TICOM Team 6, formed in February 1945, was a joint team dedicated to the capture and exploitation of German Naval SIGINT targets. Its specific targets were the German Naval Intelligence Center, thought at that time to be at Lanke, and the German SIGINT headquarters believed to be at Eberswalde, both in the Berlin area. However, the Soviet offensive that month drove these units north west into Schleswig-Holstein, closer to the Naval bases around Kiel and Donitz’s headquarters in Flensburg. After crossing the Rhine, this area was to be the responsibility of 21st Army Group, allowing TICOM access to these suspected SIGINT sites.
Due to these circumstances, Team 6 was the first TICOM team sent out. The team as organized was under the command of Commander A.M.S. Mackenzie, RNVR, head of Naval Section IV Research at GC&CS, with Lieutenant John Nuelsen, USNR as executive officer, with two British and two American junior naval officers. The team, activated on 15 April, was sent to Holland to link up with 30 AU headquartered at Venlo. For the next two months, they followed (and sometimes led) the army into northern Germany, and captured a number of important naval intelligence targets including:
By 3 May, when the German collapse appeared to be imminent, TICOM decided to expand Team 6 responsibilities to cover additional military targets, including OKW/Chi. Four additional army officers, two British and two Americans, Major Morrison and Lieutenants Laptook, Kirby and Morgan, arrived in Venlo two days later.
The fortunes of war were kind to TICOM, for accompanying the German surrender party to SHAEF Headquarters in Rhimes on 6 May was Lieutenant Colonel Metting, the second in command of OKW/Chi. Also taken into custody at the same time was the OKW/Chi chief of the mathematical cryptanalyst section Dr Erich Huettenhain, along with his assistant Dr Walther Fricke. When Team 6 as a whole arrived in Flensburg on 19 May, Morrison and Kirby made contact with Colonel Hugo Kettler, chief of OKW/Chi. These prisoners provided a font of knowledge to TICOM.
However, one key official was missing from the bag, William Fenner, Chief Cryptanalyst and a founding member of OKW/Chi, was not with the Flensburg group, but rather had led an OKW/Chi operational group south.
TICOM Team 6 personnel:
Commander A.M.S. Mackenzie, RNVR, C.O.
Lieutenant John Nuelsen, USNR, X.O.
Lieutenant Commander Leonard A. Griffiths
Lieutenant Howard J. Lorton
Sub Lieutenant E. Morgan
Lieut. (j.g.) M. Gaschk, USN
Ensign P. Phillips, USN
Major William F. Edgerton,
Lieutenant Oliver R. Kirby
Lieutenant Louis Laptook
Lieutenant Geoffrey H. Evans
Major Eric K. Morrison
Captain M.J.M. Horsfield
III. The Teams >