III. The Teams‎ > ‎

Team 4

Lieutenant Commander Howard Campaigne, the senior American naval intelligence officer of Team 1, returned to England in early June, but within two weeks, was sent back to the field as the OIC of a small, newly formed TICOM Team 4. Joining him were Lieutenant Evelyn Talbot-Ponsonby of the Royal Navy, and American naval officer Lieutenant Christopher Huntington, with Corporal A.G. Able, Royal Signals, responsible for their communications. Captain M.A.G. Howgate, of the British Military Intelligence Corps, later joined them.

The main purpose of this trip was to return to southern Germany to double check on a number of targets the Team 1 search had passed over quickly. This TICOM team joined up with a troop of 30 A.U. and accompanied them on a search for large number of miscellaneous naval targets in Bavaria; the most interesting included a variety of sites working on V-2 components. Often, tips from local intelligence officers led to dead ends. As Campaigne later explained:

…we heard there was a research establishment up in the Tyrolean Mountains on a lake way up there.… There was … a guard, a U.S. guard at the door…And so we went up to the guard and identified ourselves and said, “What went on here?" … apparently, it had to do with seaplanes, because they had been running experiments with pontoons. .. but nothing (was there) that was … cryptanalytic.
    Talbot-Ponsonby had another bizarre experience when he accompanied 30 A.U. to the Island of Mainau in Lake Constance to follow up a tip about a supposedly evacuated experimental station from Peenemuende. At the gate to the compound, they were refused admittance because the island was neutral territory, the property of Prince Bernadotte of Sweden, despite the fact that the French were currently using it as a Displaced persons center. Further inquiries with the Chief Medical Officer brought forth the claim that two British intelligence officers had already visited the island. The team, sent back to Constance to get passes, found that all official offices in the town closed in honor of a visit by the Sultan of Morocco. This incident illustrates the confused situation, poor communications, and competitive interests that were to plague TICOM throughout its searches. Most of the targets investigated by the 30 A.U. team were unproductive from a SIGINT viewpoint, having been previously thoroughly picked over by other Allied intel teams.

    Campaigne and his men finally arrived at the Schliersee to follow up on the Kettler tip of 26 June. They met up with a Hauptmann Kunz, a former Vienna police officer, now affiliated with the Freiheitsaktion Bayern (F.A.B.), an anti-Nazi militia group now eager to ingratiate itself with the Allied military government. He led them on a careful search of various buildings in the town, including three hospitals, the railway station, the school and adjacent book deposit, the post office and telephone exchange, a hotel, and the site of a nearby landslide on the railway. Except for a number of abandoned teleprinters and telephone sets, they found no other items of interest. However, they heard an interesting rumor from more than one source; Campaigne later recounted the story:

"On May 1st or 2nd, there was a train that came into the town and parked on a siding on the far side of the lake, across the lake from town, and had stood there for a day or so. And there were some soldiers around it and they thought that they had unloaded the stuff and threw it in the lake. Well, we did a little searching. The lake's kind of deep and we couldn't do anything. But we recommended that it should be dragged."

The next day Kunz led the team up the mountain to search the surrounding countryside. Some debris from the German army was found in some of the local farms, but nothing unusual or important. They also visited Himmler’s hunting lodge and followed up on a rumor about a German Army radio station that had been active in the area, but again, found nothing.

On the 28th, while getting the unit’s radio repaired at a nearby US Army Artillery unit, Captain Howgate was told by the unit signal’s officer of a large cache of wireless equipment found in a canyon above the Municipality of Bayrischzell. The sergeant in charge of the original search party led them to a few remaining boxes further up the ravine, but that they contained only food. After a couple of fruitless hours trying to track down the original source of the information, a local bathing pool attendant, they abandoned the search. Nor did they find any trace of the mysterious Dr. Schaedel.
    In the final report of the Schliersee search, Campaigne concluded that the OKW/Chi archives might have been either dumped into the lake from the railway tracks near the landslide; buried up in the mountains; or evacuated further to the south.
    Team 4 left the area on 30 June and for the next week investigated a number of miscellaneous targets, stopping in Innsbruck for two days to reinvestigate a targeted building that Team 1 had earlier hastily searched. They found some miscellaneous materials of minor importance. Upon leaving Innsbruck they received a telegram from TICOM recalling them back to England. Although largely a bust, Campaigne and his team did dig up some important clues as to the whereabouts of OKW/Chi archives.

TICOM Team 4 personnel:

    Lieutenant Commander Howard Campaigne, USNR.

    Lieutenant Evelyn Talbot-Ponsonby, RNVR.

    Lieutenant Christopher Huntington, USNR

    Corporal A.G. Abel, Royal Signals, SCU. 8.






Report of TICOM Team 4 visit to Southern Germany and Austria, 14th June – 12th July 1945.

National Archives and Record Administration, College Park (NARA). RG 457, Entry 9037 (Records of the NSA), Box 168.


Oral History Interview with Dr. Howard CAMPAIGNE.

Robert D. Farley. National Security Agency, NSA-OH- 20-83.