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Virginia Utermohlen on: CQD Binns
Virginia Utermohlen Q: When did Jack Binns become known as CQD Binns?

VU: Well, clearly what the message that he had to send out at the beginning of this ordeal was CQD, CQD. So that any ship around or, in fact, anybody on the coast would know that this was a general message and not to any particular ship. So he sent out CQD repeatedly and finally was able to raise one of the other wireless operators. When he got back to shore, when he got to New York, he was given the nickname CQD Binns because, indeed, this was the message that he had originally sent out and eventually this became transformed into, oh, it has to mean something, it means "come quick, danger."

They even wrote a song about Binnsy called "Jack Binns" and it goes like this: There's a hole in the side of the ship, Jack Binns, the captain above him cried, give it, message it once to the wondering winds. Ay, ay sir, Jack Binns replied. The captain was brave but braver was he who sat in his room with his hand on the key and steadily sound his CQD to people there somewhere outside. Has anyone answered you yet, Jack Binns? The captain above him cried? Has anyone heeded the voice of the winds? Ay, ay sir, Jack Binns replied. The nations are coming to help us distressed, they've answered my call from the east and the west and Cutter and Liner are doing their best, the couriers of death to outride. The folk are all saved thanks to you, Jack Binns, the captain was at his side. It's a wonderful thing to talk with the winds, ay, ay sir, Jack Binns replied. Then out of from his vigils all lonely and long, he came to be caught in the arms of the throng and carried away in the story and son as far as the world is wide. And the refrain goes, Jack Binns, Jack Binns, bravest of all the crew, Jack Binns, Jack Binns, the world loves and honors you.

They even published poems in the newspaper about him and here's one: He isn't a hero booted and spurred, he hasn't a lance or a sword, he just sits in his post and passes the word that's to save all the hundreds aboard. Who is he? Binns, plain Binns, talk about heros and Binns just grins. He isn't a soldier who swoops on the foe with a cheer and a promise of glory, he just sticks to his job while the ship settles low and flashes the salvers the story. And his name? Binns. Plain Binns. Talk about glory and Binns just grins. He isn't a picturesque person at all to be spotted at once in a mob but it's cheerful to know what whatever befall there's a fellow like Binns on the job. That some Binns, Plain Binns will peel off his coat when trouble begins. Talk of Binns and America grins.

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