Bremerhaven is located in the state of Bremen, northwest Germany at the mouth of the Weser River near the North Sea. It is one of the largest fishing ports in Europe and is a major freight port. Founded in 1827, Bremerhaven was incorporated in 1939 by the town of Wesermünde. In 1947 the combined municipality was renamed Bremerhaven and returned to the state of Bremen. During WWII, Bremerhaven suffered heavy damage, especially on September 18, 1944 when the central town area was completely demolished.
On June 29, 1951, the Naval Security Group began its first operations in Germany with the arrival of five Communications Technicians (CT) at the Herzog, Germany base. In the Fall of 1951, the team moved to Bremerhaven and was attached to the 23rd Detachment of the 2nd Radio Squadron Mobile.
Prior to the establishment of the NSG Dept, Net Control Station Todendorf, Germany at Naval Advanced Base Bremerhaven maintained a Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Van that deployed to the U.S. Army Firing Range at Todendorf and other locations along the East-West German Border.
On February 9, 1953, the Naval Security Group Detachment, Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean were established at Bremerhaven, under an officer in charge. The detachment was composed of seven officers and 107 enlisted men, and was administratively and logistically subordinate to the Naval Advanced Base. The station was designated Navy Communications Unit Thirty Two Dog (NCU-32D)
On June 11, 1956, NSGA Bremerhaven was commissioned. Sixteen years later on December 31, 1972, NSGA Bremerhaven was disestablished and closed with most of the personnel and all the mission and functions transferred to NSG Det Augsburg, Germany. The command was formally disestablished on June 30, 1972, but operations continued beyond that date. During the period from May to December 1972, most sailors assigned to NSGA Bremerhaven were reassigned to NSGA Bremerhaven’s detachment at Augsburg.
As a result of NSGA Bremerhaven’s disestablishment, the detachment at Augsburg was redesignated as NSGA Augsburg. Of the 700 Navy and Marine Corps billets allocated to NSGA Bremerhaven, approximately half were transferred to NSGA Augsburg with the remainder transferred to NSGA Edzell, Scotland or NSGA Rota, Spain. Company “F” Marine Support Battalion was relocated to the Naval Station at Rota, Spain. At the time of official disestablishment NSGA Bremerhaven was the largest overseas NSGA.
Edited by Mario Vulcano
31 December 2015 at 13:27
I'm pretty sure I was the last sailor stationed at Bremerhaven. I transferred out in September 1972 but was sent for duty with the Army by counseling GIs on their HHG shipments from close of ops until my transfer to Ft. GG Meade in September 1972.
24 October 2021 at 04:07
I was there from Dec 69 – July 72. CTR-2, Bravo section. And most oddlymof all, after they closed ops, I was in army household baggage with John Turner, the firs guy to post here, amd a fine fellow.
I had an excellent supervisor — Chief Tex Berry, who was also onemof the funniest guys I’ve ever known. Capt Jennings was the last CO there and he was a joy to serve under.
I did a lot of traveling, am still in touch with my bestie from then, and all in all, it was a great experience.
31 December 2015 at 13:44
Fantastic, John! Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your service.
31 December 2015 at 16:14
Having been stationed at NSGA Todendorf in 1968, I was wondering if Todendorf was disestablished too at the same time.
6 October 2020 at 16:26
I was TAD at Todendorf for a short time. A lot better duty than B’haven.
31 December 2015 at 17:26
NSGA Tordenforf closed on May 15, 1976. Today, Todendorf is the site of a German Air Defense Firing Range, where live-fire demonstrations are conducted in support of NATO initiatives aimed at finding rapid and effective technological and non-technical counter-measures to counter the threat of terrorist attacks. Below are the historical dates of the command.
NSG Dept, NCS Todendorf, Germany 20 Jul 1956 – 01 May 1958
NSG Det Todendorf, Germany 01 May 1958 – 01 Jul 1960
Detachment of NSGA Bremerhaven, Germany
NSGA Todendorf, Germany 01 Jul 1960 – 15 May 1976
Thank you for stopping by our blog!
31 December 2015 at 22:37
I was stationed in Bremerhaven from 1966 to 1969. I was a CTR Brancher, Charlie Section. Any of my old shipmates around?
1 November 2018 at 17:47
I was stationed in Bremerhaven from 67 to 69. I transferred from Morrocco where I went after A school in Corry field as a CTR. Charlie Young and Dan Wood were friends. Also a Marine by the name of Paul Fripp. Had some good times at the Blue Angel Bar.
6 October 2020 at 16:29
I remember Fripp and the Blue Angel very well! What a character he was! I was there ’67 to ’70. Rained the whole friggin’ time.
27 December 2020 at 05:50
Terry, I was in T branch – Charlie section in Building 9, B-Haven from October 1967 to October 1969. Do you remember some ‘riot’ in Building 13 barracks? Not sure of the date, but it happened, I think, on the 3rd floor–Bravo section. Some damage was done to the head and fire extinguishers were emptied. I lived on the 2nd floor and heard the noise one night. The details were kept quiet. ALSO, I was outside the Army chow hall with some Charlie section guys when we witnessed a mid air crash between 2 fighter planes. The planes fell into the North Sea. We immediately went into the chow hall and told an Army Sgt. what we saw. That incident was kept quiet, too. I ran in some races around the Quad. How about the bars in downtown B-Haven? Zum Stell Deckein? Blue Angel? I saw a lot of Germans drinking warm beer—yuk! Of course, the beer selection was huge. Did you ever drink any Jagermeister? Master Hunter. Oh, also, do you remember the Jimmy Cheers incident? He was in our Charlie section, NIS arrested him for drug use. Many times I saw him asleep (!) on watch. He was one of 2 Black CT’s in T-Charlie section.
2 February 2017 at 10:14
I was stationed at nsga brmrhvn 1970 to early spring of 72. xfrd to nsa at ft meade md. navy had just changed duty station svc to 3 yrs from 2yrs..never knew base closed so shortly after I had left.
14 April 2019 at 01:38
I was stationed at Bremerhaven from August 54 until Sept 56 and then sent to Winter Harbor ME to finish my enlistment Apr 57. Played baseball 2 summers for Bremerhaven Blue Devils.
27 June 2017 at 07:08
I was a Marine stationed at Wederwaren, Bremerhaven in ’67 and ’68. Stationed at Co. “F” Marine Support Bn, I was an R, T, and I brancher (German). Was trained at 5 different Class A schools. Corry Field Fla. for R and T branch. DLIWC in Monterey Ca. for I branch and Voice intercept school at Goodfellow AFB in Tex. Also attended Radar Intercept school at Ft. Devans in Ayer Mass, but never worked in that field. Enjoyed it all. Was pals with Navy E-6 Walter Gill and Pete Joyner while in Bremerhaven. Remember the Blauer Angel or the Rokie Dokie?
6 October 2020 at 16:34
I remember you, Dave. Everybody called me Mitch back then, played on the Co F football team. Semper Fi. Don’t remember the Rokie Dokie, but I spent a lot of time at the Blauer Angel and Sleazies.
27 May 2018 at 21:48
I liked your story of Bremerhaven.I was stationed there from November of 66 to May of 67( CTR).I can’t remember if we were Bravo or Charlie Section.I do know we were the only building that had the Swastika in stone on it. Funny story,down town a dive bar Sleazy’s,you had to drink 3 shots of ratzeputz for initiation.
24 July 2018 at 16:07
I’m looking for my dad’s birth certificate. He was born here in Bremenhaven, Germany in 1971. Where can you go to get it?
Please and thank you.
9 August 2018 at 02:06
I was stationed in Bremerhaven 1962-64.
8 January 2019 at 00:40
I was stationed at NSGA Bremerhaven from 1957 to 1960 and again from 1970 to 1972 when I took charge of the detachment sent to AUGSBURG detachment I was the Senior Chief in charge of the detachment until relieved by LCDR Ruler when set was preparing to become an NSGA. CTRCS Thomas E. MOSHER
PSI was saluted by the Army people until they found out what I was. An Army major asked me what I would be if I were in the army. I told him I would be aBrigadier General.
8 January 2019 at 00:44
That LCDR was Ruler who was later relived by a CDR.
8 January 2019 at 00:48
That LCDR was Riker who was later relived by a CDR.
13 January 2019 at 05:35
Commander Donald Haines was the first commanding officer at NSGA Augsburg. I came down to field station Augsburg from Bremerhaven in June 1972. Jim Mcelfish
16 April 2019 at 15:53
I arrived at USNGA Bremerhaven on September 29, 1969 following training as a Communications Technician O-branch in Pensacola, Florida and departed on October 4, 1971 following reassignment to SUSLAK in Seoul, South Korea. My first six months of duty were during the time of year when days were very short and often rainy, dreary and damp. However, when Spring 1970 arrived I was able to take advantage of the great Deutsche Bundesbahn to spend much of my off-duty time traveling around western Europe. I also took many free trips on the US Army’s duty train that traveled nightly between Frankfurt and Bremerhaven to provide transportation for US military personnel dropping off or picking up their cars for shipment out of or in to the port of Bremerhaven. By traveling on the duty train when space was available I was then able to travel via the DB to Munich, Augsburg, Berchtesgaden, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Bamberg, Vienna, Innsbrueck,and elsewhere in Bavaria and Austria. I have very fond memories of my time at USNGA Bremerhaven and would love to go back to see how the city has changed since I left almost 50 years ago. I’m wondering if the 19th-century sailing ship “Seute Deern” is still berthed at the Columbus Quay.
27 December 2020 at 05:58
If you use Google Earth, you can see that the brick barracks buildings at the Army Staging Area, where NSGA was located–building 9–when I was there Oct. 1967 to Oct. 1969. The buildings are GONE. German government must have decided they were too old to keep / repair. The Quad can still be seen. Bob–CTT2- 1967-1970.
25 January 2021 at 15:36
Hi Theo, to answer your question, yes the Seute Deern is still there. It is quite a tourist attraction of course with the “Sweet Girl” on the bow. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Gallionsfigur_der_%22Seute_Deern%22,_Bremerhaven.jpg
25 May 2019 at 22:15
The “seute deern” is still berthed in the harbor as a museum. Have been there a number of times over the years. I was stationed with USNGA from 63-66.
8 September 2019 at 23:14
I was a T brancher there in ’65, ’66 and part of ’67. Bravo section. lived in that barrack with the swastica at first then “out on the economy”. Did a morning radio show on AFN as a sideline on weekday mornings. Was on that murderous 2-2-2 schedule. Went back in ’94 and coerced my way onto the staging area past a German security guard since I had worked there “way back”. Of course it was long closed down. The Sawstika was still there. There was a USAF pick up at the old operation building but no other sign of life. Sleazys was still there too! What an adventure!
27 December 2020 at 06:10
Just about lived at Sleazys from Oct. 1967-to Oct. 1969. Drank the sweet stuff, not the bitter / warm beer the Germans liked. Also drank at the Puerto Rican club across the street from Sleazys. Never saw any Puerto Ricans there. Remember that summer was only 8 weeks long. The rest of the year–cold, raining / snowing / foggy—zero sun. Southern Germany had the beautiful weather. Remember that Oktoberfest was in September–weird. I drove all of the autobahns, first in a VW bug and then in a sports car I bought from a guy leaving Germany. No speed limits back then! Ouch! Bob
27 February 2022 at 19:32
I was T branch 65 to 67 BravoSec. I recall the swastica. I heard the brick barracks had been SS housing during the war
8 September 2019 at 23:16
see above t brancher
30 September 2019 at 12:36
I was there from Aug. 69 to Feb. 70. Many of us over the years received early order to NACFAC Nicosia Cyprus.
7 October 2019 at 20:58
The last three CTs to leave Bremerhaven did so in late spring/early summer 1973. CTOC Joel Johnson, CTA1 Mac Macauley and myself, CTA1 George Hagerty. I am still in the process of writing an article for The Cryptolog on activities between June 72 and June 73. As the Captain’s Writer, I had the cat bird seat on everything that transpired.
11 April 2020 at 16:55
Hello George, one of us hade to stay behind and close the door. 69-71. George Leaf, CTM-1.
29 May 2020 at 21:37
Went thru Comm Tech Pensacola Florida in 1965. Arrived in Bremerhaven Feb 1966 and was there 2 years. Attached to the 2nd Marine Div, Company F. Had a blast. Many fond memories. Loved the travel and the bars. Esp the Blue Angel. And John Vincent if you read this Paul Fripp was a wild guy in those days. He’s still living in South Carolina.
6 October 2020 at 16:41
Hi, Art, I can believe Fripp is in South Carolina, but I’m surprised that he’s still living!
8 June 2020 at 00:25
Great to find this, your site! I was a dependent of an E6, PO1 Disbursing Clerk and we lived on Klinker Blink in one of the row house apartments from late ’61 to early ’64. Tried many times to “see” the U-boat pens rumored to still under the hospital near the harbor. We were befriended by Wilhelm Koenig and his wife, who owned a combo-toy, bike, sporting goods and Husqvarna sewing machine store, who had served as a submariner in the German Navy, but wouldn’t speak of it. My youngest sister was born about 2 weeks before we left on the USNS William O. Darby, space available across the No. Atlantic in Feb 64.
Since I was oldest and a son, Dad would often come home with a few Unit Crests, having convinced soldiers coming and departing, where Dad was exchanging currency, to “donate” one for his sons. In my eventual retirement, I’ll be mounting them on shields of leather in a form of heraldic salute along with research on each unit, and bequeath them to my brother and our sons.
Other memories were of riding a electric tram/street car with Mom, several times a week from near our Apt., to downtown to buy brotchen. I remember it snowing so much and deeply that we would dig tunnels through the snow between the Apt. Bldgs., I learned and played soccer before many of my American counterparts back home, but when I returned found no schools had teams yet.
We only vacationed once, in summer of 1963 before Kennedy’s assassination, and only got as far as Bavaria. The prior year ’62, Dad was Drill Sgt. for the only USN color guard in W. Europe at the time, and was ordered to drill them “crack” in preparation of a VIP visitor in late Summer. But, as you remember, Summer of 62 was a busy time for the Kennedy Admin with Khrushchev, Missile Crisis and brink of nuclear war. Yes, very fond memories of growing up in that time in history in Bremerhaven. Thanks to all who served in NSGA Bremerhaven, and write back if you think you ran across my Dad during those ingress/egress currency exchanges!
12 September 2020 at 04:35
I was the Armorer (GMG2) for the command. I left the end of June just before the closing and went to Naval Station Rodman, Panama. Does anyone remember Bobby Greenwood or BM1 Scott.
3 March 2021 at 03:21
I was a CT3 in Bremerhaven from mid Dec. ’63 to late June ’64. I arrived after spending a year in Adak. I had just turned 21. It was like being released from purgatory. I went wild in the bars on Lessingstrasse. Soon I bought a Karmann Ghia klunker from a local. I began traveling with a friend, Jerry Johnson, who had also recently arrived from Adak. We began driving over to the St. Pauli district of Hamburg. We were totally blown away by the nightlife of the Reeperbhan. We made it up to Copenhagen for one break. Then down to Amsterdam for another break or two. Life was sweet. Then we were given a choice: we could remain in Bremerhaven for the remainder of our enlistment, or we could transfer to Edzell, Scotland, where our Adak skills could be put to better use. We looked at each other as if to say “why not?” So come the end of June we left Bremerhaven, taking two weeks’ leave, and drove the Karmann Ghia to Edzell via Amsterdam, Brussels, Luxembourg, Paris, London, and Edinburgh. My time in Bremerhaven was short but packed with a lot of great memories. Does anybody from that era remember Jerry Johnson, who became a lifer? Or fellas named Bob Mott, Tom Durden, or Harry Schuester? All great guys.
A final note. Edzell turned out to be a gem. I met my wife there, but not until late in by 27 month stint, and we did not get married until I was back in the US and discharged. Still going strong after all these years. NSGA was good to me.
13 April 2021 at 02:02
I was stationed at NSGA Bremerhaven from 1967-69. This tour was one of the best of my life. I was in Delta Section. Enjoyed Germany, traveled throughout. Had fun in German/American Folk Fest. My name is Levi Glasper.
24 April 2021 at 14:25
Was stationed in Bremerhaven from Nov. 1959 to Nov. 1961. Met my wife there, ( she was a CT3 “A” Brancher in the Peronnel Dept.). We married in Sept 1961 and left for Monterey, CA. where I attended Chinese Mandarin class at the Army Language School.
Had always dreamed of revisiting Bremerhaven, but never made it. Had lots of fond memories especially of the Odeon, the Blue Angel and all of the Hangouts on Lessingstrasse
30 May 2021 at 23:45
Was T branches there from 64 through August ⁶6 Reading about Sleazy made me log in here The 2 2 2 routine did such but man we had a last. Great guys. Mainly in CHARLIE section but some time in Bravo as mn well.
1 June 2021 at 16:04
Was stationed in Bremerhaven from ’60-’62,T branch, Anyone from A section?
23 November 2021 at 21:59
I was stationed in Bremerhaven from 1955 to1957 as a CTR 1 passed myChiefs exam and was sent to Japan 1957 1959
28 September 2022 at 07:28
B-Haven–I spent a lot of off-duty hours at the Rio Rita bar and went across the street to the Puerto Rican club bar–never met any Puerto Ricans there and I wasn’t PR. I met a nice girl there. I was a CTT, Charlie section, bldg. 9 from Oct. 1967 to Oct. 1969. I sure learned to hate eve, eve, day day, mid mid! Totally messes with your mind. The others who were stationed at B-haven got the weather right–very short summer and 10 months of rain, snow, fog, windy and dark. Traveling on days off all over Europe was a huge plus, though.
29 September 2022 at 06:12
You have brought memories flooding back. I was a Marine in Bremerhaven from Dec ’67 – Feb ’70. I knew many of the bars (Sleazy’s, Blue Angel, Metropol, others. Also liked the zoo, bahnhof, the big church. Don’t remember all the street names. Hafenstrasse, Wilhelmstrasse. Paulus Bowling Alley.