... duty in London enjoyed by all
NavEur FreqMgr - Meaning:
NavEur = Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe
FreqMgr = Frequency Management Navy Forces Europe
After just over a year I was transferred from USS DYESS DD880 on July 2, 1965.
I reported for duty at the Naval Support Activities,(Communication Unit), London England in July 1965. After a few months, got transferred to the Staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe (NavEur) for duty in the Frequency Management Division. A new experience for me. Usually I was where Morse code or teletype machines were. These were the tools of my trade.
The Headquarters building was across from the American Embassy on North Audley Street, a block up from Selfridges, the big department store. It was the Headquarters building used by General Dwight D. Eisenhower during WWII.
My job was to coordinate frequency use for U.S. Navy ships visiting various countries in Europe. When a ship or task force was coming to Europe, a request for frequencies to use in a country's territorial waters was submitted and the government in question was contacted, giving the frequencies requested, and in due course, some of those requested were cleared for use.
Being in London it was more expedient to visit the British Frequency Coordinator in person, have a few drinks, and usually come back with the requested frequencies. Sounds easy, but it was work.
Eventually I learned my way around, and got friendly with a Chief in the computer section. This was a Top Secret area, and access was limited. During one of the emergencies I got clearance and stood watches there and got interested in the possibilities of having the European Frequencies placed in the computer to speed up the process of selecting frequencies for the various countries visited by the ships.
A computer course was in progress and I began attending. Computers back then were big. Those at NavEur took up a full floor. Data was punched on cards, then fed through the reader to transfer to the tapes. The tapes were on rolls about 12" round, and the tape 1/2" wide, I did not handle the tapes, just cut the cards, fed them to the reader and the computer people did everything else. Slow, but much more efficient than manually searching for info.
When things were quiet in the office, I went to the computer room and cut cards. A slow process. It took me a year to cut the thousands of cards, get the data in the computer, set up the program to give the data in certain orders and printed out for easy access when needed.
With today's computers on every desk, the same job could have been accomplished in less than a month, but then again, we had to start somewhere. I made the job easier for my relief, and I wonder what system they have working for them today.
Passed my examination for Senior Chief and Capt. Raish, my boss, wrote me while I was on leave in Spain to let me know I had made it. Promotion would be effective July 1968.
Got transferred to Naval Station Boston, Communication Unit, July 1968 and promoted to Senior Chief Radioman (E8).
Sure hated leaving London, and the family did also. Would be in Boston for a year then sea duty again.
My next assignment
Shore duty Boston then Staff ComDesRon12
October 1, 2004