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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chicken Pluckers

from Jim Barton, KE5CXX on November 20, 2005
View comments about this article!

Many active hams had their first exposure to radio as either Morse or Voice intercept operators in the various armed forces. Conversely, many who were hams before entering the services served in communications fields. Although I was licensed before enlisting (ex-WA2SWA) in the Marine Corps in 1964, my Morse abilities grew exponentially during the six years I was privileged to serve.

The Naval Security Group (NAVSECGRU) was 'home' to the Navy's CT rates (once "Communications Technicians", now "Cryptologic Technicians" but always Lightning Fast Chicken Pluckers) and to many Marines in the 257x and 26xx Military Occupational Specialties. One of the triumphs of this group of men and women is memorialized in the film "Midway", in which signal and communications intelligence pointed the way to the discovery of the Japanese Navy's choice of Midway as a target for invasion. This battle marked a turning point in the naval war in the Pacific.

The disestablishment of NavSecGru Command marks a watershed in the field of electronic intelligence, and the end of a proud tradition.

To those who served in NavSecGru, ASA, AFCSS and especially the Marines of Marine Support Battalion and the Radio Battalions, my congratulations and gratitude for a good job well done.

73 de Jim, KE5CXX
(SSgt, USMC, 1964-1970)
FM ComNavNetWarCom Norfolk VA
TO ZEN/ComNavSecGru Ft George G Meade MD
ZEN/AIG 125
INFO RUETIAA/NSACSS Ft George G Meade MD

// MULTIPLE ADDRESSES REMOVED //

BT
UNCLAS
QQQQ
SUBJ: Disestablishment of the naval Security Group Command - Well Done
MSGID/GENADMIN/COMNAVNETWARCOM/N00/SEP//
SUBJ/DISESTABLISHMENT OF THE NAVAL SECURITY GROUP COMMAND - WELL/DONE
// POC/Jan E. Tighe/CAPT/Deputy Director IOD/240-373-3011/CNSG/JETIGHE
AT HQCNSG.NAVY.MIL//
RMKS/1. ON 30 SEP 05, NAVAL SECURITY GROUP COMMAND (NSG) WILL BE DISESTABLISHED AS AN ECHELON II SHORE ACTIVITY AFTER MORE THAN 70 YEARS OF EXEMPLARY CRYPTOLOGIC SERVICE TO THE NATION AND THE NAVY. WITH A FINAL ENTRY IN THE NSG LOG BOOK AND THE LOWERING OF THE COMMAND FLAG, RADM ANDREW M. SINGER WILL BE RELIEVED OF COMMAND RESPONSIBILITIES AND NSG WILL TRANSITION TO THE INFORMATION OPERATIONS DIRECTORATE (IOD) OF NAVAL NETWORK WARFARE COMMAND. THE RECORD WILL SHOW NSG ON WATCH FROM 11 MARCH 1935 TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2005.
2. BEGINNING 1 OCT 05, IOD WILL SYNCHRONIZE THE INFORMATION OPERATIONS AND SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE MISSIONS WITHIN NETWARCOM. THE ALIGNMENT INTO NETWARCOM PROVIDES FOR THE COMBINED POWER OF FULL-SPECTRUM INFORMATION OPERATIONS, NAVY NETWORKS, AND SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE IN A COHERENT OPERATIONAL STRUCTURE. BRINGING TOGETHER THE WORKFORCES OF THE NSG AND NETWARCOM WILL DELIVER AN UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF EXPERTISE AND RESPONSIVENESS -- PROFESSIONALS WHO UNDERSTAND AND CAN SHAPE THE INFORMATION WARFARE DOMAIN TO MEET PEACETIME, CRISIS, SURGE, AND WARTIME OBJECTIVES FOR JFMCCS AND OTHER JOINT COMMANDERS.
3. THE ORIGINS OF THE NSG DATE BACK TO 1924 WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A RESEARCH DESK IN THE CODE AND SIGNAL SECTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NAVAL COMMUNICATIONS. REDESIGNATED OP-20-G IN 1928 AND SERVING THE DIRECTOR OF NAVAL COMMUNICATIONS, IT BECAME KNOWN AS THE "ON THE ROOF GANG" BECAUSE ITS FOUNDING MEMBERS WERE TRAINED IN THE ART OF CODED COMMUNICATIONS IN A SECURE FACILITY ON THE ROOF OF THE OLD DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY BUILDING. OP-20-G CONTINUED TO GROW, CULMINATING IN THE FORMATION OF THE NAVAL SECURITY GROUP ON 11 MARCH 1935. ALTHOUGH THE NAME OP-20-G WAS RETAINED UNTIL AFTER WORLD WAR II, 11 MARCH 1935 MARKED THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE WORD "GROUP" IN THE TITLE OF THE NAVAL CRYPTOLOGIC ORGANIZATION AND IS OBSERVED AS THE BIRTH OF THE NAVAL SECURITY GROUP. THE LEADERSHIP OF JOSEPH WENGER, THE FIRST CRYPTOLOGIC ADMIRAL, LED TO THE CREATION OF NSG, OR SECGRU, AS AN INDEPENDENT COMMAND IN 1950. IN 1956, THE NSG HEADQUARTERS ACTIVITY WAS ESTABLISHED, RETAINING THE NAME UNTIL 1961 WHEN IT WAS REDESIGNATED THE NSG HEADQUARTERS UNDER THE DIRECTOR, NAVAL SECURITY GROUP. FINALLY ON 1 JULY 1968, OPNAV NOTICE 5450 ESTABLISHED THE NSG COMMAND HEADQUARTERS UNDER A FLAG OFFICER.
4. FOR 70 YEARS, SECGRU CRYPTOLOGISTS PROVED THEIR VALUE IN CONFLICTS, PLAYING KEY ROLES IN WWII, KOREA, VIETNAM, THE COLD WAR AND MOST RECENTLY AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ. WHILE SECGRU EXPERIENCED MANY SUCCESSES, THEY WERE NOT WITHOUT SACRIFICE. IN 1967 THE USS LIBERTY WAS ATTACKED DURING THE SIX DAY WAR. TWO-THIRDS OF THE LIBERTY'S CREW WERE CASUALTIES WITH 34 KILLED, 23 OF THEM CRYPTOLOGISTS. THE LIST DOES NOT STOP THERE. THE USS PUEBLO, THE EC-121 SHOOT-DOWN, AND THE FIRE AT KAMISEYA, JAPAN ALL RESULTED IN SECGRU CASUALTIES WHILE ON WATCH.
5. OUR NAVY'S INFORMATION WARRIORS HAVE GONE BY DIFFERENT NAMES IN DIFFERENT ERAS, BUT THE ESSENTIALS OF THE MISSION, AND THE SENSE OF DUTY, HAVE REMAINED THE SAME. AS NSG BEGINS A NEW CHAPTER, ITS FOCUS NOW TURNS TO A NEW LOGBOOK WITH ITS FIRST PAGE DATED 1 OCT 2005. SECGRU SAILORS CAN TAKE PRIDE IN NSG'S LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE TO THE NATION AND NAVY. THROUGH STEADFAST COMMITMENT AND SUSTAINED SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE, NSG CONSISTENTLY PROVIDED THE INFORMATION DOMINANCE THE FLEET NEEDED AND HAS BEEN THE BENCHMARK FOR CRYPTOLOGIC OPERATIONS BY WHICH OTHERS ARE JUDGED. THIS EXCELLENCE WILL CONTINUE UNDER NETWARCOM.
6. TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE NAVAL SECURITY GROUP COMMAND, I EXTEND THE APPRECIATION AND THE RESPECT OF THE NAVY COMMUNITY. THE HERITAGE OF THE NAVAL SECURITY GROUP COMMAND IS ILLUSTRATED BY THE SPIRIT, ENTHUSIASM AND GENIUS OF ITS PEOPLE, QUALITIES WHICH WILL SERVE US WELL IN MEETING THE NEW AND DEMANDING CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE, ALL YOU ARE GOING TO DO, AND ABOVE ALL FOR SERVING WITH THE DISTINCTION YOU HAVE SO RICHLY EARNED. 7. WELL DONE AND WELCOME ABOARD! VADM MCARTHUR SENDS.//
BT
#1410

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by WA6BFH on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

Cool!
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by N8NOE on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Semper Fidelis!....
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N0AH on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
When I read the title of this article, I thought it was referring to the idiots in the Nov 19th/20th 2005 SS Contest calling CQSS in the 80M DX window-
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by K8MHZ on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Nice job and thanks for all you have done!

Now I have a new name to call my friend Denny N8CTT, a former Navy CT.

Chicken Plucker, eh??

Maybe that will bring back a couple memories for him. He also served as a police officer and is now retired from Muskegon County's Central Dispatch where he worked as a dispatcher. He is now a staff member for our ARES group. And yes, his call is a vanity call, like mine.....

K8MHZ
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by W6VPS on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
And lets not forget our guys on the ground with manpack radios and keys strapped to their legs while stompping through the ding weeds of 'Nam and many other locales of the world.Guys like my long time school chum WA2DQI
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K2LGO on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Best years of my life...School in Imperial Beach in 1959...Philippine Islands in 60-61....anyone been to those duty stations as a CT, I'd love to hear from you....73....K2LGO....ex CT2 (R)
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by WL7CMG on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent...!!! Thanks so much for this post. I feel honored to just get the chance to read about the history of this great service and the men who gave so much to it. Indeed a JOB WELL DONE...!!!
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by KF4VGX on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Enjoyed this informative article .
With respect to the author.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N3YEA on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WOW - I haven't heard those phrases for years !.. Sure brought back the memories.. Thank You !
73 ! to all -
de Jeff - N3YEA - ASA RTTY Intercept 72-75
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K4ZRJ on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WELL DONE INDEED, Dittyboppers!
I served in the US Navy from 1968 thru 1972. Was already licensed when I went in and was attached to NAVSECGRU from after boot camp until discharge as a CTT2. Served at USNAVCOMMSTAPHIL (Phillipines) and USNAVCOMMSTAMOROC (Morocco), in addition to training schools at Pensacola. Also had temporary duty in Rota, Spain. Wonderful times, even with a war on! Could copy 35 WPM on a mill back then (a little slower now). Great article, thanks for posting. 73, Charles
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by EXWA2SWA on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely! Those guys who humped voice rigs or banged knee-keys in all of the nasty, dirty, dangerous and bloody places are deserving of incredible respect. We sit in air conditioned or heated shacks and complain about QRN or the odd toad who doesn't understand "QRL?" - those guys are in mudholes, ditches, or walking scary trails or streets, carrying everything a grunt carries PLUS a rig and spare batteries - and don't bitch at all (well, not in comparison!) - and antennas make great targets.

I didn't mention them in the article only because it was based on the Naval Security Group story. One of the best novels of WW2 to see print was based on a Communications unit - Leon Uris' "Battle Cry."

Thanks for the reminder,
73,
Jim
KE5CXX
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K2ES on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I was a CT in NAVRESSECGRU for five years before switching to the Army Reserve. Now retired CWO from that branch.

I look back with many fond memories of the job and many friends I enjoyed through the years.

Thanks for the tribute to so many..
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N8UW on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This is sad, in a way. I was in the Army Security Agency (ASA) in 1977 when we were done away with and became part of the new (and current) Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM). Many of us there in Okinawa wore the old ASA patch (the LFCP, with the eagle claw grasping lightning bolts) until we were threatened with disciplinary action. The new, larger command didn't have the flavor and heritage. I've had a couple QSOs with old NSG guys since I got a license in 2002, and it is always good to chat with someone who was in "the business". I'm sure some old sailors will be sad when they hear this.

As a former intercept operator, I found I can copy a lot faster than I can send. I also have trouble head copying, especially longer words. I spent almost three years copying coded groups on a keyboard, so Ham is a bit new. I spend a lot of time listening, and I like to go "spinnin' and grinnin'", as the Air Force ops say. I'm getting an R-390 for Christmas!

All you old spooks can hunt the internet and find some memories, and some reunions, too. One site is ASA Lives! Well, long live NSG, too.

Chuck Blair, N8UW
05H20, ASA, INSCOM, 1975-78
Devins, Alamo Station, Torii Station
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by N9VO on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Proud to be a member of this group. Retired CTOC here. Was in from 1969-1989. 12 years in the pacific. There currently is a ham group which operates on 40 and 20 meters. The group is called FRUPAC (Fleet Radio Unit Pacific) named after the group of code breakers in WW II that you referred to. The NCVA (Navy Cryptologic Vet Association) still has I believe 2 Pearl Harbor survivors as members. At least one is a ham. Lots of history, both wartime and cold war from this group. Same with our compatriots of the other services. And dont forget to add "tape apes" to the communicators.
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W5XE on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Ray Colbert (63-65) - Nov 20, 2005
A great story and many thanks for posting the closure of NSG.
One of the joint service sites I was at was the one at Shemya-6984 RSM, with the ASA 79ASASOU
(and USAFSS working side by side. The Air Force Station was
of course under USAF control and the operations site changed commands each 6 months. An Army LTc
and AF LTc.
Oh, I almost forgot about one of the "joint" opereations that I saw at Shemya. We had visitors one day and that was 2 Navy A3D aircraft outfitted
with I think a 4 position receiver section (CEI vhf/uhf and the hf was the G133 or R388 receiver with backlit black engraved plexiglass front panel) manned by Air Force operators, pilot and co-pilots were Army. got to go inside and look at their
setup - cramped but once in position, relatively comfortable.
Things change, not always for the better, IMO.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K4SUE on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
As a Marine and dit chaser from the 60's I'm saddened to hear that MSB has been replaced. I trained at MSB Co K in Pensacola Jan 65 thru June 65, and served Co D in Okinawa Aug 65-Aug 66, 1st Rad Bn Det A Hill 357 near Danang RVN Aug 66-Mar 67, and trained the 27th Marines prior to their SEA deployment April - June 67. I would like to hear from fellow Brothers in Arms via d.sowers2@cox.net or K4SUE@arrl.org.

73 and Semper Fi,
Dave K4SUE
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by KC0NYK on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
As a member of the 'knee banger club' and a survivor of operations with team 5 in RVN, Israel, South Africa and other garden spots....I only take my hat off to the Dittychaser, dittyboppers and LFC's of the old school. They, like us got the traffic passed no matter how crappy the locale. "Here's to us and those like us, damned few left!!"

'ugly jim'
ssgt/ 1-2 Team 5
1964-67
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N9KG on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Great post. Brought back lost of memories. I was ASA from 1962-65, Fort Devens then the 508th in Korea. I wasn't a dittybopper although they and the linguists were the heart and soul of what we did. I had a more mundane job, I was a CE who took care of the IBM installation in operations. I was't even aware of the change to INSCOM. Anyone interested can check these sites:
www.5starpicks.com/asalives/
members.verizon.net/~vze2cmt8/asa.html
Pretty interesting.

73,
N9KG
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N0MUD on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Very interesting article. Brought back many memories of my Navy RADIOMAN days, 1965-1982 where as a Radioman First Class I decided to change Navy jobs to the MAA or Master-at-Arms job, which is the Navy's Law Enforcement Rating. I retired from the US Navy April 1985 while serving onboard the USS Albert David FF-1050 as the ships Chief Master-at-Arms, MA1. I started my Radioman days as a Communications Yeoman 3c or CYN3. I made RM2 the day I checked into Radioman class "A" school in Bainbridge, MD 1970. I had fun as the Navy was doing away with morse code and to graduate we only had to copy 14wpm. Upon graduation I was coping 18wpm and if I would have had one more week I would have had 21wpm, but didn't make it, I sure tried hard tho. 18wpm was easy as I had already been in the fleet five years including my first of two tours in Vietnam. I really enjoyed my Navy Radioman days but I am glad I changed to the MAA rating because it helped me in my civilian job where I became a police officer at Stanton, CA and then to Coronado, CA which is where the Navy's Seals start their first training at NAB Coronado. I also served as a CID agent for US Navy Hospital San Diego, and then to NAB Coronado, where I enjoyed working undercover. During my years as a Radioman the only time I ever used Morse code was while on a Fast Attack Submarine operating during Unitas 78. The only way we could communicate with the Navys in South America was by Morse Code. Learning the code in the Navy helped me pass my code for my Novice ticket 1987.

USN all the way, sorry to see the CT rating go away but the Navy Radioman is no longer either they are called IT's or Information Technician's I think.

73's Mike, NØmud, USN RM1 MA1 Retired.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by WA7SCH on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

Well now being ex-ASA (MOS 33S30, 05H30k3) I spent many an hour manning an R-390A, R-1388, and GLQ-3B in the early 70s until the early 80s.

Semper Vigeles (or something to that affect).

ZNN,
Mike
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by KA2JIZ on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks! 1st AACS ("First In Last Out") 1957-1960. Two years Pacific area. Never a thought of being a "lifer", but enjoyed my job very much and the guys I worked with.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by AI2IA on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
To all those who are interested in the professional and military history of wireless, there is a venerable old organization out there founded in 1925 called the Veteran Wireless Operators Association. Their web site is http://www.vwoa.org It has many intersting stories and photos on it.

They accept regular (commercial radio operator), veteran, and associate members, and their dues have always been kept extremely low. There is a lot of wireless history here. You might want to check them out.

Radio history and military history have always had a close relationship.
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by K9YLI on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I wasn't a ditty catcher in ASA but was comm center geek from 59 61 .. forth usasa funny farm.
ASMARA. ET2US... ASA guys go to
Kagnew STA web site. just search on KAGNEW
Very large active alumni site.
wa7sch its vigilis salutis.. on ASA brass.
I always liked the sig corp brass better.
Have a cap with KAGNEW GAZZELE patch. back then the most recognized patch in the army.

don
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by K2QPN on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
USASA 1963 - 1967 MOS 34D20 (Computer geek)

Thanks for the memories. All the folks that I met in the intellegence field were hard working and dedicated. They were also slightly irreverant about the military. Look back on my service in the Agency with pride. Today, I proudly wear an ASA pin on my hat.

Check out the many internet sites about the intell community. There are many locator lists to find lost friends. Check out - http://www.5starpicks.com/asalives/index.html
The site has a list of ASA hams.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by KF6HCD on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely; kick-ass Marines are the bravest there are. As a former USN swab in the "Gator Navy", I have encountered many Marines; they are steadfast, faithful and most of all, BRAVE.

I cannot extoll more fervently the virtues of the USMC MARG 2-83; some did not come back.

They have my permanent "Salute"...

KF6HCD
Kenneth A. Folsom, (Formerly) SHSN, USN, USS Harlan County (LST-1196), 1981-1985...

Hoping for peace; prepared for war.
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W6TH on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
.

I was licensed before WW2. I was both a CW and phone operator during WW2. Served on both combat patrols and recon, (reconnaissance) with the 5307th infantry task force in China, Burma , India theatre.

Also served communications for the 14th, 22nd and the 50th Chinese infantry divisions, throughout the CBI.

Operated behind enemy lines as well using mostly CW and the hand generators. Wonder what it was like in the Vietnam time with the same jungle conditions?

Ham radio was the key to communications for the military and CW was put to great use as the message always got through.

73 W6th.
.:
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers ....OUTSTANDING!!  
by WA2JJH on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
YOWZAA...A unique artical. Learned LOTSA-STUFF about mil. ops.

I have a Harris U-1446. I did not get the ALE or other enhancements.

I have seen the insides of a number of Harris and Racal manpacks. They sure know how to build em!

TNX AGN DE MIKE WA2JJH
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W6TH on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
.

I was licensed before WW2. I was both a CW and phone operator during WW2. Served on both combat patrols and recon, (reconnaissance) with the 5307th infantry task force in China, Burma , India theatre.

Also served communications for the 14th, 22nd and the 50th Chinese infantry divisions, throughout the CBI.

Operated behind enemy lines as well using mostly CW and the hand generators. Wonder what it was like in the Vietnam time with the same jungle conditions?

Ham radio was the key to communications for the military and CW was put to great use as the message always got through.

73 W6th.
.:
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by WA3FLR on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
It feels a little sad to hear about the Naval Security Group get'n et up by War-Ops-Com-advacate-whatever it is. My hope is they do not forget the history of the Group(looks like they already forgot about those killed on duty aboard submarine and aircraft for example), and that they don't come down too hard on the Group. Keeping the cavalier feeling we had, the creative juices will keep flowing I think. Too much "chicken" will kill it. Anyway, its great reading posts from former CTs. May I suggest to all interested, go to CPO Joe Glockner's site at http://www.anzwers.org/free/navyscpo/

73 all!

Terry Neil Croup CTR2 68-71.
GrtLakes, Corry fld, Edzell, TAD USS Ohare, Elmendorf.
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W6TH on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
.
WA3FLR

All Veterans whether of foreign wars or not are always forgotten, but remembered one day a year, so I will add this as a comment to make it two days this year.

For Those That Fought For It, Freedom Has A Taste And A Meaning, The Protected Will Never Know.

W6TH
.:
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by WB3GNJ on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I had heard of the change to the CT rating. It is an era passed but fondly remembered. Being a CTO on the USS Jamestown (agtr-3) in Vietnam 1969 on the mid-watch allowed me to play extensively with the racks of r-390's and listen to the ham bands back home, plus the memory of typing to a fellow O brancher I went to school with in Pensacola, in the PI, Via moonbounce thru London, as HF condx deteriorated badly one sunrise.
Ahh the smell of those 28's cranking out the broadcasts, and tuning the r1051's, won't mention the other fun equipment even thou it was 35 yrs ago.

search for cryptolog and ncva for links to orgs abt nsga stuff.

73 Jim kw3u cto2 ussjamestown nsga Taipei skaggs Isl
uss iwo jima 1968-72
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by W7MH on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Great to see an article on this topic. I was a "CTM2". We CTs have a wonderful web site at
http://www.usncva.org. Anyone who was associated with the U. S. Naval Security Group or its predecessor may join. A branch of the NCVA is called FRUPAC which stands for "Fleet Radio Unit Pacific". This is the amateur radio group which meets everyday on many bands and modes, check the web site for listings.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by AE4NR on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Great subject, Although not Navy I was in ASA (Army Security Agency) eavesdropping on Ivan during the cold war lots of interesting stuff to be heard.Thanks to all of ya who served and helped protect our freedom.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K2DEE on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
So far I haven't seen any Air Force members represented here. I was a USAFSS dittybopper from 1971-74 serving with the 6931st Security Group in Iraklion, Crete. I also had the opportunity of being licensed as SV0WMM at the same time. Though the work was often booring (copying groups of 50 cipher blocks, 4 blocks to a page, many messages in excess of 2000 groups) our gang had a lot of fun and made the best of our situation. Iraklion had 4 high speed racks (28-36 wpm) that stayed busy for close to 16 hours per day. When I first arrived the intercept was copied on MC 88's (all cap typewriters). About a year later we switched to 8 level perf tape teletypewriters. Thanks for a nice article and jogging some 30+ year memories.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by W8AD on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My brother Charley, KC7DQV, was an Air Force AACS/MATS CW radio op during Korea at Thule AFB, Greenland. Later, back in the states he was a crypto op at Offut AFB and Scott AFB. Because I was a ham in high school and he was interested in the hobby, he applied for communications when he joined the AF and took his training at Keesler AFB in 1951.

He later became a ham (almost 40 years after getting out of the AF) and can still "burn me out" on CW. What great training! He got into comm because of me, and I got into police work because of him. He finished a career and retired as a deputy sheriff with the Coconino County Sheriff's dept. in Arizona. I joined, and am still active, as a reserve officer with the Arizona Highway Patrol out of Sedona, Arizona.

There is great stuff about being brothers and learning from each other!

Don, W8AD
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W5HTW on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
It is another passing of an era. Sadly, it happens all the time, most often in the misguided name of progress. I did not know the Group was gone, but then I wasn't Navy, so I would have no reason to know. Interesting bit of history. Thanks for the article.

I do recall, though, the shock when I heard Vint Hill was gone. That was a number of years ago, and I had forgotten it. I was surprised to hear AF Security Service, and ASA had ceased to exist. Didn't work for either of them either, but had regular contact with them during the Vietnam War. Though I was a civie, I was also pounding the mill, but no knee-key! (Tried one a couple of times in ham radio, though. Never liked them) Had a good J-38 on the desk. And a whole set of R388s!

Well, keep carrying the flag. Someday the history of communications for the military and government will disappear. As was noted by some others, a lot of us were hams first, then entered the military and/or government service, already knowing the code and the standardized procedures, as ham procedures were the same as the military ones in the 50s and 60s. Now pretty much there ARE no ham procedures! Another era gone.

Many, in fact, most, of today's hams have no idea where we came from in those days. Worse yet, they don't want to know. Kinda like looking at Oregon and not knowing about the The Oregon Trail. The history of how we got here is being lost, and especially in ham radio.

T'anks!

Ed
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by W8JJW on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the nice memories. I was ASA in 'Nam and later Japan. '69-'72 Worked with the Navy guys on Okinawa..Ruykiyu Islands ! I was a mech fixing the RTTY, Crypto, etc. Long live Kleinschmidt...Baudot forever.

73 John
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by K3ASA on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What a great thread! I too, was ASA (58 - 64), thus the vanity callsign. Dont know which was more enjoyable, the mission or the friendship with some wonderful guys! (Not to mention all the good beer in Germany at Kassell!) ASA Lives.. The top 10% forever. 73 de K3ASA
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W5XE on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Chic, guess I didn't indicate too plainly that I was
USAFSS, 1959-1965, altho at a joint installation
at Shemya, Alaska. My comments were done on the
20th, above. The units I was assigned to were the
6952nd RSM Kirknewton Scotland, 6984th RSM/SSM Shemya
Alaska, 6910th RGM/SW Darmstadt Germany. A great
experience, and always enjoyed getting together with
the fellows from other branches.
Ray, W5XE
USAFSS 59-65
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by WA8EBM on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I'll never forget Goodfellow!
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N9BVA on November 23, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I just wanted to add my comments about the demise of the NavSecGru. It is indeed a sad passing of a truly dedicated and professional organization. I had the privilege of serving on active duty from 1966 to 1970 as a "dittychaser" CT2(R Branch). The Security Group consisted of specialty skills in categories defined by a specific "branch". There were a total of six (6) branches with their basic functions as follows:

"T" Technical (non-morse collection)
"A" Administrative (clerical)
"M" Maintenance (maintain, repair, and install crypto gear)
"O" Communications (handle secure comms)
"R" Radio (morse intercept)
"I" Intelligence (voice intercept)

My duty stations after boot camp at Great Lakes and "A" school at Corry Station, Pensacola FL., included Bremerhaven, Germany, Rota, Spain and a Med cruise on the USS Saratoga (CVA-60). Because of my involvement with manual morse collection and "spinning miles on the dials" of R-390-A receivers, I became a ham radio operator after leaving active duty.

However, I couldn't stay away from the Navy for long, so I put 20 more years in with the Naval Reserve Security Group (NRSGA) before retiring in 1999. I can attest to the fact that I had the honor to serve with the most talented lot of men and women from all four service branches. My personal thanks and a heartfelt "Well Done" to each and every one. BRAVO ZULU

Tom Calpin, Jr. CWO3 USNR(Retired)
N9BVA
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by SM5IUF on November 23, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
As you might notice from my call sign, I am Swedish and really have nothing in common with this article more than beeing a Swedish tranied military high speed telegraphist. No wartime memories or anything like that since we have not been in war since we lost Finland to the Russians in the 1808-1809 war. As a kid, every day on my way to school, I passed one of the massgraves from this war and it took me many years to understand it's importance.

However, I am very impressed by all the comments from you guys and how dedicated you have been and still are to your country. Much of your work might still be kept in secrcy but it's evident that most of you guys have really made a difference, directly or indirectly and changed the outcome of some important events in this world. Really a job well done.

73 de SM5IUF Gunnar
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by AG6RN on November 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, first I heard of this. I got out of the navy last year. You can tell from my callsign what I did in the navy!

N6CTM
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K8GWW on November 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
USAF (airborn) 1950-1954

Great post and enjoyed the many comments. It was nice of our DX friends to comment. The ditty chasers of the resistance where among the heros of WWII. My heros where all of the vets from WWII.

Being an airborn op, I was a slow op, only 16-18 wpm.
I felt very lucky to get into radio school as it was a childhood desire to get into communications. I was not a ham until after I got out but my AF time lead me into a very rewarding career.

I flew first on B-29sand then on KC-97 tankers.
While on a training mission off of Flolrida, we where to meet a flight of Marine fighters and refule them.
The area was scocked in and they could not find us so the pilot had me send a homing becon around 512 KHz so they could home in on us. They broke through he overcast right on on tail. They shure where happy to see us as they where very low on fuel and did not have enought to return to their base. A very rewarding experience for me. Thaks for the post. 73s,

Jerry K8GWW
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by KG6NJW on November 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Some what off topic but - when I went to Army radio school in 1970, they had an interesting policy about CW. Everyone had to learn Morse code, and get up to 15 groups per minute to graduate. The people who excelled in Morse code were pulled out of the school and sent to radio teletype school, and then send on to embassy duty or someplace else where teletypes were used. In other words, the people who were best at Morse code were sent to jobs where they would never have to use it. The rest of us went on to become radio operators, mostly in Vietnam or Germany (I was in the U.S.). As far as I know, none of us ever used Morse code for anything either. If you couldn't pass the Morse code requirement you would get reassigned to a different school, usually truck driver or cook. Since either of these jobs was considerably more safe than being a radio operator, people got smart and started deliberately failing Morse code. Alas, the Army got smart too (and had a quota to meet), and people who couldn't copy 10 GPM suddenly found themselves magically passing the 15 GPM test. One soldier was able to prove that he was AWOL the day that he supposely passed the 15 GPM test, and the instructors response was basically "what a great soldier you are! You can even pass tests without being here!" The antenna on a PRC-10 was a dead give away to your position - eventually the Army came up with a fold-down antenna that laid the antenna in a horizontal position, giving it a lower profile. The first thing that most radio operators in Vietnam did was to try to get a Vietnamese soldier to carry the radio for them.
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by EXWA2SWA on November 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Not quite that way in my experience: most of the guys who had trouble with code went on to become RTTY ops; some to other schools. Had a pal from Comm School at 2dRadioBn - Roger used to laugh that there was no cook in the FMF with a higher security clearance.

Sailors generally understood "Fail and Sail".

I've really enjoyed the responses to this thread - it's been a trip on Memory Lane for me too.

I'd bet some of us have crossed paths directly or once removed. My career:

"K" MarSptBn, PNCLA 7/64-1/65 (Capt JW Ayers, Commanding; KIA 5/27/67 with 5th Marines)
DLI-East Coast (WashDC) 2/65 - 12/65
EW Co. 2d Radio Bn, 1/66 = 9/66 (includes a sojourn on the Will-Do Waldo, LST-1163
"L" MarSptBn, (Det A, NavComStaPhil) Phu Bai, RVN (aboard ASA's 8thRRFS) 11/66 - 11/67
"B" MarSptBn, NSGA Edzell, UK 1/68 - 1/70

CO of EW Co. went on to become CO Co. "D" at Torii Station (Major "Iron Mike" Lehto)

Had many friends in SubUnit 1, and 1stRadBn ...

Glad so many of you have enjoyed this ...

Semper fidelis/73,
Jim
KE5CXX



 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W5HTW on November 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Many of my coworkers were ex-Navy. Back then I was in my late 20s, but I recall one fellow who was in his 50s then, who could sit at the mill and receive, off the air, clear text at 40 wpm. But it was five letter code groups! He could decipher it in his head as he copied the code groups, and simply type out clear text. And though he may could not actually hold a conversation while doing that, he could acknowledge some comments, or make an occasional response himself. Only person I ever saw with that kind of proficiency, and he had already served some 25 or more years in the Navy. I think maybe even 30 years, but I'm not sure of that. He had retired from the Navy, anyway. Fascinating guy.

I don't recall any AFSS or ASA folks, though. Almost all of our guys were from the Navy.

Interesting about the 15 wpm! We had to copy 15 wpm to get INTO the school, so we were already all CW ops before even entering school. To graduate we had to copy 25 gpm, and 22 cut numbers. All on the mill, which made it easier. The Navy guys had a big jump on most of us, I think, as my code experience came from a combination of ex Air Force (not Security Service, though) and being a ham.

And we used CW extensively, so we kept up the abilities. Yet, I never got past about 35 GPM solid copy, and even that was really difficult for me. Not going to eat a sandwhich and chat with the boss while I was doing it! Ha.

It has been nice revisiting these old days. And, yes, thanks for the comments from those not from the USA.

Ed
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W4NTI on November 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Or the dit chassers in MACV (Military Assistance Command Vietnam) and JUSMAG (Joint United States Military Advisory Group(Thailand)) And all those other dank little holes where the O5H and some really good O5C's hung out.

Dan/W4NTI
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by WA7WW on November 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the Post on the Naval Security Group.
I was a Communications Technician "I" brancher with the Navy. I was at the Defense Language Institute West Coast from 10/1970 to 6/1971 (Spanish). Then 13 weeks at Goodfellow AFB. I was stationed at Galeta Island, Panama until 10/1973. I too was wondering if I crossed paths with any of you.
I had many friends who were "dittychasers" and I too was influenced by my Navy days to get into Ham Radio.
Wonderful Memories....
Best 73,
Brett
WA7WW
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by N8KG on November 25, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
REMEMBER THE PUEBLO!!!!

The lightning fast chicken plucker comes from the insignia. A lightning bolt and feather.

68 - 71 Sidi Yahia and Kamiseya

de N8KG
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by KA4YVY on November 25, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
1957-1962 I was both a USAFSS ditty chaser (intercept) AND a ditty bop (D/F net) at Wakkanai, Japan (6986th Radio Squadon). We would "talk" to the USN P2V's every time they got too close to crossing the line. Also... every time the Russkies moved their Pacific fleet through the La Perouse (aka: Soya) Strait from the Sea of Japan into the Sea of Okhotsk the NAVSEC guys would come up and work out of our operations compound. Great guys-very social. Not too sure how much they liked our 'remote' site though. It's tragic to hear about the demise of ALL of our old commands. In 20 years I wonder how many people will even know what a "mill" was. More's the pity. Thanx for awakening some fond old memories. 73's de Bob SK
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by KJ6VX on November 25, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Roger that...I was a CTM2 TTY and crypto tech at NIPSSA, Suitland and on Adak and Guam at NAVCOMMSTA NAVSECGRUDEPT. Progress...either move out of the way or modernize!!! We are not fighting the same old "Evil Empire" we did in the cold war.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by KA9QWC on November 26, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WOW good reading and it brings back many fond memories of work and social times with ASA, NAVSEGRU & AFSS members along with other related agencies.

I was stationed at Rothwesten, Fort Devens, 14th ASA in southern Japan, Herzo, HQ USASAE Frankfurt & Augsburg, Augsburg Opn too, then the 330th RRC RVN and a couple times at Corry Field in Pensacola.

I worked in many areas over the years as a morse code chaser, RTTY & research along with being an instructor at Fort Devens and Corry Field. Strange teaching morse code classes to the sailors but it is/was a multi-service operation.

Sad to see the organizations disappear as we knew them in our era or my era of 1959 to 1979.

I often wondered where CT's Hank Pond & Lou Eighmey went to after we departed from NSA. Hank was just full of humor. I sure miss a lot of the service members but am happy to be making connections to so many now days.

I recall the PUEBLO incident very well and became somewhat involved with special assignments while in sunny southern Japan not too many miles away.

A special SALUTE to all who served and thanks to those who were so dedicated. A SPECIAL HONOR is deserving to those in our operations who lost their lives while serving.

Don Evilsizor KA9QWC & AIR FORCE MARS AFA1OK

US ARMY Retired in the HOOSIER STATE

donald67162@earthlink.net or ka9qwc@arrl.net

 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K8PJQ on November 26, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I was a CT/RM1(SS) trained at Waves boot camp-Bainbridge Md in 1960.They had a ham station K3-old-rusty-sailors. Had to send/rec 22 wpm to graduate.Then high speed school 35 wpm (free Vibroplex bug) for the submarine special ops guys, followed with the usual crypto-teletype operate/repair schools and a few Very Specialized schools.Now someone wrote a book "Blind Man's Bluff" and blabbed more than they should have.I'm proud to have served with the finest cw communicators from all branches of the service. Their dedication and long watch hours made the world a safer place for all."Well done troops"
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by N0CTO on November 27, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I'm still a CTO1. In name only however. I'm the radio room LPO on a destroyer in Norfolk. CTO's are going away this year and becoming IT's (If you have been out of the loop for a very long time, RMs and DPs merged into Information Systems Technicans or ITs some time back). Now they are dragging CTOs in. E-5's and junior all becoming ITs in Jan. and the rest of us in Oct 06. At least the numbers for making Chief double with the change. A lot of our CTOs are bent about the change including my wife as she is a CTO1 as well. So far it's been good for me. I'd rather have retired a CTO than an IT but at I get to stay in the comms business. At least they can't take my callsign away.

I was never much of a fan of the NSG. Way too many sandcrabs and not enough sea time. (Maybe it was different back in the old days). It seems that Sailors that jump from one NSG to another care more about being politicians than going to sea or deploying. They will volunteer for every duty under the sun as long as it's not grey and goes to sea or in harms way. Other than my time as an aircrewman in Spain I enjoyed being stationed away from the NSG. Even heaven forbid on my ships. Most of the people on ships are jerks but we all realize that we are all in it together and we deploy together and it's our ship. I never saw much of that at my two NSGs. Except for aircrew.

I realize that doesn't apply to everyone but I think most of those Sailors who spent their time deployed while sandcrabs got all the good evals would agree.

Back to the orginal post. Thanks for the salute. I appreciate it and I appreciate all of you who came before me. We have big shoes to fill.

Mike Gregory
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N4NSS on November 27, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My Navy time served was a good one. Enlisted in 1966. Bootcamp at Great Lakes, then to "R" school in Pensacola, FL., Skaggs Island, Ca. for two years and only a few months on the USS Oxford AGTR-1 until she was decommissioned in '69. I then finished off at Imperial Beach, Ca. Made a few friends that I still keep contact with over the years. A couple even had their ham tickets too. Anyone else remember me? Old call was WA9USD. Now I'm N4NSS.
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by N9NWO on November 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I see too many kids who interested in radio going into Signal (RTO). In many cases they become unhappy as they are being wasted. They run automated systems but never get to do real radio work.

No one ever tells these kids about the Intelligence Career Fields. In the Army, Signal Intel (SIGINT) is the 98 CMF (98C being one of the most common MOSs). A CT is what the Navy has. If any of you remember that EP-3 that was forced down in early 2001 over China, that was a SIGINT operation. That newest man on the bird had the job of measuring pulse widths on radars (according to the newspapers). That is far more challenging than running some automated system on a hilltop.

The Army now has Morse Code as a language skill. Thus you can get language pay for knowing it.

Other interesting fields are 96U, which are the operators for the Army UAVs. That is an interesting field. Also the 97B are the Counter Intelligence Agents (law enforcement). They also do Human Intelligence (HUMINT) which is also in hot demand these days. (AF and Navy mix CI in with CID).

Look if you know a kid thinking about the military, and they are sharp, put a bug in their ear about Military Intelligence. BTW, MI has a lot more computer networks (specialized stuff) that the guys maintain themselves.

 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by N2KMF on November 29, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Former Army 05H10 here. 1985 to 1989, Ft. Devens and USA Field Station Kunia, HI.

In fact, after I got out I became a ham because I liked Morse so much. I figured it was the only way I would be able to use it on a regular basis.

 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by K3ASA on November 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Glad to see this thread continuing.. Shame we cant have some kind of MEGA REUNION for ALL of us who served in ANY of the services in COMINT duties. I posted earlier. ASA 1958 - 1964. Korea, Germany, Two Rock Ranch Station, Devens - of course, even Arlington Hall Station. Gene Mack 73 de K3ASA
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by EXWA2SWA on November 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The link below will take you to the Cryptology Memorial at NSA's website. There is a link within that site to a list of the names on that Memorial.

More than one name there is familiar to me. The only error I saw is that James W Ayers was killed a full year before the date on this memorial - in May, 1967. As a Captain, he was CO to many crypto-Marines at Co. "K", MarSptBn, NCTC Pensacola in '64 & '65.

73,
Jim KE5CXX
http://www.nsa.gov/memorial/index.cfm
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by W4SK on November 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
USAFSS 1968-1972.

Syracuse University '68 -'69.
Goodfellow AFB 1969.
Kelly AFB '69 - '70.
Berlin '70 - '71.
Sinop, Turkey '71 - '72.

-W4SK
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by W9DDK on December 2, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Yep USAFSS 70-74, 6908th and 6990th Viet linguist. Sat next to the Ditty bops will at the 6908th.

Definitely remember Goodfellow....
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K4EU on December 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks, Jim. Bravo Zulu to all the men and women who proudly served in the NavSecGru.

73....//Steve K4EU
ex-CTR2
'71 - Corry Field ((WA4ECY))
'71-73 - Edzell ((GM5AXO))
'73-75 - Galeta Island ((KZ5NG and KZ5BP))
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by K1UQM on December 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The full history of the military communication intelligence services remains shrouded in secrecy. Much is still on a "need to know" basis many years later. Perhaps the finest hours of the services took place in the Pacific and European Theatres of Operation in WWII. The cracking of the Japanese Naval codes and the German submarine codes hastened the end of the War and saved countless lives. The story of the services through the Cold War and Vietnam remains largely untold. It is, however, the legacy of many who served silently, listening to "Ivan", tracking Chicom Units through maneuvers or fixing Charlie's position to warn field commanders. The sacrifices of each branch are also largely forgotten. To those lost their lives on the Liberty or the Pueblo, to those airmen shot down over hostile lands, and the ASA'ers who never came back from Vietnam, we who also served, remember. Bob DiLibero, K1UQM ASA 67-70, Bad Aibling, Cu Chi and Two Rock Ranch
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by N8KG on December 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!


Thanks Bob. Lest we forget them also.

de N8KG
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by WB4BTL on December 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the memories. I served as a X-1 intercept op with the USAF Security Service during a portion of the Cold War (1976-80). I was with the 6917th Security Group (San Vito dei Normanni), and the 6993rd Security Group (Kelly AFB, TX). I'll never forget the gear (Collins R-390 and 651S-1 receivers), and the FLR-9 antenna system (San Vito).

Thanks to all. We had a real mission...
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by KJ6VX on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hi,

I was a CTM2 from 69 to 75 and belong to NCVA. Just wondering where you were stationed and what you worked on. I was at NIPSSA Suitland, Adak and Guam.

73,

Jim / KJ6VX
 
RE: Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast  
by N9SWA on January 17, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Hi I to am an 05Hog/20 (98H20) I went to Ft Devens in 1984 fm there Ft Riley Ks where I filled in as a Jammer (lots of fun even though lots of field time). Then I went to Kunia, HI in 1987 and was N2KMF's room mate. ( HI Bill long time no hear haha). In 1991 I left HI & was reassigned to NSA then left in 1992 went back to HI for 2more years. Then in 1994 the US goverment in theyre infinate wisdom decided to get rid of us old hands so I took the vsi/ssb & got out. Like N2KMF Being an 05 and my dad W9ZZJ is what got me into ham radio. I miss spinnin & grinning hack'n and dit'n. Being a ham I do get a taste but not the same not quite as exciting. Anyway great article very interesting & nice to see my old roomy on here. Bill send me an e-mail Dweggel@wolding.com. So here's to all the old hands out there job well done. --... ...-- Dan
 
Dittychasers, Dittyboppers and Lightning Fast Chic  
by KB2TES on February 19, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the kind words Jim. I believe that what you said is very true, that many present hams received their initial exposure to radio in the armed services. Although I got my introduction to Amateur Radio in 1964 (as a 5th grader in grammar school) I had difficulty passing the morse code requirement as a 9 year old and suspended that ambition. It was not until 1973 in boot camp that I was selected to serve in NAVSECGRU as a CTM (my fourth choice of five). This exposure launched my ongoing 33-year career in electronics.

The remoteness of Adak (in particular) made all of us very personally close as an organization. We got along together very well. That was probably the best group of guys that I've had the pleasure to work with.

L. Castelano KB2TES
USNCS ADAK 9/'74 - 9/'75
 
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