Harold Bride, the Titanic's junior wireless operator, sent distress signals as the ship took on water. He survived by clinging to an overturned collapsible lifeboat, although his feet were frostbitten. Here he is carried up a gangway after the rescue ship, the RMS Carpathia, arrived in New York. (Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
The upside down U.S. flag is an official signal of distress. THE FLAG CODE Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10 As amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress Approved July 7, 1976 § 176. (a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
Two Marconi operators photographed aboard the "Adriatic" sometime before the "Titanic" voyage. The man on the left is Jack Phillips, the heroic sender of the distress signals who stuck to his post and went down with the Titanic.
John (Jack) George Phillips As the Titanic was sinking, Phillips worked tirelessly to send wireless messages to other ships to enlist their assistance with the rescue of the Titanic's passengers and crew. He was lost in the sinking and the body never recovered. He was 25 years and 1 day old. His last birthday was on the Titanic.
Harold Bride was he was a junior wireless officer for the Titanic. He was an assistant to Jack Phillips. On the night of the sinking they sent out distress signals. On the night of sinking Bride relayed messages back and forth form his partner John Phillips to Captain Smith. He had survived but but suffered from badly frozen and crushed feet, due to the effects of the cold and the position in which he was sitting on the collapsible hull. He described the rescue by the Carpathia:
Upside down American Flag distress signal at Sacred Stone Camp, Standing Rock Reservation. Water is Life! Protect our waters! No DPL! Photo Credit: Ryan Scott http://liquidinkphotography.pixieset.com/standingrockindianreservationnd/