III. The Teams‎ > ‎

Team 6

            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:

  • The German Naval 'Y' (intercept) station at Neumunster and the top secret 'Kurier' station at Bokel, which transmitted burst-encripted messages to U-Boats.
  • The capture of ‘Flusslauf’, a new German cipher that was due to go into force on 5 May, which threatened the ability of GCCS to read ULTRA during the final critical days of the war.
  • The capture of OKM 4/SKL III (the B-dienst), the Kreigsmarine SIGINT organization, evacuated to the Naval Signal School at Flensburg. This was one of the two German SIGINT organizations (the other being the Foreign Office) that were captured intact.    

            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.

Royal Navy

Lieutenant Commander Leonard A. Griffiths

Lieutenant Howard J. Lorton

Sub Lieutenant E. Morgan


US Navy

Lieut. (j.g.) M. Gaschk, USN

Ensign P. Phillips, USN


US Army

Major William F. Edgerton,

Lieutenant Oliver R. Kirby

Lieutenant Louis Laptook


            British Army

Lieutenant Geoffrey H. Evans

Major Eric K. Morrison

Captain M.J.M. Horsfield

                    Royal Signals
Corporal Roberts
Corporal Tansley
Driver Fisher Driver Hewetson.




Narrative and Report of Proceedings of TICOM Team 6, 11 April - 6th July 1945.

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