Press Release | May 30, 2003

NSA/CSS Memorial Day Observance Honors Cryptologic Heroes, Past and Present

On 30 May 2003, Lt Gen Michael V. Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service honored the service and sacrifice of CT3 Edward J. Purcell, USN, and SSG Gene A. Vance, Jr., USANG, during the Agency's annual Memorial Day Observance.

Petty Officer Purcell lost his life in April of 1950, when Soviet Fighters shot down his U.S. Navy reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea. SSG Vance, a member of the 19th Special Forces Group, West Virginia National Guard, gave his life in our nation's current war on terrorism.

The names of both men are engraved on the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Memorial Wall, which honors the 153 cryptologists who have given their lives in the performance of their duties since World War II. The event was attended by family, friends, and distinguished guests.

For your convenience, we are including the latest editions to the "They Served in Silence" series, which profile the lives of the aforementioned honorees. Should you require additional information, please contact the NSA Public and Media Affairs Office at 301-688-6524.