BAMS (Broadcast to Allied Merchant Ships) were messages sent out to merchant ships at sea.
There were also messages aimed at specific ships or convoy members, ship to ship messages, etc.

 



December 7th, 1941 Air Raid on Pearl Harbor - Message received by Radio Officer Berge Williams aboard the SS Yorkmar - submitted by
Berge Williams - Class A-1 (SIlent Key).

 

Pearl Harbour Telegram

(Courtesy of Berge Williams Class A-1)

December 7th, 1941

#1  to WGBC 1 JAPANESE AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR 071842

Radio Room LISTEN to above message in Morse Code


#2  WGBC USAT CYNTHIA OLSON SENT DISTRESS REPORTS ENEMY SUBMARINE
LATITUDE 33.42 NORTH LONGITUDE 145.29 WEST
2

Radio Room LISTEN to above message in Morse Code


#3  WGBC EXECUTE WPL FORTYSIX 3 AGAINST JAPAN 071930
                                                                                    SECRETARY NAVY


Radio Room LISTEN to above message in Morse Code


#4  WGBC
HCFXM KXZBP UUHBK JJEPY VKZUC JVGKK WTBVK PZLYG FPCPO
4
                                                                                     NAVY RADIO

#5  WGBC
WLKKZ WPFUW GTUHW VYGUJ XYCOJ RWMVY ZLPQC LQQXA KOHCQ GBBXC JFCYV
TWXWD KMHMG MSKPY SKJEB WMDQZ DNZLV TMFFZ ZQHBS KYNQZ JEOJK KZWDN
FKXAG QZYHV JRFZZ LYUCU NXYUF OZQLQ
5
                                                                                      NAVY RADIO

KEK 0003 GMT

*1 - Call letters for the SS Yorkmar - Sunk by U-645 on 9th Oct 1943 - 13 dead and 54 survivors.

*2 - USAT Cynthia Olson - Sunk December 7th, 1941 - No Survivors

*3 - Navy Basic War Plan WPL-46 (Code Name Rainbow No. 5). The only problem was, it was a secret document, and very few copies existed.

(Note that upon announcing implementation of WPL 46, all further messages are coded.)

*4 -  Proceed to nearest port.  Maintain radio silence. **

*5 - Put up blackout curtains or paint port-holes black. No lights or cigarettes allowed on deck after sunset.**

** This is to the best of Berge's recollection.

"On that fateful Sunday we were steaming off the west coast of Mexico bound for Panama from San Francisco. I was the radio operator of the S.S. Yorkmar, a freighter, under the command of Captain P.M. Frantzen. That morning I had been on watch for three hours but heard nothing out of the ordinary. After lunch I again went on watch for two hours before sacking out for my afternoon snooze.

At this time I always transmitted the ship's weather to all ships who cared to receive it. Upon completion  of the weather report another ship contacted me and asked me if I had heard that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Of course, this was a complete surprise to me and when I informed the bridge they were incredulous.

It wasn't long before we began to receive official confirmation of the facts related to the 'Day of Infamy'.

We had our curtains aboard otherwise we would have had to paint the port-holes black. The Captain decided to continue on to Panama instead of putting in at a Mexican port." - Berge Williams A-1
 



May 9th, 1945 German Surrender - U Boats are not to be Attacked
.

 

(Courtesy of David Jorgensen, Son of Gordon D Jorgensen R-14)

SS PULPIT ROCK                                                                  9MAY45 0120 GCT

TO: MASTER
FROM: COMMANDER IN CHIEF        OPERATIONAL PRIORITY

THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO GIVE THE FOLLOWING SURRENDER ORDERS TO GERMAN U-BOATS;

TO REMAIN ON THE SURFACE FLYING A LARGE BLACK OR BLUE FLAG BY DAY AND BURNING NAVIGATION LIGHTS BY NIGHT.

TO REPORT THEIR POSITIONS IN PLAIN LANGUAGE ON 500 KCS EVERY 8 HOURS AND TO MAKE FOR SPECIFIED POINTS UNDER ALLIED CONTROL.

U BOATS APPARENTLY COMPLYING WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT TO BE ATTACKED BUT SHOULD BE GIVEN A WIDE BERTH.

W/T 1 REPORTS OF SUCH SIGHTINGS ARE TO BE MADE IN PLAIN LANGUAGE IN THE FOLLOWING FORM;

ABLE    NUMBER OF U BOATS
BAKER    POSITION
CHARLIE    ESTIMATED COURSE
DOG    ESTIMATED SPEED

IF HOWEVER U BOATS COMMIT A HOSTILE ACT OR OTHERWISE DISREGARD THESE ORDERS REPORTS ARE TO BE MADE BY NORMAL DISTRESS PROCEDURE AND ALL APPROPRIATE DEFENSE MEANS TAKEN

                                                                                                     081238Z

1 - Wireless Transmission



May 9th, 1945 - Unconditional German Surrender - Cease Fire has been Ordered
.

 

(Courtesy of David Jorgensen, Son of Gordon D Jorgensen R-14)

SS PULPIT ROCK                                                                  9MAY45 0124 GCT

TO: MASTER
FROM: BRITISH ADMIRALTY        OPERATIONAL PRIORITY

GERMANY HAS SURRENDERED UNCONDITIONALLY. CEASE FIRE HAS BEEN ORDERED FROM 2201 GMT 8TH MAY REPEAT 2201 GMT 8TH MAY. TWO. PENDING FURTHER ORDERS ALL EXISTING INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE DEFENSE, SECURITY AND CONTROL OF MERCHANT SHIPPING ARE TO REMAIN IN FORCE. MERCHANT SHIPS AT SEA WHETHER IN CONVOY OR SAILING INDEPENDENTLY ARE TO CONTINUE THEIR VOYAGES AS PREVIOUSLY ORDERED.

                                                                                                     081234Z



May 9th, 1945 (6 Minutes after the above BAMS, but from US 10th Fleet) - Unconditional German Surrender - Cease Fire has been Ordered
.

 

(Courtesy of David Jorgensen, Son of Gordon D Jorgensen R-14)

SS PULPIT ROCK                                                                  9MAY45 0130 GCT

TO: MASTER
FROM: COMMANDER TENTH FLEET        OPERATIONAL PRIORITY

GERMANY HAS SURRENDERED UNCONDITIONALLY. CEASE FIRE HAS BEEN ORDERED FROM 2201Z EIGHT MAY REPEAT 2201Z EIGHT MAY. PENDING FURTHER ORDERS ALL EXISTING INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE DEFENSE, SECURITY AND CONTROL OF MERCHANT SHIPPING ARE TO REMAIN IN FORCE. MERCHANT SHIPS AT SEA WHETHER IN CONVOY OR SAILING INDEPENDENTLY ARE TO CONTINUE THEIR VOYAGES AS PREVIOUSLY ORDERED.

081331Z



May 9th, 1945 - Combined message from United States and Britain - Unconditional German Surrender brings no lessening of the task of the Merchant Marine
.

 

MAY 9TH 2300 GMT TIME                                                                                                                                      FOLLOWING MESSAGES FROM UNITED STATES
         8PM SHIP TIME                                                                                                                                          AND BRITAIN ADDRESSED TO THE MERCHANT                                                                                                         MARINE



FROM THE WAR SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION
WASHINGTON D.C. TO THE
US MERCHANT MARINE

BAMS ROUTINE FROM WSA CK 114 - FOR ALL UNITED STATES FLAG MERCHANT VESSELS.

THE END OF ORGANIZED RESISTANCE IN GERMANY BRINGS NO LESSENING OF THE TASK OF THE UNITED STATES MERCHANT MARINE.

CLOSING OF HOSTILITIES IN THE EUROPEAN THEATRE MEANS TO THE MARITIME COMMISSION AND WAR SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION A SITUATION UNCHANGED BASICALLY EXCEPT FOR A SHIFT IN EMPHASIS IN TIME AND PLACES.

THERE WILL BE NO LESSER DEMAND FOR SHIPS OR FOR MEN TO SAIL THEM.

TO THE MEN OF THE MRCHANT MARINE I SEND MY HEARTFELT THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE AND MY UTTER CONVICTION THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE IN ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE DAYS AHEAD IN THE SAME MANNER.

SIGNED LAND. USA.
091920Z


FROM THE BRITISH MINISTRY OF WAR TRANSPORT

BAMS ROUTINE FROM ADMIRALTY BRITISH BAMS LETTERED MESSAGE QM CK 255 -

VICTORY MESSAGE TO THE MERCHANT NAVY. LORD LEATHERS MINISTER OF WAR TRANSPORT ISSUED THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE TO ALL OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE MERCHANT NAVY, BEGINS -

FOR MORE THAN FIVE AND A HALF YEARS SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE ALLIED MERCHANT NAVIES IN THE FACE OF CONTINUAL AND MERCILESS ATTACKS BY THE ENEMY YOU HAVE MAINTAINED THE CEASELESS FLOW OF SEA TRAFFIC ON WHICH THE LIFE AND STRENGTH OF THE COUNTRY DEPEND.

ALL WHO HAVE BORNE THE STRAIN OF THIS GRIM STRUGGLE HAVE A FULL SHARE IN THE VICTORY OF THE ALLIED FORCES AND A FULL SHARE TOO IN THE NATIONS THANKS.

IN THIS HISTORIC HOUR WE THINK WITH SPECIAL GRATITUDE OF THE MANY MERCHANT SEAMEN WHO HAVE FALLEN IN THE FIGHT AND WHOSE SERVICE AND SACRIFICE WILL ALWAYS BE A PROUD MEMORY.

THE KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR SCARIFICE AND THE THOUGHT OF COMRADES STILL HELD CAPTIVE IN THE FAR EAST WILL SPUR US TO FURTHER EFFORTS AS WE TURN TO THE IMMEDIATE TASK OF ENABLING THE ALLIED FORCES TO TRANSFER THE MAIN WEIGHT OF THEIR ATTACK FROM GERMANY TO JAPAN. I AM CONFIDANT THAT THE MERCHANT NAVY WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY ITS INDESPENSIBLE PART.

THE BOARD OF ADMIRALTY HAVE ALSO ASKED TO EXPRESS THEIR BELIEF AND ON BEHALF OF THE ROYAL NAVY THIER ADMIRATION FOR THE GREAT CONTRIBUTION MADE BY THE MERCHANT NAVY AND THE COMMON VICTORY THROUGH ALL THE PERILS AND RUMORS OF MORE THAN FIVE AND A HALF YEARS OF WAR AT SEA

(Don Wagner Collection)



September 6th, 1945 - Ships not to Zig-Zag - Guns need not be Manned
.

 

(Published in "The Gallups Islander" - Summer 1997)


"I copied this message aboard the SS Tucson Victory in the Western Pacific right after the Japanese Surrender. We were diverted to Yokohama where a look at the total destruction of their industrial area by pre-invasion precision bombing brought home the real significance of the message - they had been still fighting despite this destruction and no doubt would have continued if not for the A-bombs. This, thankfully, was my last voyage. It was over!"

- Jack Murray, R-15

 

BAMS 6A, 6B, 6C -- FROM COMHAWSEAFRON -- ROUTINE --

COMMANDER HAWAIIAN SEA FRONTIER RE-ENCIPHERS COMMANDER IN CHIEF PACIFIC COMMANDER IN CHIEF PACIFIC OCEAN AREA ADVANCED 041523 X

1. AS OF 0001 GCT 6 SEPTEMBER SHIPS WHETHER SAILING IN CONVOY OR INDEPENDENTLY ARE NOT TO ZIG-ZAG AND GUNS NEED NOT BE MANNED. SHIPS ARE TO BURN NAVIGATION LIGHTS AT FULL BRILLIANCY AND BLACKOUT REGULATIONS ARE CANCELLED. VESSELS ARE TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR THE PREVENTION OF COLLISION AT SEA. MASTERS ARE REMINDED OF THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTING AN ADEQUATE LOOKOUT.

2. A SERIOUS DANGER FROM MINES WILL CONTINUE FOR SOME TIME AND MASTERS WILL NOTE WIMS ONE CHAPTER 15 FOR INSTRUCTIONS ESSENTIAL FOR THE CONTROL AND SAFETY OF MERCHANT SHIPPING.

3. RADIO TRANSMITTERS MAY BE USED FOR ESSENTIAL SHIPS BUSINESS AND WEATHER REPORTS BUT PERSONAL MESSAGES ARE NOT PERMITTED.


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