Copy No. 2 of three copies.
 
     
   
 
(COPY)
 
     
AMERICAN EMBASSY
OFFICE OF THE NAVAL ATTACHÉ
 
LONDON
 
     
                                                                                                    7 April 1942  
     
     
  Dear Riheldaffer:  
     
                          I have just had some experience with the secret code which I understand is in use between senior U-boat officers and which is also utilized by the Admiral in command of U-boats in communicating with U-boat personnel who are prisoners of war in England.  
     
                          It seems that only senior officers are taught this code.  The Germans apparently are not aware of the fact that the Admiralty has cracked the code.  It is customary for the Captain of a U-boat to make a short report to the German authorities; at least such reports have been deciphered from letters which the prisoner has written to his wife.  It is believed probable that she is unable to read the code and therefore must be presumed to pass on such letters to the U-boat Admiral if the German censor hasn't already caught it.  It seems that no letter has ever been received from the wife of a U-boat officer containing messages in code.  
     
 
The following is the code:
 
     
                          All letters from A to I inclusive are represented by a DOT.  
                          All letters from J to R inclusive are represented by a DASH.  
                          All letters from S to Z inclusive are represented by BLANKS  
     
                          Only the first letter of each word will be coded, and then with the help of the Morse code the entire message can be read.  
     
                          In one letter addressed to a prisoner recently the code was not employed in the first two paragraphs of the letter but only started in the third paragraph, thus:  
     
   
     
   
     
     

 

 
 

 
 
 
     
   
 
(COPY)
 
     
AMERICAN EMBASSY
OFFICE OF THE NAVAL ATTACHÉ
 
LONDON
 
     
     
   
     
                          The whole message, which was sent by a person named JURGEN MARDERBERG, Holtenauerstrasse 7, Kiel, to KAPITAEN LEUTNANT HORST HESSELBARTH (84878 Camp 1), who was captain of the U-99, reads as follows:  
     
          SOFORT        MELDEN        OB        GEHEIM        SACHEN        RAHMLOW  
     
          VERNICHTET  
     
                          The translation of this message is:  
     
          "REPORT AT ONCE IF SECRET MATTER RAHMLOW HAS BEEN DESTROYED"  
     
                          It is curious that this inquiry should have been sent from Kiel at such a late date.  Apparently RAHMLOW, who was captain of the U-570 and who is of course in very bad odor at home, never reported the details of the capture of his ship to the Admiral in Command of U-boats.  
     
                          This U-boat code is not known to the English censor.  All letters from and to naval prisoners of war are sent to COCK FOSTERS where the writing is tested to determine whether it includes any coded message.  Any deciphered part of the letter is then annexed to the original and sent to the Admiralty where it is determined whether the letter should be delivered to the prisoner or, in some other instances, whether the letter should be sent to Germany.  
     
                          I believe that it would be profitable if all letters containing coded messages were photographed and all such photographs subjected to a careful examination to determine whether the letters bear any secret symbols or characteristic & phraseology from which the addressee of any letter could determine with certitude that the letter is genuine.  
     
                          The occasion may arise at some time when it will be extremely important to send a spurious message to Germany with the view of attempting to learn information of importance.  I shall pursue this matter further and see whether I can obtain from the Admiralty from time to time copies of letters from or to prisoners containing messages in the U-boat code.  
     
   
     
     

 

 
 

 
 
Copy No. 2 of three copies.
 
     
   
 
(COPY)
 
     
AMERICAN EMBASSY
OFFICE OF THE NAVAL ATTACHÉ
 
LONDON
 
     
     
                                             With kindest regards.  
     
     
                                                                          Sincerely yours,  
                                                                     
                                                                          RALPH G. ALBRECHT,  
                                                                          Lieutenant Commander, USNR  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  Lieut. Comdr. John L. Riheldaffer, USN (RET),  
  Office of Naval Intelligence,  
  Navy Department,  
  Washington, D.C.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
 
 
     
     

 

 
 

 
 
Copy No. 4 of 4
 
 
Op-16-Z
A16-2(4)/A6-4
S E C R E T
 
 
 
 
                                                                                           September 20, 1942.
 
 
 
MEMORANDUM for Major George F. Parker, G.S.C.,
                                    Chief, Censorship Branch, G-2,
 
                                    War Department.
 
 
 
 
SUBJECT:          Prisoner of War Mail.
 
 
 
 
Enclosures:          (A)  54 letters and 16 postcards.
 
 
 
 
                1.        Enclosures (A), containing mail written by prisoners of war at Fort Hunt, Va., and Fort Bragg, N.C., are forwarded herewith.
 
 
                2.        The words "Canada", Canadian" or "Can" on the reverse side of the following letters should be deleted:
 
 
 
 
FROM TO
   
Willi Stiem Hermino Steim
Hans Schmutz Hans Schmutz
Hans Schmutz Elli Wriedt
Alfonse Schull Georg Schull
Johann Mycke Anna Mycke
Werner Trost Ingeborg Trost
Fritz Ackermann Erma Sander
Fritz Ackermann Karl Ackermann
Gerhard Gumtz Suzie Lohn
Gerhard Gumtz Martha Gumtz
Freidrich Lietzke Otto Lietzke
Gerhard Gumtz Martha Gumtz
Frtiz Ackermann Karl Ackermann
 
 
 
 
                    (a)  The letter from Wili Stiem to Eduard Stiem has the word "none" on the reverse side.  This should be deleted.
 
 
 
 
                    (b)  The letter from Horst Degen to Dr. Thea Bertog makes reference to walks with American Naval Officers.  It is believed that this portion should be deleted.
 
 
 
 
                    (c)  The letter from Ernst Kammerer to Melli Link mentions camps, trips and places seen, most of the letter should be deleted.
 
 
 
 
                    (d)  The letter from Gohlich to Paul Gohlich mentions the size of the camp.  This should be deleted.
 
 
 
 
- 1 -
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 
 
                                                                                                             9/20/42.
 
 
Op-16-Z
 
 
A16-2(4)/A6-4
 
 
S E C R E T
 
 
 
SUBJECT:          Prisoner of War Mail.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
 
 
                    (e)  The letter from Gerhard Schwendel to Willi Schwendel mentions "double wire barrier" which should be deleted.
 
 
 
 
                    (f)  The letter from Kruger to Fridel Kruger mentions a flower garden which should be deleted.
 
 
 
 
                    (g)  The letter from Rolfkurt Gebeschus to Gertrud Verter mentions a small room, nothing to read and nothing to do.  THis should be deleted.
 
 
 
                    (h)  The letter from Ernst Kammerer to Frau Ernst Kammerer mentions a trip through America which should be deleted.
 
 
 
                2.  Other than the objections mentioned above, there is no objection to those letters being mailed.  
 
 
 
 
                3.  Please acknowledge receipt on the attached copy of this letter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                            John L. Riheldaffer,
 
 
                                                                                     Commander, U.S. Navy, (Ret.).
 
 
 
 
 
 
         
 
 
                            (Date)
 
 
 
 
RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF THE ABOVE ENCLOSURES.
 
 
 
 
      
 
 
 
 
 
 
       
 
 
 
 
Dictated September 20, 1942.
 
 
        "        Cmdr. Riheldaffer.
 
 
Typed - Lesnick.
 
 
 
 
 
 
- 2 -
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
Copy No. 4 of 4
 
 
Op-16-Z
A16-2(4)/A6-4
S E C R E T
 
 
                                                                                           September 29, 1942.
 
 
 
MEMORANDUM for Major George F. Parker, G.S.C.,
                                    Chief, Censorship Branch, G-2,
 
                                    Room 2B667b, Pentagon Building,
 
 
                                    Arlington, Va.
 
     
 
SUBJECT:          Prisoner of War Letters.
 
 
 
 
Enclosures:          (A)  Forty-two letters and three postcards.
 
 
 
 
                1.        Enclosures (A) are returned herewith.
 
 
                2.        It is believed that the following deletions should be made:
 
 
 
 
                    (a)  Mention of survivors and bars on the window in Peitz's letter to Wilhelm Peitz.
 
 
                    (b)  Mention of name of his room companion and name of one of the casualties in Willi Stiem's letter to Hermine Stiem.
 
 
                    (c)  Mention of bars on windows in Becker's letter to Erika Hartig.
 
 
                    (d)  Mention of names of six casualties in Mycke's letter to Anni Mycke.
 
 
                    (e)  Reference to walks with naval officers and to prison camp in Sorber's letter to Gretel Kohler.
 
 
 
                  3.       Degen's letter to Admiral Donitz contains code and should not be sent.  
     
                  4.        Other than the above nothing objectionable has been found and there is no objection to their being mailed.  
     
                  5.        Please acknowledge receipt on the attached copy of this letter.  
     
  Dictated 9/29/42  
  Dictated by Cdr. Riheldaffer  
  Typed by London.  
                                                                                    John L. Riheldaffer,  
                                                                              Commander, U.S. Navy, (Ret.).                                  
     
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 
  In reply refer to Initials                                                                               Copy No. 1 of 4.  
             and No.  
 
 
 
NAVY DEPARTMENT
 
 
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
 
WASHINGTON
Op-16-Z
 
A16-2(4)/EF30                                                                      5 August 1943.
 
 
S E C R E T
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MEMORANDUM for Rear Admiral Schuirmann,
 
 
                                    F-2 (Cominch)
 
 
Subject:                        Spot Item.
 
 
 
 
Enclosure:                    (A)  Spot Item No. 107-A.
 
 
 
 
1.  Enclosure (A) is forwarded herewith for information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                      
 
 
                                                                                                John L. Riheldaffer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 
 
No. 107-A
 
 
 
 
S E C R E T                                                                                        5 August 1943.
 
 
 
 
 
                From information obtained and which is considered to be reliable it appears that a rendezvous is being arranged between a German U-boat and certain prisoners of war (probably U-boat commanding officers now interned ar Crossville) who are planning an escape.  The rendezvous may, alternatively, be for landing personnel from a U-boat who will co-operate in some way with the prisoners of war in question.
 
                The rendezvous is apparently arranged for 2200 or shortly thereafter on 7 January 1944, will be at 2047 local time.  Moonrise, nearly full, will be at 2000.
 
 
 
 
                Considering the length of time necessary to make arrangements through ordinary means of communication the date set cannot be considered as unusual.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

Click the icons to view the associated records

Return to the Permanent Internment page
Return to the POW page