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The use of voice radio communication during the attack on Pearl Harbor was not possible because of the limited range; about 100 miles. The Japanese airmen therefore had to become masters of the use of Morse, a system of dots and dashes, short and long buzzes, sent by depressing a key to complete an electrical circuit. The system was invented by the American Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872), who erected the first telegraph line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore in 1844. His code was abandoned in maritime use from February 1999, but is still used to identify aircraft navigation beacons.

See also: Japanese airmen; Pearl Harbor