View Full Version : The old phonetic alphabet

Random Electron
5th Jun 2003, 05:36
Can anybody help with a bit of history: Who knows the old phonetic alphbet?

A = Able
B = Baker

Thats all I know. Anyone know the rest?
Thanks in advance.

5th Jun 2003, 05:41
y = yoke
p = peter

I think.

DX Wombat
5th Jun 2003, 07:05
C Charlie
D dog
G George
M Mother.
I'll try to fing the rest I'm sure I have it somewhere

5th Jun 2003, 10:21
Able Baker Charlie Dog Easy Fox George How Item Jig King Love Mike Nan Oboe Peter Queen Roger Sugar Tare Uncle Victor William X-Ray Yoke Zebra.

This (http://montgomery.cas.muohio.edu/meyersde/PhoneticAlphabets.htm) gives a few other variations! ;)

6th Jun 2003, 02:28
Very good s/s. So when did it change over? I'll give you a clue it was midnight! :p

Here's another clue; It was 19..... :E

6th Jun 2003, 03:35
Well, it must have been postwar (WW2). How about 1949, which was when ICAO came about?

I`m old enough to remember Trident pilots reading back the QNH as the "Nan How"

6th Jun 2003, 04:03
Wery wery close Loki.

(Why aren't you coming to the Bash?)


6th Jun 2003, 09:03
What about the other one
A for orses
B for mutton
C for miles
F for fescent
L for leather
O for the wings
Q for ages
R for mo
T for two

Im sure someone will fill the gaps::O

Four Seven Eleven
6th Jun 2003, 09:24
Some additions and variations:

D for Kate
G for police
I for an eye
K for answers
M for zeema
N for end
P for relief
Q for a bus
S for Williams
U for me
V for la france
Y for you no listen?
Z for breeze

Sultan Ismail
6th Jun 2003, 11:08

I went on a Signals course to Roman Way Camp, Colchester about 1955, at that time the alphabet was still Able Baker Charlie Dog.

The Comet which crashed was Yoke Peter, so the change must have been 1955/1956. Certainly it had changed by 1969 when I started my PPL.

Sultan Ismail

6th Jun 2003, 17:06
ICAO and the ITU iintroduced the new alphabet in 1956.

astir 8
6th Jun 2003, 18:00
Wasn't there a WWI set of radio/telephone military letters starting A = Ack?

hence Ack Ack = anti aircraft guns
Ack Emma = am
pip emma = pm

and T was Tock?????

6th Jun 2003, 19:06

B = Beer - now, how did I remember that!

Think that was the British Army - they changed to the American system, Able, Baker, etc, when our illustrious allies finally turned up to WWII (just kidding :p ) to avoid any confusion!



6th Jun 2003, 23:33
The "new" alphabet was used by the US Air Force by 1952. Our lab had a French/American fellow who liked to illustrate the poor choice of 'hotel' for H by pronouncing it a la French - 'otel.

7th Jun 2003, 02:45
One just about right.

It actually changed in June 1952 - adopted by ICAO - and the military, which I was active in then. NATO followed in 1956.

8th Jun 2003, 04:16

Can`t come to the bash, because I need to be up at Oh, Christ Thirty the next morning so I can shout at some pilots. Not too clever with a hangover!

Sir George Cayley
12th Jun 2003, 01:34
C for tHighlanders (tricky one that)
Q for Chips

Sir George Cayley

The air is a navigable ocean that laps at everyones door

Cornish Jack
12th Jun 2003, 23:49
Caused great problems for many of us 'come the changeover'. The change to FOXTROT produced a brain-wracked 'Mike Oboe Victor Sylvester Foxtrot'. !!
One of my mates was, for a while, operating the only serviceable Beverley from Aden around the Gulf and generated his own 'special' callsign - Mike Oscar Blunderbuss Xmas Gurgle... MOBXG - worked well, but only with the 'outstations - Riyan, Salalah, Masirah and Sharjah. Things were slightly more relaxed in those days - as long as IRIS wasn't around!! ;)

13th Jun 2003, 03:14
My flying career was just starting when Peter King became Papa Kilo.

I have it in my mind that M was Metro for a short while before becoming Mike again. Does anyone else remember that?

13th Jun 2003, 05:55
Cornish Jack,

At Bankstown, Sydney, a British Klemm Eagle, VH-UTI can occasionally be heard using the callsign, Urinary Tract Infection, and indeed the colour of this aeroplane is yellow!