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Call Signs and Radio
Operating Procedures
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MOLESWORTH RADIO CALLSIGNS

Ground Control Callsigns:

  • Molesworth Base Control Tower Callsign - SABBO
  • 41st CBW VHF Station - SABBO DF
  • 1st Air Division Ground Station - CYCLE
  • 358th BS - WHIPCREAM
  • 359th BS - EAVESDROP
  • 360th BS - TOYDOLL
  • 427th BS - NEWROW
Communications Between Aircraft:
  • 1st CBW - GOONCHILD (Sept 43 to Mar 44) - - SWORDFISH (Apr 44 to VE Day)
  • 40th CBW - BULLPEN (Sept 43 to Mar 44) - - FOXHOLE (Apr 44 to VE Day)
  • 41st CBW - FATGAL (Sept 43 to Mar 44) - - COWBOY (Apr 44 to VE Day)
  • 94th CBW - RAGWEED (Sept 43 to Mar 44) - - WOODCRAFT (Apr 44 to VE Day)
  • 41st CBW "A" Group Lead B-17 - COWBOY ABLE
  • 41st CBW "B" Group Lead B-17 - COWBOY BAKER
  • 41st CBW "C" Group Lead B-17 - COWBOY CHARLIE
  • 303rd Lead Group Lead B-17 - COWBOY ABLE LEAD
  • 303rd Low Group Lead B-17 - COWBOY ABLE LOW
  • 303rd High Group Lead B-17 - COWBOY ABLE HIGH
Individual B-17s in Formation Callsign:
Aircraft letter plus last three number of the serial number:
Example: B-17G "Neva - The Silver Lady" 43-37590 (VK-Q) calling the Molesworth Tower:
  • Initial message from B-17: "SABBO, This is Q590 Over"
  • Molesworth Tower Acknowledgement - "Q590 this is SABBO Over"
  • From B-17 - "SABBO, This is Q590 - (followed by the message)"
  • Molesworth Tower would then acknowledge the message.

Pilots, Navigators and Radio Operators were given a Pilot Flimsy following the pre-mission briefing. The Pilot Flimsy listed all callsigns, flare colors and radio frequencies. Flare colors changed with each mission and were used by the lead B-17s to assemble the formations and during emergency situations. Each Wing and each Group formation had different flare colors combinations of green, red or yellow. Flares were also used for requesting fighter aid and for identification with friendly fighters. Fighters also had Callsigns that changed with each mission. The Scouting Force and Screening force B-17 and Fighter Forces also had assigned callsigns.


RADIO OPERATING PROCEDURES
Pilot's Information File - 01 August 1945

The procedures given here have been developed gradually through experiment and practical use. They are designed to expedite radio communication, which must often be carried on under difficult circumstances. This part of PIF [Pilot's Information File] gives you the standard radio forms and procedures which should be most useful to you.

Remember, procedures vary from one theater of operations to another. Consult your Communications Officer. Be sure you know how to make yourself understood quickly and accurately. Your naission and the safety of your airplane depend on it.

When it is necessary for you to identify any letter of the alphabet or to spell a word, use the standard phonetic alphabet. When you transmit numbers by radio telephone, use the standard pronunciation.

AAble
BBaker
CCharlie
DDog
EEasy
FFox
GGeorge
HHow
IItem
JJig
KKing
LLove
MMike
NNan
OOboe
PPeter
QQueen
RRoger
SSugar
TTare
UUncle
VVictor
WWilliam
XX-ray
YYoke
ZZebra
1Wun
2Too
3Thuh-ree
4Fo-wer
5Fi-yiv
6Six
7Seven
8Ate
9Niner
0Ze-ro
Speak all numbers digit by digit, except in the case of even hundreds and thousands. That is, 10 is "wun ze-ro," 892 is "ate niner too," 1200 is "wun too hund-red," but 1000 is "wun thow-sand."


INTERNATIONAL MORSE CODE
A   .-
B   -...
C   -.-.
D   -..
E   .
F   ..-.
G   --.
H   ....
 I   ..
J   .---
K   -.-
L   .-..
M   --
N   -.
O   ---
P   .--.
Q   --.-
R   .-.
S   ...
T   -
U   ..-
V   ...-
W   .--
X   -..-
Y   -.--
Z   --..
0   -----
1   .----
2   ..---
3   ...--
4   ....-
5   .....
6   -....
7   --...
8   ---..
9   ----.
fullstop   .-.-.-
comma   --..--
   query   ..--..