Welcome to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation. The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

  • ...The nation’s brightest young minds to consider careers in STEM and cyber related fields

  • ...Robust dialog with the American public on cyber policy, technology, and privacy

  • ...Those who “served in silence” with valor and distinction, especially those who gave their lives in service

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

1956: U.S. Navy Recon Plane Shot Down

Thursday, August 22, 2019
1956: U.S. Navy Recon Plane Shot Down

22 August 1956: Chinese fighters shot down U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane over Shengsi Islands, killing all 16 crew members.

PRC fighters regularly tailed Naval reconnaissance aircraft and, on occasion, had opened fire, but they did not shoot down an SESP platform, until 22 August 1956, when a P4M-1Q Mercator was downed in an unprovoked attack 32 miles off the coast of China and 180 miles north of Taiwan. The aircraft radioed that it had encountered hostile fighters and was not heard from again. All 16 crewman were missing. Despite an intense search and rescue mission, the body of only one of the 16 crewman was recovered and the remainder were presumed dead. The PRC later returned the bodies of three of the crewman. It was the costliest Naval reconnaissance loss to date.

Learn more via the NSA publication: " A Dangerous Business: The US Navy and National Reconnaissance During the Cold War," via the link below.

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  • In July 1993, the National Cryptologic Museum was first opened to NSA employees and their families, and to other members of the Intelligence Community. This photo is of the main exhibit room as it appeared in July 1993 - courtesy of former curator Jack Ingram.

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.