ACCUSE WIRELESS OPERATOR

New York Times

PHILADELPHIA, April 20---Charges were made to-day by the chief electrician of the United States scout cruiser Chester, which was sent to the aid of the Carpathia, having on board the survivors of the Titanic, that the wireless operators on board the Carpathia refused to give any information to the Chester "because there was no money in it for the operators or the wireless company who have charge of the apparatus aboard the Carpathia."

The charge made by Harold Bride, surviving operator of the Titanic, who declared in a newspaper article under his name that the operators of the Chester are inefficient, also was denied. It was asserted that James Gaffney, chief operator on the Chester, has been in the service eight years and knows more about wireless than any other man in the navy. He can send forty-five words a minute, or twenty-seven more words a minute than the Government requires. Frank Blackmoore, the second operator, can send about thirty-five words a minute. It was declared further that the operators use the Continental code.

The Chester, in charge of Capt. Decker, arrived at League Island late this afternoon. Capt. Decker went into conference immediately with Commandant Grant, but refused to give out the subject of the conference. He was shown the charges made by Bride against the Chester wireless operators, and ridiculed them. Further than that he refused to discuss the matter, and he refused to allow the operators to be seen, on the ground that they might be summoned before the Senate Investigating Committee, and he does not wish to anticipate their testimony.

The chief electrician of the Chester declared that the vessel carried the most powerful wireless equipment of any vessel in the navy, having a sending radius of 1,800 miles and a receiving radius of 1,400 miles. He declared that the Chester was within twelve miles of the Carpathia and asserted that even at that distance the operators on the Carpathia refused to give the Chester any information.

"The operator on the Carpathia flatly told us," said the chief electrician, "that he was holding out to send other messages and that he would give us no information. Our operators called continually, but could get no further response.

"There may be another reason why the Carpathia refused to give us information. We carry aboard the Chester the De Forest wireless as well as the United States wireless specialty outfits. Whenever possible, the Marconi operators show their displeasure at the operators who are using or are known to carry the equipment of other makes."

Related Biographies:

Harold Sydney Bride
Harold Thomas Cottam

Contributor

Mark Baber

500
Leave a comment...