File: A3-1.
 
     
 
HEADQUARTERS
 
 
EASTERN SEA FRONTIER
 
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
  STAFF MEMORANDUM NO. 87.  
     
 
Subject: Organization of the Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier.
 
        1.        The ESF watch on duty in the Joint Operations area will consist of the following personnel, whose duties are as indicated.
   
I        SURFACE CONTROL GROUP
   
Title Duties
   
Surface Controller         The Surface Controller on watch is the Operations Action Officer for surface activities of the Commander Eastern Sea Frontier. The Surface Controller while on watch heads the Operational Information functions of the Frontier. He maintains continuous close liaison with the Air Controller, and detailed cognizance of all important surface activities which are in progress, or immediately pending, throughout the Eastern Sea Frontier.
   
          (a) The primary duty of the Surface Controller is to see that prompt and vigorous action is taken in regard to enemy contacts. It is not enough that the Surface Controller merely check with the Naval District involved. He must be familiar with the craft available to the District (daily availability lists) and satisfy himself that all units are being used to best advantage, suggesting or, if necessary, ordering the dispatch of additional craft to the scene. Obtaining assistance from the other Districts or making requests to Cinclant for aid to meet a particular situation are action items on which he must be prepared to make decisions.
   
          (b) On being convinced of definite enemy activity within the waters of the Eastern Sea Frontier, the following action shall be taken by the Surface Controller:
   
                  (I) Notify the Commander Eastern Sea Frontier, Chief of Staff, Operations Officer and others interested.
 
 
 
- 1 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
                  (II) Notify the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet. In this connection use sub-tracking teletype as the most rapid secure method. If this means is not available, and urgency demands rapid transmission, use command telephone.
   
                  (III) Notify ESF Task Group Commanders and Task Unit Commanders who need to know by usual methods.
   
                  (IV) Notify the Communications Watch Officer to subordinate handling of other traffic in order to expedite dispatches regarding enemy activity, and suggest he confer with Washington C.W.O. regarding situation.
   
                  (V) Send local war warning or specific diversion orders for merchant shipping in the vicinity of, or approaching the area in which contact has been made. The best method of disseminating a local war warning within 300 miles of New York is to transmit it via Amagansett, which is connected by direct wire to D.C.G.O. office. If a general warning to merchant ships is in order, it must be sent to Cominch for dissemination. The C.W.O. is prepared to handle such messages.
   
                  (VI) Make estimate of the situation and determine what additional attack forces can be brought into action.
   
                  (VII) Check that the Operational Information Section is fully informed and developing plots of all shipping within 150 miles of the contact are adjusted for position each hour until the situation is determined. Verify that action charts are maintained to the proper scale for evaluation purposes, and that periodic summaries of action are prepared.
   
                  (VIII) Check that the Coastal Information Section is fully informed, and that steps are taken to develop the flow of information from the Costal areas in regard to pertinent enemy action.
 
     
     
 
- 2 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
                  (IX) Current instructions require the local Task Group Commander to close the port (or channel involved) whenever enemy mines are discovered off a port, and notify Commander Eastern Sea Frontier afterward. Upon notice of the closing of a port notify all interested addressees including the Task Group Commanders of the Eastern Sea Frontier Districts, Comgulfseafron, Comcaribseafron, Companseafron, Cominch, Cinclant, and Comservrelant. (If presence of mines is suspected but not verified the local Task Group Commander is directed to consult the Force Commander before taking action). Check to see what other action has been taken locally.
   
          (c) The Surface Controller supervises the Operational Information section of the watch, which includes the activities of Ships Plot, Merchant Ships Plot, and Submarine Plot.
   
          (d) The Surface Controller should be familiar with the location of rescue tugs and salvage vessels, and be prepared to follow the proper procedure for their respective employment in an emergency.
   
          (e) He initiates directives for obtaining supplementary or amplifying information, etc., and for disseminating information to Task Group Commanders concerned.
   
          (f) He executes orders of the Operations Officer, supervises all routine operations of surface elements, and in the absence of the Operations Officer he acts for him.
   
          (g) The Surface Controller will be alert to foresee with Frontier waters possible collisions of merchant ships, naval vessels and friendly submarines, and will guard in particular against any interference with convoy movements. He will be prepared to advise the
 
     
     
 
- 3 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
  Operations Officer or higher authority regarding the details of any movement or operation.
   
Title Duties
   
Operational Information Officer         The Operational Information Officer coordinates the collecting and recording of operational information. This officer is also Plotting Superintendent and is in general charge of the administration of the plotting section. He is available to assist the controllers and others in all matters pertaining to operational information and the plot. He maintains close contact with the Costal Information Section and the E.D.C. liaison officer so that all information can be properly coordinated.
   
Title Duties
   
Assistant Operational Information Officer         The Assistant Operational Information Officer is the officer in charge of the enemy submarine plotting (tracking) section. The duties involved in enemy submarine plotting will be the primary duties of this officer, as this type of information is at present the most important element of Operational Information.
   
Title Duties
   
Operational Information and Recording Officer of the Watch         The OPerational Information and Recording Officer of the Watch is the senior watch officer actually on duty in the Plotting Room Annex. He is also the senior assistant to the Surface Controller and shall assist the Surface Controller in every practicable manner. He will be available to relieve the Controller at the desk in the control booth while the Surface Controller inspects activities of the watch. In particular, however, the Operational Information and Recording Officer of the Watch is charged with centralizing, developing, and recording all items of operational information which may reach the Control Office area of the Headquarters, or which it may be
 
     
     
 
- 4 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
  practicable to obtain to supplement information which reaches the Headquarters in routine fashion. He maintains continuous close liaison and two-way exchange of information with the Air Operational (Combat) Information watch officer and the Coastal Information Officer of the watch. The duties of these information watch officers are complementary. Their fields of cognizance overlap and are not exclusively reserved to any one of them. Specifically, the Operational Information and Recording Officer of the Watch shall:
   
          (a) Assign tasks or adjust the assignments of work among the various officers on watch in the plotting rooms.
   
          (b) Read all incoming dispatches and such outgoing dispatches as may be of operational interest.
   
          (c) Supervise preparation of the Enemy Action Diary.
   
          (d) Be prepared to answer questions concerning any activity of which the Plotting Room and the various subdivisions thereof have any knowledge or responsibility. He shall be cognizant of enemy action, current and prospective movements of vessels, and all information of potential interest to the Surface Controller or the Operations Department, or any subdivision thereof.
   
          (e) Ensure prompt exchange of information with the E.D.C. liaison officer.
   
          (f) Assigns symbol numbers to be used in plotting on the situation boards, maintaining a master file of all numbers in use and those assigned to pending movements.
   
Title Duties
   
Ship Plot Watch Officers         Together with the Air Navigator, who is assigned to work with and assist these officers, the Ship Plot watch officers will include, as a minimum, a plotting officer, an assistant plotter, and a control board plotting officer.
 
     
     
 
- 5 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
  There will be a Chief Petty Officer assistant in addition to these. Various available officers will be assigned to day's duty as necessary to augment the plotting room detail during rush periods. The Ship Plot officers will maintain accurate plots of the movements of all friendly submarines, and of all surface units, friendly and enemy, within the Sea Frontier and in the adjacent areas to the extent which from time to time may be specified. They show on the various plotting boards in the control room annex the enemy submarine plot which is developed in the submarine plot sub-section. They provide plotting information as desired by the controllers and others who may be interested., and they prepare the specific information which is used to post the situation on the main situation board and on the symbol key board adjacent thereto. The plotting officer in direct charge of the situation board coordinates his activities with those of the air plotters and the 25th Anti-Submarine Wing plotters who are stationed in the control room at the adjacent desks.
   
Title Duties
   
Enemy Submarine Tracking Section The Enemy Submarine Tracking Section is headed by the Assistant Operational Information Officer. The section includes the submarine tracking officer, submarine tracking watch officers, and the officer in charge of files related to enemy action. This section is part of Operational Information.
   
          Specific duties are:
   
                  (a) To plot and track enemy submarines.
   
                  (b) To evaluate information on enemy submarines with a view toward predicting movements and capabilities of the enemy.
   
                  (c) To evaluate reports of enemy
 
     
     
 
- 6 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
  submarine contacts, sightings, D.F.'s, etc., and report conclusions to Controllers and others interested, stating the basis for those conclusions.
   
                  (d) To prepare enemy submarine estimates for ships departing from the ESF, and for ESF units at sea when required.
   
                  (e) To maintain teletype communication with Cominch Submarine Tracking Unit for the following purposes:
   
                          (I) Inform Cominch and C.G.S.F. daily of ESF estimate of enemy submarine situation, and to receive similar daily reports from the above.
   
                          (II) Upon approval of the controller, inform Cominch of enemy submarine contacts and sightings and other urgent enemy action reports.
   
                          (III) To be responsible for turning over to ESF Communications Supervisor on Watch all regular dispatch traffic received or transmitted over the submarine tracking teletype.
   
                  (f) To keep completely informed on all submarine detection and location devices so that accurate evaluation of contacts can be made, and also to be cognizant of all anti-submarine literature and information covering enemy submarines.
   
                  (g) The officer in charge of files dealing with enemy action shall keep in well-organized form records of sinkings, attacks, sightings and contacts of all sorts with the enemy, and shall prepare periodically reports on sinkings and enemy action.
   
                  (h) When not occupied with primary duties connected with submarine plot, submarine tracking officers will be available to assist other activities as directed by the Operational Information and Recording Officer of the Watch.
 
     
     
 
- 7 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
Title Duties
   
Coastal Information Section         The Coastal Information Section is in charge of the Frontier Intelligence Officer. This section will be closely coordinated with Operational Information.
          The Coastal Information Officer of the Watch is associated with the Joint Operations Office organization and stands watch in that office. He maintains continuous exchange of information with other watch officers, assists the controllers in developing and evaluating information from various sources as requested, and transmits information as directed, including synopses of information for dissemination to Task Group Commanders concerned. He will initiate the gathering of Coastal Information from District Coastal Information Sections, and will keep the Surface Controller and OPerational Information and Recording Officer of the Watch fully informed. In particular he will maintain close liaison with the Coastal Information Section of the Third Naval District.
   
Liaison Officer, EDC Collects and exchanges with all offices concerned, but especially the Operational Information and Coastal Information watch officers, information of operational significance or mutual interest.
   
II       AIR CONTROL GROUP
   
Air Controller The primary duty of the Air Controller is to see that prompt and vigorous action is taken upon all enemy contact reports, aircraft or surface distress situations, and other occasions for action by the Frontier air forces. He acts for the Air Officer, ESF, in connection with air operations and employment of air units, and maintains continuous cognizance of all air activities throughout the ESF area. He is responsible for arranging
 
     
     
 
- 8 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
  routing escort operations of the units controlled directly, and arranges reconnaissance or special missions as circumstances require. He coordinates his own activities with those of other headquarters concerned, and assists in coordinating operations of the respective Task Group Commanders with those of the adjacent commands - he keeps the Surface Controller fully informed, and obtains supplementary information from him. He reads all dispatches concerning operations and has custody of a file of secret messages of special significance (which are available to Ship Plot and the Surface Controller). He supervises the Air Operational (Combat) Information watch activities, and those of Air Plot. The Air Controller avails himself of the services of Ship Plot, primarily the Air Navigator, as required.
   
Title Duties
   
Ass't Controller (Air) An Assistant Air Controller will be on watch at all times. He keeps the Air Control log, notes or records important conversations or reports, assists the Air Controller in every possible manner with telephone calls, messages, etc., and is particularly charged with insuring that the Air Operational (Combat) information watch officer is informed of every significant occurrence which may come to the attention of the Air Controller or the Assistant.
   
Air Operational (Combat) Information Watch Officer He receives copies of all messages from Air Control and reads them, passing them on to the recorder for indexing and filing. In the absence of a recorder he assumes the duties of that officer. He obtains from the Air Controller (Assistant), and notes and records, following up as practicable or desirable, all reports and significant items of information. He assists the Controller in developing, filtering and evaluating information, and in planning aircraft missions, etc. He is responsible for
 
     
     
 
- 9 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
  insuring that the A/S Wing Controller, A-2 Watch Officer, and the Operational Information Watch Officer, are informed of all interesting information and of all significant activities originating with or coming to the attention of the Controller. He assembles data for the "form Zed" bulletins , and collects notes and operational data for the Air (Combat) Information Office.
   
Recorder The recorder is an assistant to the other officers of the watch. In particular he is an understudy for the air operational (Combat) information watch officer. He records, indexes, and files messages, and relieves the air operational watch officer during temporary absences. He assists the Surface Controller as practicable.
   
Air Plot Section (One plotter and Ass't. Air Plotters as required) This section maintains a log of aircraft movements, plots aircraft movements on the situation board, assembles and posts Navy aircraft availability data, and posts synopses of current operations on the mission board.
   
Air Navigator The Air Navigator on watch assists the Air Controller by plotting prospective movements or operations and preparing graphical analysis of operations where required. The Air Navigator stands his duty in Ship Plot, and assists Ship Plot, or when necessary Air Plot, to carry on routine work and meet any special demands upon the watch on duty.
   
25th A/S Wing Controller Controls all operations of 25th A/S Wing aircraft, and supervises the duty watch section of the Wing.
   
Ass't. 25th A/S Wing Controller Assists as practicable, and relieves as necessary, the Wing Controller.
 
     
     
 
- 10 -
 
     
     

 

     
     
 
January 8, 1943.
 
     
 
Subject: Organization of Joint Operations Control Room and Plotting Annex, Eastern Sea Frontier
 
A-2 Watch Officer Collects operational data and assembles information of all 25th A/S Wing operations.
   
Aerological Section  
   
Aerographer Keeps weather board corrected to latest teletype sequences; assembles weather data and assists in entering same, helps prepare weather maps, relays weather reports from the Weather Bureau (La Guardia Field), and supplies weather information and forecasts as required.
   
Also: Sentries
  Messengers
  Cleaning and
  Special details.
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
T. R. KURTZ,
Chief of Staff.
   
   
Distribution:  
E less 100, 101, 102.  
All Senior and Assistant  
Duty Officers.  
All Surface and Air Controllers.  
X 15 to 20.  
   
   
   
 
     
     
 
- 11 -
 
     
     
 

 


 

Click the icons to view the associated records

Return to the Eastern Sea Frontier page