NSGA Bremerhaven, Germany
Naval Security Group Activity
Bremerhaven Windjammer- Final Issue - June 30,1972 - Page 3


Staging Area
Staging Area

The Navy in Bremerhaven: 1945-1972

(Editor's Note: While this chronology deals in part with all naval activities in the Port City from the days of post-World War II occupation to the present, primary emphasis is placed on events relating to the Naval Security Group Activity, Bremerhaven. The Windjammer is grateful for information provided by the historical section of the Naval Security Group Command, Washington, D.C., and the Public Affairs Division of the U.S. Forces Support District, Norddeutschland. Particularly valuable was the use of files containing back issues dating to 1947 of the local Army newspaper, "The Port Reporter." )

June 1, 1945 - The Naval Advance Base (NAB) is established under the command of Captain Harold R. Holcomb for the purpose of furnishing security for former German fighting craft tenders and merchant marine vessels tied up in Bremerhaven dock areas, operating the Weser River Patrol, and providing minesweeping training.

March 1, 1950 - A port office of the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) is opened with Commander Dillon R. McMullen commanding.

March 25, 1950 - The first volunteer Naval Reserve unit to be activated in an occupied country is activated under the command of Commander C.P. Oakes.

May 6, 1950 - Assistant Secretary of the Navy John T. Kohler arrives for a tour and inspection of NAB, the MSTS office, and the Bremerhaven Port of Embarkation (BPE) area.

June 29, 1951 - The Naval Security Group begins its first operations in Germany with the arrival of a team of five Communications Technicians, headed by CTAC W.E. Robinson, at Herzog Base. Later in the fall, the team moves to Bremerhaven and is attached to the 23rd detachment of the 2nd Radio Squadron Mobile (RSM).

October 25, 1951 - Secretary of the Navy Dan A.Kimball wraps up a tour of naval units in the European command with a visit to NAB.

February 9, 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 logistically subordinate to NAB.

June 11, 1956 - The Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA), Bremerhaven, is established, with Michael B. Gillespie commanding. The manpower allowance for the activity is 25 officers and 488 enlisted men.

September 1956 - SK2 Edward C. White of NAB is selected as "Sailor of the MOnth," marking the first such award to be made by the Navy in Bremerhaven.

September 1956 - A detachment of WAVES arrives for duty with NSGA Bremerhaven, and has the distinction of being the only WAVE detachment in Germany.

May 1, 1957 - NAB is closed, and the major portion of its buildings are turned over to the German Navy. The Army Port of Embarkation takes over full logistical support of naval forces in the area. It is around this time that a separate Navy group, a detachment of NSGA Bremerhaven, is established at Todendorf.

July 1, 1960 - NSGA Todendorf is established under an officer-in-charge.

October 2, 1960 - The history-making nuclear powered submarine USS Triton, under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, arrives in Bremerhaven for a one-week visit at the invitation of the German Navy. An estimated 8,000 visitors turn out to see the submarine that made history by making a submerged circumnavigation of the globe (Feb-May 1960), a distance of 41,519 nautical miles, in 84 days. The Triton is the first U.S. Navy submarine to visit the port since the end of World War II.

November 1961 - CT2 Nancy Halvorson of NSGA Bremerhaven becomes the first WAVE to be selected as "Sailor of the Month" in the Port City.

February 16, 1962 - Commander Frederick W. Hitz Jr., commanding officer of NSGA Bremerhaven upon being informed of the critical nature of a violent storm that is pounding Bremerhaven, alerts all Navy personnel and orders needed facilities and equipment provided to the Army's Provost Marshal.

February 17, 1962 - With the storm still raging, Cdr Hitz details 25 Marines to the village of Schottwarden near Bremen, where earlier he had witnessed children attempting to scrape dirt from the ground to fill sandbags. The Marines, with trucks, haul sand and fill sandbags. Forming a line with members of the German Army, they help to prevent a major disaster.

July 4, 1962 - NSGA Bremerhaven sends a color guard to Aalborg, Denmark, to participate in annual Danish-American Independence Day celebrations. Giving an address at the celebration is former Vice President Richard M. Nixon.

May 1964 - CT2 W.G. Waggett is awarded a $25 U.S. Savings Bond for submitting the winning entry in a contest for designing a station insignia for NSGA Bremerhaven.

July 11, 1964 - Under Secretary of the Navy Paul B. Fay Jr. visits NSGA Bremerhaven and the MSTS Port Office during a tour of Naval installations in Europe.

July 1, 1965 - The headquarters of the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (MSTSELM), under the command of Captain Charles M. Cassel Jr., are moved from London to Bremerhaven.

February 18, 1966 - Eric J. Heiss, son of CWO Earl J. Heiss of the Army Terminal Command, becomes the first man to be enlisted into the Navy by the NSGA Bremerhaven Recruiting Office.

April 1966 - CT1 William E. Griffeth becomes the first NSGA Bremerhaven to reenlist under the newly-established Variable Reenlistment Bonus (VRB) program, receiving a total bonus of $7,575.

April 17, 1968 - Marking a "first" for NSGA Bremerhaven, and possibly the Navy, the triplet daughters of an Air Force master sergeant are enlisted into the WAVES. The new recruits are Andrea, Claudia, and Jessica Mahin, daughters of MSgt Lynn Mahin of the 1946th Communications Squadron, Berlin.

December 1968 - Volume I, Number 1 of the Bremerhaven Windjammer is published under editorship of JO2 Leslie Goldberg

October 1969 - The Navy in Bremerhaven gets its own radio program, "The Eve Watch," on AFN Bremerhaven. Catering to easy listening music, the program is hosted by CT1 William Remsing.

August 1, 1970 - Through a name change, MSTSELM becomes the Military Sealift Command, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (MSCELM).

May 1, 1971 - DK1 Robert E. Blair, receiving a meritorious advancement to DKC, becomes the first NSGA Bremerhaven sailor to be so advanced.

July 20-23, 1971 - Eleven NSGA Bremerhaven sailors journey to Nijmegen, the Netherlands, to take part in the 55th annual four-day Nijmegen Marches with over 14,000 marchers form 25 other countries.

October 4, 1971 - Secretary of the Navy John H. Chafee arrives in Bremerhaven for a tour of the facilities of NSGA Bremerhaven and MSCELM. While here, he addresses the Navy community at the Radio City Theater.

January 24, 1971 - A contingent of Bremerhaven Navymen and Marines arrive in Copenhagen to march in the funeral procession for the late King Frederik IX of Denmark. consisting of 20 NSGA Bremerhaven sailors, two from MSCELM, and five Marines of the Company "F" Marine Support Battalion; the group is the sole participating U.S. Military contingent. Heading the marchers is LCdr Robert Riker of NSGA Bremerhaven.

February 3, 1972 - NSGA Bremerhaven receives a message from Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt commending the contingent to King Frederick's funeral, and stating that their performance was "a moving and effective tribute to the Kingdom of Denmark and serve a service to the United States."

March 1972 - NSGA Bremerhaven is selected to represent European Naval Forces in the eighth annual competition for the Travis Trophy.

April 22, 1972 - Following months of rumors that NSGA Bremerhaven will be deactivated, Captain John S. Jennings, commanding officer, announces that the activity will be disestablished.

May 1972 - The NSGA Bremerhaven "Windjammers" are picked by the commander of the Naval Security Group Command as the Navy's finalist in Travis Trophy competition wit the Army and the Air Force, a fitting culmination of 20 years of Naval Security Group operations.

December 31, l972 - The U.S. Naval Security Group Activity, Bremerhaven, Germany, will haul down the flag.

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