February 4, 1906 – February 27, 1941

Walter Joseph McGregor was born on February 4, 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 28, 1921 in the same city he was born.  He advanced to Chief Radioman by February 7, 1930, served in several Navy ships and stations and died of heart complications at the age of 35.

Chief McGregor was one of the premier instructors of the “On-the-Roof” (OTR) that trained Navy and Marine Corps Special Radio Operators. These were the radio operators selected and given specific cryptologic training under a well-qualified Chief Radioman in a steel reinforced concrete blockhouse on the roof of the sixth wing, old Navy Building, Washington, D.C.

Chief McGregor was a member of “On-the-Roof” class #7, in 1932 and upon the death of the instructor in class #16, he completed the 1935 instruction of that group. He subsequently taught classes #17 through #20, whose membership included many of the nucleus of the Naval Security Group.  Next to Chief Harry Kidder, Chief Joseph McGregor taught the greatest number of “On-the- Roof” classes.  While he was instructing he was admitted and discharged from treatment at the Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C.

His decorations included the Good Conduct Medal and the American Defense Service Medal.

Chief McGregor died on February 27, 1941 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Building 514 onboard Corry Station is named McGregor Hall.

OTRG class number 17
l-to-r (front): Hively, Taylor, Linch.
L-to-r (rear): Layman, Ledford, Carmichael, CRM McGregor (instructor), Williams
OTRG class number 18
l-to-r (front): Bissel, Johnson, McCurdy, Weiland.
l-to-r (rear): Jule, Pelletier, CRM McGregor (instructor) Thomson, Sholes
OTRG class number 19
l-to-r (front): Kelly, Dormer, Howard, Parrott.
l-to-r (rear): Squires, Young, McGregor (instructor), Wildman, Detterich.
OTRG class number 20
l-to-r (sitting): Johnson, Ethier, Whitlock.
L-to-r (Standing): Walters, CRM McGregor (instructor), Phillips, Briggs, Evans.
Source: NCVA/Echoes of Our Past