Click a number or letter below to see the corresponding flag, light signal or morse sound.
Have you ever seen a Naval vessel with a light flashing, seemingly intermittently, and thought something was wrong, it was likely, that the signalman, or "skivvy waver" aboard was sending a message to another ship, or to a shore installation.
Ships also flew flags that sent a message. These were usually coded, or abbreviated. Each Flag generally represented an Alpha or Numeric or short Command !
Then there were times when you would see a sailor up on the bridge frantically waving his "skivvies" in a strange manner. Those were signal flags or Semaphore Flags and the method was called Semaphore. For a quick lesson on what the signalman had to learn, click on any letter or number above. Your are likely awake by now as the mouse cursor may have moved over the ship and woke everyone up with the revellie call.
This just demonstrates a small part of the things a signalman had to master and perform. Other duties of the Signalman include the handling and routing of incoming and outgoing messages, operate voice radio and repair all signal devices. A Signalman also Renders Honors to Ships and Boats and serves as Navigators.
The Rate of SM has since been obsolete for a few years now, as messages can be sent more efficiently with new electronic technology. Should that ever fail us, how would messages be sent.???
Simple, These forms of communications have been around for decades and can and will be used if need be !