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Pre-1952 Historical Timeline

1912 November 16 Herbert O. Yardley hired as Code Clerk, U.S. State Department
1916 Colonel Parker Hitt, USA: published Manual for MilitaryCiphers
1916 July 28 U.S. Navy Code and Signal Section established
1917 Gilbert Vernam, AT&T, invented one-time tape teleprinter
1917 January 16 Zimmermann Telegram sent
1917 March 1 Zimmermann Telegram released to the U.S. press
1917 June 10 Establishment of U.S. Army Code and Cipher Section, MI-8
1917 June 29 Herbert O. Yardley commissioned First Lieutenant in U.S. Army
1917 July 28 Captain Frank Moorman detailed to form U.S. Army Radio Intercept Section, AEF
1917 October 29 First U.S. intercept in France in World War I
1917 December 12 U.S. Army intercept station opened, Souilly, France
1918 April 15 Arthur Scherbius offered prototype ENIGMA machine to German Navy
1918 May William Friedman commissioned First Lieutenant, assigned to Radio Intelligence Section, France
1919 May 19 Chief of the U.S. Department of State approved creation of Cipher Bureau (AKA Black Chamber)
1919 July Agnes Driscoll employed by U.S. Navy
1919 October 1 The Cipher Bureau began operations.
1919 November 1 Great Britain: Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS) established
1920 William Friedman published The Index of Coincidence at Riverbank Laboratories
1920 December 6 William Friedman hired as contract code compiler by U.S. Army
1923 Chief of Naval Operations directed U.S. Navy to undertake intercept of foreign communications
1924 U.S. established COMINT site in Shanghai
1924 January 1 U.S. Navy established Radio Intelligence Office
1924 January 1 Laurance Safford became Officer in Charge, Cryptographic Research, U.S. Navy.
1924 September 30 Edward Hebern received a patent for a rotor-based electric code machine.
1926 February 9 German Navy introduced the ENIGMA machine as "Radio Key C" for communications security
1927 U.S. intercept station established, Peking
1927 Swedish businessman Boris Hagelin introduced A-22 machine
1928 U.S. Navy began Japanese kana intercept course
1928 July 15 German Army introduced the ENIGMA machine for communications security
1929 U.S. intercept station established, Guam
1929 March U.S. intercept station in Shanghai decommissioned
1929 May 10 U.S. Army decided to form Signal Intelligence Service; Friedman to be chief
1929 October 31 The Cipher Bureau, headed by Herbert Yardley, closed
1930 April 1 Frank B. Rowlett hired by William Friedman as cryptologist for U.S. Army Signal Intelligence Service
1930 April 10 Abraham Sinkov hired by William Friedman as cryptologist for U.S. Army SIS
1930 April 21 Solomon Kullback hired by William Friedman as cryptologist for U.S. Army SIS
1930 May U.S. intercept station established, Olongapo, Philippines
1930 May 13 John Hurt hired by William Friedman as Japanese linguist, U.S. Army SIS
1931 January Intercept site established, Bar Harbor, Maine
1931 June Herbert O. Yardley published The American Black Chamber
1932 March Intercept site established, Astoria, Oregon
1932 December Polish Cipher Bureau began deciphering German ENIGMA-based messages
1935 March 11 U.S. Navy intercept reorganized and redesignated as OP-20-G
1935 April U.S. Navy high frequency direction finding installed at Mare Island, California
1935 July U.S. intercept site moved from Peking to Shanghai
1937 February U.S. Army SIS produced first translation of Japanese diplomatic "RED" machine
1937 February Great Britain: Air Ministry adopted TYPEX MK 1 cipher machine
1938 Solomon Kullback published Statistical Methods in Cryptanalysis
1938 June Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced "PURPLE" cipher machine
1939 January 1 U.S. Army Second Signal Service Company (later Battalion) created
1939 June Japanese Navy introduced code system known to the U.S. as JN-25
1939 July 24 UK-France-Poland tripartite meeting to discuss decryption of ENIGMA
1939 August Astoria, Oregon intercept site relocated to Bainbridge Island, Washington
1939 September U.S. Army SIS produced first translation of Japanese "PURPLE" machine
1940 August U.S. Army approved exchange of cryptologic information with GC&CS
1940 September 11 U.S. Army and Navy sign agreement on joint exploitation of Japanese "PURPLE" machine
1940 October Cavite station moved to Corregidor
1940 October Shanghai station decommissioned
1941 February Sinkov-Currier mission to UK departed (in UK through March)
1941 March Monitoring school established at Fort Monmouth
1941 June 11 Herbert O. Yardley hired by Canada's National Research Council
1941 August Commander Alistaire Denniston of GC&CS visited SIS
1941 September DF station commission at Sitka, Alaska
1941 November 22 Herbert O. Yardley dismissed by Canada's National Research Council
1941 December 7 Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
1942 U.S. Army Signal Intelligence Service redesignated Signal Security Service
1942 U.S.-UK agreement on sharing naval communications intelligence
1942 January First U.S.-Canada cryptologic exchange (captured French code)
1942 February U.S. Navy Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne (FRUMEL) established
1942 February 1 German Navy introduced 4-rotor ENIGMA machine for U-boats
1942 February 5 First evacuation of Station CAST (Corregidor) personnel
1942 March 11 Second evacuation of Station CAST personnel
1942 March 15 U.S. Navy began reading Japanese system JN-25
1942 April 15 Central Bureau established in Australia to support Southwest Pacific operations
1942 May DF station established at Kodiak, Alaska
1942 June U.S. Army acquired Arlington Hall Station for the Signal Security Service
1942 July Central Bureau moved to Brisbane
1942 July Abraham Sinkov arrived at Central Bureau, Brisbane as Commander, 837th Detachment
1942 July 8 FDR limits COMINT activities to Army, Navy, and FBI
1942 October 5 U.S. Army SSA activated Vint Hill Farms
1942 November COMINT station established on Guadalcanal
1943 February 7 U.S. Navy OP-20-G moved to Nebraska Avenue
1943 March German Navy adopted 4-rotor ENIGMA machine
1943 April First break into Japanese Water Transport System
1943 May GC&CS activated HEATH ROBINSON machine for cryptanalysis of German TUNNY machine
1943 August Strategic intercept station at Amchitka, Alaska
1943 September Intercept site established at Adak, Alaska
1943 December Strategic DF station established at Tarawa
1944 U.S. Army Air Corps established independent intercept operations
1944 February Intercept and DF stations established at Kwajalein
1944 February GC&CS activated COLOSSUS MK I for cryptanalysis of TUNNY; may be first computer
1944 April 18 Army-Navy COMINT Coordinating Committee -- precursor of USIB -- first met
1944 November DF station Tarawa decommissioned
1944 December DF station Guadalcanal decommissioned
1945 February DF station Amchitka decommissioned
1945 April Intercept and DF stations established at Iwo Jima
1945 July 3 Cryptographic Security Board established
1945 August Strategic DF station established at Leyte
1945 September 15 U.S. Army Signal Security Agency renamed Army Security Agency
1948 June 23 Air Force Security Group activated
1948 October 20 Air Force Security Group renamed Air Force Security Service
1949 May 20 Armed Forces Security Agency established
1952 November 4 National Security Agency established

Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Mar 2, 2012 | Last Reviewed: Mar 2, 2012