6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 15, 2021 5:17 PM by gary santos

    Did Task Force 58 have a call sign?

    gary santos Wayfarer

      During WWII US Navy Task Groups had call signs, for example Task Group 77 was the famous 'Taffy'. I recently read the Admiral Mitscher biography by Theodore Taylor. Nowhere in the book did it mentioned that Task Force 58 ever operated with a call sign. Could this be possible?

        • Re: Did Task Force 58 have a call sign?
          Charles Miller Adventurer

          Dear Gary Santos,

           

          Thank you for contacting History Hub.

           

          After doing a search through the National Archives Catalog and a general Google search, it does not appear that Task Force 58 had any call sign designation.

           

          Here is a web page with information about Task Force 58 and the various operations that the task force was involved in during World War II.

          https://www.taskforce58.org/task-force-58-task-force-38/

           

          Here is an overview of some of the predominant series of World War II operational unit records in the custody of the National Archives.

          https://historyhub.history.gov/community/military-records/army-and-air-force-records/blog/2017/08/25/wwii-military-unit-records-at-the-national-archives

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          We hope this is helpful.  Best of luck with your research.

          • Re: Did Task Force 58 have a call sign?
            Alex Daverede Adventurer

            Gary,

             

            E. B. Potter wrote a superb biography of Admiral Arleigh Burke, who served as the chief of staff to Commander, Task Force 58, Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher.  On page 123 Potter mentions that Mitscher’s call sign on the Talk Between Ships (TBS) radio was Bald Eagle.

             

            I hope you find this information useful.

             

            A. J.

              • Re: Did Task Force 58 have a call sign?
                gary santos Wayfarer

                Thanks Alex, but I was looking for a call sign specifically for Task Force 58. Everything in the Pacific seemed to have pseudonyms, ships, flights of planes, islands, operations, individuals, yet Task Force 58 doesn't seem to have any such call signs. Even Task Groups had call signs. In the Battle off Samar we know the principle units not as Task Group 77.4 but as Taffy 1, 2, and 3.

                  • Re: Did Task Force 58 have a call sign?
                    Alex Daverede Adventurer

                    Gary,

                     

                    With regard to voice radio communications, the commander assumes the identity of the organization.  The commander may delegate others to speak for him on the TBS; however, the call sign belongs to both organization and commander.  In the Potter book, the pages prior to the one I cited spoke to how Arleigh Burke’s predecessor as TF 58 Chief of Staff, naval aviator Captain Truman Hedding, used to answer the TBS for Mitscher as the admiral did not like to talk on the radio.  Mitscher was annoyed that upon Burke’s arrival, Hedding no longer could answer on the TBS for CTF 58, and he had to do it himself, at least until Burke learned the CTF 58 ropes.

                     

                    A. J.