Corry Station holds a unique place in Naval Cryptology so much so that I believe it is the Cradle of Naval Cryptology.
This by no means diminishes the significant contributions of the On-The-Roof Gang training at the Navy Main Building in Washington D.C. leading up to WWII; the training at Navy Radio Station at Bainbridge Island during and after WWII; Naval School at Imperial Beach after WWII and the start of the Cold War; as well as other training sites such as 3801 Nebraska Ave, Goodfellow, Winter Harbor and Ft. Meade.
On January 3, 1961, Corry Station opened its doors to the first class of Communications Technicians (CT). With the exception of language training in Monterey, CA, this was the start of consolidating all CT “A” schools training in the Navy.
Then on March 26, 1976, the Bureau of Personnel announced the change in title for the Communications Technician (CT) rating to the Cryptologic Technician rating. The purpose of this action was to align the designation of the Communications Technician with the Warrant Officer (744X), Restricted Line (161X) and the Limited Duty Officer (644X) Cryptologic communities. This was the first time Naval Cryptologic Technician training was conducted!
That same year, Rear Admiral George Patrick March, Commander Naval Security Group dedicated several schoolhouse buildings at Corry Station to some of our earliest and most accomplished cryptologists, including RMC Kidder, RMC Gunn, LCDR Daniels and RMC McGregor, all On-The-Roof Gang instructors. This action linked Corry Station to our past and built the bridge to our future.
Shortly after naming the schoolhouses, three barrack buildings were named, but these names represented those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. If you visit Corry Station today you will see Smith Hall, Graves Hall and Traughber Hall. CTC Melvin D. Smith and CT1 Curtis A. Graves were both killed in action while serving onboard the USS Liberty and CPL Stephen L Traughber was killed in action while serving in the first Radio Battalion, Vietnam.
After the disestablishment of the Naval Security Group Command on September 30, 2005, all the cryptologic historical artifacts, equipment and documents were shipped to Corry Station. Again, if you visit Corry Station, you will find this history in building 503.
In March 2021, Corry Station will celebrate 60 years training Naval Cryptologists. Although there is no way to know the exact number of cryptologic enlisted and officers who passed through the front gates of Corry Station, based on a conservative average of 5,000 graduates each year, Corry Station has graduated at least 300,000 Cryptologists.
So, did Corry Station train the first radio intercept operator or cryptanalyst? Of course not! That distinction belongs to LT Laurence Safford as the training officer at the Code and Signal Section in OP-20-G, but considering what Corry Station has accomplished and what the command represents, the title of Cradle of Naval Cryptology rests squarely on Corry Station!