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U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers against Japan, 1910-1941


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Foreword: Vice Admiral John M. Poindexter, USN, Ret. Author's Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction Illustrations The Scanners (radio direction-finders and radio traffic analysts) Captain Thomas Averill Huckins, U.S. Navy (1901-1982) Captain John Alton Williams, U.S. Navy (1905-1962) The Book-breakers (cryptographers and codebreakers) Rear Admiral Bern Anderson, U.S. Navy (1900-1963) Commander Henry M. Anthony, U.S. Coast Guard (1902-1991) Captain Prescott Hunt Currier, U.S. Navy (1912-1994) Rear Admiral Jefferson Rice Dennis, U.S. Navy (1909-1958) Mrs. Agnes May Meyer Driscoll, U.S. Navy Civilian (1889-1971) Captain Thomas "Tommy" Harold Dyer, U.S. Navy (1902-1985) Captain Rudolph Joseph Fabian, U.S. Navy (1908-1984) Rear Admiral William Bernard Goggins, U.S. Navy (1904-1995) Captain Ernest Sidney Lewis Goodwin, U.S. Navy (1904-1992) Captain John Sylvester Harper, U.S. Navy (1900-1975) Captain Jack Sebastian Holtwick, Jr., U.S. Navy (1907-1987) Captain Linwood Sylvester Howeth, U.S. Navy (1902-1972) Rear Admiral Raymond Starr Lamb, U.S. Navy (1902-1957) Captain John Marion Lietwiler, U.S. Navy (1908-1978) Chief Radioman Walter Joseph McGregor, U.S. Navy (1906-1941) Captain Lee Wood Parke, U.S. Naval Reserve (1904-1986) Lieutenant James Warren Pearson, U.S. Navy (1910-1992) Captain Albert Joseph Pelletier, Jr., U.S. Navy (1914-1999) Vice Admiral Bernard Franklin Roeder, U.S. Navy (1911-1971) Captain Laurance Frye Safford, U.S. Navy (1890-1973) Rear Admiral Earl Everett Stone, U.S. Navy (1895-1989) Admiral Arthur Dewey Struble, U.S. Navy (1894-1983) Rear Admiral Robert Harper Weeks, U.S. Navy (1909-2003) Rear Admiral Joseph Numa Wenger, U.S. Navy (1901-1970) Captain Duane Lewis Whitlock, U.S. Navy (1917-2007) Vice Admiral Russell Willson, U.S. Navy (1883-1948) Captain Wesley Arnold "Ham" Wright, U.S. Navy (1902-1986) Rear Admiral Richard Dewey Zern, U.S. Navy (1905-1958) The Blue Sky Merchants (linguists, translators, and intelligence officers) Captain Forrest Rosecrans "Tex" Biard, U.S. Navy (1912-2009) Captain Henri de Balathier Claiborne, U.S. Navy (1903-1969) Rear Admiral Cecil Hengy Coggins, M.C., U.S. Navy (1902-1987) Captain Joseph Francis Finnegan, U.S. Navy (1905-1980) Rear Admiral Ranson Fullinwider, U.S. Navy (1905-1969) Brigadier General Bankson Taylor Holcomb, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (1908-2000) Captain Wilfred Jay "Jasper" Holmes, U.S. Navy (1900-1986) Captain Stephen Jurika, Jr., U.S. Navy (1910-1993) Colonel Alva Bryan "Red" Lasswell, U.S. Marine Corps (1905-1988) Rear Admiral Edwin Thomas Layton, U.S. Navy (1903-1984) Rear Admiral Arthur Howard McCollum, U.S. Navy (1898-1976)Rear Admiral Kenneth Duval Ringle, U.S. Navy (1900-1963) Captain Fred Fremont Rogers, U.S. Navy (1884-1952) Lieutenant Commander Durwood Garland "Tex" Rorie, U.S. Navy (1909-1987) Captain William Joseph Sebald, U.S. Naval Reserve (1901-1980) Captain Gilven Max Slonim, U.S. Navy (1901-1977) Captain Henri Harold Smith-Hutton, U.S. Navy (1901-1977) Vice Admiral Rufus Lackland Taylor, Jr., U.S. Navy (1910-1978) Captain Edward Howe Watson, U.S. Navy (1874-1942) Rear Admiral Ethelbert Watts, U.S. Navy (1902-1966) Rear Admiral Ellis Mark Zacharias, Sr., U.S. Navy (1890-1961) The "Hybrids" (multi-skilled and multi-proficient) Captain Thomas Butler Birtley, Jr., U.S. Navy (1899-1956) Vice Admiral Howard Fithian Kingman, U.S. Navy (1890-1968) Captain Alwin Dalton Kramer, U.S. Navy (1903-1972) Rear Admiral Redfield Barnard Mason, U.S. Navy (1904-1995) Rear Admiral John Walter McClaran, U.S. Navy (1887-1948) Rear Admiral Gill MacDonald Richardson, U.S. Navy (1905-1988) Captain Joseph John Rochefort, U.S. Navy (1900-1976) Captain John George Roenigk, U.S. Navy (1912-1993) Appendices A. What's a Code, and What's a Cipher B. Chronology of Select Highlights, U.S. Navy Radio Intelligence, Pacific Area of Operations 1916-1941 C. Directors of U.S. Naval Intelligence, 1909-1942 D. Directors of U.S. Naval Communications, 1912-1942 E. U.S. Naval Attaches in Tokyo, 1914-1941 F. U.S. Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Office of Naval Communications, Section "OP-20-G" and its Antecedents G. Officers-in-Charge, Office of Naval Communications, Code and Signal Section, "Research Desk," OP-20-GX H. Officers-in-Charge, Office of Naval Communications, Code and Signal Section, Translation Section, OP-20-GZ I. Growth of U.S. Naval Radio Intelligence J. U.S. Naval Radio Intelligence, Primarily Focused upon Japan, as of December 1941 K. Station HYPO, Territory of Hawaii L. U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Japanese Language/Culture Officers Immersed in Japan, 1910-1941 M. The "On the Roof Gang" N. Operation "Vengeance" Suggested Reading Glossary Index

About the Author

Capt. Steven E. Maffeo, U.S.N.R., Ret. formerly associate director, McDermott Library, U.S. Air Force Academy.


Though it is well known that US naval intelligence contributed greatly to the Allied victory in the Pacific War, less is known of the dedicated men who worked so long and hard to understand a complicated language and foreign culture. Each of the 59 entries has a photograph of the officer; an excerpt from his entry in The Lucky Bag, the Annapolis yearbook of the Naval Academy; and a discussion of his life and how he contributed to the effort to crack Japan's codes. These interesting details help readers understand the difficult but ultimately successful analytical work and the bitter bureaucratic battles. As expected, the book is extensively documented with excerpts from various sources, footnotes, bibliography, and references at the end of each entry. The author, a retired associate director of the McDermott Library at the US Air Force Academy, has written other books on intelligence topics. This unique tool is a much-needed tribute to these unsung heroes and can be used when researching the pre-WW II era and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also available in electronic format, it is most suitable for the reference collections of academic or large public libraries. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers. * CHOICE *
Maffeo's book fills a longstanding gap in the literature of Navy cryptology. This volume will remain the standard reference for information about the Navy's intelligence personnel before and during World War II. * Proceedings *
As a retired Air Officer and student of military history, I found Steve Maffeo' s book, U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers against Japan, 1910-1941, to be absolutely fascinating-as it will be to anyone who wants to get the true history of naval intelligence before the start of World War II. His biographies of these 59 intelligence and cryptology pioneers tell the story of how these dedicated people-who were underfunded, undermanned, and usually under appreciated-helped win the eventual war against Japan. Fortunately, because Captain Maffeo has written this outstanding history, their deeds and names will live on. This is a must read. -- Steve Lorenz, General, U.S. Air Force, Ret., formerly Commander, Air Education and Training Command
Steve Maffeo's new book is a winner in the fields of intelligence and cryptology before and during World War II. While other authors have dealt with the intercepted intelligence itself and its contributions to naval and military operational planning, he delves into the previously secret aspects of the process of code breaking by focusing on the people involved. By describing in considerable detail what it cost many of them as individuals, he humanizes their personal contributions to the war effort. Overall, this book will be of interest to anyone interested in pre-war and wartime intelligence and especially to students in the field of intelligence studies-as well as the descendants of the men Maffeo writes about who were forbidden to tell their own stories. In a real sense, while the details vary, their experiences reflect the pressures and demands on code breakers and intelligence officers in other wars past and present. -- John Kenneth Rowland, Ph.D., Colonel, USAF (Ret.); emeritus (program director and associate dean), U.S. National Intelligence University
...A scholarly monument to the brilliant men and women who contributed mightily to the U.S. victory in World War II over Japan-and helped lay the foundations for today's National Security Agency. -- Stephen Coonts, New York Times best-selling author of Flight of the Intruder, Fortunes of War, Combat, Deep Black, and America

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