4101. Upon arrival at a foreign port the officer in command of the Armed Guard will report arrival, with name of vessel, to the United States naval attaché or Navy liaison officer, if present, or other naval authority. Where no American naval authority is present and before permitting any of the Armed Guard to go ashore, consult with the United States consul. Furnish the consul with a complete list of the Armed Guard and obtain from him a certificate of identification for each man. If the naval authority or American consul indicate that naval personnel ashore are subject to internment, do not permit the crew to leave the ship in such port, or any other port of the same nationality.

4102. Should it be ascertained that the vessel is not to return direct to a United States port, but is to be diverted to some other route or service, the officer commanding the Armed Guard will promptly communicate this information to the United States authority with request that it be cabled to the Department.

4103. Requests for such repairs as may be necessary to insure effective functioning of the armament should be directed to the naval authority for action. Recommendations for changes or alterations in the armament or layout should be deferred pending arrival in a United States port.

4104. If in a British port, contact the local D. E. M. S. officer for repairs to armament or defense installations, or for special instructions regarding any British defense weapons temporarily installed on board. Armed Guard officers are not authorized to request the installation of foreign armaments or defensive equipments which are not approved by the Navy Department. In several British ports the D. E. M. S. offers instruction in antiaircraft gunnery which has proved to be of value to Armed Guard crews who have received this instruction. The course offered is generally based on conditions which the vessel may


expect to meet on its prospective voyage. The naval authority of the port should be requested to arrange for the instruction of the Armed Guard crew, and those members of the crew who have not undergone a refresher course within the previous four months should be directed to the D. E. M. S. if port conditions and time warrant this action. In cases where ships are assigned to special missions by the British War Transport, the Armed Guard officers are authorized to request the Naval authority to arrange with D. E. M. S. to furnish the latest information available which may be of value in carrying out the new assignment. In such cases it may be expedient to take advantage of the D. E. M. S. antiaircraft refresher course regardless of the elapsed time since the completion of the last U. S. refresher course.

4105. The original and one copy of the voyage report covering the out-bound passage shall be forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations via the naval authority under his endorsement. The Report of Changes in Naval Personnel Made Outside Continental United States should be forwarded to the addressees.

4106. Post sentry watches at the gangway and guns while in port. Attention is again directed to the fact that an Armed Guard posted at the gangway does not relieve the ship's master or officers from their responsibility to provide the ship's gangway watchmen. The Armed Guard personnel shall not in any way assume duties or responsibilities of the ship's gangway watchmen. The duties of the ship's gangway watchmen include tending mooring lines, checking merchant personnel on and off the ship, in some cases searching merchant marine personnel, tending boat lines, receiving boats alongside, tending the gangway against movements of the ship, receiving stores and packages, etc. It is the responsibility of the master or merchant officers to provide gangway watchmen. The commander of the Armed Guard should conform to the special instructions issued by the local naval authority, which may vary from port to port. However, Armed Guard officers are cautioned that as commanding officers of separate and detached units their responsibilities aboard ship are of first importance and should not be infringed upon by assignments to duty ashore in foreign ports.


4107. In ports where air attack is possible the Armed Guard commander shall retain such men on board to man antiaircraft machine guns for the proper protection of the vessel under all conditions. In the event of an air raid alarm while in port, the gun crews with the necessary merchant marine personnel aboard an armed merchant vessel shall man all antiaircraft guns and be prepared to repel air attacks in accordance with the particular port regulations. The guns shall be manned until the all clear is sounded. Upon arrival the Armed Guard commander shall consult with the Port Authority regarding the regulations or instructions in effect for defense against air attacks in that port.

4108. It is the duty of the master to see that all local port regulations are enforced in foreign ports. The defense of the vessel is the responsibility of the Armed Guard commander. The safety of the vessel is the responsibility of the master or senior deck officer in charge.

4109. The naval authority, consul or port authority should be consulted regarding liberty, health conditions ashore, and places considered out of bounds for U. S. armed forces. All enlisted men should be informed and cautioned of these conditions if granted liberty. They should be especially cautioned to preserve security of all information regarding the ship, its movements, armament, cargo, escorts, and particularly cautioned to maintain secrecy regarding sailings, destination, routes, and enemy actions. Men who cannot be trusted to maintain security of this information should not be granted liberty in foreign ports where they may be exposed to questioning by enemy agents.

4110. Each merchant vessel carries so-called pilot books or sailing directions which contain information regarding local conditions, health, climate, etc., of the various ports. The information contained therein, particularly precautions to be taken, should be of interest to the Armed Guard officer, and should be consulted before reaching port. The pilot books are part of the ship's navigation library; therefore, the Armed Guard officer should obtain the master's permission to consult the books. The pilot books must be promptly returned to the navigation officer and should never be retained by the Armed Guard officer except when actually being used for reference.


4111. In view of wartime transportation conditions, travel in foreign countries should be limited to only that necessary to carry out official duties. This applies especially to travel in the United Kingdom.



4201. The entire battery of guns, gun foundations and splinter protection, magazines, storerooms, and Armed Guard crew quarters should be made ready for inspection upon arrival in a United States port at the completion of a voyage.

4202. All reports and requests regarding guns, ammunition, supplies, repairs, and personnel should be prepared and ready for submittal to the port director upon arrival.

4203. The Armed Guard officer shall cooperate fully with the master by having the Armed Guard crew and their quarters ready to pass the port doctor, immigration and customs authorities.

4204. Report arrival of the vessel to the port director, request instructions and give the following information:

  1. Name of vessel and time of arrival.
  2. Steamship company, line, or agent.
  3. Pier at which docked or, if in stream, when and where it is expected to dock.
  4. Telephone number (with extension number) of nearest telephone to vessel's berth.

4205. Post port security watch as required in Chapter II, Section 4, Security in Port, and confer with the port director regarding local regulations relative to repelling air attacks.

4206. While at the port director's office:

  1. Deliver any secret data from an embassy entrusted to your care for further transmission.
  2. Obtain the probable sailing date of the vessel.
  3. Deliver the confidential report of voyage, stating whether or not report of outward passage was forwarded from abroad.
  4. Request for supplies addressed to the port director.
  5. Request for spare parts addressed to the port director.
  6. Request for ammunition addressed to the port director. State caliber, mark, and modification of guns, also amount of


    ammunition remaining on board. Arrange for disposal of empty cartridge cases and powder tanks.

  1. Request for all necessary repairs and alterations addressed to the port director. (Check against out-bound voyage report.)
  2. Complete list of personnel in Armed Guard and communications group addressed to the port director, giving Armed Guard center to which attached, and including any request (stating reasons) for replacement of any member. Be sure to furnish the port director with complete data to comply with Bureau of Naval Personnel Circular Letter No. 27-42, a copy of which may be read from his files.
  3. Any recommendations for advancement in rating or special commendations; any recommendations for immediate disciplinary action or for transmittal of disciplinary cases to the Armed Guard center.
  4. The attention of Armed Guard officers is directed to paragraph 1120 with regard to the report of discipline inflicted aboard required to be submitted to the Armed Guard center concerned.
  5. NOTE -- Each of the above should be a separate letter.

4207. Arrange with the port director to have your men paid. Arrange for rating examinations for those of your men who are eligible. See that partial pay cards are changed when a man's rate is changed.

4208. Make certain that the process of requisitioning supplies and equipment is started early enough to insure delivery before the sailing date.

4209. Representatives of the port director's office will board incoming ships to inspect the entire battery of guns, gun foundations and splinter protection, magazines and insulation, and Armed Guard crew quarters. Make certain your ship is ready. Be present at the inspection and call attention to anything that has not been satisfactory during the past voyage.

4210. Follow up on repairs, alterations, or additions to the vessel's armament and inform the port director of the progress being made to insure completion before sailing date. Also inform him of failure to receive supplies or personnel in ample time to insure delivery.


4211. Attention is directed to Chapter V, General Information, for additional subjects to be covered while in a United States port.

4212. Ordnance inspectors are available at port directors offices. Advantage should be taken of this service, which may be obtained upon request.

4213. Unsatisfactory relations between the master, merchant officers, and the Armed Guard should be brought to the attention of the port director with the view of holding a conference in his office between the parties involved to reach a satisfactory understanding of their respective responsibilities before the next voyage.

4214. The Armed Guard officer may grant leave and travel time up to a total of 4 days when the ship is in a continental United States port. Before such leave is granted, the Armed guard officer shall consult with the port director and make sure that said leave will expire 12 hours before sailing. If there is any likelihood of the ship sailing prior to the expiration of leave as above, leave will not be granted. In cases of emergency, additional leave may be granted by the Port Director.

4215. The Armed Guard commander should arrange through the port director for refresher courses for the Armed Guard crew, especially when in the ports of New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco where antiaircraft instruction and firing ranges are available for this purpose. At other ports, requests for such gunnery instruction as may be available should be made through the port director.

4216. In the port of New York, Armed Guard Mobile Training Units will visit the docks for instruction of merchant officers and seamen and Armed Guard crews at the ship. The master and Armed Guard commander should arrange to have as many merchant seamen and Navy men as are available take advantage of this instruction.


Section 3. REPORTS

NOTE: The full name of the ship, correctly spelled, the gross tonnage, and flag or registry shall be included in all reports, requisitions, and other correspondence for the proper identification of the ship. The class should also be stated,


such as S. S. (Steamship), M. S. (Motor Ship), U. S. A. T. (U. S. Army Transport), cargo, tanker, or passenger ship. This method of identification is essential to differentiate between ships with duplicate names. The correct gross tonnage will be found in the ship's papers and also marked on the main beam (generally in one of the hatch combings).

4301. Voyage Reports -- Upon completion of a passage either outward or homeward the officer or petty officer in command of the Armed Guard shall submit to the Chief of Naval Operations via the port director or naval attaché a confidential report in triplicate embodying the following:

  1. Name of the vessel, type of vessel, correct gross tonnage, flag or registry, type of cargo, owner of vessel, charter under which vessel is operating.
  2. Port of departure, date of departure, sailing in convoy or singly; if in convoy, number of ships, number of escort vessels or escort aircraft, speed of convoy, date and port of arrival.
  3. Contacts and action with the enemy, stating time and approximate position, or latitude and longitude and conditions of sea and weather. Give time of opening fire, ceasing fire, estimated firing range, tactical procedure during the engagement, casualties, other incidents. Give number and strength of the enemy, his actions during the encounter. Make as clear an estimate as possible of the results of the engagement. Include a list of Armed Guard and communication liaison personnel aboard during action. This list should indicate those killed, wounded, missing, or survivors. Notation should be made of the personnel whose actions were worthy of special mention, stating the reason therefor.
  4. A general résumé of the voyage (this shall not include all the daily routine entries in the Armed Guard log); any incidents out of the routine; what was the speed of the vessel; what lights were shown (if any); did vessel zig-zag in accordance with instructions?
  5. A brief statement should be included if the vessel was delayed in port due to lack of port facilities or for any other reason that resulted in loss of time or reasonable turn-around of the vessel.


  1. Did the commercial radio operator's appear to carry out wartime radio instructions for merchant vessels, particularly in regard to keeping intercepted messages confidential?
  2. Any defects or deficiencies in location or arrangements of the battery, or in equipment as regards material, personnel, or operation.
  3. Did master and officers of the ship carry out Wartime Instructions for Merchant Vessels?
  4. Recommendations tending to the improvement of greater efficiency of the service. Such recommendations should be carefully considered before including them in a formal report to the Chief of Naval Operations. In order to reduce the number of recommendations, all of which are subject to review at the Navy Department, The Armed Guard officer should check the Ordnance and Gunnery Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards to determine whether the suggestion is already covered in the above publications.
  5. Reports of improper procedure on the part of friendly aircraft approaching a merchant vessel. The report should state the time and location of the merchant vessel at the time of the occurrence. Accurate identification of the aircraft should be noted if obtainable.
  6. A brief description of training given at sea.

4302. Classification of voyage reports -- The above report is confidential and shall be made at the conclusion of both the outward and homeward passages, except that, in the case of area 2 vessels (operating from East, West, or Gulf Coasts of the United States to Alaskan waters south of Skagway, Hawaiian Islands or to East or West Coasts of South America including Central American waters) the report will be made as the conclusion of the homeward passage. In the case of coastwise vessels, it may be made monthly, on the first arrival of the vessel in home port following the beginning of the month.

4303. Defects and deficiencies, reporting -- Arming or defensing defects and deficiencies noted in the outbound voyage report should be repeated in the homeward bound voyage report if not corrected. This procedure will bring the defects or deficiencies to the attention of the port director for correction. If, for any reason, the defects or deficiencies are not


corrected at the first U. S. port of call, the Armed Guard commander should present the request to the port director at the next port.

4304. Port director's endorsement -- The port director will initiate action toward correcting deficiencies or defects and will make a brief statement of action taken in the premises when endorsing the report to the Chief of Naval Operations. If unable to make repairs or replacements due to lack of time or facilities, the forwarding endorsement should state if arrangements were made to correct deficiencies at the subsequent ports. The port director's endorsement should be on the back of the first page. Letters of transmittal are not required. The original and duplicate of the Voyage Report should be forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations. The triplicate may be retained by the port director.

4305. Code names of bases -- Armed Guard commanders are not to use the secret or confidential code names of bases in their reports or correspondence.

4306. Value of Suggestions -- Many valuable suggestions have been received in Voyage Reports from Armed Guard commanders. While it is not always possible to adopt a particular suggestion each is carefully considered as to its practicability toward furthering the war effort.

4307. Multiple Addressees -- In preparing reports and correspondence addressed to more than one addressee, it is essential that a copy be made and marked with a check mark against the addressee for whom the copy is intended.

4308. Voyage Report Form -- the following form is suggested for use in making out the Voyage Report. Copies of this form should be furnished the Armed Guard commander by the port director.



Date ____________________
From: ____________________________________________________
  Commanding Officer, Naval Armed Guard
  (c/o Armed Guard Center _______________________________).
  M. S.
S. S.
} _______________________________________ Gross Tons _______________
  Flag or Registry ____________________________________
To: Chief of Naval Operations
Via: Port Director, ______________________________________
Subject: Report of Voyage, {M. S. / S. S. }_______________________________________________
  From: _____________________________________________________________________
Reference: (a) General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships, 1944, Fourth Edition, paragraph 4301.
Enclosure: (A)
1. In accordance with reference (a), the following information is submitted:


Type of vessel ______________________________ Type of Cargo ____________________________
  Owner of vessel __________________________________________
  Chartered to _____________________________________________


Port of Departure ___________________________ Date ___________________
  Convoyed or independent
  Speed (Aver.) ____________________________________________
  No. of ships in convoy ______________________________________
  No. of escort vessels or aircraft _______________________________
  Port of arrival ______________________________ Date ____________________


(The rest of the page should be left blank to accommodate the individual report space requirements.)

[A sample of an actual voyage report can be found here. -- HyperWar Editor]


4309. Report of Personnel Changes Abroad. -- Copies of the following report of changes in Naval Personnel Made Outside Continental United States shall be furnished by port directors to Armed Guard commanders who are directed to furnish the information required in accordance with instructions noted on the form.

The information is required to provide the Navy Department with all changes in Armed Guard and communications liaison personnel made after the vessel leaves the continental United States.


Port ____________________
Date ____________________
From: __________________________________, Armed Guard Commander.
{MS/SS} __________________________________, Gross Tons ____________
  Flag or Registry ____________________________________________
To: Chief of Naval Operations.
  Chief of Naval Personnel.
  Armed Guard Center, _______________________________________
Subject: Changes in Naval Personnel Made Outside Continental U. S.
Reference: (a) General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships, 1944, Fourth Edition, paragraph 4309.


1. The following report of changes in naval personnel is submitted in accordance with reference (a):

Armed Guard Personnel Removed
Date Name Rating Branch Service No. * A.G.
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
Armed Guard Personnel Put Aboard
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
Communications Liaison Personnel Removed
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
Communications Liaison Personnel Put Aboard
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
Naval Personnel in Transit or on Board Not Previously Reported
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
------------- -------------------------------------- ------------- ------------- -------------------- ------------- -------------
* Armed Guard Center to Which Attached.
** State in brief reason for change.
Commanding Officer of Armed Guard
Forward one copy to each addressee.

[A sample of an actual personnel report can be found here. -- HyperWar Editor]


Note. -- This form is to be filled out by the Armed Guard officer just before sailing from a foreign port and left with the Naval authorities for forwarding on another vessel (one to which this report does not pertain).

All Armed Guard personnel removed or put aboard, communications liaison personnel removed or put aboard, naval personnel in transit or survivors of other vessels not previously reported shall be reported on this form.

Information appearing on this form shall be forwarded to the Chief of Naval Operations by the naval authorities by confidential dispatch with information copies to BuPers and the Armed Guard center or centers involved.

Commanders of Armed Guard Units shall obtain copies of this form from the port directors.


4310. Structural Test Firing. -- Proof rounds of 6-pounder, 3-inch, 4-inch, and 5-inch ammunition are to be fired in newly installed guns on merchant vessels at the first available opportunity after sailing. These rounds should be fired prior to entrance of the vessel in the zone of hostilities, at such time as is agreeable to the master, when weather conditions and safety precautions permit.

4311. Make certain that the ship is in a clear area before conducting test firing. In convoy guns should not be test fired without first securing permission of the escort commander through the convoy commodore. Especial care should be taken in the observation of all safety precautions when test firing guns.

4312. Test firing shall be as follows:

  1. For guns mounted on centerline of vessel -- One shot at zero degrees (0°) elevation. Three shots at five degrees (5°) less than maximum elevation.
  2. For guns mounted on broadside -- One shot at zero degrees (0°) elevation. Two shots at five degrees (5°) less than maximum elevation.

4313. Structural test firing of machine guns is not required. .30 caliber and .50 caliber machine guns, and 20 mm. antiaircraft guns should be tested with live ammunition daily at


dawn while in the zone of enemy aircraft operations. A short burst of fire is sufficient.

4314. Ammunition for test firing shall be from the vessel's regular allowance of service ammunition.

4315. After firing test shots the Armed Guard commander shall examine foundations, holding-down bolts etc., for sign of any damage thereto, and report the result of this examination by letter to the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of the Bureau of Ships, and the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. If difficulties or defects develop during test firing, a report should be made to the port director or other naval authority at the first port of call in order that the armament may be put in a serviceable condition.

4316. The following form shall be used for the test firing report required by paragraph 4315:

Date ________________
From: _______________________________________________________________________
  Commanding Officer, Naval Armed Guard
  (c/o Armed Guard Center __________________________________________________)
  {M.S. / S.S.}_____________________________ Gross Tons_______________________
  Flag or Registry____________________________________________________________
To: Chief of Naval Operations.
Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance.
Chief of the Bureau of Ships.
Subject: Structural Test Firing of Guns Installed on Armed U. S. Flag Merchant Vessels.
Reference: (a) General Instructions for Commanding Officers of Naval Armed Guards on Merchant Ships, 1944, Fourth Edition, paragraph 4315.

1. In accordance with reference (a) structural test firing of the following guns was carried out on the date indicated. Foundations, holding-down bolts, etc., were found to be in the condition noted.


Date Guns test fired --
size and location
Number of rounds fired Condition of gun foundation -
holding down bolts, etc.
Misfires or
(if any)
At 0° elevation At 5° less than maximum






Commanding Officer of Armed Guard

(Note -- Make one copy for each of multiple addressees.)

4317. Medical Report. -- In the event that there is sickness or physical injury among members of your gun crew, a formal report should be made to the Armed Guard center to which he is attached so that this may appear on the person's records even though the malady appears to be cleared up.

4318. Disaster Report. -- The Armed Guard commander shall instruct his men that in case of loss of the ship, the senior survivor should make a report of the loss insofar as circumstances permit. This report should include the approximate latitude and longitude of the occurrence with available particulars. The Armed Guard commander should provide his petty officers and leading seamen with copies of the Navy personnel crew list for information in case of loss of the vessel.

4319. Ship Turn-Around Report. -- The port director shall give the commanding officer of the Armed Guard copies of the instructions for Armed Guard officers' report to the Director, Naval Transportation Service on cargo handling and ship turnaround in foreign ports or advance bases, and shall ascertain from Armed Guard commanders on incoming ships if the report is ready and assist in forwarding it. This report should be brief and contain only such information as is requested. It


should be forwarded to the Director, Naval Transportation Service via the Port Director, and should not include other information contained in, or be confused with, the Voyage Report.

4320. Master and Armed Guard Officer. -- If the Armed Guard officer experiences any difficulties or misunderstandings of any import with the master, officers, or merchant crew with reference to defense of the ship, blackout, or other matters, the matter should be referred to the port director, or other naval authority as the case may be with the view of clearing up the difficulty. A conference between the port director, or naval authority, the master, and the Armed Guard officer generally results in a better understanding of the general situation and difficulties may be cleared away by this means. Trivialities or personal differences must be subjugated to essentials during time of war and should not be the subject of conferences or reports.


4321. The Master is responsible for the proper operation of the ship's Degaussing equipment in accordance with specific instructions furnished to him. The questions on the Degaussing Questionnaire for Merchant Vessels are to be answered by the Master and are subject to check by the Armed Guard officer.

4322. The Armed Guard officer should note the operation of the Degaussing system from time to time in order that he may be sufficiently informed to note the contents of the questionnaire as filled out and signed by the Master and then affix his signature indicating whether or not he has any comments regarding the answers submitted. If the Armed Guard officer differs with the Master's views in the premises, he shall write up his comments and attach them to the questionnaire before the Master submits it to the port director. A copy of such comments should be attached to the Armed Guard officer's Voyage Report.


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