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Polish mathematicians & code breakers made the first breakthroughs against Nazi Germany's Enigma code.......

1958: Herbert O. Yardley Died

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
1958: Herbert O. Yardley Died

7 August 1958: American cryptologic pioneer Herbert O. Yardley died. Yardley was inducted into the NSA Cryptologic Hall of Honor in 1999 (see link below).

The following is from his Hall of Honor entry:

Born in 1889 in Indiana, Herbert O. Yardley began his career as a code clerk in the State Department. He accepted a Signal Corps Reserve commission and served as a cryptologic officer with the American Expeditionary Forces in France during WWI. In the 1920s he was chief of MI-8, the first U.S. peacetime cryptanalytic organization, jointly funded by the U.S. Army and the Department of State. In that capacity, he and a team of cryptanalysts exploited nearly two dozen foreign diplomatic cipher systems. MI-8 was disbanded in 1929 when the State Department withdrew its share of the funding.

Out of work, Yardley caused a sensation in 1931 with the publication of his memoirs of MI-8, "The American Black Chamber." In this book, Yardley revealed the extent of U.S. cryptanalytic work in the 1920s. Surprisingly, the wording of the espionage laws at that time did not permit prosecution of Yardley. (This situation was changed two years later with a new law imposing stiff penalties for unauthorized revelations of cryptologic secrets.)

Yardley did some cryptologic work for Canada and China during World War II, but he was never again given a position of trust in the U.S. government.

Read more about Herbert O. Yardley in "The Many Lives of Herbert O. Yardley" on the NSA.gov site via the link below.

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  • Maj. Albert J. Myer, founder of the "wig-wag," or aerial telegraphy, flag signaling system, was appointed first chief of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Myer's flag "wig-wag" code was first used in the first Battle of Bull Run or Battle of First Manassas. The code was used extensively by both the Union and Confederate armies throughout the war.

About Us

The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community. We think you will agree it is truly a "museum like no other."

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a priceless collection of artifacts that represent our Nation's history in code making and code breaking, as well as a world class library of cryptologic media. The NCMF acquires the best artifacts for the NCM and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The NCMF provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and innovation through valued awards, and hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events.

As part of the Foundation's partnership with NSA to build the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation - Home of the National Cryptologic Museum (CCEI-NCM), the NCMF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCMF and NCM share a joint three-fold mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.