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Cryptologic Hall of Honor

The Cryptologic Hall of Honor was created in 1999 to pay special tribute to the pioneers and heroes who rendered distinguished service to American cryptology.

The standards are high for induction into this great hall. The individuals honored were innovators over their entire careers or made major contributions to the structure and processes of American cryptology. The men and women who have been inducted to the Cryptologic Hall of Honor are all greats in the once silent world of cryptology.

In the early days of America's cryptologic effort, many of the "giants" did both Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance. They made important contributions to both offensive and defensive cryptology. As such, they were among the first inducted into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor.

Brigadier John Tiltman

2004 Hall of Honor Inductee

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John Tiltman joined the British Army in 1914, saw service at the front during the Great War, and was wounded in France. In the period from 1921-29, he served with the Indian Army as a cryptanalyst.

After a decade as a War Office civilian at the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), the interwar cryptologic organization, John was recalled to active duty. His experience enabled him to assist in many areas of endeavor at GC&CS. Considered one of Bletchley Park's finest cryptanalysts on non-machine systems, he also had an important role in solving the German TUNNY machine system.

John Tiltman was an early and persistent advocate of British cooperation with the United States in cryptology. His advocacy helped achieve smooth relations during World War II.

In 1944, he was promoted to Brigadier and appointed Deputy Director of GC&CS. He continued in 1946, as Assistant Director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), successor to GC&CS.

John Tiltman became Senior GCHQ Liaison Officer at the Army Security Agency in 1949.

After reaching normal retirement age, he was retained by GCHQ from 1954-1964. From 1964-1980 he was a consultant and researcher at NSA, spending in all 60 years at the cutting edge of SIGINT.

John Tiltman made the transition from the manual ciphers of the early 20th century to the sophisticated machine systems of the latter half of the century. "The Brig," as he was affectionately known in both countries, compiled a lengthy record of high achievement. His efforts at training and his attention to all the many facets that make up cryptology inspired the best in all who encountered him.

Brigadier John Tiltman died in August 1982.