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signals

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  • Member since
    July, 2010
signals
Posted by roony on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:15 AM

At the last club meeting, a member brought his MTB in 1/35 scale.  Knowing the builder, I read the signal. It was of course, unrepeatable here.  But I'll ask, when you run a signal do you just put up flags, or do you make a comment?  I've thought of running my daughters name or a name of a friend, but in the end I've just put up flags, as most people don't read them anyway.  How about you guys?

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Ludwigsburg Germany
Posted by dafi on Friday, November 10, 2017 11:22 AM

Nobody ever realised ;-)

XXXDAn

  • Member since
    July, 2010
Posted by roony on Friday, November 10, 2017 12:44 PM

I think you did ok.  Don't be so hard on yourself.  

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, November 10, 2017 7:43 PM

For models, you can pretty much do as you want to.

If you are being prototypical, typically the only hoist is the four flags of the radio callsign.

If sending a message, you are limited to half the length of the signal haliyard.  Whihc defines how many flags you have to break the signal into.  Typically, this is 6 to 8 flags.

Signal flags are sized proportionally to the ship, in sizes from #1 down to #7.  A lanyard is fastened to each signal flag which keeps the flags betwwen 5' and 6' apart, head-to-head.  A bare lanyard is used to create a space, which matches that length.

So, let's say you want the formation of ships to break into two groups each proceding to a point to be indicated by the flagship, then turn right 40 degrees and assume a speed of 15 knots.

That's:
Subdiv
Corpen
Four
Speed
One
Five

Which would be a hoist of 35' to 42' long; far too long.
SO, on one haliyard
Subdiv
Corpen
Four
On another
                     Speed
                     One
                     Five

Eacj=h of these is raised to the block, until all of the other ships acknowledge by raising the same hoist halfway up their own haliyards.

The flag ship then hauls their hoist halfway down--this is the Preperatory.
The other ships two block their hoists to show readiness.

When the flagship gets to the point of execution, the signal is two blocked, then lowered away to signal "Execute."  The flagshhip then turns, as does the lead of the second half of the formation.  Then, each next ship steams to that location and executes the turn, and each then makes turns for 15 knots as directed.  The ships hoist down their signals as they get to the point of execution.

Now, let's say we want every ship to turn left to bearing 040.
THat's
Flot
Zero
Four
2nd Subs(titute)

By convention, digits before a command mean change to left; digits after mean to right.  Compass courses use three digits, angles just two.
So, Turn 45 means to got righ 45º from base course. Turn 45 means turn right from base course until on heading 045.
For that latter, if on base course of 030, a 15º right turn; if on base course 135 that's a 270º right hand turn.  There area number of tactical reasons to perfom either of those.  Which is why the convention exists.

All of the above is far too much information far too esoteric for rigging ship models Smile

 

  • Member since
    July, 2012
  • From: Douglas AZ
Posted by littletimmy on Friday, November 10, 2017 8:24 PM

CapnMac82
If sending a message, you are limited to half the length of the signal haliyard.  Whihc defines how many flags you have to break the signal into.  Typically, this is 6 to 8 flags.

I have alway's wanted to learn how signals worked. However , after reading the entire post I realized that I will never figure out something that complicated .... so I'm sticking with "Brain surgery"

CapnMac82  Could you recommend a book on this ? maybe if I slow it down a bit and read it on my own, I might figure it out. 

                      Dont worry about the thumbprint... paint it rust and call it "Battle damage" !

  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by CG Bob on Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:26 PM

A long time ago, when I attended USCG Boot Camp, we were required to know certain signal flags and what they meant.

Alfa - I have a diver down

Bravo - Taking in, discharging or carrying hazardous cargo

Hotel - I have a pilot on board

Oscar - Man overboard

Papa - All personnel return to ship, proceeding to sea

 

Depending on the model and era, single signal flags may be appropriate.  Bravo flag on a tanker.  Hotel flag on a pilot boat, freighter, or passebger ship. 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:34 PM

Generally, I  limit my models to the radio callsign.  When I see them on others' models, I read them to see if they are spelling out anything.....

Fun fact: The crew would come up with a humorous definition of the call sign, where possible-- such as USCGC Chase:  NLPM = No Liberty, Poor Morale.

I'll never forget USCGC EAGLE's call sign:  NRCB  (Never Refuse Cold Beer)

 

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter  www.ipmspatriot.org

Billerica, MA

 

  • Member since
    May, 2010
Posted by amphib on Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:02 AM

Generally, as I recall, the radio call signs were only hoisted going in and out of port. Also we were limited to only four flags per hailyard. This goes beyond the signal flags but there was an international code book that used groups of four letters to communicate between ships. You would have the code book in english and let's say a Greek ship would have the same book only in greek. He would see or hear your four letter group, look it up in his book and be able to read your message. There was a separate code book of four letter or less code groups, only for use by the Navy. BZ -bravo,zulu would be read as well done or very good. And as been pointed out single flags were also used for short messages.

These same four letter code groups would also be used for flashing light or radio messages. Trying to write out a whole message in signal flags or flashing lights would be very time consuming.

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Wyoming Michigan
Posted by ejhammer on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:22 AM

Checked my Bluejackets' Manual (16th edition, 1960), semaphore, flags, pennants, morse code, hand signals, all discussed in chapter 29, pages 524 to 538.

Signalman rating was disestablished about 2004, but only about 10% were expected to be rolled into the QM rating, the rest forced into some other rating.

Don't know how all that worked out.

EJ

Completed - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa Dec 1942, USS Yorktown 1/700 Trumpeter 1943. In The Yards - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa 1945, USS ESSEX 1/700 Dragon 1944, USS ESSEX 1/700 Trumpeter 1945, USS ESSEX 1/540 Revell (vintage) 1962, USS ESSEX 1/350 Trumpeter 1942, USS ESSEX LHD-2 as commissioned, converted from USS Wasp kit Gallery Models. Plus 35 other plastic and wood ship kits.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:42 PM

littletimmy
CapnMac82 Could you recommend a book on this ? maybe if I slow it down a bit and read it on my own, I might figure it out.



Well, the 1st & Chief's Manual for Signalman would be the most comprehensive--but not ideal for the beginner.  Not sure if I've ever seen the 3rd class Signalman's Manual out foir sale--over 2/3 of that will be buried in procedure, e.g. handling of messageas and reports of same and how to move them in the chain of command.  Very dry stuff unless one is a 20 y/o wigwagger.  Said worthy needing to know rather a lot; signal lights in visible and IR, signal flags, and the like.

Also, please note I only referred to signals "in the clear" before.  USN hardly ever does that.  We have several sets of code books set up, which all have simple flag/light combos for common messages.  So that, rather than break out all the flags to indicate that the 5th escort in the screen is to take up Plane Guard position while the rest of the CBG realigns base course to the wind direction; you might fly
Mike
Corpen
XRay
Zero
Two
Five

So, simpler is not always so easy to find.
I'll look about and see what refernces are available.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:47 PM

CG Bob
Papa - All personnel return to ship, proceeding to sea



Also Known As "The Blue Peter."  From before "P" = "Papa"

USN also had a punch of single-flag signals.
India (Inca) flown on the side along which a ship is to moor when nested.
Romeo(Roger) on the side over which ammunition is to be loaded.
Bravo (Baker) for the side over which fuel is being brought.

Most of these are used in UnRep (Underway Replenishment).

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:49 PM

We seem to have strayed a bit from the OP's question....  Big Smile

I think a complete tactical signal is a bit much for a model-- that's why I go with just the radio callsign-- the four flags add a little bit of color, yet aren't too hard to make and install. 

 

 

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter  www.ipmspatriot.org

Billerica, MA

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:13 PM

Quite. 

Nelson's "I expect each man to duty..." signal before Trafalgar took 41 flags in 6 hoists.

Not the sort of thing anyone would model

  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by CG Bob on Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:01 PM

When I was serving aboard CGC VIGOROUS (WMEC 627) our call sign was Not Quite Semper Paratus.  I was a DC1 at the time and my sea detail billet was on the foc'sle anchor detail.  As we left on patrol and colors were shifted, I took a look at the yardarm.  The signal flags spelled out NPAW, not our call sign NQSP.  I mentioned that fact to the BMC and 1st LT on the foc'sle and it was relayed to the bridge.  A few minutes later the correct flags were hoisted.  There was much discussion about the wrong signal.  QM2 P.A.W. had transferred off the ship a few dails before we sailed.

My first duty station was the Columbia River Lightship (WLV 604).  Each lightship had its own call sign; and each lightship station had a call sign.  When WLV 604 was on the Columbia station, our call sign was NNCR.  When we were off station, the ships call sign was NEWP was flown from the port yardarm.  Lightships underway would also fly LO from the port yard to indicate Lightship Offstation.

SM2
  • Member since
    December, 2012
  • From: San Antonio, TX
Posted by SM2 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:35 PM

Gosh, I was going to put in my two cents, but y'all have pretty much covered everything.  I was a signalman on a fleet oiler and an ammunition ship from 1969 to 1972, and made several WestPac deployments.  On my ships the most frequent use of signal flags was "Romeo" for underway replenishment, "Bravo" while transferring hazardous materials, "Foxtrot" when engaging in air operations, or hoisting the ship's international call sign when entering or leaving port.  We also ran up something in port to indicate that the captain was ashore, but I've forgotten what flag it was.  The rest of the time those flags moldered in the flag bags.  I do have photos of obscene flag hoists, though, run up occasionally for laughs, and explained to the OOD that we were airing out the signal flags.  The "Desig" flag preceding a hoist indicated the array was in plain language, not code.

It's sad that the rate is no more.  Being a signalman was a great way to endure a four year enlistment!

  • Member since
    July, 2010
Posted by roony on Monday, November 13, 2017 12:05 PM

As the original poster, I did not mind the side track.  I learned a LOT.  I would like to see some pictures, if even it is "just" the ships number.

  • Member since
    October, 2005
Posted by CG Bob on Monday, November 13, 2017 9:51 PM

Third Substitute was hoisted to indicate the CO was ashore.  If the CO was gone for more than 72 hours, Third Sub indicated the XO (as acting CO) was ashore. 

At USN and USCG bases with mutilple ships, one ship flies the Starboard pennant; indicating that their CO is Senior Officer Present Afloat.   Sometimes the USN CO'ss would get upset when a USCG Cutter (usually a 378' WHEC or icebreaker) came into their homeport, and be SOPA.  The smaller USCG Cutter would have a full CAPT as CO, while the larger USN ships  had a CDR.

 

  • Member since
    May, 2010
Posted by amphib on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:36 AM

According to a book I have Nelson's message before Trafalgar was "England expects every man will do his duty" Using the code system that was in place at the time, seven groups of three flags each were hoisted for the first seven words, a single flag was hoisted for D and three groups of two flags each were hoisted for the last three letters in Duty. No mention if this was accomplished using eleven halyards or if less halyards were used by having multiple groups hoisted on a halyard with spaces between them.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 6:57 AM

amphib

According to a book I have Nelson's message before Trafalgar was "England expects every man will do his duty" Using the code system that was in place at the time, seven groups of three flags each were hoisted for the first seven words, a single flag was hoisted for D and three groups of two flags each were hoisted for the last three letters in Duty. No mention if this was accomplished using eleven halyards or if less halyards were used by having multiple groups hoisted on a halyard with spaces between them.

 

My understanding is that the message was not put up all at once as it now flies on the Victory. It was put up on the mizzen mast only and needed 12 lifts. There were 9 words, not 8, as you missed out ''expects''

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

  

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/32nd Fw 190D-9    

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