On May 8, 1945, World War II in Europe came to an end and orders were requested for the third group of HFDF operations to be assigned to Jan Mayen Island. They were:
RM1 Joseph A. Miller
RM2 Melvin P. Bray
RM1 Albert Armstrong
RM1 William K. Elasick
When relieved, RM1 Wells and RM2 Millard were to report to the Naval Supplementary Radio Station, DuPont, SC, while RM2 McKenna and RM2 Thomas H. Fleming were to report to the Naval Supplementary Radio Station, Chatham, Massachusetts.
With the war in Europe over, station personnel began constructing creates on May 11 to ship gear out in preparation for the day when orders to evacuate the station would be received. On May 14, an OP-20-G memorandum to OP-20 stated that OP-20-G had no further use for the HFDF station on Jan Mayen and that OP-20-G informally advised that the Coast Guard was also ready to pull out. On May 30, OP-20-G informed NAVSUPPRADSTA Jan Mayen would be decommissioned on or about July 1, 1945.
On June 24, 1945, the Bureau of Naval Personnel forwarded orders for the transfer of the following personnel from Jan Mayen Island to NOB Iceland for further transfer to NAVSUPPRADSTA, DuPont, South Carolina, for duty:
RMC Clifford N Carrington
RM1 David D. Wells
RM2 John W. Millard
RM3 Timothy J. McKenna
Secure the Watch
On June 29, Jan Mayen requested permission to secure the DAB HFDF watch, dismantle, and pack the equipment since all of the radio men were under order to NOBI via the next available transportation, probably about July 5. Permission was granted by CNO message 292127Z JUN 45. The HFDF equipment was secured on July 1 and dismantled and packed by July 5.
On July 11, the Norwegians garrison personnel were evacuated with the exception of one lieutenant and ten enlisted infantry personnel, one sub-lieutenant, three royal Norwegian Air Force enlisted personnel, one RNAF ensign, and three civilian aerographer personnel. However, it appears that the U.S. Navy personnel may have remained since, August 9, and OP-20-G memorandum stated that COMINCH was going to take action and send a message to CINCLANT authorizing the release of the Radiomen “Specials” (OP-20-G personnel) assigned to Jan Mayen Island as soon as relieve ratings reported.. It was planned to keep one officer and nine enlisted personnel on the island at least through the winter of 1945-46. This was put into effect by COMINCHH message 101248Z AUG.
On September 17, Navy #719 was deleted from the Standards Navy Distribution List.
On October 4, the USCGC icebreaker EASTWIND arrived with supplies and the following personnel transferred from Jan Maye to CONUS:
LT John Yurick, USCG
CGM C. B. Ellington, USCG
SC1 P. L. Boudreau, USCG
F1/c J. B. Kettrell, USCG
RM2 T. H. Fleming, USNR
The report of the transfers was signed by LT A. F. Jorgensen, USCG, as Commanding Officer.
On October 5, the EASTWIND departed and the HONNINGSVAAD arrived with new Norwegian garrison personnel commanded by a LT Hansen who relieved LT Tickter as the garrison commander.
On December 29, 1945, the CNO authorized CTF 24 to disestablish and abandon the base on Jan Mayen Island at the earliest practicable date authorized upon completion of negotiations with the Norwegians government and evacuation of equipment and personnel thus bring the involvement of the U.S. Navy with Jan Mayen Island to a close.
7 May 2022 at 14:25
Thanks for your reporting and for the historical info. Good to read about the people and operations of what eventually became the Naval Security Group.
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7 May 2022 at 23:14
Interesting six-part article. Thank you for putting this out for the rest of us to read!
8 May 2022 at 05:37
Still another very interesting chapter in our NSG development. While stationed at Keflavik in 1973
I was a ‘guest’ on an AWACS flight that before we recovered at Kef, we over flew Jan Mayan as a
part of their flight. Thank you, Mario for this fine 6 part article.