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.
 

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
 

(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

(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

(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

(Don Wagner Collection)

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