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Press Release | Nov. 28, 2011

NSA/CSS Inducts Four Pioneers into the National Cryptologic Museum's Hall of Honor

FORT MEADE, Md.  –  

Four pioneers of American cryptology were inducted into the NSA/CSS Hall of Honor today at the National Cryptologic Museum. In his keynote remarks during the induction ceremony, John C. Inglis, Deputy Director, National Security Agency, highlighted the distinguished achievements of each of the inductees:

  • Mr. William Coffee: A civil rights pioneer who proved what minorities could achieve in cryptology when given the opportunity. He served as one of the first African-American cryptologists elevated to a supervisory position in the Army Signal Security Agency.
  • Mr. Joseph Desch: Selected among all other engineers at the National Cash Register Company to design the Bombe, a vital cryptanalytic machine in the war against Germany's U-boats, thus saving countless lives and helping to achieve Allied victory in Europe in World War II.
  • Colonel Parker Hitt: Authored The Manual for the Solution of Military Ciphers. Published in 1916, this was the first work of its kind in the United States in 100 years and laid the foundation for the nation's impressive cryptologic achievements during the 20th century. His cryptographic and cryptanalytic principles were used for decades to protect U.S. military communications.
  • Ms. Laura Holmes: A career cryptanalyst who inspired and motivated her students and colleagues with her patience and persistence in solving some of the most difficult cryptanalytic problems in the late 20th century. Her remarkable qualities and legendary ability to remember facets of different systems were often the difference between success and failure.

The Hall of Honor, created in 1999, pays tribute to the pioneers and heroes who have made significant and enduring contributions to American cryptology. For more information on these cryptologic greats, visit the Hall of Honor at

The National Cryptologic Museum is located at the intersection of Maryland Route 32 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (I-295), adjacent to the headquarters of the National Security Agency. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except federal holidays), and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. For more information on the museum, tours, educational programs, and hours and days of operation, visit the National Cryptologic Museum at Admission and parking are free.