HomeAbout UsCryptologic HeritageHistorical Figures and PublicationsHall of Honor

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.

Col Alva Bryan Lasswell, USMC

2019 Hall of Honor Inductee

PRINT | E-MAIL

1stLt Alva Bryan Lasswell, USMC, commanded a Navy-Marine Corps pioneer covert signals collection unit in China in the 1930s. The intercept was both of national interest and crucial to Americans in the region in a time of crisis. 

Lasswell was then assigned to Station HYPO, Hawaii. He was one of only two at HYPO who were cryptolinguists, and became the “go to” person for analysis and language work.  He assumed the senior role in quality control in both cryptanalysis and translation after 1942. 

Lasswell’s analysis helped shape Navy decisions in the Battle of Coral Sea in 1942, and he was part of a team that uncovered Japan’s next major target, Midway Island. He had a large part in decrypting and translating enemy battle plans, a key factor in the stunning US victory at Midway, which changed the war. Lasswell processed Admiral Yamamoto’s flight plan for a frontline tour in 1943. The subsequent US ambush of Yamamoto, based on this decrypt, was a significant loss for Japan. 

Col Alva “Red” Lasswell coupled cryptanalytic and language skills with analytical insights that were decisive in turning the Pacific war in favor of the United States. His actions influenced strategic decisions that helped shorten the war and save countless lives.