then must be approved by the commanding officer of an Armed Guard center or school, or by a port director.

5110. Reimbursable items include telephone calls, telegrams, radiograms, cables, car fares or taxi fares (when common carrier not available), water taxi fares, drayage and similar items if such expenses are incurred in performance of official duties and Government facilities are not available. Receipts for expenditures shall be obtained where practicable and submitted with the sundry expense account. Since the nature of official messages originated by Armed Guard personnel is confidential, copies of telegrams, radiograms, and cables will not be furnished. However, a receipt will be obtained from the sending agency showing the date, place, destination and number of words. Insofar as consistent with security, the date, place, and nature of expenditure will be shown on the sundry expense account.

5111. Officers and petty officers in charge of Armed Guard crews should be furnished written authority to send collect telegrams to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Armed Guard centers, and port directors.

5112. Reimbursement for personal property lost in a marine disaster, etc. - An individual in the naval service may be reimbursed in the manner prescribed in art. 1431-11, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Manual, for the loss, destruction, or


damage of his personal property due to operations of war, marine disaster, etc. Reimbursement may be claimed in accordance with the following:


Reimbursement in cash:


Uniform equipment.


Cuff links, service and dress; studs; watches. Not every accident results in total loss of a watch. Repairs will be made, if possible, and the claimant will be reimbursed for the cost of the repairs. In such case, the claim will be supported by a voucher for repairs. If watch is damaged beyond repair the claim will be supported by a statement to that effect from a reliable source.


Binoculars (line officers only), professional books, eyeglasses, slide rules, suitcases, trunks, toilet articles, jackknife, fountain pen.


Reimbursement in kind:

Articles of clothing and small stores within the limit of regulation full bag as prescribed in uniform regulations.

Reimbursement in cash:

Toilet articles including one razor, eyeglasses, Blue Jacket Manual, and watches (under same conditions as for officers).

Uniforms and uniform equipment (if not items of clothing and small stores) of chief petty officers, stewards, and cooks.

Notice to All Armed Guard Personnel

5113. It is requested that officers and petty officers in charge of Armed Guard crews, instruct their men that in the event of shipwreck or any other marine disaster involving the loss of clothing, the claims for reimbursement thereof should be filled out upon return to the Armed Guard center.


5114. Experience has shown that claims filed for Armed Guard personnel at other stations have frequently been incomplete or incorrectly filled out with resulting hardships for Armed Guard personnel involved.

Section 2. ADVANCEMENT IN RATING - Enlisted Personnel

5201. Advancement to petty officer third-class and petty officer second-class ratings.

  1. Providing the requirements prescribed in current instructions as to conduct, proficiency and service in rating, and training courses are fulfilled, commanding officers of Armed Guard centers are authorized, upon recommendation of commanding officers of Armed Guard crews, to effect advancements to petty officer third-class and petty officer second-class ratings. These advancements shall be provisional and subject to confirmation by examinations conducted at the Armed Guard center concerned, except as provided for in paragraph 5202. If, after examination, a man so advanced is found qualified, the provisional nature of the advancement shall be removed. In the event such a man is found not qualified, he should be reduced in rating by the commanding officer of the Armed Guard center.

  2. No petty officer third class shall be advanced to petty officer second class until the examination required by the foregoing has successfully been completed, thereby removing the provisional nature of the advancement.

5202. Voyages of protracted duration.

  1. In order that undue delay in confirming advancements may be avoided where voyages are of protracted duration or where men are serving in Armed Guard pools abroad for prolonged periods, the examination required by paragraph 5201 above may be held at an Armed Guard center other than the one where the man's records are maintained or at any other naval activity within or beyond the continental limits of the United States, provided that such activity has available a competent examining board.

  2. The report of examinations so held shall be forwarded directly by the examining activity to the Armed Guard center concerned where the advancement or the reduction in rating shall be effected as of the date of receipt.


5203. Advancement to petty officer first class and chief petty officer ratings. - Normally, it is not expected that the higher ratings will be found in Armed Guard crews. Examinations for petty officers first class and above shall be held and advancements effected there under only at Armed Guard centers in accordance with current Bureau of Naval Personnel instructions.

5204. Instruction classes at Armed Guard centers. - It is expected that every opportunity will be provided Armed Guard personnel, prior to be examined under paragraph 5201 above, to receive instruction at Armed Guard centers in the duties of the ratings for which they are candidates for advancement.

5205. Reductions in rating. - Nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent the reduction in rating of any man by commanding officers of Armed Guard centers upon the recommendation of commanding officers of Armed Guard crews, in accordance with the provisions of Article D-5113 (3) of BuPers Manual, Part "D".

5206. For further information concerning advancement in rating of enlisted personnel, Armed Guard officers should apply to the nearest Armed Guard center or port director's office for the latest pertinent instructions as issued by the Bureau of Naval Personnel.



a.     It is of utmost importance that all mail emanating from Armed Guard units conform to the classification regulations set forth in Navy Regulations, Article 75 1/2, which is hereby quoted in part:


a.     Any matter of such nature that special precautions should be taken to insure that information concerning it shall be permanently or temporarily limited in circulation shall be classified as secret, confidential, or restricted. The term 'classified matter' shall be used in the naval service as a generic term comprising secret, confidential, and restricted categories to distinguish between matter which requires special provisions for safeguarding, and matter which either needs no safeguarding or whose safeguarding can be well entrusted entirely to


the discretion of the various custodians and which is normally referred to as non-classified matter.

b.     The three categories of classified matter are defined as follows:
Secret matter is matter of such a nature that its disclosure might endanger the national security, or cause serious injury to the interests or prestige of the Nation or any Government activity thereof.
Confidential matter is matter of such a nature that its disclosure, while not endangering the national security, would be prejudicial to the interests or prestige of the Nation or any Government activity thereof.
Restricted matter is matter of such a nature that its disclosure should be limited for reasons of administrative privacy; or, is matter not classified as confidential because the benefits to be gained by lower classification outweigh the value of the additional security obtainable from the higher classification.


a.     The originator of matter shall be responsible for its proper initial classification, and shall provide a means of identification of this assigned classification by subsequent custodians.

b.     Each person who may receive custody of any matter shall be responsible for its safeguarding in accordance with the assigned classification. If the custodian believes the assigned classification is not sufficiently restrictive, he shall safeguard the matter in accordance with the higher classification he deems proper. If the custodian or other competent authority believes reclassification in a more restrictive category is of sufficient importance, either the subject shall be referred back to the originator for proper classification or be referred to the Chief of Naval Operations with recommendation as to its proper classification.

c.     The originator of classified matter, his superiors in the chain of command, chief of a cognizant bureau, and the Chief of Naval Operations, may reclassify matter in a less restrictive category when the necessity for the original classification no longer exists. When classified matter has been reclassified in a less restrictive category, all custodians


or addresses will be informed by the authority reclassifying same. In the case of registered publications issued by the Registered Publication Section, the Chief of Naval Operations will notify custodians of the reclassification. * * *


a.     The responsibility for the maintenance of the inviolability of secret matter rests upon each person having knowledge or custody thereof no matter how obtained. Any person having knowledge or suspicion that secret matter has been compromised shall immediately and fully report the facts to the Chief of Naval Operations via his commanding officer. * * *


a.     Information as to existence, nature, or whereabouts of secret matter shall, except as specifically authorized by the Chief of Naval Operations, be disclosed to only those persons in the Naval Establishment whose official duties shall require such knowledge. Confidential matter may be disclosed to officers of the Navy whose duties render it advisable that they have such information and to other persons in the Naval Establishment in accordance with special instructions issued by the originator and other competent authority, or in the absence of special instructions, as determined by the local administrative head charged with custody of the subject matter. * * *

5302. When mailing confidential classified correspondence the sender will use double envelopes, the outside envelope giving the address of the receiver, the inner envelope marked with the word "Confidential" with no identification as to its contents. Confidential correspondence must be sent "registered mail". Secret matter cannot be sent by mail, unless authority is granted to send it by registered U. S. mail. Restricted matter may be sent via regular mail.

5303. All official correspondence must be forwarded through official channels.

5304. Ships' locations are confidential and all references to same must be classified and treated accordingly. The ship's name must never appear on the outside envelope of any correspondence unless same is mailed in an Army or Navy post office. After


arrival, the route taken remains secret. The name of the ship and the name of the Armed Guard center shall appear on the letterhead of all official correspondence.

Personal Correspondence

5305. The Armed Guard Commander will be responsible for the mail of his men. All Navy mail emanating from his vessel will be collected by the Armed Guard officer and mailed at the nearest naval activity. Naval personnel are prohibited by law from sending mail from civilian post offices.


a.     All personnel under your command should be instructed that their mail address is:

Full name, rating, or rank,
Armed Guard,
S. S. (name of ship),
c/o Fleet Post Office.
(New York, N. Y., New Orleans, La., or San Francisco, Calif., as the case may be.)

b.     When ship's names are duplicated the name of the owner or operator will be included in parentheses following the name; for example:

John Joseph Doe, S2/c,
Armed Guard,
(Eastern S. S. Co.),
c/o Fleet Post Office,
New York, N. Y.

c.     Armed Guard personnel attached to Armed Guard centers for duty or further assignment shall use the following mail address:

Full name, rating, or rank,
c/o Armed Guard Center,
(Brooklyn, N. Y., New Orleans, La., or San Francisco, Calif., as the case may be.)

5307. No other addresses shall be used. The foregoing addresses may be used by the Armed Guard personnel as return addresses on the outside cover of their mail. The Chief of Naval


Operations is charged with the responsibility of forwarding the Armed Guard mail as well as that of the personnel of the merchant vessel to which they are assigned.

5308. Personal correspondence originated by members of an Armed Guard crew shall not be posted in any mail until it has been properly censored and stamped. International mails shall not be used for personal correspondence. When in any port, domestic or foreign, Armed Guard personal mail shall be censored and tuned over with appropriate postage, to the nearest Fleet Post Office, American Naval Representative, Army Post Office, or other American Government agency, in the order named depending upon which representative is available.

5309. Additional mail routing instructions desired by you regarding the forwarding of your mail from one port to another should be referred to the nearest senior American representative. Mail routing instructions shall not be issued unless the vessel is unexpectedly diverted from her normally scheduled route. In such cases the Chief of Naval Operations should be informed by secret dispatch.

5310. Fleet Post Offices at New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco will forward Armed Guard mail to domestic and foreign ports for delivery. Armed Guard commanders will obtain mail in foreign ports by applying to the Fleet Post Office, U. S. Naval Observer, or other U. S. Navy representative, U. S. Army post office, or the American Consulate, in the order named. Armed Guard commanders shall notify the appropriate Fleet Post Office of personnel changes to facilitate the prompt forwarding of mail to the addressee.

5311. While in company with a convoy, the convoy commander is responsible to advise the Navy Department of any diversion from the normal route of the convoy.

Censorship of Personal Communications

5312. It is the responsibility of the Armed Guard commander to censor all personal communications (mail and telegrams) from Armed Guard personnel and to inform the Armed Guard concerning Navy Censorship Regulations. The Armed Guard officer is to affix the censoring stamp to his own personal correspondence, and is in honor bound to comply with all


censorship regulations. The Armed Guard officer shall not censor the mail of the merchant crew as this is not his responsibility.

5313. A censoring stamp, stamp pad and Navy Censorship Regulations will be provided by the Armed Guard centers. The censorship stamp should not be used on merchant crew mail.

5314. A facsimile of a censorship stamp, together with initials and name of censor and name of vessel, shall be given to the commanding officer, Armed Guard center, for forwarding to the Office of Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Division of Naval Intelligence.

5315. All outgoing personal mail will be delivered unsealed to the Armed Guard commander for censoring. After censoring, affixing censor's stamp and sealing, the mail will be delivered to the nearest naval activity for mailing. Naval personnel are prohibited from posting mail at civilian post offices.

5316. Incoming communications mailed or carried outside official Navy mail channels are intercepted by National Censorship or Customs and referred to the Navy Department.

5317. Cable Communications. - At many points Expeditionary Force Message Service (EFM) is available to Armed Guard personnel. This service provides an inexpensive means of communication for service personnel. The sender may select any three of approved texts, see Op 20-M-13 Serial 3456620 Navy Bulletin 15 November 1943. When the vessel in to remain in port for a definite period of time, Armed Guard personnel may receive replies to EFM's from friends and relatives in continental U. S. Inquiries should be made of local naval authorities as to the availability of these services. Local authorities will supply coded address which will be used by correspondents in replying to Naval Armed Guard personnel. The cost of the EFM messages is about 60 cents plus tax.

5318. In the absence of a coded address (see above) the only other method of addressing messages to Armed Guard personnel is in care of their respective Armed Guard center at Brooklyn, New Orleans, or San Francisco. If the addressee is not located at the Armed Guard center at the time of receipt of the message, it will either be held until his arrival or forwarded by mail.


5319. Messages sent using the ship name and mail address will be forwarded by mail by the Fleet Post Office or held until the addressee returns to the United States.

5320. Messages concerning death in the immediate family may be addressed to the proper Armed Guard center, as in paragraph 5318 above, or care of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D. C. Every effort will be made to effect delivery by the most expeditious means available.

5321. Domestic messages may be sent by Armed Guard personnel, providing they are submitted to the Armed Guard commander for censoring. The Armed Guard commander shall affix censor's stamp. The censored message may be delivered to the telegraph company by the sender.

5322. International messages may be sent by Armed Guard personnel from outside the United States providing the message is censored by the Armed Guard commander. The indicator, "USNAV", to indicate sender is naval personnel, must appear in the preamble. The point of origin of the message must not appear in the preamble and no reference to the location of the sender may appear in the text.

5323. Security of information requires that none of the following topics be permitted in any personal communication:

a.     Under no circumstances shall open or hidden references be made in private correspondence, conversation, or communication of any nature whatever, to any of the following:

1.     The location, identity, movement, prospective movement, armament, or defensive installations of any merchant ship, aircraft, naval vessel, or naval or military force.

2.     The defensive or offensive forces, weapons, installations, or plans of the United States, or of her allies.

3.     The production, movement, or supply of munitions, or the location or progress of war industry in any form.

4.     The routine or employment of any naval or military unit of the United States or her allies.

5.     The effect of enemy operations, or casualties to personnel or material suffered by the United States, or her allies.

6.     The criticism of equipment, appearance, physical condition, or morale of the collective or individual armed guard forces of the United States or her allies.


7.     Matter, the knowledge or dissemination of which might benefit enemy military, economic, or financial interests.

8.     No photographs or films of naval or military nature, or picture postcards that might disclose the location of the ship or the route taken may be sent through the mail.

9.     Discussion of naval information such as fire control apparatus, guns, target practice, radio apparatus, etc. is prohibited.


5401. The Master of the ship is responsible for the conduct of communications aboard his ship. In some cases the Armed Guard officer is also the communications liaison officer. In such cases, the Armed Guard officer will attend convoy communication conferences in order to obtain such communication and radio instructions and other pertinent information as may be issued for the particular voyage, providing the communication conference does not prevent his attending the convoy conference. All communication publications received by the Master, unless specifically stated otherwise, shall be made available to the Armed Guard officer for his information.

5402. Communication Liaison groups are under the command of the Armed Guard officer when there is no communication liaison officer assigned to the vessel. It is well for the Armed Guard officer to regard his communication personnel and his gunnery personnel as constituting separate divisions, and govern his treatment of them accordingly. He should use his initiative in devising a drill program for these men during the time they are not actually standing watch or sleeping, especially while in port.

5403. When the number of men assigned to the communication unit is limited, it will not be practicable to maintain a continuous signal watch. It is recommended that signalmen maintain continuous watch during daylight hours. At night, when visual communications should be kept to a minimum, one of the signalmen should sleep on or near the bridge so that he can be awakened immediately in the event that it is necessary for him to send or receive a message. The signalmen and radiomen should be quartered as near the bridge as possible and


it is the Armed Guard officer's responsibility to see that proper quartering arrangements are made.

5404. Navy radiomen and signalmen are subject to shifting from vessel to vessel, due to shortages in personnel. As a general rule, they report to the vessel at a different time and under separate orders from those of the gun crew. Be sure to notify the port director if the authorized Navy radiomen and/or signalmen have not reported aboard and the sailing date is imminent.

5405. Communications personnel should not be assigned duty other than communications under normal circumstances. However, it is well to have such personnel trained for gunnery duty in case of emergencies. When in port, communications personnel should not be assigned gunnery duties.

5406. Should any member of the communications unit become unfit for further duty, arrangements should be made for transfer and replacement upon contact with the naval authorities at the next port of call with notification to the Chief of Naval Operations, the Bureau of Naval Personnel and the Armed Guard center concerned.

5407. The Commanding Officer of the Naval Armed Guard shall assume military command over all naval communication liaison personnel permanently assigned to transports which are required to carry a Communications Liaison Group.


Instructions for the Care of Wounded During Battle

5501. The care of the wounded during battle has as its objects:

1.     To maintain the ship at the highest possible peak of fighting efficiency.

a.     By returning slightly wounded to fighting stations as soon as possible.

b.     By removing wounded from sites of action so as to not impair morale of men continuing to fight.

c.     By proper treatment to hasten period of recovery.

2.     To save life.

3.     To relieve pain and suffering.


5502. In order to accomplish these objects efficiently, it is essential that each officer and man know:

1.     The elements of first aid and how to apply such knowledge.

2.     The location of first aid materials nearest his battle station.


5503. During battle with all personnel at their battle stations, it is impossible for a medical officer or hospital corpsman to be immediately available to treat each wounded person even if a medical officer is on board. Therefore, if personnel are to receive the care necessary to accomplish the above objectives, it is essential that every member of the ship's company be acquainted in the elements of first aid and how to put them into effect, on themselves if necessary.

5504. Generally speaking, it will be impossible during battle to transport injured to special locations for treatment, but instead, any aid to be given will have to be brought to the injured person. Later during a lull in the battle the injured should be transported to the dressing station.

Who Should Receive First Aid

5505. Under any and all circumstances the ship must continue to fight. No one should leave important duties to give first aid, but must wait for the moment when his services can be spared.

Order of Treatment


1.     Measures absolutely necessary for the preservation of life. For example: putting a tourniquet on the stump of a thigh with the leg blown off.

2.     Measures to restore slightly wounded to such condition that they can return to their stations.

3.     Treatment to more seriously wounded.

4.     Relieve pain with morphine.

Material for Giving First Aid

5507. (Chart of medical equipment in first aid box.)


STOCK No. S2-510


Also for LCI (L) Without Medical Representative on Board

Stock Number Item title Unit Quantity Remarks and medical compend reference pages1
1-495 Morphine solution, 1/2 grain in syrette (habit forming narcotic). 5 in package 4 Clean site, inject under skin of arm or leg; to relieve pain in severe injury (or burns).
1-550 Ointment, mercurous chloride, mild, compound tube. 50 in box 1 Prophylactic tube - Use before and after exposure; urinate and wash parts immediately (75).
1-560 Ointment, yellow mercuric oxide, 1 percent 1-dram tube 5 For styes and inflammation of eye and lids; apply to margin of lids with cotton swab (10) (67).
1-585 Petrolatum, white 1-pound can 1 Vaseline - for sunburn, skin chap, massaging chilblains; body lice (11) (64).
1-745 Sodium bicarbonate 1-pound container 1 Baking soda - for headache; burns, sore throat; indigestion (59) (54)(10) (17) (22) (34).
1-880 Spirit of ammonia, aromatic 1/4-pound bottle 1 Stimulant; 1/2 teaspoon in water by mouth; for fainting, collapse, give inhalations (14) (10) (42)
1-975 Acid, acetysalicylic, 0.324 gram 100 in bottle 2 Aspirin - For headache; colds, sore throat; grip; fever (7) (44) (45) (65).
1-985 Alkaline and aromatic tablets do 1 Dissolve 2 tablets in 1/2 glass warm water for use as a gargle or nasal douche (7) (45) (49).
1-1015 Extract of cascara sagada tablets, 0.259 gram do 1 Mild laxative; 1 or 2 tablets at bedtime (54) (7) (53) (56).
1-1040 Opium and glycyrrhiza, compound, tablets. 1,000 in bottle 1 Brown mixture: dissolve 1 tablet in mouth every 2 hours for cough, bronchitis (68) (53) (7) (45).
1-1061 Quinine sulfate, 0.234 gram 100 in bottle 1 For malaria: 3 tablets 3 times a day.
1-1185 Tincture of iodine, mild, 10 cc applicator vial (poison; antidote: starch or flour in water). 2 in package 3 Apply to wounds with vial applicator or cotton swab stick; instructions (10) (15) (36).
2-015 Applicator, wood 25 in bundle 1 For cotton swabs to apply argyrol to throat; iodine to wounds; remove specks from eye.
2-085 Bandage, gauze, 1-inch Dozen 1 For applying small dressings or finger splints; avoid over-tightening (8) (15) (20).

1 Medical Compend 1942.


CONTENTS - Continued

Stock Number Item title Unit Quantity Remarks and medical compend reference pages2
2-090 Bandage, gauze, 2-inch do 2 For applying medium-sized dressings and splints to arms, legs, hands, feet (see above).
2-095 Bandage, gauze, 3-inch do 1 For applying large-sized dressings and splints; and dressings to body (see above).
2-130 Bandage, triangular, compressed 1 2 For use in arm sling, tourniquet, or to retain dressings in place (27).
2-135 Bath, eye 1 1 Use with boric acid, sodium bicarbonate or salt solutions; sterilize (boil) before use (9) (46).
2-200 Case, pins, scissors, and dressing forceps 1 1 For applying surgical dressings; sterilize instruments before use (9) (10) (16).
2-350 Cotton, absorbent, compressed 1-ounce package 6 For swabs; in dressings (do not apply direct to wound); padding splints; for ears (9) (24)
2-390 Dressing, battle, large 1 6 For large wounds. Caution: Do not touch inside surface of dressing (16) (21).
2-395 Dressing, battle, small 1 18 For small wounds. Caution: do not touch inside surface of dressing (16) (21).
2-400 Dressing, head, adjustable, compressed. 1 4 Cap with tying tails; for retaining head wound dressing in place (25).
2-435 Gauze, plain, compressed 1-ounce package 18 Sterile gauze for dressing wounds after treating in accordance with instructions (10) (20).
2-540 Medicine glass 1 1 For measuring doses of medicine, or for use in dissolving tablets (10).
2-835 Plaster, adhesive, 2 inches by 5 yards Spool 2 For use in securing dressings and for covering small abrasions (8).
2-865 Shade, eye, single 1 2 For retaining eye dressings in place in treating eye injuries or inflammation (73).
2-900 Spectacles, smoked glass 1 3 For protection against strong light and to rest inflamed eyes.
2-930 Splint, basswood for, 18 by 3 1/4 inches 12 in set 1 For splinting fractured (broken) bones to mould (shape) wood splints soak in hot water (23) (26) (29).
2-1265 Syringe, p. pipette 1 2 For venereal disease prophylaxis.
2-1300 Thermometer, clinical 1 1 For taking temperatures; wash (don't boil) before and after use. Normal 98.6 (11).
2-1304 Tourniquet, braided line, Spanish windlass type. 1 1 Tie square knot loosely, between wound and heart, insert stick, turn tightly enough to arrest hemorrhage (11) (18) (19).
2-1315 Tongue depressors, wood 25 in bundle 1 For examining throat; splinting fingers; to spread tannic acid jelly or ointment.
3-865 Suitcase, hard fiber, 24 by 12 by 8 inches. 1 1 Guard contents well for emergency use; check and replenish ashore before sailing.

2 Medical Compend 1942.


CONTENTS - Continued

Stock Number Item title Unit Quantity Remarks and medical compend reference pages3
7-150 Pencil, indelible 1 1 To fill out diagnosis tags and keep record of sick and injured personnel.
11-825 Dental analgesic, local (toothache drops, NF). 1-ounce bottle 1 To relieve toothache; see instructions (68) (9).
13-190 Suture, surgical gut, boilable No. 2, threaded in needle. Tube 6 For tying of bleeding arteries or veins and for sewing wounds (10) (16) (19).
13-200 Tag, diagnosis 20 in package 1 Fill out as completely as possible and tag each sick or wounded man before transfer.
S1-030 Alcohol 200 cc. bottle 1 To sterilize instruments; stimulant.
S1-2370 Detergent, emulsion 1-pint bottle 1 For removal of fuel oil, tar, mastics, etc. (See directions on bottle.)
S1-3362 Ointment, boric acid 4-ounce tube 6 Apply over burned or scalded areas of body; apply gauze dressing; bandage.
S1-3813 Sulfanilamide, powdered (for topical application) 5-gram packet. 25 in package 2 Sprinkle freely in open wounds after controlling hemorrhage and before dressing (10) (15) (25).
S1-4010 APC tablets 100 in bottle 1 For headache, neuralgia, fever; with aspirin and quinine for colds (8) (51).
S1-4030 Azochloramid tablets do 1 Antiseptic; wet dressings; cleaning wounds. NOT FOR EYES, EARS, NOSE OR THROAT (8).
S1-4310 Silver protein, mild, 0.299 gram do 1 When required for eyes fill 1-ounce bottle with distilled water and dissolve 10 tablets in to make 10 percent solution (71) (76).
S1-4311 Silver protein, strong, 0.150 gram do 1 For venereal disease prophylaxis and treatment; dissolve 1 tablet in 2 ounces (60 cc) of water and using syringe, inject about 1/8 ounce into penis, hold for 5 minutes and release.
S1-4315 Sodium bicarbonate, 10 grain tablets do 2 Dissolve 1 or 2 in mouth to relieve sour stomach; indigestion (heartburn) (8).
S1-4381 Sulfathiazole, 0.5 gram do 2 See Instruction Sheet on Treatment of Gonorrhea.
S3-400 Forceps, hemostatic, straight, 5-inch (Jones). 1 1 For clamping bleeding arteries, veins; for use as a needle holder (in forceps case) (9).
S4-466 Pencil, dermatographic (skin marking). 1 1 To mark on patients skin, time tourniquet applied, time and dose of morphine, etc.

3 Medical Compend 1942.


CONTENTS - Continued

Stock Number Item title Unit Quantity Remarks and medical compend reference pages4
S6-692 Litter, canvas, complete 1 1 For transportation of wounded (see instructions).
S15-420 Medical Compend (1942) 1 1 First aid instruction book; should be studied by all personnel. Keep in this case.
S16-2001 Sex Hygiene 1 15
S16-2010 Prevent venereal disease 1 15
S16-2020 Venereal prophylaxis instructions 1 1
NL-1 Boric acid solution, 4 percent 200-cc bottle 1 For bathing inflamed eyes; use with eye cup (67).

4 Medical Compend 1942.


Figure 1. - Skeleton with main arteries and pressure points.
Figure 1. - Skeleton with main arteries and pressure points.


First Aid

5508. Bleeding - Serious bleeding from an arm or leg can cause death in a very short time if not promptly controlled.

5509. The first available tools for stopping serious bleeding are the hands, either of the person injured or of someone nearby whose services can be utilized. This is done by pressing the arm or groin at the sites indicated on the drawing (Fig.1). By this method bleeding can be stopped while a tourniquet is being secured.

Remember: A man with his leg shot off can bleed to death in the 60 seconds it takes to secure a tourniquet.

5510. However, such measures are necessary only in cases with spurting bright red blood, which comes from the larger arteries and is seen only in about one in a hundred wounds.

5511. In cases with a steady moderate flow of darker blood, which comes from the veins, a dressing firmly bandaged over the wound will stop bleeding better than anything else.

Remember: A tourniquet often does more harm than good - use it only in cases with spurting bright red blood, applied above the wound tight enough to stop bleeding. Loosen the tourniquet every 15 minutes, but do not remove it. Do not tighten again if the bleeding has stopped.

5512. Dressings - All wounds in which the skin has been broken should be covered by a properly applied dressing, to protect the wound and keep out infection. By keeping out infection a life may be saved or time required to heal shortened by many weeks.

5513. Small wounds, scratches or cuts should first be painted with iodine before applying a dressing.

5514. With deeper wounds, where there has been damage to skin and muscle, do not apply iodine. In these wounds dust on sulfanilamide powder and apply sterile bandage.

5515. Use the best sized battle dressing available to fit the size of wound.

5516. While unwrapping and applying the dressing do not touch your fingers or anything else to the side of the dressing that will be next to the wound. This is extremely important.

5517. Bind the battle dressing firmly in place with its own bandage.


5518. Chest wounds - Any wound which penetrate through the chest and allows air to enter the chest may cause collapse of the lung and possible death.

5519. To prevent this, large chest wounds should be made airtight as soon as possible. Dust into wound sulfanilamide powder and if practicable entirely cover wound with adhesive tape and a large battle dressing tightly applied. Give morphine.

5520. Shock - In every severe injury the body always suffers a certain amount of shock, which is often more serious than the wound which caused the condition, and may cause death.

The injured person is pale, feels cold and damp, and has a fast weak pulse when he is in a state of shock.

For an injured person in shock, treatment consists of:

  1. Keep in lying down position with feet elevated and head low except when there is an injury to the head. With a head injury the head should be elevated.

  2. Keep warm with blankets or by any other available method.

    Caution: Don't give men morphine who are in condition to return to their battle stations.

5521. Directions for giving morphine.

  1. Remove the transparent shield from end of syrette.

  2. Holding wire by the loop, push wire through the needle into the syrette, thus breaking the seal. Withdraw the wire.

  3. Stick the needle under the skin of the arm or shoulder, at an angle of 45 degrees and squeeze syrette until tube is flat.

  4. Withdraw the needle and through the syrette away.

  5. Enter on diagnostic tag the fact that the man was given an injection of morphine and tie tag securely to the injured man. Record approximate time of injection.

5522. Burns:

  1. Primary Objectives:

    1. To relieve pain.

    2. To protect the burned area, which is an open wound, from further contamination.

  2. Morphine:

    1. Pain should be relieved by adequate doses of morphine. Pain resulting from an extensive burn can ordinarily be relieved by a dose of 1/2 grain of morphine.

  3. Burned Area:

    1. Remove rings from fingers of burned hands. Irrespective


    of location, apply boric acid ointment over the burned surface, or, if this is not available, use vaseline. Then bandage snugly.

5523. Fractures - The purpose of first-aid treatment of broken bones is to render them incapable of being moved. The jagged ends of the bone must be kept stationary to prevent further damage to other tissues while the injured man is being moved.

5524. The first, and one of the main principles in treating broken bones, is that the bone shall be splinted where the accident occurs, before any transportation is done. The wooden splints should extend beyond the neighboring joints.

5525. During battle this will have to be modified by conditions at the place where the injury occurs. If a man with a broken leg must be moved to get him out of the road, less harm will be done by dragging him than by attempting to carry him.

5526. A man with a broken arm or collar bone should have a sling applied to the arm on the injured side and suspended from the neck. A fractured bone of the thigh should be held stationary by an outside splint reaching from the armpit to the foot and an inside splint from the crotch to the foot.

Artificial Respiration

5527. Aid to breathing may be necessary in cases of immersion, electric shock, concussion shock, or overcome by smoke.

5528. Following immersion:

  1. Lay on belly with head on folded arm, face to one side. Wipe water and mucus out of mouth and pull tongue forward. Remove artificial teeth, if present. See figure 2.

  2. Spread legs and kneel astride thigh on side to which head is facing (so as to be able to observe face).

  3. Place palms of hands on lower ribs. Let your weight go forward on hands, with elbows held stiff for count of one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three. Then drop backward and release pressure for count one thousand one, one thousand two.

  4. Repeating this procedure will compress and release the chest 12 times per minute. Continue for at least two hours before giving up hope.


Figure 2. 1st position.
Figure 2. 1st position.


Figure 3. 2nd position.
Figure 3. 2nd position.


Figure 4. 3rd position.
Figure 4. 3rd position.


5529. Gas decontamination - Men who are stationed on weather decks may be possibly sprayed with "gas" such as "Mustard" or "Lewisite". Those who are wearing masks and protective clothing will not suffer from the effects of the gas. Men who have had liquid spray fall on their skin or ordinary clothing will require decontamination.

5530. All personnel must stay at their battle stations until word is passed to decontaminate. Then those men who have been sprayed, and are not wearing protective clothing, get to windward of sprayed area, remove all clothing and throw it over the side, then walk naked to the Decontamination Station.

5531. This consists essentially of wiping off the "gas" with a chemical followed by a hot bath with plenty of soap. After the bath, the man leaves the decontamination station, puts on clean clothing and returns to his duties.


5532. The problems of malaria control varies with each malarious area of the world. Basically, the difference is dependent upon the habits of the predominant vector, the social and economic status of the local population, and the presence of combat conditions.

5533. In general, all malaria control measures can be grouped into two categories, those applicable to (A) the individual, and (B) the environment. With few exceptions, the medical officer will be faced with the immediate problem of caring for troops in combat or in temporary camps. Under these conditions, chief reliance must be placed in those measures applicable to the individual man, and in the thoroughness with which "malaria discipline" is maintained. Later, as the military situation stabilizes and gains are consolidated, measures which have to do with corrections of environmental factors and reduction of the mosquito population can be undertaken.

Methods of Control Applicable to the Individual

5534. Protection from mosquitoes:

  1. Insect repellents should be liberally used. Satisfactory repellents are now available.


2.     Kill adult mosquitoes in quarters night and early morning by spraying with insecticide or by swatting. The new Pyrethrum-Freon-Insecticide Spray has many advantages over the standard navy spray: One pound of this aerosol is equal to three gallons of the liquid spray; It is non-toxic and non-inflammable; it requires no equipment other than the container; it remains suspended in the air 10 to 20 times longer and penetrates into protected places. Pyrethrum sprays have a repellent action which lasts for some time after use.

3.     Bed nets (20 mesh bobbinet) should be available and instructions given for their proper use. Inspection should be made at night to see that men are covered and the nets checked periodically to see that they are in good repair.

4.     Avoid night exposure whenever possible. Since the malaria mosquito is a "night biter", activity in the open after dusk and until sunrise should be restricted in areas where these mosquitoes are present. Men should not be permitted to swim or take showers in the open during the evening. Liberty should be terminated before dark. Motion pictures should be shown only in mosquito-free areas.

5.     Wear protective clothing, in addition to using repellent. After sundown, shirt sleeves should be rolled down, collars buttoned, and trousers rolled down and folded under socks. Sentries on duty after dusk and others whose work requires similar night exposure should be provided with head nets and gloves.

6.     Screening - Galleys, mess halls, recreation rooms, movie theaters, and latrines should be screened as soon as possible and the condition of screening checked frequently to see that it is in good repair.

7.     Spraying - Killing of adult mosquitoes by spraying should be routine, not only in military buildings, but also in neighboring native dwellings whenever possible. This produces immediate results when dealing with species which remain in habitation during the day. The recently fed mosquitoes, potentially infected, are sluggish and easily killed.

8.     Suggested suppressive treatment with Atabrine. - 0.05 gram daily, 0.1 gram on Sundays, total per week 0.4 gram; or, 0.1 gram daily, none on Sundays; total per week, 0.6 gram.


5535. For more rapid protection, as when administration is delayed until after exposure, give 0.1 gram twice daily for 5 days followed by one of the above schedules. It is the opinion that suppressive treatment in the case of Armed Guard Personnel should never be undertaken unless exposure in a malarious area is to be more than three weeks.

5536. Medical check-up - Arrangements should be made upon return to U. S. ports for such dental work and medical care as necessary so men will be in physical condition for the next voyage.

It is the Armed Guard commander's responsibility to see this is carried out.

Replacements should be requested in time to have a full crew when sailing.

5537. During drills, the Armed Guard officer should simulate actual battle casualties. Wounded men should be removed, replaced by other members of the gun crew, and preliminary First Aid given.

5538. Care of Armed Guard First Aid supplies and containers - It is essential that all First Aid supplies and containers be maintained at full allowance; therefore, the contents should be checked against the allowance list and requests submitted to the Port Director or Naval authority for necessary replenishments. All First Aid supplies, especially narcotics, should be stowed in a safe place to prevent loss, theft or misuse while in ports where enemy action is improbable. Armed Guard Commanders are responsible for safeguarding First Aid supplies and equipment.

5539. The attention of Armed Guard officers is directed to the book entitled Ship's Medicine Chest and First Aid at Sea, which is carried on all merchant vessels, in the Master's custody. Armed Guard officers should refer to this book with reference to tropical diseases and their treatment, such as dengue (breakbone fever), which is prevalent in India. The Master's permission should be obtained before consulting this book, and it should be returned to the Master immediately upon obtaining the information desired. This book does not contain instructions for battle first aid, but only treatments for ordinary injuries and illnesses.



5601. Preparations for the possibility of abandoning ship should be much more thorough than during peacetime. Forethought may save your crew's lives and your own. Work out the "Abandon Ship Station Bill" and hold frequent drills. The Armed Guard should be distributed as equally as possible among all the lifeboats when assigning abandon ship stations. All personnel except those on watch must attend abandon ship drills.

5602. Instructions contained in booklets entitled Wartime Safety Measures for Merchant Marine Regulations and Recommendation Educational Series No. 2, January 1943 and Manual for Lifeboatmen and Able Seamen should be passed to all members of the Armed Guard for their information and guidance when necessary to abandon ship. The booklets may be obtained from the Bureau of Marine inspection, U. S. Coast Guard in all principal ports.

5603. Life jackets should always be carried ready for instant use and should be worn during watches and during action.

5604. Men should be instructed to leave the collar or top straps on their life jackets untied, and to hold their arms down close to the body, and to jump into the water feet first. If the collar or top straps are tied the upward force of hitting the water forces the jacket up, and the straps under the chin are pushed upward with enough force to render a man unconscious. By holding their arms down close to the body the force will be taken under the arms. A preferable method is, of course, to ease into the water by line or ladder at a point nearest the lifeboat or raft.

5605. Steel helmets must be removed when jumping overboard. If the chin strap is secured, the upward force on contact with the water is sufficient to break the neck or cause serious injury to personnel.

5606. Armed Guards should make certain that life preserver lights and whistles are attached to their life jackets and in good operating condition at all times. The gear is provided for abandon ship purposes to attract attention when in the water. Armed Guards should carry their jackknives with them at all


times while at sea in order to clear away lines quickly in an emergency.

5607. A large number of drownings during severe weather have occurred because men on life rafts and in the water have been so chilled from immersion and exposure as to be unable to grasp and hold on to lifelines thrown to them by rescue vessels. It is urged that each man make up a short length of 21-thread manila line into one end of which is spliced a 4-inch galvanized snap hook, to be knotted around the life jacket.

5608. In abandoning ship, consideration should be given to the fact that when a ship rolls over there is much rigging that will project into the area adjacent to the ship in which boats or men in jackets may be floating.

5609. It has been recommended at least two steel drums partly filled with potable drinking water be carried in chocks on the boat deck so as to float free in case the vessel sinks. The drums should be painted with white stripes for identification when afloat. A suitable spanner wrench should be attached to each drum to remove the filler plug. In case of loss of the vessel, the supply of drinking water for the boats and rafts may be replenished as necessary before leaving the scene of the disaster.

5610. Tragic confusion aboard a torpedoed ship has frequently been caused by lack of foresight and planning. Undue haste in abandoning ship has already been cited as the cause for unnecessary loss of life. In one case, seven of the ship's crew "were reported lost, believed drowned when they jumped overboard," after a submarine began shelling. The ship was not fatally damaged, and made port under her own power. In another case, after a tanker had been torpedoed amidships, no attempt was made by the master to communicate with the 26 men aft and in the engine room, although the telephone remained in perfect working order and the catwalks were by no means impassable. No alarm was sounded and no orders given. Although the master abandoned ship, all the men aft remained, repaired the auxiliary steering gear, and got the tanker under way toward shore in 30 minutes.

5611. In 3 tanker sinkings a heavy loss of life occurred when lifeboats which had already gotten clear of the burning ship "drifted" back into the flames. The words "drifted back" occur


in the Survivor Reports of each of these sinkings, and in each case the weather was stated to be calm with sea smooth. The apparently needless loss of life in these three sinkings alone, numbered 40, including one master. It is difficult to understand how these unfortunate incidents could have occurred if the boats consumed in the fire had been properly equipped with oars and rowlocks. Ship masters are urged to assure themselves of the proper state of readiness of lifeboats at all times.

5612. In a recent instance of the torpedoing of a tanker off the Middle Atlantic coast, a large number of lives were lost due to the ignition of oil on the water when a life ring with attached calcium-carbide water-light was thrown from the deck of the sinking vessel. On April 18, 1942, the Department of Commerce issued a regulation requiring the removal of calcium carbide water-lights from life-saving equipment on tankers and the substitution therefore of electrical equipment.

5613. In a recent sinking of a tanker the engines were not shut down after the first torpedo struck, although the entire engine room staff, including the engineer on watch, escaped in a lifeboat. As a result of the neglect to stop the engines the tanker "spewed burning oil" over a large area, burning alive the master and eight men who were attempting to get free in a boat launched forward of the flames. The need for calm, collected action on the part of the engine room staff was tragically apparent in this instance. The ship's engines should be immediately shut down or reversed after torpedoing and the vessel brought to a full stop if abandonment is to be carried out. This will limit the spread of burning oil to a minimum and facilitate normal launching of boats and rafts.

5614. Oil has many dangerous characteristics. First, the vapors from this oil (so-called) are very poisonous and will cause death of inhaled to any extent. Second, heavy oil (so-called) forms a thick coating on the surface of the water and has a tendency to engulf the swimmer. Both types of oil are very injurious to the eyes and will cause death if swallowed in any great quantity.

The following suggestions have been deduced from accounts given by survivors of recent torpedoed ships and are to be carefully noted by all hands:


  1. Always abandon ship as far forward of the torpedo hit as possible.

  2. Know the direction of the wind before abandoning ship and go to windward when possible, however, abandon ship from the opposite side of the torpedo hit if possible.

  3. Get into a boat without entering oil-covered water if possible.

  4. Because of danger if injury, avoid floating wreckage when abandoning ship.

  5. Always jump feet first. Do not dive.

  6. Breast stroke or side stroke are the best to use while swimming through oil slick.

  7. Keep your head high and mouth closed while swimming through oil slick.

  8. Try to swim under water as much as possible while making way through fire or heavy oil slick.

  9. Relax and conserve energy with the idea always present in mind of staying afloat.

  10. Proceed in an easy, slow manner to the nearest boat, raft, or floating object and cling to this until rescued.

5615. Life saving (your own) - If you can swim, practice this:

Wearing white or blue trousers and with two 12-inch lengths of white line in your pocket, jump into a deep swimming pool, and while remaining afloat:

  1. Remove shoes.

  2. Remove trousers.

  3. Tightly tie bottom of trouser legs with the white line.

  4. While treading water, bring trousers in back of you, swing over your head, holding them by the top, trap air in legs and you have a pair of water wings.

  5. Repeat when air is lost.

  6. Don't have holes in your trousers when you learn this trick.

5616. Adequate fire protection is dependent upon prevention, equipment readiness, and extinguishing technique. Fire prevention requires that inflammable materials should not be scattered about. Oil, grease, polish, etc., should be limited to the amount required for the job on hand. Waste saturated with oil or grease should be destroyed immediately after use. Equipment


readiness requires flushing of the fire main to remove obstructions such as marine growth, operating of plugs and valves to ensure easy operation and seating and operating of pumps to insure sufficient pressure. Fire hose should be kept connected to the plugs. Foam equipment should be inspected to guard against deterioration and caking of power and against corrosion of parts. Fog nozzles, which produce fine particles of water, are very effective in compartments and in fighting oil and gasoline fires. The screen of fog produced at the nozzle protects the fire fighter and enables him to approach the flame within effective range.

5617. SOS transmittal - Radio operators have sometimes failed to include latitude and longitude in getting out an SOS. When questioned, they have stated that they were not informed as to the ship's position.

5618. Every master is urged to consider this point carefully. If the radio operator is given a written list of expected positions of the ship for each two hours while in dangerous waters, it will insure assistance getting to the vessel with the least possible delay.

5619. Radio antennas are frequently housed while working cargo, and there is an occasional delay in getting them rigged after the ship is under way. It is directed that radio antennae be always hoisted and checked before leaving port.

5620. In several instances, which have come to attention, torpedoed ships have been abandoned by officers and crew, while in relatively shallow water. Anchors were not let go. This resulted in the total loss of the vessels, which drifted off-shore into deep water and could not be located later for salvaging. Whenever depth and time permit, the anchor should be let go prior to abandonment. Such precaution may permit vessels to be located and salvage operations attempted.

5621. Damage control - it is desirable to lay down certain simple precautions and damage-control measures which should be taken by masters and crews of all merchant ships. These precautionary measures may permit keeping a torpedoed ship afloat until she can be beached and later salvaged.

Recommended precautions are:

  • Keep alley doors closed.


  • Keep other watertight doors, hatches, and ports closed and dogged down when not in use.

  • Keep all drains closed except when in use.

  • Keep gaskets free of paint and in good condition.

  • Keep all bulkheads watertight, sealing up holes as necessary, noting particularly possible leaks where electric leads pierce bulkheads.

5622. There is an erroneous impression in some quarters that it is good practice to leave hatches and doors open or partially dogged in order to "vent" explosive gases resulting from torpedoes or bombs. Actual experience shows that such practice is bad and that it has resulted in extending damage and causing progressive flooding. The instantaneous damage due to an explosion cannot be diminished by comparatively small vent openings. On the contrary, experience has shown that properly dogged doors and hatches have tended to confine the damage and restrict flooding. All air ports and dead light covers should be closed and dogged during action.


5701. Antiaircraft gunnery refresher courses and instruction facilities are available for use by Naval Armed Guard Units, D. E. M. S. Units, and U. S. and Allied merchant seamen at the following activities:

  1. Naval Training School (Receiving Station), South Boston, Mass.

  2. Antiaircraft Training Center, Price's Neck, R. I.

  3. U. S. Naval Armed Guard Gunnery School, South Ferry Terminal Building, New York, N. Y.

  4. Armed Guard Center, South Brooklyn, N. Y.

  5. Mobile Units No. 1 and No. 2, New York, N. Y.

  6. Antiaircraft Training Center, Lido Beach, N. Y.

  7. Armed Guard School, Shelton, Va.

  8. Antiaircraft Training and Test Center, Dam Neck, Va.

  9. Armed Guard School, Gulfport, Miss.

  10. Armed Guard Center, New Orleans, La.

  11. Antiaircraft Training Center, Shell Beach, La.

  12. Armed Guard School, San Diego, Calif.

  13. Antiaircraft Training Center, Pacific Beach, Calif.


14.  Instruction Center, Receiving Station, San Pedro, Calif.

15.  Armed Guard Center, Treasure Island, San Francisco, Calif.

16.  Antiaircraft Training Center, Point Montara, Calif.

17.  Armed Guard Training Center, Seattle, Wash.

18.  Antiaircraft Training Center, Pacific Beach, Wash.

19.  Antiaircraft Training Center, N. O. B., Bermuda, B. W. I.

20.  Antiaircraft Training Center, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

5702. Armed Guard officers shall make arrangements with the port directors for the attendance of Armed Guard personnel while in the above-mentioned ports for antiaircraft gunnery refresher instruction.

5703. While extensive gunnery training is given to Armed Guards in the various schools, it is essential that the Armed Guard officer continue the training aboard ship. The training given at sea should be in the nature of refresher courses, including surface and antiaircraft gunnery drills, with special emphasis on AA pointing and tracking drills. At no time should the Armed Guard officer allow his men to become inefficient in the various gunnery drills.


5801. The Navy provides Armed Guard crews on the following basis: Armed Guard Officer - One armed guard officer on all vessels carrying an Armed Guard consisting of six or more men, or armed with 3-inch or larger guns.

Gun Crews
5"/38 DP gun 1 P. O. (gun captain) 1 gunners mate (maintenance man) and 4 enlisted men. Total 6 men.
5"/50 or 5"/51 SP gun 1 P. O. (gun captain) and 4 enlisted men. Total 5 men.
4"/50 SP gun 1 P. O. (gun captain) and 3 enlisted men. Total 4 men.
3"/50 or 3"/23, either DP or SP gun 1 P. O. (gun captain) and 3 enlisted men. Total 4 men.
6 pounder 1 P. O. (gun captain) and 3 enlisted men. Total 4 men.
20 mm. AA gun* 1 man.*
.50 cal. machine gun 1 man.
.30 cal. machine guns (these guns are to be manned by the ships officers). None.

* On cargo and tank ships, one additional man will be furnished for each 20 mm. gun making a total of 2 men, provided these additional men do not increase the number of gunners over a total of 24, for example:


Ship armed with:
1-4"/50 gun 4 men
1-3"/50 gun 4 men
8-20 mm. guns 8 men
Add't for 20 mm. 8 men
Total 24 men
Ship armed with:
1-5"/51 gun 5 men
1-3"/50 gun 4 men
8-20 mm. guns 8 men
Add't for 20 mm. 7 men
Total 24 men
Ship armed with:
1-5"/38 gun 6 men
1-3"/50 gun 4 men
8-20 mm. guns 8 men
Add't for 20 mm. 6 men
Total 24 men

5802. The Maritime Commission provides standard crew quarters on new construction EC-2 cargo and tank ships for one officer, Twenty-four (24) gunners and three (3) men in the communications group, total twenty-eight (28) persons.

5803. The Navy Department has requested the War Shipping Administration and vessel owners or operators to instruct the Masters of merchant vessels to detail merchant seamen to complete the gun crews on the following basis:

For each -

5"/38 gun 5 men
5"/50 or 5"/51 gun 5 men
4"/50 gun 3 men
3"/50 gun 3 men
3"/23 gun 2 men
6 Pdr. gun 2 men
20 mm. gun 2 men
.50 cal. M. G. 1 man

and also to detail sufficient additional men to pass ammunition from the magazines to the gun.

5804. Troop transports are provided with a minimum of 2 Navy Armed Guard officers. Enlisted men are provided for each gun on the basis stated in paragraph 5801 with the exception that two men will be provided for each 20 mm gun. Troop transports are also provided with a Navy Communications Group.


5805. The Masters of troop transports are requested to detail men from their crew to complete each gun crew on the basis set forth in paragraph 5803, and also to pass ammunition.


5901. Handling barrage balloons on merchant ships. Barrage balloons and kites are provided to armed merchant vessels to provide against air attack in certain designated areas. This equipment must be ready and available for instant use at all times; therefore, the Armed Guard officer is responsible for the maintenance and temporary repairs to balloons while at sea. The services of not to exceed 50 percent of the Armed Guard personnel may be utilized to assist the merchant crew in inflating, flying off, and rigging in the balloons. Gun watches must be maintained during this operation.

The Master will be accountable for the balloon equipment and its operation, including the flying off of balloons when required by the convoy commodore or where necessary for the protection of the vessel when traveling independently.

Masters are authorized to contact local U. S. Naval and British D. E. M. S. activities in foreign ports for the purpose of refilling hydrogen gas bottles and servicing balloons and flying gear. The Master is authorized to permit the removal of balloons from the vessel for servicing or repair upon proper receipt. In some cases lack of time or other reasons may require that serviced balloons be substituted for balloons originally installed. The exchange of U. S. and equivalent type British balloons is authorized.

Upon return to a U. S. port, the Armed Guard officer should report to the Port Director the condition of barrage balloon equipment. The Port Director in turn should advise the War Shipping Administration of the Maritime Commission representative of necessary replacements and repairs.

Provisions shall be made to reserve open deck space for handling the balloon. This space should be at least 40 by 21 feet and so located that the balloon can be readily transferred to and from the masthead. This section of the deck must be free from sharp objects which can puncture or cut the ground cloth or balloon during inflation, topping up, or deflation.


This area shall be thoroughly cleaned and the ground cloth spread, swept, and wet down in preparation for inflating or deflating the balloon.

Whenever the control of the balloon is transferred from the masthead to the deck a fire hose shall be led out and water under pressure provided for emergency use. During this time no smoking, open fires or lights, or manipulation of electric switches and motors will be permitted in the balloon-handling area. Open fires to windward are to be avoided.


  1. Unpack the balloon and spread it out on wet ground cloth. Determine that there are no air pockets in the balloon. If there is air in the balloon it should be carefully worked out through the inflation appendix before hydrogen is introduced. Secure the handling line to deck fitting allowing enough slack for the balloon when inflated. The handling lines shall be long enough to steady the balloon till it clears the ship's rigging.

  2. Connect the manifold tubes to the cylinders and secure the collector to the appendix. The inflation connection shall be gas-tight and so arranged that there will be no strain on the appendix during inflation. Hydrogen shall be introduced slowly to prevent a high velocity gas stream impinging on the fabric. Continue the inflation until the elastic cords on the bottom of the balloon have stretched to the same length as the measuring cord which is attached to the middle of the balloon. The correct length is shown by a seizing.

  3. Fit the fins. Do not tighten the forward straps; the pressure of the fins must be taken by their tail fittings.

  4. Before removing the filling tube the appendix is carefully flattened and folded and held firmly closed to prevent escape of hydrogen. The tube is then removed and the appendix carefully flattened and folded lengthwise on itself several times. It is then wrapped with several turns of linen blocking cord, doubled back with a sharp fold and several more turns of cord should effectively seal the appendix against leakage.


Topping Up the Balloon

When the balloon becomes flabby, and the elastic cords are not under sufficient tension to keep enough pressure in the balloon it is necessary to add hydrogen until the elastic cords are again stretched to the same length as the measuring cord.

Return the balloon to the handling area for the addition of the proper amount of hydrogen.

During the topping-up operation it is imperative that every precaution be taken to avoid static sparks around the balloon fabric. It shall be thoroughly wet down and grounded to the deck. The inflation tube shall also be grounded and the connection to the appendix shall be absolutely tight. The hydrogen flow shall be started very slowly. After the proper amount of hydrogen has been added the filling tube is to be removed and the appendix carefully tied off.

Deflating the Balloon

  1. All safety precautions for "Inflation" must be observed.

  2. Remove the fins before beginning deflation.

  3. Before deflating any balloon, the ground cloths and surfaces of the balloon around the appendix shall be wetted liberally. A wet blanket or other large wet cloth shall be held over the appendix while it is being opened.

  4. In the event a balloon is torn, enlarge the appendix. If the balloon is torn in more than one place the gas shall be expelled as rapidly as possible.

  5. During the deflation period the appendix shall point upward and to the leeward, and a positive pressure shall be maintained in the balloon by gradually rolling the balloon from bow to stern. After all hydrogen has been expelled, the balloon shall be unrolled, thoroughly dried, packed, and returned to its valise.

  6. Never expose balloons to excessive heat.
    (It is recommended that balloons be exchanged at each port for balloons which have been inspected and repaired.)


Safety Precautions for Handling Hydrogen Cylinders and Filing Barrage Balloons Aboard Merchant Vessels

1.     Never use a lifting magnet nor a sling (rope or chain) when handling cylinders. A crane may be used when a safe cradle or platform is provided to hold the cylinders.

2.     Never drop cylinders nor permit them to strike each other violently.

3.     Never use cylinders for rollers, supports, or for any purpose other than to carry gas.

4.     Be careful to protect cylinders from any object that will produce a cut or other abrasion in the surface of the metal. The cylinder should be protected from flying bomb or shell fragments.

5.     Means shall be provided for firmly securing the cylinders in a sheltered location, on the deck near the balloon handling area.

6.     Cylinders may be stored in the open but in such cases shall be protected against accumulation of ice or snow. In summer, cylinders stored in the open shall be screened against direct continuous rays of the sun.

7.     Do not store compressed gas cylinders where they will be subject to a temperature above 125° F.

8.     Never store cylinders near highly flammable substances such as oil, gasoline, waste, etc.

9.     Store all cylinders containing combustible gases in a well ventilated place.

10.  Do not store reserve stocks of cylinders containing combustible gases with cylinders containing oxygen. They shall be grouped separately.

11.  Never use an open flame to detect combustible gas leaks. Use soapy water. During freezing weather linseed oil may be used.

12.  Keep sparks and flames away from cylinders.

13.  Never tamper with the safety devices in valves or cylinders.

14.  Never attempt to repair or alter cylinder or valves.

15.  Where caps are provided for valve protection, such caps shall be kept on cylinders except when cylinders are in use.


16.  After removing the valve cap, slightly open the valve an instant to clear opening of particles of dust or dirt.

17.  Open cylinder valves slowly and always stand behind the cylinder, pointing the valve away from you.

18.  Never use wrenches or tools except those provided or approved by the manufacturer of the gas.

19.  Avoid use of a wrench on valves equipped with hand wheels.

20.  Never hammer the valve wheel in attempting to open or close the valve.

21.  All hydrogen cylinder valves have left-hand tube coupling threads.

22.  All valve thread protectors should be sealed with wire or other seal, which necessitates breaking before discharge, thus indicating whether cylinder is empty or full.

23.  Connections to piping shall always be kept tight to prevent leakage. Where hose is used it shall be kept in good condition.

24.  Regulators, pressure gages, hose, and other appliances provided for use with a particular gas must not be used on cylinders containing different gases.

25.  When cylinders are not in use, keep valves tightly closed.

26.  See that cylinder valve protective caps and outlet caps are replaced before shipping.

For further information concerning the operation of barrage balloons, consult Bureau of Aeronautics publication Shipboard Barrage Balloon Operating Manual, Short Title: NAVAER 01-1Z-1.

Merchant Tank Ships, Oiling at Sea

5902. Certain armed merchant tank ships have been equipped to carry out fueling at sea operations. In order to expedite the fueling of escorts and other vessels, the services of not over half of the Navy Armed Guard are authorized to assist the Merchant crew with the oiling at sea operation.

The broadside gun watches must be fully maintained throughout the fueling operation to defend the ship against submarine attack which is always imminent.


Handling War Cargo at Advanced Bases

5903. In exceptional cases it may be advisable to utilize the services of part of the Armed Guard and communications personnel to assist in the discharge of essential war cargo at advanced bases where other sufficient personnel is not readily available. The Armed Guard commander shall be guided by the instructions from the senior naval officer present when the services of the Armed Guard are so required in the interest of expediting the war effort. The Navy personnel should not be assigned to work in the cargo holds; they should be kept on deck so as to be readily available to man antiaircraft and surface guns in case of attack. the broadside gun lookout watches must be fully maintained at all times in an open roadstead or harbor where submarine or surface attack is possible.

Limpet Type Mines

5904. It is the practice of enemy agents to attach small mines to the bilge keels or to the bottom plating and underwater appendages of merchant vessels while in port, particularly in Mediterranean and Red Sea and West African ports. The Armed Guard sentries should be instructed to report any disturbances such as air bubbles in the water and also the presence of swimmers or men in rubber inflation suits or diving suits as their presence near the ship may indicate the placement of limpet mines under the ship. This class of mine may be exploded by movement of the ship, tidal currents or by delayed action firing apparatus. Their purpose is to damage the hull sufficiently to sink the ship. The local port authorities should be advised without delay in order to take action to protect the ship with the view of removing such mines as may be attached to the vessel.

Arrangements Aboard Ship

5905. The Armed Guard crew's quarters should, when practicable, be so located that crews of 3"/50, 4", or 5" guns may be accommodated near their gun stations. On ships which will mount such a gun forward space for the men should be provided in the forecastle, if possible. If this is impracticable, such


as on tankers, or there is no forecastle, they should be located in the forward part of the amidships house. Similarly, the men for the after gun should be berthed on a deck above the water line, as high as possible, to permit ready access to the guns. Armed Guards are not to be quartered in the lower decks or holds. The Armed Guard crew quarters on transports should be located so that the gunners will not have to pass through crowded troop quarters to get to the guns when the general alarm is sounded. This necessitates location of the Armed Guard crew quarters in the upper decks and houses on troop transports. Quarters for a communication detail should be provided near the bridge. The necessity for machine gunners being berthed near their guns is not as urgent as the anti-submarine gun crews. The commanding officer of the Armed Guard should be quartered close to the bridge.

5906. It is desirable, but not urgent, that the radio room be located in close proximity to the wheel house and in the same structure.

5907. On those ships where a general alarm system is installed it should be so fixed that the alarm may be sounded from either the forward or after lookout stations at the guns and from the crow's nest.

5908. In view of the critical shortage of electrical equipment and wiring, the ship's general alarm bell system should be used to call the Armed Guard and the ship's crew to their battle stations. Separate bell circuits to individual berthing accommodations are not authorized.

5909. A minimum of four life rafts of about 18 men capacity each, to accommodate all persons on board (including Armed Guard) on a cargo vessel or tank ship will be installed. Life rafts should be so arranged that they may be quickly and easily detached by one man by means of an automatic tripping device. The rafts must also be arranged to float free of the ship in case the ship sinks.

5910. Cameras aboard ship. The following instructions concerning the possession of cameras and taking of photographs by naval personnel is quoted for the information of Armed Guard officers:




Serial No.

DEC. 23, 1943


The Secretary of the Navy.



All Ships and Stations.



Possession of Cameras and Taking of Photographs by Naval Personnel.



(a) General Order No. 179.
(b) ALNAV 212 dated 30 September 1942.


1.     Paragraphs 3(a) and 3(b) of reference (a) provide as follows:

a.     Subject to these instructions and orders from higher naval authority, commanding officers of naval vessels, naval inspectors, commandants of navy yards, and commanding officers of other shore stations shall have full cognizance of and responsibility for the making of photographs within their naval jurisdiction whether by naval personnel or by other than naval personnel.

b.     The taking of all photographs within naval jurisdiction shall be supervised by those in authority at the place where the photographs are taken. However, commanding officers are directed to obtain photographs at times of emergency, disaster, and combat action. Security shall be maintained by proper handling of negative material in accordance with current instructions regarding the disposition of classified matter.

2.     Paragraph 4(b) of reference (a) provides:

b.     Privately owned cameras. Cameras are permitted to naval personnel on board naval ships for taking pictures outside naval jurisdiction. While on board cameras will be in custody of the commanding officer. Under no circumstances will they be used aboard ship without official permission and competent supervision. (Paragraph 3(g) (2))5. Use of or the possession of privately owned cameras at shore stations shall be in accordance with such local regulations as may be prescribed. (See par. (5) (b) (2).)6

3.     Acting under the authority quoted in paragraphs 1 and 2, personnel are taking an excessive volume of photographs, within naval

5. Paragraph 3 (g) (2): "Unofficial pictures taken outside naval jurisdiction by Naval Personnel do not require review by Naval authority."

6. Paragraph 5 (b) (2): "All unofficial photographs, still or motion picture, taken by naval personnel within naval jurisdiction with their own equipment shall be subject to review. If, in judgment of the reviewing authority, such photos are of public interest, prints or copies shall be released as "Official Navy Photos" without recompense to the photographer. However, the unclassified portions of the original film may be returned to the owner, at the discretion of the reviewing authority, for his unrestricted use. Classified portions which may be of use to the naval establishment will be turned over to the cognizant bureaus for their noncommercial use."


jurisdiction, which are of no value to the U. S. Navy nor to the prosecution of the war. It is apparent that the taking of these photographs persists only to serve the personal interests of the individuals who take the pictures. The results of this photographic activity consistently reveal such subjects as: ships in foreign and domestic ports, the coastal areas of neutral and allied ports, vessels in convoy, and naval personnel aboard ships and ashore.

4.     Because this extravagant expenditure of scarce materials includes these views of naval subjects, they are apparently classed as official naval photographs. Thus considered as "official", a worthless accumulation of films are submitted for processing under naval supervision. Representatives of naval districts are being subjected to the unnecessary burden of developing, printing, and censoring these films, both still and motion-picture. Facilities afloat are likewise being imposed upon and are diverting their supplies and equipment to the processing of personal films.

5.     Unless specifically authorized by a responsible commander, the taking of personal, unofficial photographs within naval jurisdiction is forbidden.

6.     Photographs not taken at times of emergency, disaster, combat action, or for official purposes, shall not be processed under naval supervision nor at the expense of the U. S. Navy. Personnel submitting film for naval processing which reveals that the photographs were taken as a personal venture do so at the risk of violating references (a) and (b), the instructions contained herein, and other naval directives.

7.     Officers in charge of Armed guard units are considered to be "Commanding Officers" within the purpose and intention of reference (a) and such officers are amenable to the instructions herein contained.

8.     Photographs taken at times of emergency, disaster, combat action, or for official purposes, should be submitted to an available Public Relations Officer. This officer will arrange for the developing and printing of such photographs and will ensure appropriate disposition thereof in accordance with reference (a).

9.     The foregoing is not intended to apply to the taking of photographs by official Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard photographers wherever assigned.

/s Frank Knox

5911. ALNAV 212 of 30 September 1942, reference (b) to SECNAV letter contained in paragraph 5910 above, is quoted herewith for information:

ALNAV #212

30 September 1942

L Z SNOW 031909/212 RAFT D ZRK GR 85

The keeping of personal diaries by personnel of the Navy is hereby prohibited for the duration of the war. Personnel having diaries in their possession are directed to destroy


them immediately. Diaries are used in this dispatch includes any private notes or memoranda of any description whatsoever which (50) indicates in any manner the location or activities of personnel, ships, aircraft, or equipment of the armed forces of the United States or any nation allied with the United States in the present war.

5912. Notes on darkened ships.

a.     There is little use in darkening a ship if only halfway measures are taken. The order, if issued, must be wholly observed, and it is up to the Armed Guard complement to see that there are no infractions. The order applies to everyone aboard ship including officers and passengers. The master is held accountable and responsible for the complete darkening of the ship.

b.     There shall be no smoking or lighting of matches except in closed compartments. The momentary flare of a lighted match may be visible from a distance of 5 miles, and the light of a match burning steadily may be easily seen at a distance of 2 miles. Even the glow from a puffed cigarette would be visible up to 500 yards.

c.     All windows or ports shall be painted dull black, both on the outside and the inside. If any of these are seen to be open, and disclosing light, they must be immediately closed and afterward the violation must be reported to the officer of the watch, the master, and the Armed guard officer. If the paint is wearing off and cracks are visible, the lights shall be turned off until the glass is repainted.

d.     No light from the interior of the ship shall be disclosed; so, all hatches, ports, skylights, or doors shall be kept closed as much as possible. When it is necessary to open them, the compartment immediately inside shall be first darkened. The apertures of compartments containing lights necessarily in use shall be covered on the inside by a dark curtain.

e.     If the Merchant marine crew will not cooperate fully in observing darkened ship, the master of the vessel shall be promptly advised, and steps taken by disciplinary action, or otherwise, to obtain complete cooperation.

f.      No use, except with permission of the master or the Armed Guard commander, shall be made of flashlights on top side, or in any exposed place. All those violating this rule shall have their flashlights confiscated.


g.     The use of colored lights for dim illumination is most deceptive. A blue light of the same intensity as a weak white (yellowish) light has three times the intensity of the white light at one-half mile. Therefore, since blue lights are very visible to distant observers accustomed to the dark, and yet are relatively ineffective illuminants aboard ship, they shall not be used. The use of colored lights of any kind during darkening is prohibited.

h.     Any surface or brightwork on the ship that reflects in the sun or moonlight shall be painted. Ammunition boxes on machine guns fall into this category.

i.      Except in daylight, special precautions shall be observed concerning galley fires. No galley fires should be allowed without concealment. This precaution requires particular attention during early morning hours.

j.      A darkened ship can be greater protection than accurate gunfire. See that this protection is yours by observing all the rules yourself, and requiring all others to observe them.

5913. An important subject is the disposal of floatable refuse while in the war zone. If all ships, passing over a certain route, throw overboard boxes, barrels, and other articles, it is an easy matter for a submarine to determine the route vessels are following. This matter should be taken up with the master and, if possible, the floatable refuse should be burned or saved to throw overboard outside the war zone or when near port. If possible, thrown overboard 1 hour after sunset. Ships must steam smokeless.

5914. It is important that fresh water, both drinking and washing water, be conserved aboard ship. Additional crewmen, Armed Guards, and passengers put an added burden on the already overtaxed fresh water facilities on the average merchant vessel. Many ships have had to go without fresh water or ration it severely at times due to showers being left on or other gross waste. The Armed Guard personnel should be cautioned not to waste fresh water.

5915. Disposition of unauthorized firearms and ammunition aboard Armed Merchant Vessels. - Armed Guard officers shall inform all members of the Armed guard and Communication Liaison group aboard armed merchant vessels and transports that the possession of firearms and ammunition, other


than that specifically authorized for the defense of the vessel, is not approved. This includes all firearms and ammunition such as souvenir machine guns, rifles, pistols, hand grenades, bombs, mines, shells, cartridges, etc., taken from enemy forces or secured from any other source, or purchase. Armed Guard officers shall order that all such aforementioned firearms and ammunition found in the possession of Naval Armed guard or Communication Liaison personnel, other than that specifically provided for use in the defense of the ship be thrown overboard.

Sound Powered Phones

5916. As their name implies, sound powered telephones generate their own power when you talk into the transmitter. In order to accomplish this, these units are constructed much differently than the commercial type of telephones. Each sound powered transmitter and receiver in made up of many delicately machined parts, carefully assembled with great precision. This type of construction is necessary because these phones are precision instruments designed for a definite job. They should receive the same care you would give a good pair of binoculars.

5917. When you go aboard ship, make the inspection of the battle circuit one of your first duties. To do this, put a member of the gun crew with a telephone at each station, and conduct a 5 to 10-minute talker drill. Have these talker drills often - they will result in a more efficient handling of information, and the talkers will learn the proper method of procedure which will eliminate interference between stations.

5918. To operate the phones, plug the jack into the connection box. Be sure the jack is seated as far as it will go, and screw the lock bushing down tight - being careful not to damage the threads.

5919. To talk from your station to another, press the button located on the top of the transmitter. When you are not talking release this button, so that your transmitter will not cause unnecessary noise in the system.

5920. Talk directly into the transmitter holding the mouthpiece about 1 inch from your lips. Use an ordinary tone of voice and talk slowly and distinctly.


It is better to speak slowly than to have to repeat.

5921. Never hang your headphones around your neck. Wear them at all times. A few seconds lost in making a report may result in a casualty.

If you are on watch - wear your phones constantly.

5922. Communication failures. - Their cause and remedies.

Failure - Station unable to hear or talk to other station.
Cause Phone plug not all the way into jack.
Remedy See that the threaded cap is screwed on tight.
Cause Switch not in at junction box.
Remedy Be sure all the switches are closed.
Cause Cord broken between breast plate and plug.
Remedy Repair cord - This should be done by a competent electrician.
Failure - Station can hear other station, but can not talk to other station.
Cause Defective transmitter.
Remedy Remove one earphone from headset and use as a transmitter. The button on the defective transmitter does not have to be depressed when this emergency system is used.
Failure - The entire system goes "dead" or inoperative.
Cause One branch of the circuit has been shorted due to damage or failure.
Remedy Go to the junction box and pull one switch. Should this fail to remedy the condition, close the switch again. Repeat with each switch until one is found, that, when pulled the circuit again operates. Leave this switch open as the branch from it is no longer effective.

5923. What to do.

  1. Have frequent talker drills.

  2. Speak slowly and distinctly.

  3. Wear your phones when on watch.

  4. Stow phones properly when they are not in use.

  5. Pick up the phones at the headset and breast plate.

  6. If possible, rotate phones, using one pair on watch while another is below in a warm, dry place. This helps to keep interior of phones and transmitter dry. It is very important to keep the phones as dry as possible.


5924. What not to do.

  1. Do not drop the phones on deck or hang them against the bulkhead. To do so weakens their power.

  2. Do not leave phones in the weather when not in use.

  3. Do not pick phones up by the cord.

  4. Do not use the cord to practice knot tying.

  5. Do not blow into the transmitter -- this causes condensation, which is harmful.

  6. Do not tilt the transmitter unnecessarily.

  7. Do not open the units for any other reason than repair. Unscrewing the caps serves no useful purpose, and can harm the units.

Remember - these phones may save your life.

5925. Gas attacks - Decontamination. - The following information with respect to gas attacks against merchant ships and decontamination is furnished for the guidance of the Armed Guard officers. The Masters of all merchant ships and transports are provided with a copy of Air Raid Precautions Handbook No. 7 (2nd Edition) Anti-Gas Precautions for Merchant Shipping, 1938, (reprinted by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, Washington, D. C., with the authority of His Majesty's Stationery Office), by the Bureau of Marine Inspection U. S. Coast Guard. These instructions cover gas attacks and subsequent decontamination. The decontamination of ships, after gas attacks, both at sea and in port, is the Master's responsibility.

5926. Risk of chemical attack against merchant vessels at sea and consequent contamination of material is believed to be low and must be accepted in view of difficulty in providing the great quantity of decontaminating chemicals necessary to outfit merchant vessels. If a merchant vessel is attacked in a port controlled by the United Nations, it is assumed that all possible decontamination would be carried out by the authority in control of the port, in order to restore the vessel to serviceable condition.

5927. The Navy furnishes Navy type gas masks for the Armed Guard and civilian type gas masks for the crews on U. S. flag and U. S. owned foreign flag merchant ships. The Army authorities furnish gas masks for the crews of Army transports.


5928. The decontamination of the vessel is not the responsibility of the Armed Guard officer.

5929. Slop Chest. - The Masters of U. S. merchant ships are required by law to provide a slop chest containing a complement of clothing for the intended voyage for each seaman employed, including boots and shoes, hats or caps, underclothing and outer clothing, oiled clothing and everything necessary for the wear of a seaman; also a full supply of tobacco and blankets. While the clothing is required for the merchant seamen in the employ of the vessel, the master is not required to supply such clothing for the Armed Guard. It is customary to sell slop chest cigarettes and tobacco to the Armed Guard personnel insofar as the supply warrants. However, this is a privilege and a courtesy extended to the Armed Guard but not a right upon which they may insist. The Armed Guard personnel should provide, on their own account, insofar as practicable, all necessary so-called sea stores.


Part I

Information that should be given

According to the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929, signed by all the great powers, a prisoner of war MUST give his name and rank, or his identity number. In practice, all three should be given.


When you have given your name, rank, and number, you are required to give no more. Remember that the enemy dares not carry threats into execution, and a prisoner who systematically refuses to give information is respected by his captors.

Part II

What the enemy will try to find out

  1. Any information about any unit of the Air Force, Army or Navy.

    What is your ship?


What is your squadron number?
Where is your ship or squadron stationed?
What is its strength?
Where are other forces stationed?
What have been other recent movements?
Are there any rumors as to future movements?
What do you know about casualties suffered?

2.     Information concerning types of ships, types of aircraft, performance, new designs, armament, armor, other ships or planes building, and similar facts.

3.     Information about bases and facilities in the United States and overseas.

4.     Information about training and tactics, both American and Allied.

5.     Information about how much we may know of enemy strength and tactics.

6.     Information about damage to United States of Allied ships, aircraft, industrial plants, etc., either at home or abroad, either by enemy action or by sabotage.

7.     Meteorological information: Anything about the weather, recent or forecast; methods of getting forecasts and reports.

8.     Information concerning home conditions, politics, food supply, civilian and service morale, and labor difficulties.

9.     Information concerning defense organization and antiaircraft facilities at home or at overseas bases.

10.  Information concerning all types of technical equipment. REMEMBER THAT THE MEN TALKING TO YOU ARE THE ENEMIES.

Part III

Sources and methods the enemy may employ to gain information

(These notes are based on fact. They represent the actual experience of men who have been prisoners of war and who know what they are talking about.)

A. Sources

1.     Captured material and markings.

2.     Papers found.

3.     By repeated interrogation; by professing sympathy; by stimulating professional or technical interest; or by threats.


4.     Notebooks and diaries, personal letters, and effects.

5.     Letters written by and to prisoners of war.

6.     Microphones.

B. Methods

1.     By impersonating American or Allied prisoners and mixing with genuine prisoners.

2.     By using agents such as hospital nurses for attendants who will profess to sympathize.


3.     By use of microphones, which must be expected may be in every room, at every stage of imprisonment.


4.     By suggesting that another officer or man has talked freely, giving the impression that silence is no longer valued.

5.     By friendly reception and good treatment on capture, such as being offered drinks.

6.     By renewed interrogation long after capture, not necessarily by direct inquiry, but by casual and seemingly friendly interest.


Part IV


1.     Don't carry or allow anyone to carry any papers, official or private, when in a position where capture is even remotely possible. An envelope may give away information. Everything gives some information, even old tickets, bills, etc. As a matter of routine, turn out your pockets when you go aboard ship or prepare for flight, and put no papers of any kind in them until your next liberty.

2.     Don't allow your clothing or personal effects to bear any markings, tabs, or indication of your ship or station other than those officially required.


3.     Don't add anything to the information officially placed on your identity disk.

4.     Don't give any information other than your name, rank and number. If you stick to this the interrogator will be completely defeated.

5.     Don't refer in any circumstances to your ship's movement or your units position. A careless word may cost others their lives.

6.     Don't forget that there are expert interrogators who will obtain information from you if you enter into conversation with them on even seemingly unimportant subjects. Silence alone is safe.

7.     Don't try to be clever and invent false information. The interrogators have had great experience and will soon find you out.

8.     Don't talk shop. If you have plans to discuss, do it in the open air, and even then be careful, as the trees may have ears.

9.     Don't jump to conclusions that your room is free from microphones because you can't find one. The enemy has had years of experience at concealment.

10.  Don't believe anything you are told from enemy or possible enemy sources.

11.  Don't address letters so as to indicate the whereabouts of your station or any unit of any service. Letters to shipmates, other officers or men should be addressed to their homes or to the Navy Department.

12.  Don't broadcast. It helps the enemy and is contrary to orders.

13.  If while flying you are brought down in enemy territory, make every effort to destroy your aircraft, its equipment, maps, etc., by fire. You have instructions, but DON'T forget the imperative necessity of giving effect to them. Likewise, while in flight, DON'T make any notes on performance or shortcomings of the aircraft, armament, or equipment.

14.  Don't under any circumstances neglect to make every possible effort to destroy all papers and equipment, and anything that may be used by the enemy.


15.  Don't be downhearted if captured. Opportunities for escape will present themselves. It is the duty of prisoners to make such attempts which in themselves have a very appreciable nuisance value. In accordance with the custom of the service, a U. S. naval officer should not accept liberty on parole.

16.  Don't forget to keep your eyes and ears open. We want information useful to others wishing to escape.

17.  If you escape and succeed in arriving in friendly territory, don't discuss your experience with anyone at all, whether in the service or otherwise, and don't under any circumstances mention the name of any person who may have helped you to escape, until you have been interviewed by proper authorities.

18.  Don't carry these instructions on your person or in aircraft. They are to help you and not the enemy.

Part V

Rights of prisoners

1.     The rights of prisoners of war are fully safeguarded by the Geneva Convention of 1929. A copy of this should be displayed in every camp. Insist on this being done.

2.     There is a neutral protecting power to whom all serious complaints can be addressed through the camp commandant.

3.     If you escape to a neutral country, claim your freedom and report to nearest American representative.

Excerpts from Navy Regulations

5931. The following excerpts from Navy Regulations are quoted for the information of the Armed Guard commander.

"Art. 76 1/2.

1.     Every officer of the Navy and Marine Corps shall make himself acquainted with, observe, obey, and so far as his authority extends, enforce the laws and regulations for the government of the Navy and the provisions of all orders and the circulars emanating from the Navy Department. In the absence of instructions officers will conform to the usages and customs of naval service." * * *

"Art. 81.


1.     In the event of a riot or quarrel between persons belonging to the Navy, it shall be the duty of the senior line officer present to suppress the disturbance, and, if necessary, to arrest those engaged in it even though they be his superiors in rank; and all persons belonging to the Navy who may be present shall render prompt assistance and obedience to the officer thus engaged in the restoration of order." * * *

"Art. 83.

1.     Officers shall avoid any unnecessary expenditure of public money or stores and, so far as may be in their power, prevent the same in others. Officers shall be held accountable for any wasteful or improper expenditure that they may direct, authorize, or knowingly permit." * * *

"Art. 84.

1.     Officers serving afloat shall, before leaving port, pay, provide for paying, any debts they may have incurred. No officer shall at any time place contract debts without a reasonable expectation of being able to discharge them.

2.     It is enjoined upon all officers that failure to discharge their just indebtedness brings discredit not only upon themselves but upon the naval service."

"Art. 90. All persons in the Navy are required to obey readily and strictly, and to execute promptly, the lawful orders of their superiors."

"Art. 104. Officers shall not borrow money nor accept deposits from nor have pecuniary dealings with enlisted men, except as provided in article 1779, for deposits with the supply officer."

"Art. 105.

1.     Applications for orders to duty, or for the revocation or modification of orders, shall be made by the officer himself in an official form and through official channels and shall state the precise reason for making the application." * * *

"Art. 106. An officer shall not, without authority from his commanding officer or other superior, absent himself from his duty or exchange duty with another."

"Art. 117. The religious institutions and customs of


foreign countries visited by ships of the Navy must be respected.

"Art. 118. * * *

3.     No person in the naval service shall possess or use any narcotic substances on board ships or aircraft of the Navy or within navy yards, marine barracks, naval stations, or other places under the jurisdiction of the Navy Department, except as authorized for medical purposes."

"Art. 122.

1.     All persons belonging to the Navy must strictly conform to such regulations for uniforms as may be published from time to time by the Navy Department.

2.     The clothes, arms, military outfits, and accoutrements furnished by the United States to any enlisted person in the Navy or Marine Corps, or required by such person as a part of their prescribed uniforms or outfits, shall not be sold, bartered, exchanged, pledged, loaned, or given away, except by competent authority therefore.

3.     Enlisted personnel are forbidden to have in their possession without permission from proper authority any article of wearing apparel or bedding belonging to any person in the Navy other than themselves."

"Art. 124.

1.     The making, for other than official use, of photographs, photographic plates or films, or moving-picture films of naval vessels or parts thereof; of navy yards and stations or of any establishments under the jurisdiction of the Navy; or of any device belonging to the Navy or intended for use thereof, shall be governed by such detailed instructions as may be issued by general order." * * *

"Art. 174. * * *

2.     Other officers embarked as passengers, senior to the commanding officer, shall have no authority, but those junior to him, if not on a flag officer's staff, may be assigned to duty when exigencies of the service render it necessary, for which necessity the commanding officer shall be the sole judge. Passengers thus assigned shall have the same authority as though regularly attached to the ship, but shall not displace any officer belonging to the regular complement of the ship in his quarters."


"Art. 181. * * *

a.     Officers intrusted with the command of vessels of war or naval stations, or with the command or direction of any military expedition or duty, whatever their rank, must, while properly in such command or direction, have full command, authority, and precedence over all officers and persons, of whatever rank, serving in such vessel, station, or expedition, or in the execution of such duty. This authority and precedence will descend to the officer or person on whom such command or direction may devolve by reason of the death, disability, or absence of the person otherwise in command or direction. * * *

d.     No officer of any grade of the Navy is authorized by virtue of his own mere rank and authority to give any order or grant any privilege, permission, or liberty to his senior in rank of any corps; nor is any senior officer required to receive such order, privilege, permission, or liberty from his junior, unless such junior is at the time in command of the vessel of war or naval station to which the senior is attached, or in command or direction of the military expedition or duty on which such senior is serving, as is, as aid or executive, executing such order of the commanding officer; and no commanding officer is authorized to delegate to any junior the authority to grant any permission, privilege, or liberty to his senior, but must himself receive and hear, under proper regulations, any request therefore from such senior, satisfying himself as to its propriety, and deciding the matter in the exercise of his own authority. Any officer on shipboard, however, who is intrusted by general provision or special order of proper authority with any duty, the present performance of which may involve the movements of the ship itself, or the attitude of the ship's company as a whole, represents the commanding officer for that purpose, and is intrusted, for the time, with all the authority necessary for the proper performance of such duty; and all officers, of whatever rank, are required to assist in carrying out such duty, and to receive and execute his orders for that purpose; nor will he be interfered with therein, unless by the commanding officer,


or the aid or executive, who are entitled to relieve him in the performance of such duty."

"Art. 963.

1.     The gunnery officer shall be held responsible for the efficiency of the armament and of all appurtenances connected therewith; and for the cleanliness and good condition of all ammunition stowage spaces and ordnance workshops, and of all ordnance storerooms not turned over to the supply officer of the ship.

2.     He shall supervise and be responsible for the proper stowage and care of all explosives on board ship, and shall make or cause to be made such inspections, examinations, and tests thereof as may be prescribed.

"Art. 964. * * *

2.     When a gunnery officer is relieved his orders of detachment shall not be delivered until he has made a detailed inspection of the armament for which he is responsible in company with his successor, and has turned over to such successor all orders and instructions relating thereto."

"Art. 966. * * *

1.     When fitting out, the gunnery officer shall make a careful inspection of the battery and its appurtenances, and all of the arms, equipments, and other material belonging to the ordnance equipment; of the ammunition stowage spaces and passages, flood cocks, sprinkling systems, outlet and overflow pipes, hose, hoisting and transporting gear, and all other appurtenances connected with the stowage, care, preservation, and service of the ammunition of the ship.

2.     He shall, during his inspection, ascertain whether the ammunition stowage spaces are dry and their linings tight, the means for flooding, sprinkling, and draining efficient and in order; the arrangement for ammunition stowage spaces in order and of ample power; and the means for supplying ammunition to the battery safe, efficient, and ample. * * *"

"Art. 967. The gunnery officer shall be responsible for the instruction of the officers and crew in the safety orders, and all regulations regarding the care, stowage, handling


and examination of explosives as laid down in the Navy Regulations and in the Ordinance Manual."

"Art. 1459. * * *

3.     Officers of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps who embark for passage in vessels operated by the Army, or by the Navy, shall be quartered and messed in accordance with their seniority in rank, but they shall not displace the officers regularly attached to the vessel as part of the complement. Similarly, enlisted men shall be messed and quartered in accordance with their ratings or ranks insofar as their assignment in units makes this procedure suitable."

"Art. 1707. * * *

2.     All acts of gallantry or extraordinary heroism shall be promptly reported to the Secretary of the Navy."
(Send copy of this report to the Chief of Naval Operations.)


The Navy Armed Guards are justifying their country's confidence in them by their tenacity, courage, and devotion to duty in day and night encounters with enemy submarines, planes and surface raiders.

The following stories of some of those who have distinguished themselves are selected at random from hundreds of voyage reports. These drafts from voyage reports selected from a multitude of similar happenings, clearly tell of danger, courage and an unbreakable will to win. They reveal the spirit of the Armed Guard crews aboard the ships carrying essential supplies to our Allies and to our own forces overseas.


On ___, our ship, part of a force that invaded ___, was the one ship that went in close to the beach with the original landing.

Beginning the first day of the invasion, this vessel was subjected to shelling from enemy land positions which continued for the following 7 days, during which time innumerable near misses were experienced.


The next day the Germans increased their counteraction by more frequent and heavier air attacks. Our ship was in the invasion area for a period of 8 days and during this time, we had 75 air raid alerts and 27 actual bombings from enemy aircraft.

The gun crew was on emergency watch for these 8 long days, obtaining very little, if any, uninterrupted rest and eating at irregular hours. The intensity of the strain upon these men was so great that it is impossible for me to describe some of the actual mental sufferings that they experienced.

On ____ at 1625, the Germans sent over a strong force of fighter bombers. Approaching from the Northwest, the planes singly dove and dropped bombs about the ships in the harbor and along the beach. The antiaircraft fire was opened from this ship, setting up an effective heavy barrage. One plane dove at us from the starboard side and when at an altitude of 1,000 feet, ran into our antiaircraft fire. The shells were seen hitting the plane and bursting in the cockpit. The fighter bomber banked off to the right and was seen spinning in smoke and flame, and crashing on the beach. This was the first plane brought down by this ship.

On ____ another group of fighter-bombers were over. While looking towards the sun, three unspotted fighter-bombers started diving towards the ship. Simultaneously as I ordered the 20 mm. men to open fire on the diving planes, a stick of bombs was dropped. Many shells from our guns were seen hitting the plane and entering the fuselage. As the plane went past our stern, it burst into flames while heading for the beach. The pilot was seen bailing out as the plane plunged earthwards and crashed with a violent explosion. This being the second plane brought down by the gun crew.

That same evening at 1750 the heaviest air attack of the campaign was encountered. Bombers and fighter-bombers came over in full strength. Bombs were dropping throughout the bay as well as on shore. The AA from this ship once again set up an effective barrage. At about 1805 a bomb dropped a few yards from the ship's starboard side. Water from the sea came rushing over the decks, drenching the gunners and myself. Shrapnel flew dangerously about the ship, miraculously only inflicting wounds necessitating first-aid treatment.


Approximately ten minutes elapsed when what looked like an enemy ME-109 came diving at our ship. The gunners filled her with 20's and the plane burst into flames, crashing into the side of our ship, exploding as it hit. Parts of the plane were strewn all about the ship and gushes of water once again flooded the decks. The gunners kept up their continuous fire, even though some of them were momentarily somewhat shaken. The explosion caused extensive internal damages; namely, buckling the ship's engine-room plates, allowing water to pour in, destroying the generators beyond immediate repair, resulting in no electricity throughout the ship, and there were no sanitary plumbing facilities left or adequate fresh water supply available for several days. The gunners continued to stand by their stations awaiting a return attack. Due to the fact that the ship was taking water rapidly, the Captain gave orders to beach the ship, which was done, as she was listing heavily to port. This made a total of three planes brought down by this ship's gun crew during the invasion.

When the ship was beached, most of the merchant crew was taken off and all that remained aboard were the Navy gun crew, most of the ship's officers, and a skeleton crew of a very few men. The gun crew stood at their battle stations, sleeping and eating there, in order that the ship might be protected and the cargo that was badly needed ashore could be safely discharged.

During the 27 actual bombings, all of which were directed at our immediate vicinity, the gun crew helped disrupt many of the attacks and also damaged two enemy aircraft which in all probability never returned to their base. Evidences of much strafing by enemy machine guns remain to be seen, as .50 cal. bullets are still lodged in the gun pits and numerous other places about the ship.

The persistence of the gunners and the effective barrage set up by them saved the ship from destruction. Members of the merchant crew could not give enough praise to the gun crew for the grand job they did. Often they said, and I quote: "We owe our lives to you, Navy gunners!"

These men have done a remarkable job by acting in an exceptionally exemplary manner throughout these continuous attacks. Their courage and conduct during the raids and while


awaiting future raids is beyond my power to disclose in words. Their devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death fully upheld all the traditions of the United States Navy.


Eight twin motor planes (JU 88's or He 111's) in two groups of four came in sight from the port quarter at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 feet. The two escort fighters (Hurricanes) (or Airacobra) which had just passed from the port quarter toward the port bow of the convoy swung around and dived on the planes knocking down one. All ships in the convoy opened fire (at about 1846) as soon as they saw the fighters attack - there had been no warning of the approach of enemy planes. A second enemy fell from the opening barrage and the planes turned back to their port side.

At 1900 the twin motor bombers came back in from the port quarter and drew fire from the convoy while three torpedo planes came in low off the port bow. One torpedo plane was shot down and a second one was hit by 20 mm. fire and crashed into the side of the S. S. ____, ship No. 31, and one of the escort fighters was shot down by the bombers. At 1945 four high level bombers came in from the gathering darkness dead ahead of the convoy and concentrated their attack on columns 2 and 3.

The S. S. ____ (ship No. 24) was hit in No. 3 forward hold and started burning. She was last seen on the horizon about an hour later with her ammunition exploding. S. S. ____ (ship No. 25) received a hit amidships and was being abandoned - informed later that the ship was saved. A bomb missed ship No. 34 about 30 or 40 feet by the stern and our ship (No. 35) had a bomb fall 40 or 50 yards off the port bow.

At 1920 two twin motor bombers came from dead astern at a range of about 5,000 yards and an 8 second shell fired from our 4"/50 stern gun burst between the planes. One of the planes was observed falling by several members of the gun crew and merchant crew. Firing continued at planes on the port bow of the convoy, but darkness made it impossible to determine the number of planes attacking. Firing ceased at 1930. Our ship stopped to pick up survivors from the


S. S. ____ taking aboard 17 merchant men and 10 members of the Navy gun crew. All survivors were subsequently left at ____ where it was learned the S. S. ____ had been saved. No strafing was observed from the enemy planes. Losses included one ship probably sunk, two ships damaged but salvaged, five enemy planes shot down and one allied fighter downed.

There were no casualties aboard our ship. Survivors of the S. S. ____ reported no casualties to any of their crew as of the time they were ordered to abandon ship.

While subject vessel lay anchored out, at 2045, there was a red air raid alert. We at once secured from Condition of Readiness No. 3 and set Condition 1, General Quarters. At 2100 approximately 16 enemy aircraft attacked the Port and surrounding areas, flying at various elevations between 2000 and 6000 feet. The shore batteries opened A. A. fire at once; searchlights were brought to play on planes.

We held our A. A. fire until naval and other craft in the harbor commenced firing. At 2115, we opened fire with our 3"/50 caliber D. P. gun, mounted on the bow and on one occasion we fired our Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 20 mm. guns. The night was dark, with very little moonlight; approximately 6 flares were dropped by the aircraft, at the mouth of the harbor; they were out of range of our guns and we made no attempt to shoot them out. The planes dropped bombs ashore, causing severe fires, emanating heavy black smoke. No bombs were observed by us to have been dropped in the harbor. One craft was clearly observed to have been hit by our 3-inch shell bursts, after which the plane lost altitude rapidly and fell into the sea. Twenty-seven rounds of 3-inch ammunition were expended in this action. Our 6, 20 mm. guns opened fire on one craft flying at approximately 2,000 feet elevation, and passing from broad on our port beam to within a few feet of our stern. Many direct hits were observed on this plane, immediately after which the plane fell in flames on the shore. The attack lasted about 1 hour; we ceased firing at 2145. No casualties. Twelve enemy aircraft were reported to have been destroyed by gun fire. There were no fighters


in the air during the action. The actions of the entire gun crew were commendable; strict fire discipline was maintained throughout the action; all fire was directed by the Armed Guard commander, from the bridge. The 3-inch gun crew, while in action, fired at the rate of 30 rounds per minute.


Convoy was proceeding in an easterly direction when seven twin-engined aircraft were observed approaching on port quarter at 1750, distance about 7,000 yards, altitude 4,000 feet. All hands were at battle stations (including merchant marine personnel and Army personnel assigned to various defense duties). As aircraft approached convoy, two broke away to the eastward pursued by two British Spitfires, the enemy craft laying smoke screens and exchanging fire with pursuers. They were identified by this officer as Heinkel 111K's. The remainder of the aircraft began a bombing run into the convoy by which time fire had been opened by ships on port wing of convoy and by the 3"/50 A. A. gun on this ship, which was believed to be the first large caliber weapon to open fire. The first round from this gun was observed to burst immediately in front of one of the enemy aircraft, which fell into the sea very shortly thereafter. The aircraft believed shot down was flying eastward outboard of port wing of convoy at about 2,500 feet. Fire was opened with a 4 second fuse setting by the gun captain, firing by local control in accordance with prior instructions and after the order had been given to commence firing.

All guns functioned properly with the exception of several 20 mm. jams due to failure of magazine crews to properly tension magazines before handing to loaders and a jam on the 3"/50 gun. No major stoppages were caused in the 20 mm. guns although the striker of one was discovered to have been fouled by powder grains from a broken round. The 3"/50 jam occurred on the twelfth round when a shell was not seated completely by the first loader. The gun captain was unable to force the round home and pulled down the operating lever which separated the case from the projectile, leaving the latter stuck in the barrel. It was extracted by the Armed Guard officer assisted by volunteers from the gun crew and Army


personnel who pushed the round out through the breech by the use of sectional handles.


At approximately 1900 enemy aircraft were reported flying in on port quarter by the Armed Guard lookout on the port side of the bridge. I was standing on topside bridge with master of vessel and saw 8 or 9 enemy planes on course 135°, 25° angle, at range approximately 5,500 yards. We were No. 32 in convoy. Our speed was 6 knots, which we maintained throughout the attack. The sea was calm and smooth; visibility about 10 miles. Scattered clouds; dusk fell quickly.

As I looked up at the planes the escorts opened fire and two allied pursuit planes closed in. One enemy plane, fell at this time. I sounded the general alarm and ordered forward and aft 3"/50 guns to open fire with 8-second fuzes. Aft gun burst was very close to enemy plane. Three planes attacked convoy from port quarter and rest came in on port bow and dead ahead. Machine guns and bombs were used in first phase of attack. We opened fire as they closed in using our 8 20 mm's. The second and third sections of the attack were medium level-bombing and torpedo. Red and white lights were shown and red flares dropped by the enemy as they opened second and third phases. First part lasted about 8 minutes, second and third about 6 minutes each, with about 3 minutes between. In the last two phases our ship was attacked on starboard bow and beam, as well as on port quarter, beam and bow. One bomb landed several hundred yards off port quarter and another about the same distance off port bow. Our forward 3" blew wing off a torpedo plane flying in just off the water at 0° angle, 2 points on port bow, range about 800 yards, causing it to crash about 300 yards from the ship. Our No. 4 and No. 5 20 mm. scored direct hits on an HE 115 as it crossed over our ship abeam from port at point blank range. This ship apparently crashed in water on No. 42's starboard beam, first dropping its torpedo which had no effect. In addition to the above three planes a fourth crashed between No. 33 and No. 43.

No damage was suffered or hits of any kind were scored on our ship. A. A. shell fragments and two 20 mm. projectiles with defective fuzes were picked up on deck next morning. No casualties were suffered by personnel or material except


that some steps were blown out of No. 8 gun tub, apparently by bomb concussion. Except for a few minor 20 mm. jams all guns functioned very well. We used about 1,600 rounds of 20 mm. ammunition and 83 rounds of 3"/50.

The navy gun crew functioned very well. The merchant crew assisted as 20 mm. loaders, second and third loaders on both 3" guns, in the magazines, at the hoists and as ammunition parties. All hands showed extreme coolness throughout and the help and cooperation that we received from the ship's officers and crew was invaluable. Attack ended at approximately 1930.


At 2058 a group of German torpedo planes, estimated variously as between 25 and 35 in number, and identified as HE 111's and JU 88's, approached out of the low-lying sun, almost dead ahead of our convoy. The weather was clear and the sea calm. The planes were first sighted about 2 or 3 miles ahead of our ship, flying just above the water's surface. The senior and junior Armed Guard officers were on the bridge, preparing to call the usual twilight general quarters alert, and immediately sounded the ship's general alarm, prior to any definite indication that the planes were hostile. Thus, all A. A. guns were manned and ready before the planes came within range. Upon reaching the convoy, the planes broke formation, passed between and around the forward escort vessels, and maneuvered and weaved singly into and through the group of cargo ships, circling and attacking various vessels from all directions. The aircraft dropped bombs, torpedoes and mines in what seemed to be a hurried and haphazard manner. The planes flew close aboard, strafing continually with their machine guns. They moved slowly and offered large, easy targets to the merchant vessels. The gun crew assisted by various members of the communications and merchant crews acting as loaders, downed five planes, four of which fell between 50 and 150 yards from the ship's side. The fifth plane left the ship, smoking and flaming, and was seen by the Master and many members of the ship's crew to fall several miles to the southwest. This plane did not pass through any other A. A. fire after leaving the vicinity of this ship. A sixth plane flew away from the ship, smoking and


flaming, and fell about 800 yards off our starboard quarter, after passing through the fire of the other vessels. Other planes were seen to fall from the fire of various ships of the convoy. (The senior officer controlled the 20 mm. fire from the bridge and the junior officer controlled the 3"/50 A. A. fire from the gun.) Fire opened at 2100 and ceased at about 2125 when the last remaining planes were driven off. During this time, 44 rounds of 3"/50 and 2,400 rounds of 20 mm. ammunition were fired at various ranges from 50 to 1,500 yards, and 3 rounds of 3"/50 ammunition, fuzed at 8 seconds were fired at a single high-level bomber flying about 4,000 yards directly overhead apparently for observation purposes. Two vessels of our convoy were hit and remained behind. No personnel casualties were suffered, although many bullets from the planes' machine guns and some from guns of our own ships were found about the decks. The gun crew secured from general quarters at 2225, and a special watch of 50 percent of the crew was set for the night, as the moon was full and bright, and a return attack seemed highly possible. Both officers remained topside. No further action was encountered.

Detailed report of the five planes referred to above shot down, is as follows:

  1. Approached ship 1 point on port bow, flying directly toward bow of ship, strafing with machine guns. Hit by shell from 3"/50 A. A. gun, at a range of 75 to 100 yards. Port engine and port wing blown off, plane veered to right and fell on port beam, distance about 50 yards.
  2. Approached ship broad on starboard bow, flying toward ship, then swinging right, and crossing bow at distance of 100 yards. Hit amidships by shell from 3"/50 A. A. gun, at range of about 100 yards. Plane broke up in air, burst into flame, swerved to left, and fell just forward of port beam, distance about 75 yards.
  3. Approached ship one point on starboard quarter, flying toward stern, strafing with machine guns. Hit by fire from 20 mm. guns, at a range of about 250 yards. Plane burst into flame, veered slightly to left, and fell on port quarter, distance about 150 yards.


4.     Approached ship two points abaft port beam, flying directly toward midships, strafing with machine guns. Hit by fire from 3"/50 and 20 mm. guns, at range of about 150 yards. Plane burst into flame, rose sharply on tail, lost a torpedo, and fell on port beam, distance about 100 yards. Two occupants of the plane were seen to jump or fall from plane as it rose on its tail.

5.     Approached ship broad on port quarter, flying toward ship, then swinging left, along port side at distance of about 150 yards. Hit by fire from 20 mm. guns at range of about 150 yards. Plane began to smoke heavily, showing small flame from starboard engine, veered to left, flew off in a southwesterly direction, low over water, intermittently gaining and losing altitude, until it burst into flame and fell into the water at a distance of several miles on port bow. This plane flew clear of other ships, and was not seen to receive further A. A. fire.

Detailed report of the remaining (sixth) plane referred to above, known to have been damaged by our ship is as-follows:

6.     Approached ship broad on starboard bow, flying toward ship, then swinging to left along starboard side at a distance of about 200 yards. Hit by fire from 20 mm. guns, at range of about 200 yards. Plane began to flame and smoke, veered to left, and fell at a distance of about 800 yards on starboard quarter, after passing through A. A. fire from other ships.

Aside from the contact reported, the only incident out of the routine occurred when we had two emergency turns to port. A friendly plane and two escort vessels on the starboard side of convoy appeared to be searching an area, and several red flares and rockets were observed. The all clear signal was given at 2223. We showed no lights, made no fog signals, and carried out zig-zag plans as and when ordered by Convoy Commodore.


2050 - High A. A. burst seen on starboard beam.

2055 - Sighted tracer, evidently from Escort, about 3 points on starboard bow. The general alarm was sounded and immediately we sighted low flying planes coming out of the sun toward the convoy. There seemed to be approximately 20 or


25 planes identified as HE 111's and JU 88's. Our guns were manned and ready and I gave orders to hold fire until in range. The planes were all in between columns attacking the ships with torpedoes, bombs, and strafing with machine gun fire. The first to get to us came in on the starboard bow and was met by #3 and #5 20 mms. It hit the water just abaft the beam and kept firing the guns not put out of commission until it went under. One coming in on the port side was shot down by the port 20 mms. Our guns fired at and hit other planes during this first attack but I did not see them go down. This attack seemed to last from 7 to 10 minutes.

About 12 to 15 planes were astern of us circling and maneuvering very low over the water. At approximately 2120 they came in very low, and were met by a well-concentrated fire from the stern ships. Our 3"/50 scored a direct hit on one and demolished it. The stern and midship 20 mms were firing into two more, one on each quarter that were brought down. This attack lasted approximately 15 minutes. We also scored some hits on other planes coming in toward us.

During this second attack the captain and quartermaster at the wheel saw the conning tower of a submarine about 200 yards away on our port beam that went down again immediately. The captain ordered hard left with the intention of ramming but we missed it. It was a fortunate move though, as just at this time a plane which was shot down by another ship on our port side dropped a torpedo at us. The men on the aft gun deck stated that it missed by less than 15 feet.

Our entire gun crew did an excellent job. Firing was held in check until planes were in range and I gave the order to commence fire, not more than half our guns were empty at a time. The two 3"/50 guns which were firing one and two second time fuzes kept their barrages well laid. Each man deserves commendation for cool, accurate, and well-placed firing. Not a single plane was able to cross our ship even when coming in and firing directly at us.

The merchant crew also did a great job of assisting on the guns, loading magazines and distributing them. They deserve a great deal of credit for the work that was necessary to the success of defending our ship.


We expended 36 rounds of 3"/50 A. A. ammunition and approximately 1,800 rounds of 20 mm ammunition.


"At 1715, No. 34, a tanker, was struck in the engine room and in the bow, both port side, by torpedoes and sank. We sighted three torpedoes, two of which missed and the third hit the bow of No. 34. The conning tower of the submarine was sighted between columns one and two and although we had our 4"/50 caliber gun trained on it, could not fire because another merchant ship was directly in the line of fire. We fired tracers to show the position. After firing the torpedoes at the tanker, the submarine submerged heading toward the middle of the convoy.

"At 2200, there were two explosions on the starboard wing of the convoy. There was machine gun fire and a few shots from deck guns, but we could not see what happened although the whole area was lighted by snowflakes.

"At 2300, a signalman sighted a torpedo fired from the port side, which just missed our bow. About 10 seconds later another from the same direction missed our stern by a few feet and struck No. 24, a tanker; however, this ship was able to proceed. A seaman on lookout sighted this torpedo, and fired with tracer in the direction from which it came. I sighted a surfaced submarine about two points forward of the port beam at about 500 yards and ordered 'open fire.' We fired three rounds from our 4"/50 caliber gun. The first and third were over but the second exploded under impact. We fired tracer to show the location and a few minutes later there were shots from escort deck guns in that location. A shower of snowflakes was up during this action."


"At 1015 the antiaircraft alarm sounded, and an enemy single engine plane was sighted about 7,000 yards range heading toward the ship. The gun crew opened fire with its 3"/50 cal. gun. Three shots were fired. The plane seemed to be affected by the shell burst and altered its course. After the third shot the order to cease firing was given because the cargo boom was in the way. However, the plane headed for the


desert and eventually was forced down. The gun crew was later given credit for shooting down this plane."


"At 1100 enemy air attacks commenced and continued throughout the day. At 1127 the M. S. was hit, set on fire and sunk evidently from an aerial torpedo. At 0620 the convoy was attacked by two cruisers and three destroyers. A smoke screen was laid by the remaining escort and the convoy ships circled behind this screen. At 0715 two dive bombers circled over the ship out of range of the guns. The 12-pounder was fired once to test the fuse setting relative to the planes. One plane peeled off in about a 70° dive coming forward along the axis of the ship. When within range, the guns of the ship opened fire. The dive lasted about 4 seconds and the plane sheered off to starboard as soon as the bombs were released at an estimated altitude of about 1,500 feet. This altering of course was perhaps to avoid pig trough fire which the Armed Guard officers fired just as the bombs were released by the plane. The ship was hit amidships on the starboard side, and a section of about 15 feet square of the hull plating was blown out. The main mast fell to port. The superstructure was severely twisted and torn apart. The concrete on the bridge and the coal deck cargo filled the air with flying particles and dust. The boats on the starboard side having been lowered nearly to the water level were swamped by the blast. Abandon ship was at will for the most part. The Armed Guard were previously given instructions for abandoning ship by their officer. Ship's confidential papers were gathered together in the chart room and were thrown over the side by the Armed Guard officer. The amidships was smoking but not in flames. When the flames could be seen rising over the deck, word was passed by the remaining officers for all hands to abandon ship on the port side. The last men left on board were ready to jump off up forward as the Armed Guard officer and several of the gun crew left the ship midships."


"1015 - Convoy sighted by enemy reconnaissance aircraft.

"1020 - All wooden decks were wet down.

"1110 - 50 aircraft reported headed toward the convoy on the port bow.


"1115 - Combined attack by high and medium level and torpedo bombers on the escorting warships. One torpedo bomber passed through the center of the convoy across the bow of the M. S. ____, which opened fire on it. The bomber continued to fly at about 20 feet and came across our bow, at which I opened fire with the 20 mm. gun located on the starboard wing of the bridge. Hits were observed being made and the bomber dropped into the sea about 1,000 yards on our starboard bow and sank almost immediately. It was reported that 3 planes had been shot down in this attack.

"1125 - The second combined attack was made, during which a float torpedo plane made a run on our ship on the starboard beam. We opened fire on him but he was able to drop his torpedo about 1,000 yards away and escaped with a climbing turn. About one half minute later we were hit by this torpedo and almost simultaneously we were hit by 2 bombs dropped from medium level bombers. Fire started immediately, which almost completely enveloped the midship section on the starboard side. The ship took a list to starboard almost immediately of about 20°. The captain gave the order to abandon ship and though 2 lifeboats were put over the side both capsized. All life rafts had been released and most of us just dove over the side.

"1130 - The ship sank by the stern. It was reported that this float torpedo plane had been shot down by another ship.

"1220 - The survivors were picked up by a mine sweeper, and by motor launches. At this time it was noticed that a cruiser had been hit and was listing to starboard and was proceeding at a reduced speed. It was reported that a total of 12 aircraft had been shot down in this second attack.

"1820 - The convoy was attacked by dive bombers, but no hits were observed, although several ships had near misses, which did them little or no damage. One bomber was observed to have been shot down by carrier-based fighters.

"2007 - About 40 enemy aircraft, dive bombers and torpedo planes, attacked the convoy, but no hits were observed and 2 aircraft were observed to have been shot down.

"2035 - Destroyers on the screen dropped depth charges. No results were reported.


"2130 - Most of the escorting warships turned back, leaving the convoy with an escort consisting of one antiaircraft cruiser, eight destroyers, four mine sweepers and six motor launches. Up to this time it is believed that our ship was the only one to have been sunk.

"2200 - One 4-engine bomber was reported to have attacked the convoy, and to have been shot down.

"2225 - Flares were dropped by aircraft in an attempt to locate the convoy, but were dropped too far astern to illuminate the ships."


"____ 12th, single enemy plane sighted 1320. Number of ships opened fire, but since we were too far away we fired no shots. Innumerable depth charges were heard from 2100 to 2300.

"____ 13th, Hoisted signal at 1120 indicating that an attack was certain. At 1310, 4 or 5 planes were sighted flying high over the convoy. While these high-altitude bombers were circling overhead, 15 to 20 planes attacked the convoy from the starboard side. The planes flew very low, making fire from our side of the convoy quite dangerous to our ships. Ships broke regular formation, and made two 45° turns. The brunt of the attack was made on the last 2 columns on the starboard side (columns 9 and 10). The attack lasted about 1 hour and 45 minutes, during which time we lost 8 ships and the enemy lost an undetermined number of planes -- would estimate enemy loss conservatively at ten to fifteen planes. At 1810 the second attack came; planes attacking the convoy from every direction. In this attack the planes didn't come in as low, nor did they concentrate on any particular section of the convoy, which made it possible for us to drive them off without a single ship being lost. The attack lasted approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Would judge that the enemy lost between 6 to 8 planes.

" 14th, depth charges were dropped quite near our ship all night. We rang the general alarm at 0445, fearing the proximity of subs. Shortly after 0500, a tanker directly astern of us began to fall back and sink very slowly. An air attack came at 1240, with three groups of planes (five to six in each group) directing attack at aircraft carrier, three columns over


from our port side. This was, perhaps, the most daring attack made by the enemy - planes flying directly into the heavy gun fire, four or five of them going down in flames. The enemy then withdrew, apparently giving up further attack of the carrier and scattering their attack over the entire convoy. Planes, for the most part, flew rather high, occasionally diving low through the clouds, but were not nearly as successful as on the previous day. Our losses in the attack, which lasted about 2 hours, totaled three merchant ships.

"____ 15th, sighted about 1015. Convoy was speeded up to 9 knots. Flag hoist at 1430, but no planes were sighted.

"____ 16th, 10 to 12 high-altitude bombers attacked convoy at 1235. Fighter planes were immediately launched from the aircraft carrier which were particularly effective in keeping the planes from diving low over the convoy. The attack lasted about an hour, during which time we suffered no losses.

"____ 17th, aircraft carrier, two subs, cruiser, and a number of destroyers turned back as the convoy approached . Flag hoist 1500, but no activity.

"____ 18th, at 1220 about 12 very low-flying bombers attacked the convoy directly astern, dropping both bombs and torpedoes. The planes came in very close to the ships, flying at a comparatively slow speed. The left-hand side of the convoy (columns 1 to 5) were attacked the heaviest, however we were able to do some very effective firing, and the attack did not last long. Torpedoes were sighted off both port and starboard sides of the ship traveling very little in excess of the speed of the convoy. We lost one ship during the attack, and an estimated figure for the number of enemy planes brought down would be 6 to 8.

"____ 19th, arrived 2005. Sea rough. Passed word to 'anchor as convenient.'

"____ 20th, air attack came 1330 with planes flying very high, scarcely visible above the clouds. A number of bombs were dropped, but no hits were scored. Attack lasted less than an hour. We did comparatively little firing, since planes stayed out of reach, for the most part. Pilot came aboard 1710.

"____ 21st, anchored 0825 near docks."



"A formation of 40-50 torpedo planes were sighted approaching at an altitude of 50-100 feet off the starboard bow. As the formation came in, it split, one group coming in from more nearly ahead and the other from the beam. The escort put up a heavy barrage and when the planes came within range, the convoy joined in the fire. The planes did not break formation or swerve from the attack, however. The attack lasted about 1 minute.

"The S. S. ____ was hit by a torpedo which reportedly blew away the bow peak and right after that by another in No. 2 hold, just forward of the bridge, on the starboard side. She started going down by the head very rapidly, and listing to starboard. The forward port lifeboat, the after starboard lifeboat, and one life raft were gotten clear. As the boat I was in went past the stern, the propeller was out of the water, barely turning backward, and the rudder was mostly out of the water, turned to the left. A few men fell into the water and we pulled them into the boat. All of the gun crew is known to be saved. We rowed to the U.S.S. ____ and were taken on board."


"At 0900 (0800 G. C. T.) the S. S. ____ in position 104 was observed to be hit by a torpedo fired from a submarine (there were no planes in sight). She immediately took a starboard list and sank in less than 5 minutes. Two lifeboats were observed pulling away from her as she went down. Approximately 3 minutes after the S. S. ____ was hit and before she sank the S. S. ____ in a position slightly astern and to the port of the S. S. ____ was hit by a torpedo fired from a submarine. She appeared to have been hit in No. 5 hold as she was down by the stern immediately but did not sink for some time. (Observed to be still afloat at 0945.) At the time of this attack the escorting vessels covering this sector of the convoy were out on the horizon, fully 3 miles from the scene of action. It was at least 15 minutes before any destroyers or corvettes arrived on the scene of the attack and dropped depth charges. There was a great deal of indiscriminate firing in the water by merchant ships and the convoy formation deteriorated rapidly as ships altered course to port -- away from the locality of the submarine attack.


"At approximately 0945 (0845 G. C. T.) enemy aircraft were reported approaching convoy and two planes were observed circling convoy for some time. The undersigned did not observe whether fighter planes from the carrier went up at this time or not.

"At 1510 (1410 G. C. T.) and without any previous warning from S. S. ____ or any escorting ships, the Navy gunner manning starboard 20 mm. gun observed enemy plane approaching ship from starboard bow at an altitude of about 2,000 feet, but descending in a shallow dive to get below the clouds. Fire was opened immediately by starboard 20 mm. gun, followed by port 20 mm. gun and both .50 caliber machine guns. Very effective hits were obtained and starboard engine of plane was trailing smoke as she passed out of range. This plane dropped one load of 3 sticks of bombs which landed about 75 feet abeam of after gun platform. It is believed that this plane was a Junkers 88. At least one other plane and probably two passed overhead almost immediately after the first plane, as one load of bombs was observed to land just ahead of the S. S. ____ and another just ahead of the S. S. ____ Planes were not seen due to low ceiling.

"At 1540 (1440 G. C. T.) approximately 40 torpedo carrying planes were observed on the horizon bearing about 2 points forward of starboard beam. Escorting ships in that area were about 3 miles from the starboard side of the convoy. They opened up with a heavy AA fire but due to the distance of our ship from the escorting ships it was not discernible whether any enemy planes were shot down or not. At any rate, the planes continued their approach to the convoy in formation. They were flying very low - between 50 and 100 feet, and as they came within range of the guns on the merchant ships they went through a hedge-hopping maneuver. From our ship it was impossible to tell at what point the planes released their torpedoes or how many torpedoes each plane released. The planes came into the convoy past column 9 but none were observed to come as far as column 7. After releasing their torpedoes the planes banked to their left and departed off the starboard quarter of the convoy. Every ship to the starboard of our ship opened fire with everything they had and there was a solid barrage of machine-gun tracers surrounding the enemy


planes. Burst from shrapnel shells were very numerous. The number of planes which may have been destroyed by this fire was not discernible from our ship. We opened fire on the nearest planes with our 20-mm.'s and .50-calibers, but as they were out of range only a few rounds were fired. Two rounds of shrapnel were fired from our 4"/50 and a 'near miss' was scored near the tail of one plane. Damage done was not ascertainable. No fighter planes from the aircraft carrier took off during this attack. The cruiser ____ was not in position No. 51 nor could it be observed anywhere during this attack. Pursuant to convoy instructions that balloons were only to be flown on orders from ____, no balloons were flying."


"The after lookout sighted the exposed part of a submarine's conning tower in the center of the convoy and just a few yards off our starboard quarter. In fact, she was so close aboard that neither the 4-inch gun mounted on the stern nor the machine gun mounted on the poop deck were able to be brought to bear on it. Evidently realizing that we had sighted her, the submarine changed course and came across the port quarter. When she was about 25 yards away from the ship, fire opened with the 4-inch gun. The second shot struck her squarely on the conning tower and as the shell exploded, the top of the conning tower was blown off. As she appeared to sink, the water boiled up in a great froth of air and bubbles. After observing the spot where she sank, we saw an oil slick forming and occasional bubbles rising to the surface. At this point one of the gunners reported the torpedo missed us but a few feet."


The master of a ship makes the following comment:

"I want to commend the Navy gun crew carried on my ship for their actions becoming to the traditions of the United States Navy. At the time of the first explosion, each man obeyed his standing order of taking up his gun station. They remained at their guns until ordered to leave. I would recommend these boys for ratings of some sort for their action in the emergency."


"At 0440, four 4-motored Junker 90 or Focke-Wulf airplanes came upon the convoy off the port quarter and flying within


150 feet of the water. Evidently the two escort vessels guarding the port flank did not see the planes, because not until after the two after .50 caliber machine guns and two .30 caliber opened up did the escort vessels commence firing. The concentrated firing from our guns diverted the planes, and kept them from flying directly over the convoy, causing them to drop their torpedoes which passed harmlessly by our stern. The four planes circled the convoy, attacked the starboard flank, but were successfully repelled."


"Gun crew IE shot down two enemy planes, helped bring down a third, put one rear gunner out of action and hit several others, causing slight damage."


"At 0925 enemy patrol plane Dornier scout bomber approached port wing at 6,000 feet. All nine of the antiaircraft guns opened fire before any other ship in the convoy. AA fire turned planes, which circled convoy and dropped two bombs in the sea and departed."


"Two members of the gun crew who were lost behaved in an exceptionally exemplary manner ; one, although seriously injured by falling debris, took charge of his gun crew and refused to abandon ship until dragged away. The other completely refused to abandon ship and remained at his station until the ship sank, firing one shot at the emerging submarine."


"The convoy of 23 ships passed through the Straits in a double column during a storm. That evening a signal was made for a course change which apparently was not received by the end ships. Consequently 12 of them were separated from the convoy and next day radio messages were received stating that they were proceeding to various ports. We passed through heavy ice fields. Ice became heavier and while making an emergency turn in a blizzard to get out of the ice, stern lights were lit and regular fog signals made. The next night the ships became separated but reformed the following morning. Later another ship joined us, which was separated from a group of


8 ships which was supposed to have joined us. A few days later a Focke-Wulf Condor appeared in the morning and circled the convoy. Loud, heavy gunfire was heard over the horizon and shortly afterwards an escort appeared moving at high speed. It was learned later that three enemy destroyers had been intercepted. About 1100 another plane appeared and apparently relieved the other. This one circled the convoy until about 1600 and disappeared. The planes, sending radio signals, flew at very low altitude and outside the range of the guns. The next day the plane appeared at about the same time and went through the same tactics but didn't stay long. At 1235 the Commodore's ship was torpedoed and sank in less than a minute. We were next in the column and could see a number of survivors in the water. Thirty-one of them were saved by the rescue ships which were stationed astern of the convoy. At least two more torpedoes passed through the convoy without hitting anyone. Next day a bombing attack was made by a single plane. No damage was caused. Later that morning torpedoes crossed ahead of the leading ships and the escorts apparently sank a submarine close on the starboard side. Complete report was made of the foregoing to the naval attaché.

"About 2300 the ship tied up to the main dock and began discharging cargo. At 2400 there was an air raid and bombs were dropped down the river. During daylight there is a constant air patrol above. Soldiers are employed to unload the ships and the cargo is loaded directly into freight cars and taken from the dock which is the principal target of the air raids.

"The following night there was an air attack and numerous dog fights ensued during which at least three planes were shot down by the patrol planes.

"The next few days the weather was overcast with snow flurries. Early in the morning the convoy was attacked by four torpedo-carrying aircraft. No ships were hit. About 1300, enemy surface craft were sighted. The four accompanying destroyers immediately laid a smoke screen on the side from which they were approaching and the merchant ships equipped with smoke pots lit them off. There were three German destroyers and they made five attempts to attack the convoy but were driven off each time. During the battle a small


ship was hit and sank. Later the convoy passed through a heavy ice pack and escaped in a heavy snowstorm.

"At 1000 the following day a large east-bound convoy was sighted, and in the afternoon a reconnaissance plane circled the convoy until we were enveloped by heavy snow flurries. The following day two friendly cruisers were sighted, one of which sent up a scouting plane. Floating mines were sighted, which passed clear of the convoy.

"We took aboard five members of the crew of a torpedoed ship."


"On a third aerial attack a plane flying very low over the ship was struck by .50 cal. tracers, which could be seen entering the fuselage. It was later learned that this same plane was found beached with over a thousand rounds in the plane with seven dead Japs."


"The sub called lifeboats alongside, inquired what ship and if any men injured, gave them their position, course, and a stock of medical supplies and proceeded off on the surface heading southeast. The sub was described as Italian, large, over 1,000 tons, with a 4-inch or slightly larger gun mounted on deck forward, machine guns on forward part of conning tower, and a heavy antiaircraft gun mounted aft of conning tower. It was painted light gray and appeared new, a Rams Head insignia was painted below conning tower. The crew appeared to be mixed Germans and Italians, some of whom wore Alpine skull caps and had a Rams Head insignia embroidered on the side of their shorts. The officers appeared to be young Germans, clean shaven and healthy looking."


"I boarded the ship after it had been loaded and awaiting further orders. We left in convoy, but the convoy was soon split into two sections. Soon after leaving, the master advised me that he had received advices that a ship had been sunk on our course in an area which we would reach sometime that afternoon. The usual full dawn watch was maintained by the gun crew from 0400 to 0630; thereafter five men remained on watch on the gun deck covering an arc of watch of approximately


300° clockwise from 30 degrees on the starboard bow. In addition to the watch maintained by the gun crew, the ship maintained a lookout watch as usual, consisting of a man in the crow's nest, a man stationed on the port bridge wing and the officers on watch on the starboard bridge wing.

"About 1415, a member of the merchant crew on the forecastle deck yelled 'Torpedo.' An unknown submarine released two torpedoes, one missing the ship's stem, the other, the stern. A third torpedo struck on the starboard bow in No. 1 hold. The submarine or its periscope was never sighted but a 'slick' appeared on the surface on the starboard, going astern. I ordered fire to be opened at the continuously moving forward end of the 'slick' within a minute after the torpedo had struck. Five rounds were fired. The ammunition used was common ogival pointed impact projectiles. The first and second shells exploded but there was no indication of a hit. The range was 800 yards and the projectiles clearly hit in the 'slick.'

"The ship's boats were being lowered by 1418 and practically all of the ship's crew were in the boats. The master had been disposing of his papers by throwing them over the side in a metal container which he had devised for that purpose. The container weighed about 80 pounds with hundreds of holes drilled in it and made a very convenient box for the keeping of the papers and the disposition of the same. The depth of the water was more than 100 fathoms.

"From my station on the gun deck I requested of the master how long the ship could be expected to remain afloat. By his gestures it appeared that in his opinion there was very little time. At the first impact, the ship started to sink rapidly by the head, so that I ordered the gun crew to abandon ship. All took to the boats except five who aided the chief mate in salvaging sextants and other instruments. Two assisted me in disposing of the registered papers entrusted to me by taking a canvas bag issued for that purpose, with the secured papers therein, and dropping the same over the side. By 1425, the ship was completely abandoned and the life boats and rafts which were loosed were rowed to a position about 300 yards on the port quarter.

"By 1430 the ship had ceased settling and it appeared certain that she would remain afloat for some time, according to the


master. I called for volunteers among the gun crew to return aboard with me. Every man volunteered including most of the merchant crew and all of the merchant crew in No. 3 boat, in charge of the second mate. Time being short, I did not pick up all the gun crew members from the other boats, but returned to the ship in boat No. 3 with 4 members of the gun crew and approximately 10 of the merchant crew, including the radio operator, boarding her at about 1440. The gun crew members and myself concealed ourselves to some extent around the ready service box aft. The radio operator repaired his radio and got off the call. It was the first time the radio had been used since leaving ____. Other members of the merchant crew secured supplies, etc., from the ship and stood by below.

"At about 1510, a 'slick' was discovered on the starboard side going astern at about 1,200 yards. One round was fired which appeared to hit in the slick. The projectile did not explode. The ship listed sharply to port, and I ordered the gun crew men to abandon ship. The second torpedo hit was made on the starboard bow abaft of the first hit. The vessel began settling rapidly by the head as the boat was pulled away. She sank, stern first, disappearing beneath the surface at 1540.

"By 1600, all four of the boats, containing an approximately equal number of men, set sail to the southward. All reached ____ on the morning of Wednesday, ____ safe and sound. The conduct of the merchant men during action and in the lifeboats was excellent and morale high. The gun crew men acted quickly and fearlessly and are worthy of consideration for advancement.

"About 5 minutes prior to the first torpedo hit, an Army bomber was observed to have crossed our course northward. After the first abandonment of the ship, a plane was observed heading on a course toward us, but did not approach any closer than 5 miles and did not acknowledge the distress signals displayed by the lifeboats.

"Special mention should be made of the full and enthusiastic cooperation received from the master and all officers of the ship, and the willingness of the crew to assist."


"The high degree of cooperation given to the Armed Guard by the merchant officers and men is worthy of special notation. Their intelligent concept of the seriousness of the war, together


with their keen desire to serve their country has resulted in a relationship motivated by a common policy of increasing the wartime efficiency of the ship. The supplementing of naval gun crews, on board this ship, with merchantmen is no longer any problem. Since the first of the year, the number of men taking instruction in gunnery, and qualifying has steadily increased, with the result that the Armed Guard maintains an unlimited supply of merchant seamen ready and willing to serve on the guns. Many of the merchantmen are standing an additional 2 hours a day on gun watches. For example, every member of the engineering department stood a 2-hour a day machine gun watch in addition to their regular duties. Both the chief officer and chief engineer have assisted the Armed Guard in various jobs at the expense of their own time and duties. As a result it can be stated that the relationship between the Armed Guard and the merchant crew on board this ship has been excellent.

"The loyalty, conduct, aptitude, and efficiency of the enlisted personnel has been excellent. Infractions of discipline have been few, and of such a nature as to be easily handled on board. The long, tedious hours of watch, the confinement, and the lack of time and facilities for recreation has not injured the morale of the men. At present their morale is excellent and they are showing a great interest in their work and responsibilities. Since the first of the year there has been a marked improvement in the merit of the work done by the men, and a much keener understanding of their responsibilities. At present three seamen second class have been acting as gun captains, executing their positions in a commendable manner, and making up for their lack of experience with hard work, ambition, and study. The living facilities for the enlisted men are good, and the messing facilities very good. The health of this unit as a whole has been very good, and with the exception of one chronic case of rheumatism there was no one confined to sick bay for a period of more than a few days."


"The chief engineer was one of 13 members of the 25-man crew announced by naval authorities as rescued from the two life rafts. The 12 others are believed to have gone down with the ship, which sank in 30 seconds after having been almost broken in half by a torpedo explosion.


"There was no previous warning of a submarine's presence, related the engineer, and the ship sank so rapidly that those of the crew who could simply jumped overboard. Thirteen finally were assembled on the two rafts.

"The Chief told this story :

"'About 5 minutes after the ship went down, approximately 1 p. m., a submarine surfaced about 300 yards away and its commander, who spoke broken English, asked for the captain of the ship. Told that the officers were killed, he asked the chief engineer aboard the submarine. Then the submarine commander, a dark-complexioned, sunburned, unshaven and stockily built man of about 25, wearing shorts, no shirt and blue cap with yellow insignia, talked to the survivor on the after deck. "I think this is a surprise to you," said the submarine commander. "Anything can happen in war," was the reply. "I am sorry this had to happen to you," continued the submarine officer. "I'll give you two loaves of bread." Here followed the presentation of two loaves of dark-brown, hard bread, three meat cans full of water and the submarine commander's attempt to wish his victims a "happy voyage." He extended his hand, but the chief did not take it, merely saying, "Thank you for your bread and water." The commander appeared to become quite angry and walked toward the conning tower, but came back again and asked the chief to shake hands, with the same result. A third try likewise was rebuffed. (The chief believes it probably was the commander's purpose, for propaganda reasons to have a handshaking photographed by one of the three other men on the conning tower). The chief asked the commander how far away they were from the coast, and the commander replied, "Go west to the coast." The submarine then went away in an easterly direction. The men on the two rafts were rescued by a naval vessel the next afternoon."'


"A Navy gunner told how he survived the torpedoing of his American merchantman off the Atlantic coast and was picked up by a rescue ship, and then 3 days later manned the rescue ship's stern gun and almost certainly sank a U-boat with a direct hit.

"At 8: 10 a. m., a lookout sang out that he saw the submarine to starboard, but he made a mistake and suddenly we saw the


sub's conning tower a few yards away on the port side. The sub had to crash dive to keep us from ramming her. Perhaps 20 minutes later we saw her 200 yards off the port side, but she submerged before we could fire. Then in about 40 minutes, we saw her again, 200 yards to port. We opened fire. Our first shot was long. I took a new range and ordered fire. By this time I could only see her periscope. I aimed to hit her amidships, and the second shell struck that position. A great black column of smoke, 50 feet high, went up after the explosion. We didn't see that sub again; I think we got her.

"After the submarine sinking, the rescue ship was escorted into port by Navy planes. The narrator said he had crossed the Equator nine times, but the most fun he ever had out of sailing was to crack a shell into the U-boat."


"We were struck by two torpedoes. The first hit apparently amidships and on the port side. The second hit just forward of the bridge about 10-20 seconds after the first. There was little confusion. I went to the bridge which I had left to check the lights and watch. On the bridge I looked for the submarine but could see nothing. I attempted to use telephones to get to the gun crew on the gun deck but phones were dead. I could see the gun was manned. The gun crew had attempted to load the 5-inch gun but it had been torn loose from its base and was in no condition to be fired.

"It became evident that the ship was sinking rapidly, so I ordered the bridge watch to go to boat stations (the ship's whistle did not work). I got my life belt and went to my station. On the way I met the captain who seemed to be dazed. I told him to get a life belt and come along. I waited for him to get his belt, then led him across the deck to the midships house. We waded in water about knee deep on the main deck. The boats on the port side were both smashed by the explosion. I saw Chief Mate Barris, launching a raft in which he had seven men. Then I went for my boat station. The captain and I were the last men on the boat deck and I tried to hand him a line. He missed and it swung out carrying me. As I swung


back, I tried to grab the captain by the belt, but he resisted and someone pulled me down with the boat just as the ship slid under. We were riding practically on top the boat deck and thought the funnel was going to hit us as it toppled. Boat No. 3, in charge of the third mate, rammed us and we had quite a time warding it off, but finally they pulled away. We searched the wreckage and pulled in two or three men, then met the other boat and told them to search one direction for survivors while we search the lights in another direction.

"The first torpedo struck at approximately 1903-1904 and when we pulled away from the ship and had picked up the second survivor, I looked at my watch and it was just 1915.

"We found the raft and tied onto it, then rested oars and floated the rest of the night. There was no disorder in the boat and Mr. ____ held control very well. The men rowed when told with no grumbling. There was no sign of hysteria at all. At about 0630, we sighted the Navy air patrol. We took the men off the raft and cast it loose. By this time the other boat had come up and we tied together.

"At about 1000 we sighted smoke on the horizon. It hung there for a long time until about 1300 when it began to approach. Then from the opposite direction we noted a freighter approach. It stopped for us."


"In the confusion resulting from the torpedoing several rafts were cut loose while the ship was making full speed and were consequently lost far astern. According to the survivors' testimony, the rudder was hard right, so that when No. 2 lifeboat was lowered it was caught in the propeller, and completely demolished. The nine survivors dove off the ship on the starboard side and over the stern, and succeeded in either reaching the two rafts on which they were later found, or were picked up by those already on the rafts, who were paddling around trying to help those in the water. All members of the crew had police whistles which were being blown from all directions by men floating in the water. Unfortunately, darkness prevented their being located, and finally the rafts drifted away and the sounds of the whistles were soon lost. The ship was


seen to hesitate and then plunge to the bottom. The survivors were later picked up."


"The alert Navy gun crew of a United States cargo ship hit and almost certainly sank an Axis submarine off the coast of Cuba, the master of the vessel said today.

"The raider was taken by surprise and did not have time to fire torpedoes or get its deck guns into action. Its machine gun went into action and about 30 bullets struck the ship without doing any damage.

"The American ship's engines were not running so the submarine apparently had not been warned of its presence by listening devices and was caught by surprise as it came to the surface.

"The raider was sighted as it broke water some 400 yards from the ship. The alarm was given for the gun crew, and within a minute all five men were at their stations and firing. The master sounded the general alarm for the entire crew and ordered full speed ahead, steering to allow the gun crew at the stern to bear on the raider.

"The first shot from the merchantman was a near miss. The second, fired at about 200 feet pointblank range, struck the submarine at the water line, just forward of the conning tower, as the craft seemed to be crash-diving. At this shot there was a muffled explosion and the submarine turned over sideways as it went down. The whole thing didn't last over 3 minutes."


"According to the survivors the ship, after being hit, took an immediate list to starboard estimated at from 20° to 35°. All ship's lights were immediately extinguished by the force of the explosion. The starboard lifeboat and forward raft were demolished by the explosion as well. In practically every case the survivors proceeded to the boat deck and found No.1 boat completely wrecked and No. 2 lifeboat already fully loaded. Several of the men questioned aided in lowering No. 2 lifeboat after which they attempted to launch life rafts. During all this time no attempt had been made to secure the main engines, which were still turning full speed ahead. One survivor told of going to the bridge where he saw and heard the captain trying frantically to have the engines stopped.


"The ship had aboard a Navy gun crew of about eight men. Witnesses stated that all members of the gun crew reported to their stations immediately after the explosion. The gun was trained to starboard and a diligent search was made with glasses for a submarine on the surface. When the forward part of the ship was awash orders were given to abandon ship. United States Navy gun crew members were the last men to leave the ship."


Encounter With Enemy Submarine

At 1220, a gunner's mate third class spotted submarine conning tower two points abaft port beam, distance approximately 2,500 yards. Conning tower disappeared, but periscope extending 3 feet above surface was exposed for 1 minute. Observation confirmed by gun crew members and ship's first officer.

The position of the S. S. _____ was estimated to be _____ and had been zigzagging.

Gun crew and general alarms were sounded and wheel turned hard right to have submarine bearing astern. This relative position was maintained for about 5 minutes and then the ship swung right 45°. Five minutes later, a smoke pot was lit and thrown overboard, and in several minutes 2 more pots were lit an held aboard. This course was held for 15 minutes, full speed ahead without zigzag. During this period, an S S S S radio dispatch was sent and a plan of action discussed with master.

At 1245, the ship turned right 180°, approximately traversing previous course, 1 mile to leeward.

At 1257, periscope, 2 feet above surface, distance 1,400 yards sighted slightly port to dead ahead, traveling right angle to port at estimated speed of 10 knots.

Immediately, 3"/50 forward gun went into action with control from flying bridge position.

Forward 20-mm. guns would not bear at target because of kingpost gear arrangement. Results of:
3"/50 - round 1: 400 yards over, right 1 mil.
3"/50 - round 2: 150 yards over, right 3 mils.
3"/50 - round 3: 100 yards short, no deflection.
3"/50 - rounds 4-11: All splashes in vicinity of periscope.


3"/50 - rounds 12-15: On target, no change, rapid fire action, range 900 yards. Gunnery officer could not observe results because of intervention of forward port kingpost. All rounds reported in close vicinity of periscope with possible hit. Gun crew noted explosion on round 14.

Forward port 20-mm. gun opened fire just before end of action with 47 rounds expended in vicinity. No hits.

One torpedo wake, portside, was observed.

At 1300, gunnery officer gained portside of flying bridge and the periscope was not apparent. Cease fire ordered with all possible guns bearing on area where periscope was last observed. The ship continued port swing and in due time resumed course.


In the early stages of the voyage a few floating mines were sighted which were sunk by gunfire of the escorts. About 2330, one enemy aircraft was seen on the horizon. This plane later streaked across in front of the convoy at a distance of about 2 miles but was driven off by gunfire of the escorts. At 2130, one enemy attacked the convoy. On this run the aircraft dropped three light bombs and was observed to suffer a hit. On a second attempt by the same plane he was shot down into the sea. On ____ we were circled practically the entire day by enemy planes. At about 0025 the convoy was attacked by five large enemy aircraft. Three of these planes were observed to release two torpedoes apiece, three of these found their mark and three of our ships were lost. Two of the enemy aircraft were observed to crash and two more wee observed to suffer hits. The wake of a torpedo was observed broad on our starboard bean at a distance of about 1,500 yards. The ship was immediately sent to full ahead and the wheel put hard over to the right. The torpedo passed astern at a distance of about 25 yards. Later on the remaining enemy aircraft dropped several bombs from a high altitude which fell harmlessly into the sea within the convoy. In the afternoon and evening of ____ we were again circled by enemy aircraft which were driven off by gunfire of the escort when they attempted to attack.

While in ____ we went to General Quarters on 31 different occasions. Enemy aircraft were observed about half of the alerts. Several bombing attacks were carried out but most of


them from a fairly high altitude. No bombs fell within 500 yards of our ship although enemy aircraft passed close enough for us to open fire on several occasions.

We left ____. Continuous gun and lookout watch was maintained throughout the entire trip.

There were several depth bomb attacks during the early part of the trip. At 0450 two large enemy aircraft were observed on the horizon. At about 0750 the ____ released her fighter plane which pursued and shot down one Focke-Wulf. The fighter plane survived the encounter with no damage but when the pilot attempted to bail out and land his parachute failed to open and he fell into the sea. He was picked up seriously hurt and later died of injuries received. The remaining enemy aircraft was driven off by gunfire of the escorts. The remainder of the trip was uneventful. A few depth charges were released. No mines were seen during the return voyage. I received perfect cooperation from the entire merchant personnel at all times.

Resume: S. S. ____ went alongside at ____, to unload cargo. Unloading operations were completed ____. During this period there were 42 air alerts, during which antiaircraft guns were manned on this vessel. During this same period German planes came over eight times. 2400, ____, formation of enemy planes (possibly five ME-110's) attacked ships in harbor and alongside. One plane flew directly over this ship and dropped bombs. Two bombs landed 50 feet off our port quarter, 2 fell into the water 100 feet off our port bow, and 1 landed on the dock, 50 feet directly off our starboard beam, blowing up tank parts and making a bomb crater about 30 feet wide and 10 feet deep. These were said to be 500-kilo bombs. During the action there was a hang fire on our forward gun on the second round. The plane that attacked this ship came out of the clouds and was first seen at a position angle of approximately 45°. Consequently there was very little time to bring the gun into action. No casualties and no damage was sustained by this ship. One enemy plane was shot down by fighters. Three more enemy planes reported downed.

1500; ____, formation of German planes attacked ships at anchor in the stream. One German plane reported brought down. Damage inflicted on ships, undetermined. 1630, ____,


air alert sounded. One enemy plane sighted and fire opened by this ship, ____ fighter planes appeared immediately and drove off enemy plane. 1000, ____, enemy dive bombers, escorted by fighter planes, attacked ships at anchor in stream. Air battle, in which at least 50 planes were engaged, followed. One enemy plane was seen to go down and crash in the mountains. More reported downed. Damage inflicted on ships at anchor, undetermined. 1710, ____, this ship opened fire on enemy reconnaissance plane. Shore batteries and H. M. S. ____ joined fire. Plane was seen to turn away. A formation of enemy bombers (possibly six JU-89) with fighter protection attacked harbor installation and ships in stream. Two enemy bombers flew over from the port side but no bombs were dropped. ____ fighter planes were very active. One ____ Hurricane was shot down ; pilot was seen to parachute to safety. ____, anchored in stream several miles below ____. 1115 same date, five JU-89's with fighter protection attacked ships in stream. This ship was the first to be on the alert and fired a warning shot while enemy planes were still out of range. Enemy planes appeared very suddenly from over the mountains to launch their attack. Bombs landed near several anchored ships, but only the ____ was damaged by bombs which landed near her stern.

1500, ____ proceeded to sea in convoy bound for ____. 0500, ____, air alert sounded. Enemy seaplane was seen scouting convoy off on the horizon. This plane later was joined by three JU-88's. 0800 S. S. ____ launched her Hurricane fighter, which immediately pursued and attacked the enemy. One JU-88 was seen to leave the engagement trailing smoke. Destroyers later signaled; enemy aircraft crashed into the sea. Our fighter returned and circled the convoy for about 45 minutes.


"On the recent torpedoing of our Motorship ____ in Atlantic waters, we wish to refer to the activities of the officer in charge of the Armed Guard, as reported to us by the master and other officers of the ship and by surviving passengers.

"The captain reports that ____ was earnest and conscientious in carrying out his duties and in drilling the personnel of the Armed Guard; that he directed their efforts to such an


extent that when the emergency arose, they were instantaneously at their own gun positions and fired their battery as long as the ship was afloat; that he remained on board to the very last and as the ship sank and the bridge decks were awash, he and the master of the vessel together swam to gratings or life rafts and were later rescued.

"Information from the master and other personnel on board is that the gun crew comported themselves in a way that lends credit to the naval service, and is deserving of commendation."


The chief officer stated there were about 30 escort vessels including a plane carrier which had 14 Hurricanes aboard. There was also either a cruiser or a large destroyer together with other destroyers, corvettes, mine sweeper and two AA ships.

The first attack occurred on the 13th. On this day, as on the following days a submarine attack took place in the morning followed by an airplane attack in the afternoon. The airplane attack on the 13th was made by Heinkel 115 torpedo planes. There were about 40 in a flight. First 25 would attack and then 15 or 20 more. The first day they concentrated on the two right-hand columns of the convoy, of which subject vessel was No. 13. The second day the attacks were concentrated on the plane carrier which was about 1,000 yards on the port beam of subject vessel. The sequence of attacks was as follows: On the first 2 days there were low level attacks. On the third day there was a high level attack; on the fourth day there was a let-up and no attack was made. On the next day by a low level attack. The commodore of the convoy ordered the course altered under the attacks, as of the 13th when course was altered 45° to port, 45° once more and 45° to starboard. The convoy kept form. As the attacking planes came in, the senior escort which was a new British destroyer would go toward the attackers and then turn broadside. While the damage done in the various attacks was heavy, chief officer believes that it would have been much greater if it had not been for the presence of the aircraft carrier. He also considers the manner in which the convoy kept formed was important.

He praised highly the performance of the Navy gunners throughout the action. The Navy gunners were assisted by


members of the deck and stewards' departments who aided in reloading magazines, passing shells and also manned the forward Oerlikon gun. The chief officer states that the commanding officer of the gun crew maintained strict discipline with his crew and drilled them constantly. He believes that this is largely responsible for the fine performance that the gun crew turned in.

The actions by the Ensign in command of the gun crew were considered by chief officer to be particularly noteworthy. On the day following one of the high level attacks, a low level attack was made. Apparently foreseeing that this would be the case, the commanding officer of the gun crew prepared his 4"/50 stern gun with 6-second, 4-second and 2-second time fuze shells. (These shells were 4" shrapnel put aboard by the British for this particular convoy.) Three German planes attacked on the starboard quarter. At the ensign's order the 6-second and 4 - second shells were fired and then as the planes closed in the 2-second shells were fired. Chief officers comment was "we saw no more of the planes." At another time the ensign was standing on the bridge when he spotted a torpedo which had been dropped by one of the planes and which was heading for the subject vessel. He shouted "hard right"; the Master ordered "hard right rudder" and the torpedo missed. Chief officer believes that this quick thinking by the Ensign saved the vessel from being hit.

While the chief officer did not see any plane brought down by an Oerlikon gun, he believes that the tracer bullets had a psychological effect on the enemy pilots. In one instance the tracer struck an attacking plane and clung to the motor. The pilot apparently became nervous and dropped his bombs without aiming and they fell into the sea harmlessly.


Outstanding Acts of Heroism by Armed Guards

In reporting the first engagement between an armed United States merchantman and enemy raiders, the merchantman went down, her colors still flying and guns blazing. She was battered from stem to stern, her main boiler was hit and her speed was reduced to one knot. Shells struck the radio mast and destroyed


the aerial; the steering engine room was hit by shrapnel and incendiary shells; the main deck house was set afire; the ship was slowly flooding from numerous hits below the waterline, but her guns continued to blaze defiance.

High among the names of men whose action was praised by survivors was that of Lt. (jg) Kenneth M. Willett, Sacramento, Calif., listed as missing.

The engagement started a little after noon. Lt. (jg) Willett came out on deck as the first shell exploded. Immediately he was seriously wounded in the stomach by shrapnel from a bursting shell, but continued to his station at the 4" gun. He directed his crew and manned the gun himself with deadly effect, pumping shells into the smaller, more heavily armed of the two raiders. He kept up a sustained and rapid fire at close range, hitting his target along the water line with most of the 35 shells fired. Because of his great personal valor and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice, he was able to maintain a determined and heroic defense of his ship until forced by a magazine explosion to cease his fire. Still refusing to give up, Lt. (jg) Willett, obviously weakened and suffering, went down on deck and was last seen helping to cast loose the life rafts in a desperate effort to save the lives of others. The ship was shelled repeatedly from stem to stern, but before she plunged stern first, wrecked and blazing into the sea, her guns had inflicted serious damage on both enemy raiders and caused the probable destruction of one of them.

Lt. (jg) Willett has been awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion to duty.


Ten survivors have arrived at the port of New York from a torpedoed and destroyed vessel. She was attacked in the Caribbean with a loss of 39 lives, including all officers aboard.

Survivors arriving there spoke of the devotion to duty of Lt. (jg) Kenneth Muir, commanding officer of the gun crew. The only survivor who gave any details concerning Lt. (jg) Muir's reported heroism was a wiper. He had been on the ship since last May, and had daily contact afloat and ashore with Lt. (jg) Muir. He said that the ship sank in 1 minute, after two torpedoes struck her forward and amidships, both on


the port side. Four other survivors are in Trinidad. In the general confusion, he said that Lt. (jg) Muir's coolness was outstanding. The wiper's hasty account of the action follows:

"I don't know how he could be so calm. In the light of saltwater flares that lit up the stern of the sinking ship, men in the water could see that one of his arms had been blown off at the shoulder. I can't remember which one, it was all so quick. He rushed three men to the stern and made them leap clear of the ship, then he went back for more. We couldn't hear what he said, but he was urging them to leap off her. He must have been in great pain, too. But he did not leap. He went down with some of his gunners.

"I was going to join the Marines soon. But now I'm going to stay in the merchant marine. I'm mighty proud to have served on a ship with a guy as fine as Lt. (jg) Muir."

Lt. (jg) Muir has been awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism.


Awards to Armed Guards

In recognition of their aggressive actions and results attained, officers and men of the Navy Armed Guard have received the following awards since Pearl Harbor:

Four Navy Crosses have been presented for extraordinary heroism, distinguished service and devotion above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy.

Seventy Silver Star Medals have been presented for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy.

Seventeen Navy and Marine Corps Medals have been presented for heroism in rescuing survivors from merchant ships after action.

Two thousand six hundred and fifty four letters of commendation have been presented and spread upon the service records of Armed Guard personnel for courageous conduct and devotion to duty in action against the enemy.

In addition to the above awards, five Destroyer Escorts have been named in honor of Armed Guard officers. These vessels are:

U.S.S. Borum, named for Lt. (jg) John R. Borum, USNR.


U.S.S. Brennan, named for Ens. John J. Brennan, USNR.

U.S.S. Herzog, named for Lt. (jg) William R. Herzog, USNR.

U.S.S. Hunter Marshall, named for Ens. Hunter Marshall, USNR.

U.S.S. Kenneth M. Willett, named for Lt. (jg) Kenneth M. Willett, USNR.



Published: Tue Sep 12 13:51:27 EDT 2017