Prisoners of War, Instructions  
For Interrogation of - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - C-1
Enclosure to Above:  
Enemy Submarine--recovery of Information - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - C-5


Serial 01227316
May 19, 1942
From: The Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
To: All ships and Stations.
Subject: PRISONERS OF WAR, Instructions for interrogation of.
Reference: (a) C.N.O. Serial 0901116 dated December 5, 1941 (same subject).
  (This letter giving previous instructions for interrogation of prisoners of war was accompanied by a 27-page questionnaire for use in such cases as required formal interrogation at the time of capture.  As noted below, the letter is hereby cancelled and only the questionnaire should be retained.)
Enclosure: (A)  Vice C.N.O. Serial 01226416 dated May 11, 1942.
  (This enclosure is reprinted at the end of the subject letter.)
1.  Reference (a) is hereby cancelled and all copies will be destroyed.  Enclosure (A) to reference (a) will be retained for use with this letter.
2.  The following instructions for the handling and interrogation of prisoners of war captured by vessels of the United States Navy are based on the practical experience of the British Navy during the present war.  It is imperative that all officers be familiar with these instructions and that they be strictly adhered to if information of value to the service is to be obtained.
  (a) Immediately, as they are received on board, prisoners shall be segregated into three groups - officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men - and placed under armed guard.
  (b) These groups shall be kept separated from each other at all times.
  (c) Under no circumstances shall a prisoner officer be permitted to give orders or talk with any prisoner except those in the officer group.  Likewise non-commissioned officers and men shall only be permitted to talk with members of their own group.
June 1, 1942                             NAVY DEPARTMENT BULLETIN                       OpNav


  (d) All prisoners shall be segregated from the ship's company, under armed guard.  No fraternizing or conversation between prisoners and members of the ship's company, other than those regularly detailed as interpreters, shall be permitted.
  (e) Prisoners shall be minutely searched and special care will be taken to prevent anything, of whatever nature, from being thrown overboard or otherwise disposed of.  EVERYTHING MUST BE TAKEN FROM THE PRISONERS except necessary clothing.  Everything taken from them shall be made up into separate bundles and clearly marked with the name, rank and service number of the owner.  A receipt may be given if demanded.
  (f) The provisions of (e) provide an excellent opportunity to obtain the name, rank and number of every prisoner, as it holds out their only hope of having their personal possessions returned to them.
  (g) In making the search NOTHING MUST BE OVERLOOKED.  Scraps of paper, ticket stubs, receipts, personal letters, photographs, etc., may have great intelligence value when examined by trained interrogators with the necessary background knowledge to properly interpret the hidden meaning.
  (h) AFTER being segregated and searched, prisoners shall be cared for physically; i.e., given warm clothing, fed, and given medical attention, cigarettes, etc.  Our first interest is in obtaining all information of value to us and any humanitarian considerations must be subordinated to this interest.
  (i) If names have not been obtained during the search prisoners shall be required to give their name, rank and service number.  They are required to do this under the Geneva Convention and they are NOT required to give any other information unless they so desire.
  (j) To the list of prisoners should be added any pertinent remarks which may be of value to the interrogator at a later date.
  (k) Although some prisoners may be taken who are eager to talk under the stress and shock of action, capture and possible exposure, there shall be no attempt made to conduct a formal interrogation on board except as noted below.  If a prisoner captured is suffering from wounds or exposure to such a degree that he cannot be expected to survive until interned an interrogation may be undertaken.  In such a case the Questionnaire [Enclosure (A) to reference (a)] may be used as a guide, that part being used which is applicable to the technical information the prisoner may be presumed to possess.


  (l) After a prisoner has been so interrogated he will be kept away from all other prisoners and must not be permitted to talk with any other prisoner
  (m) Upon arrival in port the prisoners will be turned over to the representative of the Commandant of the Naval District or other proper authority, together with a statement of the
Serial 01227316
May 19, 1942
    action, list of prisoners, the prisoners' personal possessions, and any other material which may have been collected.  The Naval District, or other authority, will immediately notify the Division of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department, by despatch, and request instructions as to the disposition of the prisoners and their effects.  
  (o) In consideration of the natural and understandable desire for souvenirs of any action with the enemy the Division of Naval Intelligence will undertake to set aside such articles received as have no technical or intelligence value to be returned to the Commanding Officer of the forces involved for distribution to such of the personnel as he may deem fit.
  (p) When conditions permit, floating papers or other debris of possible intelligence value should be collected and retained for delivery to the proper authority upon making port.
3.  On every ship or station there can probably be found some among the officers and men with a knowledge of the language needed.  One or more should be selected to act as interpreters in dealing with the prisoners.  Those so detailed should be men of great patience and forbearance and with a considerate and sympathetic manner.  The men so detailed should be the only members of the ship's company permitted to hold any conversation with the prisoners.
4.  Officers and men detailed as interpreters should be present with the prisoners during meals and during their periods of exercise or relaxation.  From conversations overheard or from casual conversation (NOT INTERROGATION) with the prisoners some information may be gained.
5.  If sufficient men with language qualifications are available, one or more additions may be detailed to assist the prisoners or as part of the guard.  These men should not divulge their knowledge of the language to the prisoners and should never speak in the prisoner's language in their hearing.  They may, in this way, pick up information of value from conversations overheard between prisoners.
6.  A complete written record of such information should be made and copies included with the personal possessions and papers turned over to the shore authorities.
June 1, 1942                             NAVY DEPARTMENT BULLETIN                       OpNav


7.  Enclosure (A) is forwarded for information.  Although the instructions contained therein apply primarily to shore activities it will explain and clarify the reasons for the instructions contained herein and emphasize the necessity of strict compliance in order that our "team work" may carry through to a successful conclusion.
8.  While the provisions of this letter are primarily applicable to operations in or adjacent to the coastal waters of the United States, where there will be the least delay in bringing ashore prisoners of war, they are set forth as a model for the handling of prisoners of war by all commands.  Experience has shown that most favorable results can be gained through this procedure and it should be adhered to in operations in more remote areas so far as circumstances will permit.
9.  The necessity for strict adherence to these instructions is well illustrated by an incident which recently occurred.  After successfully sinking an enemy submarine the commanding officer and a large number of the crew were rescued by the engaging vessel.  When the prisoners were on board the captain took advantage of the opportunity to harangue them on the necessity of maintaining silence on all matters of interest to their captors.  When his harangue was understood by members of the capturing vessel's crew he was restrained from continuing.  However, the damage had been done and a well disciplined, security conscious company of prisoners arrived ashore.  During the passage to port there was also a large degree of fraternizing between prisoners and crew members which further assisted in building up enemy morale and in making the interrogators' task most difficult if not impossible.
                                                                                            F. J.  HORNE.


Serial # 01226416
May 11, 1942
From: The Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
To: All Sea Frontier Commanders.
  All District Commandants (Less 9 and 16).
Subject: ENEMY SUBMARINES - recovery of information from.
Reference: (a) C.N.O. Serial 0574016 dated Mar. 6, 1942 (same subject and file).
1.  Reference (a) is hereby superseded.
2.  In view of the present enemy submarine operations close to American shores, the possibility of sinking an enemy submarine must be reckoned with.  Under favorable conditions an enemy submarine so sunk would present an opportunity for the recovery of documents, personal effects and equipment of the highest intelligence value to our forces in the conduct of anti-submarine warfare.
3.  It must be realized by all members of our armed forces that if knowledge of the recovery of such material reaches the enemy immediate steps will be taken to offset the advantage we may have gained.  Furthermore, much information painstakingly compiled from other sources would be jeopardized, if not completely nullified, by such enemy countermeasures.
4.  The following instructions are issued for the guidance of Commanders of Sea Frontiers and District Commandants:
  (a) The Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department is charged with the collection and evaluation and dissemination of all intelligence information.
  (b) The Navy Department, Office of Naval Intelligence, must be informed immediately, by despatch, whenever an action takes place which may afford a reasonable possibility of recovering any materials, of any nature whatsoever, from an enemy submarine, or in which such materials have been recovered.
  (c) The Office of Naval Intelligence will immediately furnish a trained officer, familiar with the layout of enemy submarines and with the language of the enemy country, to report to the Commandant of the Naval District or Commander Sea Frontier involved.
June 1, 1942                             NAVY DEPARTMENT BULLETIN                       OpNav



  (d) Where salvage operations are to be undertaken, facilities will be afforded the representative of the Office of Naval Intelligence to be on board the salvage vessel during recovery operations so that his knowledge of enemy submarine construction and the internal arrangements for security may be available to the officer in charge.
  (e) All documents and all other materials and equipment, without exception, may be of great value.  This will be understood to include everything of any nature whatsoever recovered either by divers or otherwise.  No souvenirs of any kind are to be retained by anyone.  Floating scraps of paper or other wreckage should be carefully collected.
  (f) All documents, materials and equipment, without exception, will be delivered to the representative of the Office of Naval Intelligence for transmission to the Navy Department, Office of Naval Intelligence.  Materials recovered should pass through as few hands as possible to insure security, avoid damage, and permit complete examination with the minimum of delay.
  (g) The advice of the representative of the Office of Naval Intelligence will be taken as to order of precedence to be given articles to be recovered.
  (h) Divers entering a sunken submarine will be provided with a water proof bag in which papers or documents can be placed for removal, as important enemy papers are often soluble in salt water.
  (i) Only Navy divers should be used in any attempt to enter a sunken enemy submarine.  Secrecy can only be maintained by using service personnel throughout.
  (j) Upon receipt of documents, materials or equipment, in the Navy Department, the Office of Naval Intelligence will be responsible for their distribution to the cognizant Bureaus or Divisions within the Department.
  (k) It is recommended that a suitable and plausible story be prepared which can be circulated, if necessary, to explain any diving operations carried out within sight of persons outside the service.  Recovery of documents or other materials should always be denied.
5.  In consideration of the natural and understandable desire for souvenirs of any action with the enemy, the Office of Naval Intelligence will undertake to set aside such articles received which have no technical or intelligence value to be returned to the Commanding Officers of the forces effecting the sinking and recovery for distribution to such of their personnel as they may deem fit.
6.  It is not expected that the recovery of materials from any one submarine will yield a complete picture of enemy operations.  However, any material of whatever nature may prove to be of great value when considered in conjunction with other information assembled from other sources.
                                                                                        F.  J.  HORNE.



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