U.S.S. Allen M. Sumner DD-692
Manual of Commands and Orders

The purpose of this publication is to make available a number of the more frequently used commands and orders. Standardization of commands and orders will reduce the number of mistakes which result from misunderstanding and misinterpretation. All hands should be reasonably familiar with all commands and orders listed. All hands should be thoroughly familiar with the commands used in their department. This is a preliminary edition.

"There is a sharp distinction between an order and a command, although both are used somewhat indiscriminately in referring to either. An order leaves the manner of execution in general up to the recipient of the order. An order does not always specify just when it shall be executed, but frequently fixes a certain time by which it must be executed. A command leaves nothing to the discretion of the recipient. It usually is peremptory, arbitrary, and implies execution at the time of its receipt unless otherwise specified."


When a message is received over I.C. system it must be acknowledged at once, i.e. "Foc's'le aye, aye".

Action Starboard (Port)

Command from either Conn or Control to train out directors and guns and form an ammunition train, given when target is first sighted or suspected. Applies also to torpedo directors and tubes.

Air (Surface) (Land) Target

This states the type of target to be expected. Directs preliminary dispositions for type target designated.

Air Bedding

Trice (tie) bedding to the life lines for airing.

Aircraft Alert

Be on the watch for planes; guns train to established standby positions covering their sectors.

All Hands to General Quarters

All hands man battle stations on the double.

All Hands to Quarters

All men assemble in their assigned parades for muster, or Captain's inspection.

All Hands Up Anchor or All Hands Bring Ship to Anchor

All hands to quarters. Divisions (whose duty it is) stand by ground tackle. Used in peace time, or in ceremonies.

All Men In [ ] Division Lay Up to the Quarterdeck

To muster at the designated place.

All Stations Report When Manned and Ready

A command given by Control while the circuit is being manned. Stations reply in numerical order. If a station misses, it comes in at the end.

Anchors Aweigh

The anchor has broken ground.

At Ease

A command given when it is desired to allow the men to relax at their stations.

Automatic Key-Fire

Guns are fired automatically by a gyro device as the ship rolls the guns across the target.

Avast or Avast Heaving

Stop, or stop heaving.

Away Fire and Rescue Party

Fire and rescue party muster with gear and be prepared to shove off to assist another ship in distress.

Barrage Fire

A method of rapid fire using a fixed range, or fuze setting; so that the target if it continues its course and speed will pass through it. The barrage must be relaid depending upon the movements of the target.


To make fast to a pin or cleat. Cancels or negates an order or information.

Belay That, or Belay the Last Word

Pay no attention to the command or order given, or cease action if the order has been placed partially into action.


To make fast; that is, to bend a cable is to make it fast to the anchor.

Boat the Oars

Place the oars in the boat.

Bombardment Fire

Fire at a shore target.

Break Arcs

A command to extinguish searchlight arcs.

Carrying [ ] Degrees Rudder, Sir

Report by helmsman to relief or conning officer giving average number of degrees right (left) rudder required to keep ship on course due to wind, tide, etc.

Carry On

Resume normal service of the battery. This command usually follows Silence. Also to continue with any type of work.

Cast Off All Lines

Let go all lines.

Catch a Turn

To take a turn with a rope quickly, usually for holding it temporarily.

Cease Firing, Cease Firing

Stop firing. Loaded guns will with permission of CO be unloaded by methods ordered from control unless previously directed to use another procedure, and will not be re-loaded until directed. This command does not necessarily mean the action is over. On this command gun captains report in order to control the rounds fired, conditions, guns and casualties.

Cease Tracking

Stop following the target and resume "alert" positions at stations.

Check Fire-Check Fire

Stop firing temporarily. All other functions of the control party and the gun crew continue. Loaded guns will remain loaded except that projectiles must not remain in hot guns; unload such guns according to ship's doctrine. Given normally when a short period of time is desired between salvos for shifting targets, introducing spots, etc. Remain ready to resume fire instantly.

Check (Two)

Men on number (two) line take turns and take a strain on this line. Release when a strain increases and check again. This order used when it is desired to check the ship's movement and not necessarily to stop it or to ease a parting line.

Clamp Down

Sprinkle water on the deck and swab down. Used in the tropics to keep the decks cool. Lower deck spaces also used for periodic minor cleanups of quarter deck, companion way, etc.

Clap On

To seize a rope and haul away

To make more, as clap on sail

Clear for Running

Ready to run out without fouling.

Clear the Forecastle

To have all personnel clear the forecastle and seek shelter.

Collective Fire

The whole battery fires at the same target.

Come Right to Course

Make a slight change in course; usually a change of less than fifteen degrees.

Commence Firing, Commence Firing

Start shooting.

Common, (High Explosive) (Illuminating) (Armor Piercing) Projectile

Directs preparation to fire the type of ammunition indicated.

Concentration Fire

Several ships fire at a single target.

Continuous Aim

Direct the method of master key which consist of keeping all director optics on the target horizon at all times. The master key may then be closed at any time.

Continuous Fire

The firing is not stopped for spots or corrections. Applies only to ships having automatic control of guns. Guns fire as soon as loaded, if at firing elevation. If necessary for guns to go to "loading" position then guns fire.

Cut In Steam and Exhaust to the Anchor Engine

Order given by the Officer of the Watch that valves in the steam and exhaust lines leading to the anchor engine are to be opened in preparation for using the anchor engine.

Darken Ship

Extinguish lights in accordance with ship's "DARKEN SHIP" instructions.

Dip and Convergence

Set dip and convergence in yards.

Direct Fire

Firing at a target that can be seen.

Director Continuous Fire

The director fires each turret when ready.

Director Control

A method of control in which the guns are trained and elevated either automatically or by matching indicators operated by director and associated instruments and as corrected by them.

Director (One) (Two) Control

Places the designated director in control.

Divided Control

Places each director in control of its own battery guns.

Divided Fire

The battery is divided into groups firing at two or more targets.

Double Up and Secure

Run out one or more bights and secure the lines.

Douse (Sail, Light, etc.)

To take, or lower a sail, to put out a light, to cover with water.

Drop Down, preferably Sprawl

All hands on deck drop down on their faces to avoid bomb fragments. The command ordinarily will only be given after aircraft have been observed to reach a bombing position, to have released their bombs, and just before the bombs reach the surface.

Dry Down the Decks/Squilgee (Squeegee) Down the Decks

To dry the decks, usually with a rubber scraper designed for this purpose, but they may be dried with a swab.

Ease It
Ease Away
Ease Off

Pay out enough to remove most of the strain.

Ease the Rudder

Decrease the present rudder angle; given when the ship is turning too rapidly or is coming to the heading required, for example, "Ease to 10".

Emergency Speed

Make all speed possible with the power available.


A statement made by the gun or director as he closes the firing key. It is a warning that the circuit has been closed. Care must be taken to avoid using "Fire" except when it is desired to actually shoot.

Fire 1, Fire 2, etc.

Used in torpedo control. Fire torpedoes from No. 1 tube, No. 2 tube, etc.

Fire (Location)

Indicates fire -- take action in accordance with ship's instructions.

Fire Continuous

Directs the type of fire in which each gun is fired individually and when ready, without regard for the condition of readiness of other guns.

Flank Speed

One quarter more than standard speed except for cruisers, destroyers, light mine layers and fast aircraft carriers. In cruisers, destroyers, light mine layers and fast aircraft carriers it is ten knots more than standard speed.

Flemish Down Boat Falls (or Other Lines)

To coil a line compactly and flat on the deck from the inside out in a clockwise direction.

Fore in Hand

To hold a line by hand while being made fast to a cleat.

Forward Gyro Out, All Repeaters Shifted to After Compass

A report that master compasses have been shifted.

Foul Weather Parade

All men assemble in their assigned parades inside the ship for muster, or Captain's inspection due to inclement weather.

Full Speed

One eighth more than standard speed except for cruisers, destroyers, light mine layers and fast aircraft carriers. In cruisers, destroyers, light mine layers and fast aircraft carriers it is five knots more than standard speed.

Furl Awnings

Roll awnings and secure them.

General Drills

Emergency drills for all hands, such as general quarters, abandon ship, fire, and collision.

General Quarters

All hands man battle stations on the double.

Get Out All Lines

Get all lines over to the piers.

Give Her More Rudder

Increase the rudder angle already on, to make her turn more rapidly.

Give Away

An order to begin rowing (pulling boats).


Slowly and carefully with the emphasis on carefully as "Walk Back Handsomely".

Haul Over All Gun Covers (or other covers as directed)

Put the stated covers on to protect from moisture.

Haul Over Hatch Hoods

Put hatch hoods in place.

Heave Round

To bring in the anchor. To revolve the drum of a capstan, winch or windlass.

Heave Short

Heave in chain until anchor is at short stay, (i.e. just resting on the bottom).

Hoist Away

An order to haul up or commence hoisting.

Hold (Two)

Take additional turns of line on bits and hold fast.

Hold Water

An order to check a pulling boat's headway by holding the blades of the oars vertically in the water with the oars at right angle to the keel.


A command by Conn, to Control, to illuminate an arc or bearing. In the case of starshell illumination, Illuminate is a command for all or designated gun to load starshells. Directs pointer to close firing key. In the case of searchlight illumination, Illuminate is a command for searchlights to open shutters.

In Bows

An order to the bow oarsman or oarsmen to boat their oars and stand by with boat hooks for a landing.

In Manual (40 mm)

The mount is operated by hand power.

Indicating Control

A method employed when the remote control system having failed, it is still possible to follow the signals transmitted from a distant station by manually matching indicators in the elevation, train, and fuze setting indicators.

Indirect Fire

Firing at a target that cannot be seen.

Individual Turret Fire

Each turret keeps firing locally. The director uses continuous aim.

Keep Her So

Given when the steersman reports her heading and it is desired to steady her.

Keep Silence About the Decks During Divine Service; Knock Off All Games and Radio, the Smoking Lamp is Out Throughout the Ship

After church call sounds the directions given will be carried out. This word is generally passed simultaneously with church call.

Knock Off Bright Work

Stop shining brass work, and stow gear used for cleaning.

Knock Off Scrubbing Clothes

Cease scrubbing clothes.

Knock off ship's work

Non watch standers finish ship's work.

Ladder In [ ] Yard Steps

A command from controlling spotter, to control party, to run a continuous in ladder.

Ladder Out [ ] Yard Steps

A command from controlling spotter, to control party, to run a continuous out ladder.

Lay Aft All the Eight O'Clock Reports or Make All the Eight O'Clock Reports

Heads of the departments report to the Executive Officer that the ship is secured.

Lay Aft the Anchor Watch to Muster

Anchor watch men serve as messengers for the Officer of the Deck. They muster at 2000 and set the first watch at 2100 when the ship is at anchor.

Lay Aft to the Fantail All Mess Cooks

Muster aft as directed.

Lay before the Mast all the Eight O'clock Reports

At 2000 all Department Heads, or their representatives, report to the Officer of the Deck the status of their departments.

Lay Below All Cooks and Messmen

All men go to their assigned messes, or draw gear for their assigned messes.

Lay For Starshell Spread to Starboard (Port)

A command from Control to guns when a starshell spread is to be fired. Load guns with starshells, elevate, and offset train dials in accordance with doctrine.

Lay Forward (or Aft) All the Sideboys

Two to eight sideboys report as directed. Sideboys are detailed from all divisions to tend the ship's side.

Lay In Oars

An order to a pulling boat's crew to stop pulling and to hold their oars with the blades horizontal and the oars at right angles to the keel of the boat.

Lay Mechanically In Elevation

The gun pointers use their handwheels to lay the gun at a certain elevation ordered by telephone or visual battle order.

Lay Up All Running Gear

Move all lines, blocks, hatch gratings, and other movable gear to keep it dry.

Lead Out Wash Deck Hose

Connect deck hose to fire-main.

Let Fall

An order to let the oars fall from the position of toss into the rowlocks.

Let Go

Let the anchor drop. (Knock the stopper clear of the chain).

Let Go the Painter

Order to the man in the bow handling the painter, to let go bow line.

Liberty Call, Liberty commences for the faithful and obedient in sections x, x and x to expire onboard at time, day, month, year

The most important command herein listed.


To load the gun. If this command is omitted the gun is loaded at the command "Commence Firing."

Local Control

All guns follow the target with their telescope or open sights and fire locally. Values of range, deflection, and fuze settings are determined at the guns.

Lower Away Together

Lower both falls or lines on the boat together.

Lower Forward (Aft)

Lower the fall or line which is forward or aft.

Make Up All Hatch Hoods

To take the hatch covers off, roll and secure them.

Man Overboard

Man the boat, or boats and pick up the man as soon as possible. Special conditions are set for war time.

Man the Chains

Leadsman report to chains with lead line preparatory to taking soundings.

Man Your Boat

Put on life preservers, or not according to standing orders and take station in your boat.

Manned and Ready

Each station reports "Manned and Ready" to Control when the station has been placed in the fully ready condition, with sufficient personnel present to service the station using primary methods. Control reports "Manned and Ready" to Conn when all stations have reported.

Master Key Fire

Several guns are fired by one firing key usually located at the director. On this command gun pointers close and lock firing keys, and set firing circuit transfer switches on "Motor Generator".

Match Parallax

Match parallax zero readers to make the guns toe in on a single target.

Match Pointers (Zero Readers) In Train (Elevation)

A command from the Control to guns (searchlights) to match coarse [course] and fine dials on the indicators.

Meet Her

Use the rudder to check the ship's swing. Usually given when the ship's head is nearing the desired course.

Mess Gear

Clear mess decks. (Gives mess cooks opportunity to lay out their gear).

Mind Your Rudder

A warning to exact more careful steering, or to put the steersman on the alert for the next command.

Nothing to the Right (Left)

This command is given when all small variations from the course must be kept to the left or right as the case may be.

Now Hear This

A phrase that calls attention to an order or command about to follow.

Number Three Smoking Black

The smoke watch reports that boiler #3 is making black smoke.


An order to stop pulling temporarily and to lay on oars.

On Deck the Starboard Watch (or Section) Relieve the Wheel and Lookouts

An order to change a watch.

On Target or, Target

Reported by director, trainer, and pointer when they are on target.

On the Double

On the run, quickly. Double time.

One Thousand Yards to Go

Information from the bridge as to the distance to go before anchoring.

Open (Close) Shutters

A command by Control to open (or close) the searchlight shutter.

Out Oars

To rig out the oars in the rowlocks ready for pulling.

Over the Side All Side Cleaners

Two or more side cleaners are detailed form all deck divisions to keep the ship's sides clean.

Parallax Range

Set parallax range in yards.

Pass Stopper

To hold line with a stopper or to reeve and secure a stopper.

Permission Is Granted to Blow Tubes On All Steaming Boilers

Permission is given by the Officer of the Deck to the engineers to remove soot (by blowing) when the wind is favorable and when authorized by the officer in tactical command.

Permission Is Granted to Remove Stack Cover

Permission is granted by the Officer of the Deck to remove stack cover.

Pipe Down Hammocks

Take hammocks to assigned billets, or let down bunks.

Pipe Down, Set the Watch, 1st Section

At Pipe Down just after getting underway, men fall out from quarters and continue ship's work.

Pipe to Breakfast (Dinner or Supper)

Go to chow. (Breakfast, dinner or supper).

Pointer (Trainer) Key Fire

Each gun or turret is fired by its own pointer's or trainer's key.

Port Engine Ahead Standard

To achieve the speed previously determined as standard. Orders relative to speed and direction of engines are given in the following sequence:

designate engine or engines.

designate direction.

designate speed.

Prepare to Illuminate on Bearing by [ ] Searchlight and/or Starshell

Command given by Conn, to Control, preparatory to illumination.

Primary Control

The normal method of director control using director's electronic fire control equipment or director's telescopes to range and bear on the target. The guns are usually in automatic. Plots send elevation and deflection as gun elevation order and gun train order.


All hands assemble at established parade.


The distance to the target reported form spotter, range-finder, or electronic equipment, or to set the range in yards on range dial or sword arm; this gives the elevation necessary to propel a projectile a given distance.

Rapid Continuous Fire

Each gun in each turret fires when loaded and ready.

Rapid Fire

The director fires whenever a certain number of turrets are ready. In case of rapid fire guns this is synonymous with continuous fire.


Each gun (mount or turret) reports "ready" to Control as soon as there are sufficient men at the station to fire a gun at a reduced rate by local method. Control reports "ready" to Conn or Bridge as soon as one gun can be fired.


To pass a rope through an aperture.

Repel [ ] Attack (Dive Bomber) (Torpedo Plane/PT)

A command to discontinue all other action. Guns to go to designated sector and to open fire automatically in accordance with doctrine on any place (etc.) sighted in the assigned sector.

Replace Ammunition

Put all ammunition in the loading line back into ready racks, or boxes, and fill up the empty spaces with ammunition from the magazines.

Report Casualties

Report at once any materiel and personnel casualties. More detailed reports should be made as the opportunity permits, but serious damage or injuries should be reported at once. After firing runs such reports are routine.

Resume Fire, Resume Fire

A command to continue fire after "Check Fire" has been given.

Resume Sectors or Take Sectors

Guns resume or assume ready status in their assigned sector.

Right (Left) 10 Degrees Rudder

Indicates a turn of the rudder a designated number of degrees to the right or to the left of amidships.

Right (Left) Full Rudder

Give all of the left or right rudder than can be obtained without danger of jamming rudder against ship.

Right (Left) Handsomely

To change the rudder angle with care, as in coming alongside a dock.

Right (Left) Standard Rudder

Indicates a turn of the rudder to the right or left of amidships that number of degrees necessary to make a turn with standard tactical diameter.

Rocking Ladder Yard Spread Yard Steps

A command from controlling spotter, to control party, to alternate ladder in and out.

Rudder Amidships

Place the rudder in line with the keel of the ship.

Rudder [ ] Degrees Right (Left), Sir

A report from the helmsman to the Conning Officer stating the degrees of the angle of the rudder.

Salvo Fire

When two or more guns of the same battery fire at once at the same target.

Scrub and Wash Clothes or Pipe Down Your Scrubbed and Washed Clothes

Order to wash clothes after the decks are wet down.

Scrub Bags (Hammocks or Mattress Covers) (as the case may be)

Order given on certain days after the washing of clothes.

Scrub Down the Decks With (Without) Sand; Scrub the Paint Work

Perform this work as directed.

Secondary Control

Any secondary method of gun control resorted to when primary method has failed. It includes telescope control, local control, and indicating control.

Secure From Battle Stations General Quarters (Set Condition Two/Three, Watch 1, or 2, or 3)

Certain battle stations are made fast or secured, and others left manned according to the condition of readiness ordered.

Secure From Darkened Ship or Light Ship

Resume conditions of lighted ship. The smoking lamp is lighted unless otherwise ordered.

Secure From General Quarters (Set Condition II/III Watch 1/2/3)

A command from Conn, repeated by Control, to secure or set condition of readiness designated.

Secure the Anchor

Stow the anchor and secure it for sea.

Set Switch in Automatic

The switch is set so that pointer and training motors are controlled by the director.

Set Switch in Local High

The switch is set in local high when the control is at the gun, and it is necessary to train and elevate rapidly.

Set Switch in Local Low

The switch is set in local low when the control is at the gun, and it is necessary to train and elevate slowly.

Set Taut

Take in the slack and take a strain on running gear preparatory to heaving it in. This is given before the order "Hoist Away".

Scale (Usually in mils - but sometimes arbitrary)

Set deflection in mils on the deflection scale.

She Does Not Answer Helm, Sir

A report from the steersman that there is lack of steerageway, or a casualty to the rudder mechanism. Example, "Ship's head is swinging left, Sir, rudder is full right; ship does not answer helm."


A command to the director or to a gun to fire a salvo or split salvo. (It is used when the control officer wishes to control personally the rate of fire.)

Shift Steering Control to the Conning Tower

Engage conning tower steering wheel and take steering control at Conn.

Shift the Rudder

Change from right to left or left to right rudder using the same amount on the opposite side.

Shift to Automatic

Guns cut in the power drives and receiver regulators and follow the director automatically by remote control.

Shift to Indicating

Gun pointers and trainers use their handwheels to train and elevate the gun, and matching pointers or zero readers in their indicators. Fuze settings indicated by fuze setting indicators.

Shift to Telescope

Gun pointers and trainers use their handwheels to train and elevate the gun and sight through their gunsight telescopes.

Shift to Uniform of the Day

All hands shift into uniform of the day except as directed to do otherwise.

Sight Angle

Set the sight angle in minutes on the sight angle dial.


Used in case of serious casualty, or in case of doubt as to the seriousness of the casualty. On this command every member of the gun crew, ammunition party and all in the vicinity, freeze in their tracks and remain there motionless without noise or confusion until further orders are given, or they hear the command "Carry On". All operating machinery (hoists, train, elevation, etc.), should be stopped!

Single Up

Take in all additional parts, leaving a single line at each station.


Cast off all but one turn from the bitts and slack line so that it dips sufficiently to be observed as slack by the officer conning from the bridge. Do not allow line to sag into water.

Slack Off Halyards

To give slack to the hoisting lines in wet weather to prevent lines from becoming too taut.

Slack Three

Take off turns and give the line slack.

Slack Away

Pay out the line, allowing it to form an easy bight.

Slow Fire

Firing a salvo only after the one before it has landed and its spot has been applied.

Smoking Lamp Is Lighted

Smoking is permitted throughout the ship, or in a designated area of the ship.

Smoking Lamp Is Out (or Out On the Foc'sle)

No smoking is permitted in the ship or in a given area of the ship.

Solution or Plot Ready

Plot has solved the problem and is ready to open fire.

Split Salvo

When less than the full number of guns in a multiple gun mount, or mounts, is ordered to fire on one salvo signal, the salvo is a split salvo. Split salvos may be used to reduce dispersion, conserve ammunition, or reduce salvo interval.

Sprawl -- See Drop Down

All hands on deck drop down on their faces to avoid bomb fragments. The command ordinarily will only be given after aircraft have been observed to reach a bombing position, to have released their bombs, and just before the bombs reach the contact point.

Spread Awnings

Stretch awnings in place.

Stand By

To be ready to act in relation to any operation. For example, in gunnery, a warning that "Commence Firing" may follow in a few seconds.

Stand By Your Hammocks

Go to hammock nettings or bunks and face aft.

Stand By Your Lines

Man the lines, ready to cast off.

Stand By the Oars

An order given to prepare to get the oars up or out.

Stand By to Test Out the Main Engine

Order given by the chief engineer to the fireroom that steam will be needed.

Stand By for a Mark on Gyro Repeaters

Compare compass repeaters with the standard compass.

Stand Easy

Allows the men to relax at their stations.

Standard Speed

A formation speed in knots through the water set by the officer in tactical command of the unit.

Start Tracking or Track

The control party starts tracking (following) the target. After this command the entire battery is in condition to open fire at a moment's notice using primary methods of control.

Start Warming Up Number (Three and Four) Generators

An order to cut in the steam to the turbines of these generators slowly so that they may be warmed up and made ready for use.


At this command:

ammunition parties prepare to send up or break out ammunition.

gun crews take their assigned stations, and prepare to service the battery.

hydraulic motors are started.

all control and director parties assume positions to open fire.

Steady/Steady As You Go/Keep Her So

Maintain the course the vessel is on at the instant of command.

Steam Is On the Anchor Engine

The anchor engine is ready for use; applies to steam anchor engines only.

Steer Astern of Ship Ahead

Follow in wake of ship ahead.

Steer Course Zero, Four, Zero

A command directing the helmsman to steer the course given.


The slowest speed at which the ship will steer.

Stern All

An order give to propel a pulling boat astern by the use of the oars.

Strike Arcs

Searchlights establish the arc with shutters closed for the purpose of quick illumination or for warming up or testing.

Strike the Ship's Bell

Ring it.

Submarine Alert

Be on the watch for torpedo attack; assume standby positions.

Swab Down (Deck)

Wash down deck.

Sweepers Man Your Brooms. (Clean Sweep Down Fore and Aft)

Assigned sweepers sweep as directed.

Tail On

An order to lay hold of a rope and pull away.

Take Clothes and Wash (Forward) and Stop Them On the Line

Tie the clothes on the line on the stated part of the ship.

Take Cover

Gun crews and others proceed to gun crew shelter on the double. Given when angle of elevation is such as to permit shell fragments falling on deck, or to avoid a spray gas attack.

Take Dive Attack Sectors

Place battery in fully ready condition to repel a surprise glide, dive or strafing attack. Guns elevate 60 and trained in center of own sector.

Take in the Slack

Heave in on the line, but do not take a strain.

Take a Heavy Strain

Pull in on the line to as much tension as you think it will stand. If winch is available use it.

Take a Strain

Put the line under tension.

Target Aircraft Sighted Bearing One Eight Zero Position Angle Two Five

Contact report sent to Air Defense, and in case of local control to the guns as well.

Target, Destroyer of the [ ] Class Sighted Bearing Zero Four Five

Contact report sent to Control and Plot by the spotter. Conn states exactly by type and bearing the target to be taken under fire. Control gives this same information to the guns so that if they must go to local control they may do so intelligently. Director trainer and pointer report to Control when on target, using the expression "On Target".

Telescope Control

Telescope control is that method of control in which the guns are pointed and/or trained locally by telescope, but the values of range deflection and fuze settings are transmitted from a control station. It does not necessarily mean that the guns are fired locally.

Test Circuits

Test telephones, voice tubes, salvo signals, cease firing, and all firing circuits. Guns report on condition of all items orally or by blinking ready light if all circuits test properly.

Test Transmission

Directs the members of the control party responsible for signals transmitted from the director to the battery to test the accuracy of transmission thereof, including: elevation (auto and indicating), train (auto and indicating), sight setting, fuze setting, battle order, shell order, shutter order.

Torpedo Defense

A condition of readiness for repelling a torpedo attack. All antisubmarine gun crews and control parties report to their stations on the double. Engineering and Damage Control stations go on the alert.

Toss Oars

An order given to raise the oars from the rowlocks to a perpendicular position, blades fore and aft, with the handles resting on the bottom of the boat.

Trice Clothes Line Clear of the Deck

Hoist clothes lines so that they do not interfere with other ship's work.

Turn To

Commence ship's work.

Turn To, Wet Down the Deck

Wet and scrub down the decks.

Two Blocks

When the two blocks of a tackle have been drawn as close together as possible. All the way up. This is said of boats, flags, or any objects which are hoisted with block and tackle.


Remove headwear.

Uniform of the Day is Undress Blue and White Hats

An order stating the uniform of the day, in this case undress blue.

Up All Hammocks

At 0700 all men who have mid-watches must get up and stow their hammocks.

Up behind

Slack up quickly. This order is normally used after "Walk Back Handsomely."

Up Oars

An order given to raise the oars from the boat to a position of toss.


To slack off and allow to run out.

Veer and Haul

To slack up and haul away alternately.

Very Well

An officer's response indicating that the situation is understood, for example, given to the steersman after his report. "All right" should not be used since it might be construed to mean "right rudder".

Walk Back

Keep the gear in hand but walk back with it towards the belaying point. This is usually used with "Handsomely" to prevent losing control of the boat before the fore-in-handling has been tested.

Warm Up All Booster Pumps and Stand By

An order to cut in the steam and warm up the pumps so that they may be used for transferring fuel oil.

Way Enough

An order given to finish the stroke, toss and boat the oars.

What's Your Heading

A request to the steersman to report the course he is on.