NSGA Bremerhaven, Germany
Naval Security Group Activity


Staging Area'07
Thanks to Joe Glockner for this shot of the Staging Area 2007

OPERATIONS 1954-1956.

Prior to the establishment of the Todendorf Department, the parent command, Naval Advanced Base Bremerhaven maintained a SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) Van that would deploy to the U. S. Army Firing Range at Todendorf, and other locations along the East West German Border.

1 July 1945 - The Naval Advance Base (NAB) is established under the command of Captain Harold R. Holcomb for the purpose of providing security for former German fighting craft tenders and merchant marine vessles tied up in Bremerhaven dock area. The NAB also will operate the Weser River Patrol and provide minesweeping training.

29 June 1951 - The Naval Security Group Begins its first operations in Germany with the arrival of five Communications Technicians at Herzog, Germany base. Later in the Fall, the team moves to Bremerhaven and is attached to the 23rd Detachment of the 2nd Radio Squadron Mobile (RSM).

9 February 1953 - The Naval Security Group Detachment, Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (NSGDNELM) is established at Bremerhaven, under an officer in charge. The detachment is composed of seven officers and 107 enlisted men, and is administratively and logisticall subordinated to the Naval Advanced Base. The station is designated Navy Communications Unit Thirty Two Dog (NCU-32D)

31 December 1972 - Naval Security Group Activity, Bremerhaven, Germany disestablished.


Admin Bldg
The old Administration Building from German
days; "We went to work on the roof and
covered it with antennas."
Photo - Donald Millhorn
The following is from an article printed in the NCVA Cryptolog - Summer 1994 - "Bremerhaven Pioneer" - by Donald Millhorn. Additional information has been added by Don via email to me (11/99). I have inserted and rearranged the original article for better readability, I hope. :-) - Karl

"In 1951 the NSGD sent me and 5 or 6 others on a destroyer, (USS O'Hare DD-889) up over the Artic Circle. After leaving Norway we traveled again southward toward Germany. We got a message to disembark at Bremerhaven. Our team received orders to leave the O'hare and set up shop on the top floor of the Naval administration building."

"Our offices were on the top floor in the old German Navy submarine administration building. Our navy had taken control of the building because it didn't appear to have any bomb damage and it was inside the navy yard. All of the US Navy's admin offices were also located in this building. I had to get local German workers to help install the antennas on the roof."

"We had wire recorders but don't remember if we ever had any success recording. The braking system on the recorders usually managed to snap our wire right in the middle of any attempt."

"The first Bremerhaven station was born! "

"As with any project there has to be a beginning and we were fortunate to be chosen. As a team we were the ones destined to establish the ground work and I think we did a fine job. Looking back, our efforts seem very primitive in light of today's technology. My two-year tour was one of the nicest and most interesting of my career in government. I'm proud to have been a part of the Bremerhaven Station."

"I left in June 1953 and was replaced by Travis. The Air Force started arriving at this time, along with other US Navy personnel.* Our team was the first to arrive in Bremerhaven, but since I don't think we made much of an impact, I will gladly give your group (see note following) the credit for being first."

*Note: From Bernie Farrell, "I was one of the original 4 enlisted men sent to Bremerhaven along with Chief "Robbie" Robinson to open up the station. It was early 1953 and we worked in the Air Force Security Group area until our location was set up. Not sure of the other 3 enlistees names but I'll take a guess that they were: Bob Thome,Doug Matzke and "Ace" Bonner"."

1st Aniv. Invitation The following is from a letter printed in the NCVA Cryptolog - Spring 1993 - "Bremerhaven" - by R.M. Johns.

"I did not make a career of the Navy, but I have never forgotten the few years spent as a CT. I graduated from CTM shcool, San Diego, California in December 1952. My first duty sattion was 3801 Nebraska Avenue, Washington, DC. In March 1953 I was transferred to Bremerhaven, Germany and in August 1954 I reported to London where I completed my enlistment and returned to Naval Receiving Station, Washington, DC, for discharge in October 1955."

"I am enclosing a Xerox copy of an invitation I received to celebrate the first anniversary of USN 440 or NSGD Bremerhaven, Germany."

B'hvnCert The following is from CTOC Joe Oblinger stationed in Bremerhaven 63-65.

"I was a CTOC while in Bremerhaven and was the Comm. Chief and Div. Officer for Communications Dept. I also, had 4 first class PO's that made chief while working for me at one time (Don Harrison, John Pelitier, James Turner and Jim Taylor).

This is a certificate we made up while at Bremerhaven. It was when the Comm. Center began as a Department and no longer was part of OPS. Dept."

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