The U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association
The U.S. NCVA is a unique organization of active, retired, and honorably discharged U.S. Naval Cryptologists, past and present, whose primary focus is the preservation of our rich cryptologic history.
Our uniqueness is founded in the pioneering spirit of our oldest members who were trained in the 1930s to intercept and decode Japanese Katakana transmissions, and in our youngest members who are singled out and recognized annually from the ranks of currently serving Naval Cryptologists as the best representatives of those early pioneers.
Known as the On-the-Roof Gang, members of that pioneering generation of Naval Cryptologists were trained on the roof of the old Navy Building in Washington, D.C. Armed with no more than a typewriter and a sea bag, these founding fathers made their way singly to China where they erected crude antennas and established the Navy’s first listening outposts. Their fascinating successes have been captured in memoirs and oral histories and remain today as testimonials to the courage, determination and self-sacrifice of their generation.
Building on that foundation of excellence, Naval Cryptology played a decisive role in World War II, particularly in the Pacific where code-breaking served as a critical force-multiplier in the defeat of Japan. Naval Cryptologists made possible the “impossible victory” of Midway—the decisive battle of the Pacific War—and played a disproportionate role in the Navy’s cross-ocean strategic offensive that destroyed the Imperial Japanese Navy in its home waters by 1945. The successes of Naval Cryptology from 1941 to 1945 are legendary, from Joe Rochefort’s efforts in the opening months of the War to the shoot-down of the airplane carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.
Over the past two decades, remarkable stories have been declassified and released regarding the cryptologic successes during World War II, in Europe and the Pacific, that played a large role in winning the War. As time progresses and additional information is declassified, more professional achievements of the men and women of Naval Cryptology may be revealed to our nation, relatives, and friends. The U.S. NCVA and our over 2000 members will continue to collect, document, preserve, and maintain the history of our nation’s unsung heroes.
The U.S. NCVA is a non-profit fraternal organization whose functions include:
- Conducting an annual reunion
- Providing fraternal, social and recreational activities for members and guests
- Encouraging and supporting the preservation of the history of cryptology by members of the association and appropriate Federal Agencies.