Radio Callsigns

Wainui
3rd April 2005, 06:18
Ahoy there,
I am an ex Radio Officer now residing in New Zealand. I have sailed on a total of 18 UK ships and I am trying to remember some of their Radio Callsigns for my scrap book. Can anyone help please.
Cheers.

John Leary
3rd April 2005, 17:55
Hi

I have a copy of her Majesty's Stationery Office book from 1963 which lists all of the Signal Letters of United Kingdom and Commonwealth Ships that were afloat in that year. Like you as an ex RO I was interested in the call-signs of all of the Ships of the company that I sailed with. If any of the ships of interest to you were around in 1963 let me know and I will look them up for you.
Best wishes

John Leary

david smith
3rd April 2005, 22:14
I see the new Lloyds Shipping Index (LSI) includes all callsigns. My old April 1980 does not. Callsigns changed as ships changed owners or port of registry.

I have an old (1940) "Stand-By" Nautical Telegraph and Radio Code. This coded telegrams into five lettered sections and reduced the cost of messaging - how impersonal! Similarities to sms on mobile phones nowadays. I suppose we could all revert to the Q codes!

I remember reducing text and confusing Lands End Radio when using Telex over radio in the 80's.
Life as we knew it!

smokey
4th April 2005, 02:53
[B]YOu need a copy of the ITU list of ship stations..... Smokey

smokey
4th April 2005, 03:03
Do you of any radio station still transmitting on the 500khz band? Think there is one left maybe in California..... Smokey

Wainui
11th April 2005, 06:31
Hi again,
Sorry for the delay in responding. Here are the some of the ships that I require the Radio Callsigns for my scrap book. Most of them were commissioned in the early 1960s.

TREMORVAH
LA SELVA
CORBEACH
THAMESWOOD
WESTMEATH
GLAISDALE
LETITIA
KEPWICKHALL
HAMINEA
GOTHLAND
ESSO EXETER
MANCHESTER SHIPPER
JOURNALIST

All U.K. registered ships. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

stevecz
11th April 2005, 13:25
HAMINEA -- GTRX -- Shell Tankers -- check website -- http://www.helderline.nl/

stevecz
11th April 2005, 14:44
Some infor on three others, sorry no radio callsigns yet.

HAMINEA -- 12191 Tons, Tanker -- built Middlesbrough1955, scrapped 1972

GSN No. 20036769

Official No, 186292

LR/IMO 5141237

Call sign GTRX



GOTHLAND -- 16664 Tons, Ore -- built Port Glasgow 1961, scrapped 1979

GSN No. 20035111

Official No, 303456

LR/IMO 5107346

Sold 1977 re-named DAPO SKY



ESSO EXETER -- 17527 Tons, Tanker -- built Newcastle 1955, scrapped 1982

GSN No. 20026942

Official No, 186261

LR/IMO 5107346

Sold 1968 re-named GOOD HOPE



JOURNALIST -- 8366 Tons, Cargo -- built Sunderland 1954, scrapped 1982

GSN No. 20044964

Official No, 185487

LR/IMO 5176294

Sold 1973 re-named AGHIA THALASSINI

Sold 1980 re-named ELISSAR

John Leary
11th April 2005, 20:45
Hope the following helps. Sure is a great list of ships.

TREMORVAH MMWK
LA SELVA GXPM
CORBEACH MWPW
THAMESWOOD GWDV
WESTMEATH ????
GLAISDALE GBWG
LETITIA GHLU
KEPWICKHALL MXDG
HAMINEA GTRX
GOTHLAND GHQQ
ESSO EXETER GSTS
MANCHESTER SHIPPER MAPC
JOURNALIST MSFQ

Regards John

Wainui
11th April 2005, 23:32
Thank you all for your input. I'm a happy chappy again.
The "Westmeath" was an older ship, ex. NZ Shipping Co., I think. I did her last to Antwerp in 1962 where she was sold.

Regards.

ray1buck1
6th September 2005, 11:24
Re Call signs
"Westmeath "
There has been another looking for the sign
Have a look at this link http://www.voy.com/149183/1842.html
came across looking for New Zealand Shipping "Pipiriki" on which a friends father sailed, John Walker from Lochwinnock Scotland I think in the early 60's
Hope it of use

BA204259
6th September 2005, 17:57
If any of the ships of interest to you were around in 1963 let me know and I will look them up for you.
Best wishes

John Leary

Hi John - I was on 11 ships (including HT leave reliefs) and I can clearly remember all the callsigns... or so I thought.

Wonder if you would be kind enough to settle this little dilemma for me?
Back in '62 I did a leave relief on Blue Star's "Auckland Star". I remember the callsign as ZFBF but someone else says he is equally sure that it was in fact ZFBQ. (She was registered in Hamilton, Bermuda). Would be grateful if you could have a shufti at your book and let me know.


Keeps me awake at night.. :rolleyes:

John Leary
6th September 2005, 20:15
Hi BA 204259

Seems funny calling someone by a number. Anyway have looked in my little blue book and I'm afraid you might still be tossing and turning as neither ZFBF or ZFBQ are listed. The only entry for Auckland Star is GJNU, Registered London, Reg Tonnage 7013, Official Number 196448.
Sorry if this is not what you were expecting.
Regards
John

BA204259
6th September 2005, 20:38
Hi John

Thanks for your speedy reply. It is the same ship. Just looking in my Discharge Book and the Official Number is the same, 196448. GRT 11798 and, as you mention, Net tonnage 7013. I remember reading somewhere once that at that particular time she was the biggest reefer around.

She was registered with some Blue Star subsidiary in Bermuda (which I just can't remember the name of at the moment). Callsign was definitely ZFBF (or Q), but now that you mention GJNU bells ring faintly, (very faintly), that sometime after I'd been on her she bcame UK registered.

Possibly some old Blue Star hand may see this and be able to confirm that one way or t'other.

Anyhow, many thanks for taking the trouble to look, much appreciated.

Edit:- Just checked on the Blue Star website that "Auckland Star" was build in 1958 for the Salient Shipping Co (Bermuda) Ltd (a Blue Star concern) and registered in Hamilton. She was re-registered in London in '62, so that must have been shortly after my time on her.

John Leary
6th September 2005, 22:33
To BA 204259

Glad to have been of help
Regards
John

P_sparks
10th October 2005, 16:22
Corbeach, that was a good ship. I was on it in about 1969 running between Newport and Ijmuiden with steel rolls. Roll about she did too with all that weight right at the bottom of the holds. I remember I had one of those big brass type alarm clocks with bells on the top to wake me in time for the radio watches. My nextdoor neighbor, the mate, woke up and thought the ships fire alarm was going and responded accordingly! I was not to use it again! :)

I was better on deep sea voyages, I preferred the calmer weather!

ruud
10th October 2005, 19:32
Hope the following helps. Sure is a great list of ships.

WESTMEATH ????

Regards JohnAhoy,
Did you had this one already?
Westmeath 1939 ex Kaipaki-55=GQGJ
Auckland Star 1959=ZFBQ

BA204259
11th October 2005, 10:09
Auckland Star 1959=ZFBQ

Hi ruud - thanks for that bit of info, I could have sworn it was ZFBF but you've sorted it out in my mind now. The dreaded memory failure (again). You must have a copy of "Sparky's Bible".. :)

ruud
11th October 2005, 10:55
Ahoy,

No bible, sorry mate, it's just giving me
http://www.millan.net/anims/giffar/headache2.gif

from time to time(*))

beedeesea
28th February 2006, 21:15
Hi Pete,

Likewise here, many happy memories of Corbeach. Did some trips Hull-Setubal-Ghent on her, as well as usual London power station runs. Headquarters for most of us was the old "Seven Stars" in Northh Blyth. Happy days!
Regards,

Brian

nigelcollett
1st March 2006, 12:09
Hi all

On the subject of ship callsigns I am missing one for one of my ships, the m.v.Darro of Royal Mail built 1943 ON. 168452 and would be grateful if anybody could fill in the gap.

I was also relief on the Oilrig Staflo (anagram of Floats - semisubmersable) of Shell Exploration and I sure she keep radio watch as well as manning the teleprinter, so I assume she must have had a callsign as well. Anybody help?

NigelC
Ex R/O 63-69

John Leary
1st March 2006, 14:44
Hi Nigel
My little call-sign book records the call-sign of the Darro as MAID. Hope that helps.
Regards
John (*))

RayJordandpo
1st March 2006, 15:40
GZWP - Any takers?
Ray Jordan

ruud
1st March 2006, 16:19
Ahoy Ray,



Wasn't that for a collective call-sign?



GZWP



UNITED TOWING CO LTD

RayJordandpo
1st March 2006, 16:43
Ahoy Ray,



Wasn't that for a collective call-sign?



GZWP



UNITED TOWING CO LTD (Applause) Spot on Ruud - right first time
ray Jordan

nigelcollett
1st March 2006, 18:58
Tks John

The ship was a bit of an old MAID and well, also the old man was bit of an old woman

Regards

NigelC

djmorton
12th April 2006, 01:02
Hi Nigel,
Did you join Staflo im Middlesboro 1965/1966 ?
Regards
Denis

R651400
14th April 2006, 08:10
Do you of any radio station still transmitting on the 500khz band? Think there is one left maybe in California..... Smokey

There are no coast stations active on 500 kc/s though a move is afoot to secure this frequency by the American Maritime Radio Historical Society for museum and historical initiatives. Tests have been carried out between two former American coast stations KPH in California and KLB Seattle.

mikeg
28th August 2008, 13:48
Heres a list of Shell Tankers (UK) Ltd call letters as from June 1985.
Should jog a few ex GZWF R/O's memories (Smoke)

Glyndwr
28th August 2008, 16:08
Edinburgh Castle - GOHN

Very easy to remember as most of the Chief R/&Os were called John anyway -only joking but very easy to send via morse

Miketyneside
9th March 2009, 14:44
Corbeach, that was a good ship. I was on it in about 1969 running between Newport and Ijmuiden with steel rolls. Roll about she did too with all that weight right at the bottom of the holds. I remember I had one of those big brass type alarm clocks with bells on the top to wake me in time for the radio watches. My nextdoor neighbor, the mate, woke up and thought the ships fire alarm was going and responded accordingly! I was not to use it again! :)

I was better on deep sea voyages, I preferred the calmer weather!

Hi

My father Charles Sleightholme was Master of the Corbeach from the early sixties to when he retired in 1971. I remember him telling me that he was always having trouble with the welsh dockers because he insisted on having the steele ingots tack welded together. It apperantly affected their bonus.

Just before he retired Corys were trying to sell the Corbeach and a party from British Nuclear Fuels visited the ship as they were interested in her for transporting Nuclear waste to Japan. The old man told them that the ship was too unstable for such a voyage or cargo. Not sure if Cory's were pleased with him about that.

Did a few trips myself on the Corbeach during school summer holidays. I was always in the 2nd Mates on the port side. The 2nd Mate thought that cabin was too noisy so he resided in the Pilot's cabin on the stardboard side which was next one down the alleyway to the Radio officers cabin.

Nig Muddle
16th August 2010, 12:51
Hi again,
Sorry for the delay in responding. Here are the some of the ships that I require the Radio Callsigns for my scrap book. Most of them were commissioned in the early 1960s.

TREMORVAH
LA SELVA
CORBEACH
THAMESWOOD
WESTMEATH
GLAISDALE
LETITIA
KEPWICKHALL
HAMINEA
GOTHLAND
ESSO EXETER
MANCHESTER SHIPPER
JOURNALIST

All U.K. registered ships. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

I was R/O on Westmeath's final voyage. Middlesborough 1962.
I think it was GQGJ.

Nig Muddle
18th October 2010, 09:38
Thank you all for your input. I'm a happy chappy again.
The "Westmeath" was an older ship, ex. NZ Shipping Co., I think. I did her last to Antwerp in 1962 where she was sold.

Regards.

Westmeath sailed in to Middlebrough from Durban carrying ilmenite in November 1962. I understood it was to be scrapped - I hope so, the radio equipment was only just better than a crystal set. (I was R/O)

John Leary
11th January 2011, 16:19
Wainui
My call sign book for 1963 shows the call-signs as follows

TREMORVAH MMWK
LA SELVA GXPM
CORBEACH MWPW
THAMESWOOD GWDV
WESTMEATH ?
GLAISDALE GBWG
LETITIA GHLU
KEPWICKHALL MXDG
HAMINEA GTRX
GOTHLAND GHQQ
ESSO EXETER GSTS
MANCHESTER SHIPPER MAPC
JOURNALIST MSFQ

Hope this helps.
Best regards
John

Troppo
15th January 2011, 10:54
There are no coast stations active on 500 kc/s though a move is afoot to secure this frequency by the American Maritime Radio Historical Society for museum and historical initiatives. Tests have been carried out between two former American coast stations KPH in California and KLB Seattle.


Alas, no.

500 will be used for a new high speed version of NAVTEX.

ZUT444
20th February 2011, 17:37
When I lived in Bermuda 1961-1964, I believe two of the local radio stns were ZBM1 and ZBM2. Later in life became a ham opr, went to Little Cayman Island as ZF2VZ. Is it possible that the ship yoiu refer to might have been ZB-- ? 73

Roger Bentley
24th February 2011, 21:23
Re Westmeath confirming Nig's ident it was GQGJ. Regards Roger

Baulkham Hills
4th March 2011, 06:15
I sailed on a ship called the Tepozteco, the callsign was "3ED04" Panamian flag.
In 1992 it was pure w/t. The callsign was almost as long as the messages on that ship.
Mexican crew and a great run, west coast of South America to Mexico.
Absolutely basic accommodation but great people. Last ship I sailed on where
there was no restrictions on alcohol.

Cheers

Ron Stringer
4th March 2011, 09:59
When I lived in Bermuda 1961-1964, I believe two of the local radio stns were ZBM1 and ZBM2.

I remember Bermuda as being VRT, a Cable & Wireless station. But it was a long, long time ago.

john flower
2nd April 2013, 09:51
Seems Im coming a bit late on the scene, how time flies.Can anyone help me with the call signs for the following BALTISTAN, GRIT, WANDSWORTH, CITY OF ELY, HAWKWOOD, PORT VICTOR, BOWCOMBE,TEAKWOOD, MERCURY, RETRIEVER, all between 1959 and 1965. Appreciate yr help
John Flower.

Ivor Lloyd
2nd April 2013, 10:18
Hi all

On the subject of ship callsigns I am missing one for one of my ships, the m.v.Darro of Royal Mail built 1943 ON. 168452 and would be grateful if anybody could fill in the gap.

I was also relief on the Oilrig Staflo (anagram of Floats - semisubmersable) of Shell Exploration and I sure she keep radio watch as well as manning the teleprinter, so I assume she must have had a callsign as well. Anybody help?

NigelC
Ex R/O 63-69



Nigel
Sorry unable to help wiyh Call Sign but Darro rescued us in the Indian ocean Jan 1944 after we were torpedoed by U boat. She was en route to Australia but due to picking up 112 survivors she had to return to Aden to land us.
Ivor lloyd

John Leary
2nd April 2013, 12:44
John (Flower)

I hope the following helps. As there were three ships called mercury in 1963 I leave it to you to decide which one is correct.

BALTISTAN GQSV, GRIT MXZL, WANDSWORTH MNOJ, CITY OF ELY MFJM, HAWKWOOD GCLR, PORT VICTOR MSWK, BOWCOMBE GCMW,TEAKWOOD GHTJ, MERCURY GJXH/MRFJ/ZFDB, RETRIEVER GHMP.

Best regards
John

John Leary
2nd April 2013, 12:49
Nigel (Collett)

The call sign of MV Darrow was MAID.

Regards
John

expats
2nd April 2013, 17:29
Hi

My father Charles Sleightholme was Master of the Corbeach from the early sixties to when he retired in 1971. I remember him telling me that he was always having trouble with the welsh dockers because he insisted on having the steele ingots tack welded together. It apperantly affected their bonus.

Just before he retired Corys were trying to sell the Corbeach and a party from British Nuclear Fuels visited the ship as they were interested in her for transporting Nuclear waste to Japan. The old man told them that the ship was too unstable for such a voyage or cargo. Not sure if Cory's were pleased with him about that.

Did a few trips myself on the Corbeach during school summer holidays. I was always in the 2nd Mates on the port side. The 2nd Mate thought that cabin was too noisy so he resided in the Pilot's cabin on the stardboard side which was next one down the alleyway to the Radio officers cabin.

I was on the Corbeach at the end of the 1960s I'll look up the skipper in my discharge book....

Dryden
2nd April 2013, 17:59
Seems Im coming a bit late on the scene, how time flies.Can anyone help me with the call signs for the following BALTISTAN, GRIT, WANDSWORTH, CITY OF ELY, HAWKWOOD, PORT VICTOR, BOWCOMBE,TEAKWOOD, MERCURY, RETRIEVER, all between 1959 and 1965. Appreciate yr help
John Flower.
Hi John,
From the 1960 Signal Letters of British Ships I have the Wandsworth listed as MNDJ, City of Ely GCNQ and the Retriever as MRYW.
Cheers

john flower
3rd April 2013, 11:44
To John Leary and Dryden, many thanks for the call signs brilliant service.
I swallowed the anchor on the Mercury/GJXH in 65, emigrated and spent the next 26 years signing VJQ in Kalgoorlie Western Australia as R/O with the Royal Flying Doctor service, a bit like Portihead but with land stations, however never forgotten the key.....Cheers All John flower

hawkey01
5th April 2013, 17:26
John,

you may like to have a look at an old - Flying Doctor control room - from an old photo card, which I posted - a little older than your era I suspect!

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/210266/title/flying-doctor-radio-room/cat/530

Hawkey01

Larry Bennett
6th April 2013, 11:03
There are no coast stations active on 500 kc/s though a move is afoot to secure this frequency by the American Maritime Radio Historical Society for museum and historical initiatives. Tests have been carried out between two former American coast stations KPH in California and KLB Seattle.

According to official documents I have seen at work there are still a few CRSs operating on 500 kHz - almost all in Russia and South East Asia (espcially in Indonesia). In reality I suspect their operation is minimal but as they still appear in official lists of Radio Signals we have to assume the capability is still there. Probably for non-GMDSS vessels (local traffic) only who may still carry an R/O.

trotterdotpom
6th April 2013, 12:05
According to official documents I have seen at work there are still a few CRSs operating on 500 kHz - almost all in Russia and South East Asia (espcially in Indonesia). In reality I suspect their operation is minimal but as they still appear in official lists of Radio Signals we have to assume the capability is still there. Probably for non-GMDSS vessels (local traffic) only who may still carry an R/O.

The efficacy of Indonesian coast stations on 500 kcs was pretty poor in the days when everyone was using it. They are probably still sitting at their consoles reading newspapers and ignoring everything that's going on, same as they did years ago. Nobody told them that it's all over.

John T