Arlington Hall Station

Keeping Secrets

"It was an enormous room, and everybody is sitting around... and we were doing math.

"It was at Arlington Station which used to be a girls' school. It was just a big old open room with desks kind of like this (makes sweeping gesture with hand), and we sat there and did work all day. Eight hours. But we had 45 minutes for lunch, and two 15 minute breaks. They said you can work better if you don't work too long. After a while, your mind gets stale...

Well, I was riding the bus to work, and when I got ready to get off of the bus, a man on the bus says to me, he says 'where do you all go when you get off and walk up that little path?' The bus driver winked at me and said, 'They go play golf.' This building was surrounded by a fence that was 12 feet high. And they had a system that picked up every sound within 10 feet. And then they went to investigate it. But we had a picture badge when we entered the building. We had to show that badge to get inside the gate, and then inside the building again...

Because, you see, we did not want the enemy to know what we were doing, that we were deciphering their code...

We had soldiers, you know, that was in the Signal Corps, that picked up the messages from Japan – of course, I worked on Japan – picked up them in the field and brought them in... It just looked like a page of numbers. That's all it was, just numbers... It's like you were doing algebra all day...

All women. Except the sergeants, but they were not in my office... It was an enormous room, and everybody is sitting around... and we were doing math.

It was just a bunch of numbers, and you deciphered them to find out the pattern. They were in like a pattern. And after we finished, they took this paper that we even figured on, shredded it, and put in a plane, and dumped it in the ocean, so nobody could find out what we were doing. No evidence."

Images

Arlington Hall Station, 1945.

Arlington Hall Station, 1945.

Aerial view of Arlington Hall Station, 4000 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, Arlington County, VA. | Source: Library of Congress | Creator: U.S. Army Intelligence Security Command View File Details Page

Assignment of personnel letter to Louvinia Jordan, May 17, 1945.

Assignment of personnel letter to Louvinia Jordan, May 17, 1945.

This letter recognizes Lou Jordan's completion of training and assignment to work at Arlington Hall Station. | Source: Louvinia Jordan | Creator: Army Service Forces Signal Security Agency View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Louvinia Jordan, “Arlington Hall Station,” Georgia Journeys, accessed July 21, 2017, http://georgiajourneys.kennesaw.edu/items/show/121.

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