This mission of this site is to tell the story of hundreds of people who worked at the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory, a top secret project in Dayton during World War Two. These people kept their secret for over fifty years.

Please take a look–there are hundreds of pages of declassified documents, rosters of personnel, photographs and more. Audience members for my presentation in July will find a new bibliography page brought up to date to include new information on the web.

This site originates with and is maintained by Debbie Anderson in Dayton, Ohio. This site is an outgrowth of my own efforts to learn more about this story and a desire to share what I have learned. It also is a resource for documentation behind the documentary Dayton Codebreakers.

I am grateful to the Archive Center at Dayton History, the Wenger Command Display in Pensacola, Florida, friends at the NSA Cryptologic History Center and the National Cryptologic Museum, and the many veterans–WAVES and sailors– who have been so generous over the years for a share of the photographs presented here.

Thanks for learning about a part of Dayton’s, and the nation’s, history.


The 2016 George R. Stibitz Computer & Communications Pioneer Award Recipients

The two individuals most responsible for developing the advanced technologies, with their respective teams – in England and the United States of America, that cracked the secret World War II German Enigma Machine Code:

ALAN TURING (posthumously), Bletchley Park, England – award to be received by Sir Dermot Turing, Alan Turing’s nephew, For Seminal & Pioneering Contributions to the Breaking of the German Enigma Machine Code. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing)

JOSEPH DESCH (posthumously), NCR, Dayton, Ohio – award to be received in person by Debbie Desch Anderson, Joseph Desch’s daughter. For Seminal & Pioneering Contributions to the Breaking of the German Enigma Machine Code. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Desch)

The Recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Medal Recipient awarded by President Barak Obama: MARY SHAW, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, PA. For Seminal & Pioneering Contributions to Software Architecture & Computer Science Curricula. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Shaw_(computer_scientist))

For more information as the date approaches, see The American Computer & Robotics Museum site.

Stray thoughts

Leibniz (1646-1716) saw binary coding as the key to a universal language and credited its invention to the Chinese, seeing in the hexagrams of the I Ching the remnants of “a Binary Arithmetic .. which I have rediscovered some thousands of years later.” Leibniz’s notes show the development of simple algorithms for translating between decimal and binary notation and for performing the basic functions of arithmetic as mechanically iterated operations on strings of zeros and ones.

Turing’s Cathedral, George Dyson


    Broadcast extended 2006-2018 (!) on American Public Television. DVD sales--

    DVDs of our documentary can be obtained in several ways:

    If you live in the Dayton area, DVDs are sold at the Museum Store at Carillon Historical Park, and at the book store at the Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center, West Third Street.

    If you're out of town, contact Carillon Park. Read more . Please note, this is a change, Aug. 17th.

  • Dayton Codebreakers appearances

    It's been a busy year at this end and I've needed to adjust my schedule. For the immediate future I am not able to make new speaking dates. I'm looking forward to getting back to a full schedule soon. Debbie Anderson
  • Changes behind the scenes

    The inner workings of this site will be undergoing some changes in the next few months.

    The core pages are now 15 years old--difficult to believe but true.

    The plan is to make these improvements without disrupting the content. It will all be good!

    Debbie Anderson