Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor

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Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor
Part of Naval Security Group
Winter Harbor, Maine
RockefellerBuilding WinterHarborNavalStation.jpg
The "Rockefeller Building" at the former station
Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor is located in Maine
Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor
Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor
Coordinates 44°20′17″N 68°03′43″W / 44.338°N 68.062°W / 44.338; -68.062
Site information
Owner National Park Service
Controlled by Acadia National Park
Condition Standing
Site history
Built 1935
In use 1935–2002
Garrison information
James W. Guest
Garrison Big Moose Island, Maine

Branch Medical Clinic, Winter Harbor; Customer Service Desk, Winter Harbor Maine; Naval Satellite Operations Center Detachment Alfa; Naval Security Support Group Detachment Two; Defense Commissary Agency, Winter Harbor, Maine; Navy Exchange, Winter Harbor, Maine

U.S. Naval Radio Station- Apartment Building and Power House
Built 1935
Architect Grosvenor Atterbury
Architectural style Rustic Norman
NRHP Reference # 13000533
Added to NRHP 5 July 2013

Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor was a radio station of the United States Navy that operated from 1935 to 2002.


In the early 1930s, Otter Cliffs Radio Station on Mount Desert Island was literally falling apart.[1] John D. Rockefeller, Jr., then developing the infrastructure of Acadia National Park, sought to locate the park's main loop road through the Otter Cliffs area.[2] The Navy was willing to meet Rockefeller halfway on the removal of the radio station from Otter Cliffs, agreeing to relocate if a suitable site could be found on the coast within 50 miles (80 km) of Otter Cliffs.[1] Big Moose Island, at the tip of Schoodic Peninsula about 5 miles (8.0 km) across the mouth of Frenchman Bay from Otter Cliffs, was determined to be an ideal location for the relocated radio station, and agreement was reached between the Navy, Interior Department, and Rockefeller for the relocation.[2]

Rockefeller, wishing the station's buildings to be compatible with others designed for the park, retained Grosvenor Atterbury, the New York architect who designed the park's gatehouses, to come up with plans for the radio station. Atterbury's plan for the new station included a beautiful residence hall similar to Mr. Rockefeller's residence at Seal Harbor. Artisans from all over the world contributed to the project. This building, and the adjacent power station which was also designed by Atterbury, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.[2]

On 28 February 1935, the U.S. Navy Radio and Direction Finding Station Winter Harbor was officially commissioned with Chief Radioman Max Gunn in charge of a complement of 11 personnel.[1]

The station's name has changed several times over the years. In 1944, it was changed to Supplementary Radio Station, U.S. Naval Radio Station Winter Harbor. In 1950, it became known as U.S. Naval Radio Station (Receiver). The present station name, Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor, became official on 9 June 1958.

In 2001, the base transitioned from an operational posture to focusing on the closure process, with the ultimate goal of transferring the Schoodic parcel to the National Park Service. The last System Maintenance Training Course graduated in July 2001. The AN/FRD-10 Wullenweber Antenna and Classic Wizard antennas came down in August. The last service was held at the Chapel 2 September 2001, and the Foc'sle Galley served its last meal on 28 September 2001.[1]


Plans for the site stated that the self-sufficient town would be redeveloped into a learning center of sorts. The National Park Service will determine the final fate of the property.[needs update]


  • Radio Direction Finding Station:CRM M. C. Gunn, CRM O. C. Coonce, CRM F. L. Freeman, CRM J. W. Pearson, CRM/LTJG M. C. Gunn, LTJG L. A. Lankford
  • Supplementary Naval Station:LTJG H. I. Maltz, CRE L. A. Newbury, LTJG M. C. Gunn, LTJG C. M. Smith, LCDR H. L. Kisner
  • Naval Radio Station (Receiver):LCDR F. V. Mason, CDR K. B. Kohler, CDR S. E. Hazelett, LCDR I. E. Willis, LCDR M. C. Morris, LCDR J. L. Koon[3]
  • Naval Group Support Activity:LCDR J. L. Koon, CDR T. J. Quick, CDR C. G. Lawrence, CDR S. T. Faulkner, CDR T. F. Hahn, CDR H. J. Davis, CDR J. F. WIlliamson, LCDR D. K. Layman, CDR G. C. Lawrence Montgomery Jr., CAPT J. D. Wood Jr., CAPT A. D. McEachen III, CAPT M. J. Whelan Jr., CAPT R. K. Lunde, CAPT T. F. Stevens, CAPT E. R. Dittmer, CAPT H. W. Whiton, CAPT J. T. Mitchell, CDR E. J. Kurzanski, CDR S. K. Tucker, CDR M. S. Rogers, CDR E. F. Williamson, CDR J. W. Guest[4]

See also[edit]