Naval Security Group HFDF during the Cold War

I’m considering developing a presentation for the 2021 symposium on cryptologic history which will describe the NSG HFDF operations during the 1960s and 1970s. My first task will be to get permission from NSA to collect oral histories from HFDF operators. I’m not sure how successful I will be with that. However, the fact that oral histories from cryptologists in the WWII era were collected less than 40 years after the end of the war does give me some hope that some permission will be forthcoming.

There’s almost enough material in the excellent history of the Wahiawa Wullenweber commissioned by the National Park Service Historic American Buildings Survey to make up a presentation. You can find that report at:

This link gets you to the Library of Congress web site. You can download the full NPS reports using the “PDF” link on the left side of the page.

I included much of the text from this excellent report in my memoir after receiving permission from the NPS.

Back to the Blog

This blog has been idle for way too long now. I spent a lot of the summer of 2019 traveling and working another projects and totally ignored this blog. One of the things I was working on was a presentation for the Symposium on Cryptologic History sponsored by the NSA’s Center for Cryptologic History. The presentation was delivered on the 18th of October.

My symposium presentation was about the role played by the 1033-Class (Claud Jones Class) DE’s in collection of telemetry from Soviet missile tests in the North Pacific. The DE’s had been upgraded with telemetry collection antennas, receivers and recorders. I was a division officer for a number of these missions between 1972 and 1974. You can download the PowerPoint file from the presentation using the link below.


When I put together the SECGRU Years post and file, I did a terrible proofreading job! It turns out that just pasting in Word text can result in some bad reformatting as WordPress tries to cope with the formatting instructions in the MS Word format. I finally got around to fixing most of the problems and the Pony Express excerpt is more readable and the photos actually appear in the document.

Now in Paperback

The SECGRU Years is now in the final approval stage at Amazon. It should be available for $6.99 by about the 12th of January. The text is the same as the Kindle version, but the paperback is formatted a bit differently. I can’t make any substantive changes without going through the NSA prepublication review process again, so any errors you tell me about will have to be collected until I’m ready to go through the review process again.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

This even applies to LGBs  (Large Gray Boats).

Why Now?

Why did I decide to set up a new web site many years after I closed down my business web site at ?

  1.  I’ve got a book coming out on Amazon:  “The SECGRU Years, Five years in the Naval Security Group”  and I wanted a place to collect comments and publicize the book.
  2. I want to add some blog posts about various technology issues.

This is my first blog—so you can expect some stumbling, mumbling, and a bit of confusion as I figure out how this blogging thing works.

Travel, Travel, Travel

Now that I’m officially retired, my goal is to spend at least a third of the year away from Corvallis.  I would like a lot of that travel to happen between May and September, not only because the weather is generally better at my destinations but because those are the prime hay fever months in Corvallis.  Corvallis is in the middle of one of the largest areas of grass seed production in the US.  As a result pollen is plentiful in the spring and summer.   I think I came close to my 4-month goal  in 2018.  Here are the trips I made:

January:  A one-week solo Amtrak trip to Denver.  It was very cold in the mountains, but there was little snow.  On my first full day in downtown Denver, the temperature was in the upper 70s!

February through Mid-April: I unretired for three months of half-time work with the Ocean Mixing Group at OSU.

May:  A three-week trip with Lisa on AMTRAK from Corvallis to LA to New Orleans, then to Washington DC.  A few observations:

  1. It takes about two days to cross Texas on the train.
  2. The AMTRAK menus are the same on all the trains–and after 5 days you’ve pretty well exhausted your choices on the dinner menu.
  3. Our cooking class in New Orleans was fun, resulted in a good meal, and included all the wine I could drink.
  4. Bourbon Street is wild in the evenings on any non-rainy night of the year.
  5. The Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art may be the best free museums in the world.  There are museums of the same quality in London and Paris, but they are free only a few days of the year.
  6. If you are willing to spend 20 minutes each way on the DC Metro, you can save $100 per day on hotel costs.  We stayed at a nice hotel in Bethesda.  It was two blocks from the Metro station and there were lots of restaurants nearby.

June:  A three-week solo road trip to Lone Pine California, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon NP, Taos, Leadville, CO, Rocky Mountain NP,  and Grand Tetons NP.  Total  distance over 2800 miles.  About half the nights were in campgrounds, the rest in the cheapest motels I could find—except in Las Vegas where I treated myself to three nights at the Tuscany Inn and Suites.

High Altitude–but acclimated by now.

Early Summer wildlife in the Rockies

July and August: Stayed in Corvallis while I built a tear-drop trailer for solo trips.  I got tired of pitching the tent and worrying about rain on my long road trip.

Ready for first test trip.  Still a lot of interior work to be done.

September:  I took a  one-week test trip to Camano Island State Park in Washington. Towing the teardrop trailer resulted in about 21MPG.  The 18′ Lance travel trailer in the background above reduces the Jeep mileage to about 13MPG.

Waiting for the Port Townsend to Coupeville ferry—in line with the big boys.

October:  I took a solo three-week cruise from Vancouver BC to Fort Lauderdale via the Panama Canal.  I returned just in time to rake leaves and get ready for next trip.

An engineering marvel–even after 100 Years.

I spent three days in Key West Florida after the cruise.  It was Fantasy Fest time–which involves costumes, body paint, and LOTS of drinking.

Can you decipher the code on the T-Shirt–you ARE looking at the T-Shirt, aren’t you?

I had to improvise my own costume for caped hero night from items in my hotel room.

I’m Bathman!  Same woman as previous night–she and her husband (Be greater than Average) are both retired Air Force.

November:  A two week trip to South America with Lisa.  We visited Maccu Pichu,  the Amazon rain forest and the Galapagos Islands.

Just at the end of the rain shower at Machu Pichu.

We saw lots of animals in the Galapagos.   I limited my self to one or two pictures per animal type.  Lisa and some other guests on our cruise boat outshot me about 30 to 1.

Tortoise in a hurry.