Around 200 people gathered to listen to an unsung hero tell her story as a codebreaker in World War II at the Bedford D-Day Memorial Pavilion.
Dorothy Bruce shared the details of the once top-secret operation that she was forced to keep to herself while the war was going on.
Bruce took pieces of code, four digits at a time, and through memory and a mind for mathematics turned them into the messages the Imperial Japanese Army were sending.
She was one of the few who knew the Japanese surrendered before the president did.
But there was a special reason many of the codebreakers from that war were women.
“The idea was that men were not smart enough to do this type of decoding so they were calling in women from elitist colleges to apply for these jobs in Washington and we didn’t know what for,” Bruce said.
Bruce’s speech was part of the National D-Day Memorial’s lunchbox lecture series.
The book, Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II tells Bruce’s story in full.