Meader/Postwar Report, pages 21-25

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of Report to Captain J. N. Wenger

Any War Plans concerned with Communications Intelligence must of necessity completely satisfy certain basic requirements:

1. Security must be maintained.

2. Complete cooperation and liaison must exist between the research staff attached to CNO (Op-20) and the staff engaged in the design and development of the indicated equipments.

3. All available experience must be mobilized immediately.

4. Essential facilities must be arranged for in advance of the opening of hostilities.

The pattern our potential enemy will follow in security systems has already been fairly well defined. World War II experience indicated that any power must go through a war without very much change in fundamental philosophy as applied to the security of their communications. Moreover, the tempo of the next war is expected to be greatly accelerated over that of World War II and there will not be the same time interval to get fully organized and prepared. Due to the great foresight of Admiral Redman and Captain J. N. Wenger, we are in far better shape today than we were at the time of Pearl Harbor. The Navy will have available a sizable experienced group employed by ERA ready to step up their efforts in the development and production of Communications Intelligence equipments to a war time level. Great strides in the art have been accomplished since VJ Day and we are prepared with an organized group to go immediately into high gear. There is still, however, much planning to be done if we are to take full advantage of the experience gained during World War II and since then. To best serve all our armed forces and the nation and to completely satisfy

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conditions 1 and 2 stated above, the total and complete dediCated-administration of the Communications Intelligence effort should be vested in one authority–CNO–Op20–where the sole responsibility lies to read the enemy traffic currently. Funds should be set up by the Secretary of Navy and dediCated-administered solely by CNO. Plans should be carefully laid so that CNO will take over the entire dediCated-administration of the USNCML, as indicated in the following top section of an organization chart:

A proposed “Ship’s Crew” complement for a wartime NCML follows:

  • Commanding Officer
  • Executive Officer
  • Medical Officer
  • 4 Navy Nurses
  • Supply Officer
  • 4 offficers – Procurement and Expenditers (sic)
  • 4 officers – Stock Control
  • Accounting Officer
  • Senior Wave Officer
  • Marine Officer
  • Senior Technical Officer

with an enlisted complement of:

  • Ship’s Clerk
  • 15 Yeomen
  • 10 Phm. Mates (3 male)
  • 12 Storekeepers
  • 30 Marines

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It must be assumed that there will be stationed at USNCML approximately 150 officers and 1500 enlisted personnel for training and for the assembly of highly secret components. These officers and enlisted personnel will be new personnel inducted into the Navy for the war emergency and will be on TAD orders from CNO. They will remain at USNCML varying lengths of time.

The personnel employed by ERA must be frozen in the various jobs. The first step in regard to ERA employees which must be taken at the start of war is to induct into the Navy all of them who are members of any military reserve unit or subject to induction under the then existing Selective Service laws. These men should then be immediately returned to ERA in an inactive duty status and kept in such status so long as they continue in active employment of ERA for the duration of the war emergency or as long as CNO requires their services in this mission. All other necessary ERA personnel should be required to continue their duties with ERA and the concurrence of the Navy should be required before any of these persons were permitted to transfer to some other company for employment. A certain number of the men inducted will insist upon remaining in active duty status. These men can be assigned to CNO and given additional duty at the USNCML. While the present roster of engineering personnel at ERA will probably have to be multiplied by a factor of three, this expansion should be obtained by selection of qualified men volunteering for service in the Navy or inducted into the Navy by regular draft procedure. These men so selected should also be placed in inactive duty status at ERA at rates of pay comparable to their abilities. The C.I. trained and experienced personnel now at ERA should be able to very quickly train these additional personnel as needed.

The problem of housing and messing and the providing of proper medical and recreational facilities must be planned. There now exists at St. Paul a large Naval Air Station. It probably would be possible to plan the expansion of this Air Station to take care of the personnel at the USNCML. However, every bit of experience both of our own and the British during the past war indicates it is a

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very dangerous and undesirable procedure to have personnel engaged in this most highly secret work closely associated with other military personnel in their living quarters. Rather than run this unnecessary risk of compromise of security, there are several educational institutions in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area which have all the plant facilities necessary to somewhat duplicate the housing solution arrived at during the last war at Dayton. The proper authorities at these institutions should be contacted and some definite plan arranged so that the Navy, CNO, could immediately take over at the commencement of hostilities an adequate facility for this purpose.

The remaining fundamental necessity is the planning for the acquisition of additional manufacturing facilities within the area to produce the equipments designed and developed at ERA. It must be recognized that the present facilities at ERA are totally inadequate to fulfill the anticipated requirements of C.I. on a wartime basis. The present engineering staff and associated departments of ERA will provide the basis on an ultimate wartime experimental, design, development, testing and assembly organization. The fabrication of the finished components, however, must be done elsewhere. Experience proved beyond any reasonable doubt that in this unique and continually changing work any fabrication done outside a prime contractor’s plant must be subject to the closest kind of supervision of the development engineers. The manufacturing facilities must be physically located close to the engineers. The fact alone makes it an almost impossible task if the work is divided among many companies. Rather, plans should now be made to utilize the facilities of one large plant having the type and quantity of machine tools which will be necessary for a wartime production of this type of equipment. Such plants do exist now in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Some of them are:

  • Minneapolis Honeywell
  • Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing
  • General Mills

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One of these plants, preferably General Mills, should be consulted in this planning stage and complete arrangements made for the use of the manufacturing facilities in case of war.

It is contemplated that the space at the ERA plant now under lease to Marshall Wells could be recovered and would be adequate for the assembly of all machines.

It would be a fallacy to ignore at tis time the need for planning the location of the work to be done by the research and operating groups now located at the NCA in Washington. There can be no question that Washington will be a target area of prime importance to the enemy. In any plans to remove the headquarters of Op-20-G from Washington, great consideration should be given to relocating close to the design and development group. There are indisputable reasons for this. The close liaison possible, time saved in transporting complicated equipments, and the case of obtaining spare parts are only a few. This, however, is involved with very high level government planning and cannot be covered in more detail here.

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    WHO worked during the war? Find the Personnel section. Also, Joseph R. Desch
    WHAT were their goals? By the Numbers. Also, The US Bombe
    WHY? History of the Bombe Project A contemporary account of the reasons and the plans for their project for the Director of Naval Communications, 1944.
    WHERE was the project: In Dayton, it was in Building 26. In Washington, it was housed at the Naval Communications Annex