Cryptologic Bytes

"On This Date in History" Calendar

1948: Lamphere-Gardner VENONA Collaboration Began.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

19 October 1948: Robert Lamphere, FBI, began collaboration with cryptanalyst Meredith Gardner on VENONA-related material. The two worked closely together and were able to catch several Soviet spies. Learn more about VENONA via the NSA website. Pictured here: Lamphere Top image, Gardner Bottom image.

From New York Times article published February 11, 2002:

"His largest contribution was in using deciphered Soviet cables to build espionage cases. After Mr. Hoover received an anonymous letter in 1943 reporting espionage by Soviet agents, analysts were assigned to break the Soviet code. In October 1948, Mr. Lamphere joined the project full time. He worked with Meredith Knox Gardner of the Army Security Agency, a brilliant linguist who spoke six or seven languages, including Sanskrit.

"I would bring Meredith some material and he would print in a new word over a group of numbers," Mr. Lamphere said in an interview with The Washington Post in 1996. "Then he would give a little smile of satisfaction. He was a brilliant cryptanalyst."

Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in a speech in 1997 called the men's collaboration "intellectual dedication that Americans have a right to know about and to celebrate."

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