Constructing Bremerhaven Stationby Grady Lewis
Bremerhaven StationI had been in "Radio Printer" usually associated with non-Morse pioneer Milton Gaschk. I was introduced to these first rather primitive systems on Guam in 1946 where I became one of "Mother Gaschk's" boys along with "Spook" Macman and others, I think Jim Sakers was included in this group. We more or less found our orders were parallel with Gaschk and I made Chief in 1952, and went to a new non-Morse group at AFSA in Arlington, along with OB Lee. But Milt had been proposing NM for the new planned station in Bremerhaven and somehow OB Lee and I got orders for there as well, to establish non-Morse. We all had quarters in houses in Bremen with our families and we commuted to work, carpooling with Jim Forgey and others. . Our work location was a relatively small room upstairs, as the construction went on in a large space on the main floor across the hall and opposite from the Morse section. When we moved down, Jim Sakers took over general search, I did the division book work and OB Lee was the ops chief. A genius M branch chief, Sid Sneidar took care of all the engineering and keep us going as well as completing some items Milt Gasch (LT/LCDR) thought up.
Fortunately for us, the Air Force was in half the building, and Milt found they had equipment we did not have such as the great Bohemie 5C variable demodulator which could take care of any width of frequency keyed signals. The Air Force folks could not install these equipments until the AFHQ told them to, so we borrowed them and used them for all of my tour, and perhaps even a few years after!
One fine day the OIC was away and Benny Groundwater was acting OIC. NSGHQ sent a direct "do it" Morse assignment and there were not enough ops to do the job so naturally Benny came to non-Morse to steal some men. I remembered that NSA forgot to officially assign one job we were doing... so, since Milt Gaschk was also on a TAD trip, I told Groundwater we could give him 4 men from the "unassigned" task. So he sent in a message to NSA telling them we closed the NM position, and send an info copy to NSG HQ. CONSTERNATION! The next day NSG directed us to open the closed position and NSA modified the assignments across the hall to provide the men and made our position an official assignment! Always fun things going on in Bremerhaven!
Our houses in Bremen were given back to the original German owners, and we all moved to houses in Bremerhaven for a time, while the German Government built apartments for us folk. We lived there for about 4 months before getting orders to a new division in NSG HQ on Nebraska Ave, and it was populated with a lot of us folk from Bremerhaven. Milton Gaschk was ordered to the new NSG G51 as G-513, operations division, and I ended up as his assistant
It seems to me that most of the Bremerhaven people went on to greater things, The P/R foks with Tom Guinden and and Pat March was there for a time, and a number of folks like Pat March opened up Turkey and perhaps Cyprus as well. Bremerhaven was a great station.
Graydon (Grady) Lewis (CTTCS long RET)