Sid Goodwin summed up the CI contributions after the war: “Our mission at FRUMEL (Fleet Radio Unit Melbourne) was to obtain and process on Japanese naval communications from Moorabbin (FRUMEL’s intercept station). During my watch, 90 percent of our traffic was Japanese submarine communications. We also identified targets for our ships, such as Japanese oil tankers and troop ships. We gave our intelligence to both U.S. and Australian navy commanders… How much did FRUMEL contribute to the cryptologic effort in the Pacific? Those that worked in Hawaii say they did 80 percent of the work. Others say that Washington did 75 percent of the work. Quantifying communications intelligence in this manner is incorrect. Communication intelligence is multidimensional not unidimensional… It is equally inappropriate to ask which site was number one in reading messages. Merely reading messages is not relevant. The important questions are: What messages are read? Which recipients got the messages? I believe the entire team of FRUMEL, Hawaii, and Washington performed an inestimable service for the war effort. My time and contacts at FRUMEL were extremely rewarding.”
The intercept operators, traffic analysts, cryptanalysts, machine personnel, and linguists were the lifeblood at OP-20-G as they were in Melbourne and Hawaii. It has been widely accepted that WWII allied communications intelligence shortened the war by two years and saved countless allied lives.
By the end of World War II, Commander Harold O. Hogan had a combined 30 years of active and reserve service with the Navy. He would still be listed on the reserve rolls as late as 1955. Hogan’s post war retirement years were spent in the Philadelphia suburb of Drexel Hill. His public service continued through his membership in the Philmont Radio Club, MARS Radio Communication group, Upper Darby Civil Defense (where he served as Head of Communications), and the Eye Bank of Philadelphia. Harold died March 4, 1974 after a long battle with cancer. He was survived by his wife of almost 54 years, Jean I. Hamilton Hogan, son Harold Jr., daughter in law, Billie D. Hogan and three grandchildren.
The omission of Commander Hogan from the official histories is understandable. The Office of Naval Communications was highly compartmentalized particularly after 1942. Hogan did not appear to be in a leadership role prior to Dec 7, 1941. The enlisted men and women of the IBM GS section had an official rating of “Machine Operators” and they did not think of themselves as “cryptographers” as cryptologists were referred to during the War. Nor did they think of themselves as intelligence experts. They would simply consider themselves IBM machine operators and did not want to know any more than that. They had a job to do and they did it. When they left the job site on Nebraska Avenue at the end of the war, they were sworn to secrecy. As for Hogan, he labored in the shadow of other people such as Thomas Dyer, Jack Holtwick and Joseph Wenger. But it would be safe to say that Harold Hogan and his people in OP-20-GS were among the quiet unsung heroes of World War II.
Featured Image: Commander Hogan and IBM machine section personnel. Source: Harold O. Hogan Collection
Sources and References
1. Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County Connecticut, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent And Representative Citizens And Of Many Of The Early Settled Families, Pub. J.H. Beers, Chicago 1899
2. Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America, Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and covering a period of nearly Three Centuries 1613-1912; A. T. De La Mare Printing and Publishing Co., LTD. NY 1912
3. Pension Records for Frederick Sweet Olmstead, Page 40; National Archives Trust Fund, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408
4. Register of the District of Columbia Society of the American Revolution, 1896, by Sons of the American Revolution. District of Columbia Society
5. Death Certificate, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Upper Darby, Del. Co., PA. Issued 7 March 1974
6. Directory of the Alumni and Students of Lehigh University (Page 93); Lehigh University yearbooks: The Epitome 1916, Vol. XL (College Year of 1914-1915), Digital Document – Pages 136, 279, 309; The Epitome 1917, Vol. Forty One (College Year of 1915-1916) Digital Document – Pages 124, 291; The Epitome 1918, Volume XLII (College Year of 1916-1917) Digital Document – Pages 124, 338.
1916 – https://archive.org/details/epitomeyearbook140lehi
1917 – https://archive.org/details/epitomeyearbook141lehi
1918 – https://archive.org/details/epitomeyearbook42lehi/page/138/mode/2up
7. Register of the Commissioned Officers, Cadets, Midshipmen, and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval Reserve, July 1, 1941, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.; Maryland Military Men, 1917-1918 – Accessed 6/2/2019.
8. Naval Weapons, Naval Technology and Naval Reunions: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WAMGER_Mines.php
9. Harold O Hogan Case #324, U.S., Registers of Patients at Naval Hospitals, 1812-1934, Hospital Admission 1918-1919, L’Orient France
10. Maryland in the World War 1917-1919; Military and Naval Service Records, Volumes I & II; Serbian; Order of St. Sava
11. USS Missouri Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Missouri_(BB-11)
12. USS Kenneth L. McNEAL (As trawler) Source: https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-readingroom/title-list-alphabetically/a/account-operations-american-navy-france-during-war-germany.html; Additional details and photos source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kenneth_L._McNeal_(SP-333)
13. USS Swallow Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Swallow_(AM-4); Photos: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-k/sp333.htm; http://www.navsource.org/archives/11/02004.htm
14. St. John’s Church, Mt. Washington, Maryland Records – Harold Olmstead Hogan, Jean Ingelow Hamilton 19 Oct. 1920.
15. U.S. Census, 23 April 1930, 42nd Ward, Block No. 725; 1633 West Widener Place—listed as “North-side”— Philadelphia; Birth record for Harold O. Hogan, Jr.
16. “Development of Machine Processing in the Naval Security Group” by Louis Holland RG38 NSG Box 114, National Archives, College Park, Maryland.
17. History of the Naval Security Group to World War II, Jack Holtwick
18. “Historical Review of Section OP-20-3-GS 1 January 1941 to October 1945,” Author unknown. RG38 NSG Box 114, National Archives, College Park, Maryland.
19. “Report On OP-20-GS” by H.R. Foss. Report prepared for Frederic Freeborn on IBM. Freeborn was the IBM boss at GCCS and Bletchley Park. RG38 NSG Box 114, National Archives, College Park, Maryland.
20. “Lt. Joseph Wenger on the Use of IBM Equipment in Cryptanalysis – 1938,” History of the Naval Security Group to World War II, compiled by Captain Jack S. Holtwick, Jr., NCVA Special Publication, Fall 2006, Pensacola, Florida.
21. “Machine Processing and US Navy Cryptanalysis in WWII – A Pictorial History of the GS” IBM Machine Section – Communications Security Group OP-20-G -Office of Naval Communications, unpublished compilation by James J Schlueter, Jefferson City, Mo.
22. Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the U.S. Naval Reserve Force, January 1, 1921, Navy Department, United States of America. No. in grade 100; Page 104
23. Register of the Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers, and Cadets of the United States Naval Reserve, July 1, 1939 No. in grade 126; Page 96: Link
24. A Priceless Advantage, U.S. Navy Communications Intelligence and the Battles of Coral Sea, Midway, and the Aleutians. Author Frederick D. Parker, Center for Cryptologic History, National Security Agency (1993). Page 12 of the linked report (below) for the list of staff members (OP-20-G Washington (NEGAT) Organization, February-June 1942) including “LCdr. H.O. Hogan.” Full Naval Intelligence article: https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/library/online-reading-room/title-listalphabetically/p/priceless-advantage-by-fdparker.html – (Page 15)
25. NSA War Diary, 21 Nov 1944 OP-20-G 1-44, Source: https://www.nsa.gov/portals/75/documents/newsfeatures/declassified-documents/friedman-documents/reports-research/FOLDER_531/41771439081052.pdf
26. Account of the Operations of the American Navy in France During the War With Germany by Vice Admiral Henry B. Wilson, United States Navy Commander, United States Naval Forces in France
27. Echos of Our Past NCVA History Book 2008, Pensacola Florida, Jay R Browne, editor
28. U.S Navy Codebreakers, Linquists, and Intelligence Officers Against Japan, 1910 – 1941, A Biographical Dictionary, Captain Steven E. Maffeo, United States Naval Reserve, Retired. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, 2016.
29. Naval Security Records: NARA RG 38, Ofc of CNO, NSG Central Depository at Archives II at the Nat. Archives, College Park, MD.
Compiled by Jim Schlueter and Deb Hogan Smith
23 November 2022 at 07:38
Mario, this three part history of the cryptographic world and its founders such as LCDR HOGAN
is outstanding reading. I certainly enjoyed it. Thank you.
LikeLiked by 1 person