Predecessor Organizations

Bond, Donald. Radio Direction Finders. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1944. [Petersen]

Brownell, George A. The Origin and Development of the National Security Agency. Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1981.

Burns, Thomas L. The Quest for Cryptologic Centralization and the Establishment of NSA: 1940-1952. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: Center for Cryptologic History, National Security Agency, 2005. []

This is an unclassified version of Burns' The Origins of NSA (1990). In a "Foreword" to the 1990 edition, NSA Historian Henry F. Schorreck calls Burns' work "a masterfully researched and documented account of the evolution of a national SIGINT effort following World War II.... [The author] makes an especially important contribution by helping us to understand the role of the civilian agencies in forcing the creation of NSA and the bureaucratic infighting by which they were able to achieve that end." Kruh, Cryptologia 30.2 (Apr. 2006), says that this "is an excellent detailed history with extensive source notes and more than 40 photographs."

Hannah, Theodore M. "Frank B. Rowlett: A Personal Profile." Cryptologic Spectrum (Spring 1981): 4-22. [Petersen]

Ingram, Jack E. [Curator, National Cryptologic Museum] "The Origins of NSA." American Intelligence Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 1994): 39-42.

Safford, Laurance F. [CAPT/USN (Ret.)] A Brief History of Communications Intelligence in the United States. Designated as SRH-149 in the U.S. National Archives, Washington, D.C. Text available at and at

A "Reviewer's Note" accompanying this item states that it was prepared 21-27 March, 1952, and certified to be declassified by the NSA Director on 6 March 1982.

U.S. Army Security Agency. The Origin and Development of the Army Security Agency 1917-1947. Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1978.

Constantinides: This work reads just like the form in which it began life: "a typical government orientation lecture." It gives bare-bones treatment of the various names, organizations, and reorganizations over a period of thirty years and two wars.

Williams, Jeannette, with Yolande Dickerson. The Invisible Cryptologists: African-Americans, WWII to 1956. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 2001. []

The author's "exhaustive search of the cryptologic archives ... recovered the basic story of the segregated cryptologic organizations -- including the previously unknown existence of a large office of African-Americans in World War II."

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