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1971: Cryptologic Pioneer Agnes Driscoll Died

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
1971: Cryptologic Pioneer Agnes Driscoll Died

16 September 1971: Cryptologic pioneer Agnes Meyer Driscoll died.

From the NSA Web site: Women in American Cryptology:

Agnes Driscoll joined the U.S. Navy in 1918, with a degree in mathematics and physics, and a proficiency in English, French, German, Latin, and Japanese. She worked in their cryptologic office throughout World War I.

Staying with the Navy as a civilian, Mrs. Driscoll was instrumental in breaking Japanese naval systems between the wars. In 1930, she solved the Japanese system used during their Grand Maneuvers. The information learned indicated that the Japanese knew American operational plans. Later, she broke the Japanese "Blue Book" which required solving both the code and the overlaying cipher simultaneously.

Mrs. Driscoll also assisted in the development of an early cipher machine and encouraged the use of tabulating machines for cryptanalysis. She retired from NSA in 1959.

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