In 1953, U.S. Naval Security Group Department, NCS San Francisco, Skaggs Island, CA was established as a Dept of NAVCOMMSTA San Francisco. NAVRADSTA San Francisco was disestablished, and was absorbed by the NSG Dept at Skaggs Island.
On June 30, 1962, the NSG Dept stood down, and was reactivated on July 1, 1962 as the U.S. Naval Security Group Activity, Skaggs Island, Sonoma, CA. Also in 1962, NAVCOMSTA San Francisco moved from downtown San Francisco to Stockton, CA. Simultaneously, the Radio Receiving Station at Skaggs Island was re-established on July 1, 1962, and was renamed NAVRADSTA (R) Skaggs Island, CA.
Operating primarily as an HFDF (High Frequency Direction Finding) communications facility, Skaggs Island also hosted the MUSIC and STREAMLINER systems, and a TACINTEL Software Support Group. Its missions included electronic maintenance, communications relay, fleet broadcast support, ship/shore communications support, software support and training. NSGA Skaggs Island’s NFDF mission was unique. As Alternate Net Control Officer (ANCO) for both the Atlantic HFDF Net and the Pacific HFDF Net; Skaggs Island was called upon to take over either or both the Atlantic and/or Pacific HFDF Nets, usually on very short notice. The Tech Controllers at NSGA Skaggs Island often referred to that capability as ANCO World, in a mostly derogatory manner. It was not unusual for ANCO Skaggs Island to assume a scheduled HFDF Net Control shift, only to be told that the other HFDF Net had failed. It then became necessary to “Drop LANT and pick up PAC”, or vice versa.
HFDF communications aided in locating distant sources of communications by intercepting signals reflecting off the ionosphere. Skaggs Island provided communication support to the Navy and other Department of Defense elements. The communications facility located on the island included an operations building located in the center of an AN/FRD-10A Circularly Disposed Antenna Array (CDAA) (A), also known as a Wullenweber antenna array. The CDAA ceased operations on June 18, 1993; and the CDAA was dismantled. The CDAA property is to be transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Naval Security Group Activity, Skaggs Island, Sonoma, CA was closed and disestablished on June 18, 1993. The receiver site, NAVRADSTA (R) Skaggs Island, was also closed on that date.
For over 50 years, Skaggs Island was a secure self-contained Naval base. During that time, as many as 400 Navy personnel were stationed at Skaggs Island. Most of the buildings are residential and recreational buildings, including rows of single story homes, a theater, mess hall, recreation center, chapel, bachelor’s quarters, and administrative buildings, all of which are now abandoned and in a state of disrepair.
Officers In Charge and Commanding Officers:
OIC’S at Naval Radio Station (R)
LCDR C. S. Denton March 9, 1942 – November 28, 1944
LCDR E. W. Ross November 28, 1944 – June 29, 1946
CDR G. J. Noack June 29 1946 – February 19, 1948
CDR J. S. Lehman May 30, 1950 – February 6, 1952
LCDR K. E. Goodwin February 6, 1952 – March 31, 1952
CDR H. Young March 31, 1952 – September 22, 1955
CDR L. I. Nadeau September 22, 1955 – February 20, 1059
LCDR H. Seymour February 20, 1959 – September 7, 1960
CDR L. S. Myers September 7, 1960 – June 30, 1962
Redesignated July 1, 1962
CO’s as Naval Security Group Activity
CDR L. S. Myers July 1, 1962 – April 15, 1963
LCDR T. M. Leahy April 15, 1963 – December 20, 1963
CDR R. A. Vail December 20, 1963 – July 29, 1966
CDR E. S. Ince July 29 1966 – July 22, 1968
CDR E. H. Platzek July 22, 1968 – August 21, 1970
CDR J. W. R. Pope, Jr. August 21, 1970 – November 19, 1971
CDR T. R. McCalla November 19, 1971 – April 14, 1972
CDR R. S. Olson April 14, 1972 – July 19, 1974
CDR J. C. Lewis, Jr. July 19, 1974 – August 6, 1976
CDR G. D. Taylor August 6, 1976 – August 31, 1978
CDR H. L. Shoemaker August 31, 1978 – July 25, 1980
CAPT H.R. Cauthen July 25, 1980 – August 13, 1982
CAPT J. A. Leonard August 13, 1982 – August 17, 1984
CAPT J. H. Gates August 17, 1984 – July 31, 1986
*CAPT H. C. Ehret July 31, 1986 – September 15, 1989
CAPT D. M. Whitney September 15, 1989 – July 24, 1992
CAPT D. V. Morris July 24, 1992 – June 18, 1993
*2014 Inductee to NSA Cryptologic Hall of Honor
On March 31, 2011, Skaggs Island became part of the 13,000 acre San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge created to protect migratory birds, wetland habitat and endangered species.