Special Regulations
for Members of the 211th Coast Artillery


June 18, 1942



We are glad to have you on the Island and to be able to cooperate with you in the extremely important task of protecting San Francisco Harbor. We will, therefore, do everything possible to make your stay here as pleasant as possible. It will be helpful to us and to you, however, if you will bear in mind our problems and responsibilities while you are assigned to your present station.

First of all, you should remember that you are now stationed at a point where the utmost vigilence and alertness is required at all times. In addition to the responsibilities you have as a member of the military contingent, you also should realize that the inmates of the Alcatraz Penitentiary are a specially selected group requiring strict discipline and special routine to insure safe control and custody. Many of them are continually looking for weak links in the Government's prison service and that they will therefore be continually watching you and your actions in the hope of discovering some way by which they may effect their escape or embarass the Government. The safety of the institution, of the personnel, and your fellows, may depend upon your alertness and awareness of the new responsibilities which devolve upon you in your present assignment.

To discharge these responsibilities properly, you must use extreme care in seeing that by no chance tools, guns, knives, ammunition, or other articles which could possibly be used in an escape or a riot get into the possession of the inmates. If by any mischance you should have any reason to believe that possibly some contraband articles had fallen into the hands of the inmates, it should be reported immediately to the officer in charge of your detail. Also, you should not discuss under any circumstances where you are assigned at present. Friends of inmates of this institution may hear of your present post of duty and may importune you to aid them in bringing a message into the institution or make some contact for them with the prisoners. Furnishing general or specific information about the institution or inmates is strictly forbidden.

Your commanding officer regularly confers with the Warden and the Associate Warden, and any information which you think should be brought to our attention can be discussed at that time.

It is possible that while you are here at the institution some inmate may make an effort to escape or some emergency may arise. In such an event, the siren will be sounded and you will be expected to follow carefully the attached instructions. The institutional officers will handle the situation and you will not be expected to participate, and you will not be expected to take any action whatsoever unless given the direct order by your superior in command. All problems arising during an escape attempt, riot, or other emergency arising in the institution will be handled entirely by the institutional officers. Fire call and whistle signals relating to locations are posted in quarters near gun stations for your information.



June 18, 1942


  1. Remain on dock until officer in command arrives.

  2. Movement to or from gun positions will be made in double file or single file if circumstances require.

  3. Non-commissioned officer in command of each gun crew will have his men in column to move immediately upon arrival on dock. There must be no confusion because time is valuable.

  4. No gun crew nor any man or group of men will leave a designated place unless accompanied by the officer in command.

  5. Permission to leave any designated area can be granted only by officer in command.

  6. At no time nor under any circumstances will any man on duty on the Island converse with or attempt to draw the attention of any prisoner.

  7. Conversation with guards on the Island will only be in the line of duty.

  8. Members of gun crews will not walk around on roofs except on catwalks provided for that purpose and then only to perform necessary duties.

  9. Men will not hang over railings of gun positions where they are adjacent to the edge of the roof of the building, nor will they go to the edge of roofs of buildings.

  10. No attempt will be made to toss cigarettes, tobacco, candy, food, newspapers, magazines, or any other article to prisoners, and such articles must not be allowed to fall or be left where they may be picked up by prisoners.

  11. Care will be exercised that no tools, knives, equipment, or ammunition fall from gun positions.

  12. Magazines and newspapers will be destroyed as directed or taken back to the mainland.

  13. Left-over foodstuffs will disposed of as directed.

  14. No man will bring any firearms to the Island other than those required to perform the functions of the duties required.

  15. One man will be on duty with a rifle and sidearms at each gun position. No shell or clip or shells will be inserted in the rifle unless necessary for self-protection or for protection of equipment.[page two]

  16. Gun crews going off duty will be ready to leave their positions at 12:00 noon. Delay will not be tolerated.

  17. Cigarettes will be disposed of in receptacles provided for that purpose. Every precaution must be taken for fire prevention.

  18. The officer in command can be reached by calling either number 3452 or by using the inter-gun communication system. Calls will be placed only by a non-commissioned officer and only if necessary.

  19. Gun positions will be designated as follows:
    #1 On apartment building
    #2 On south end of cell block
    #3 On north end of cell block
    #4 On work shop
  20. No intoxicating liquors of any kind will be brought to the Island.

  21. It is a felony punishable by imprisonment to connive at, aid or assist a prisoner to escape, or to introduce or attempt to introduce upon the grounds of the prison any narcotic drug, weapon, or any contraband article, letter or message intended for any inmate.

These regulations will be kept posted at each gun position. When in doubt as to any regulations, ask the officer in command or a guard if one is available near your position.