U.S. Finally Honors Cracker of War Code

Associated Press

The late Capt. Joseph J. Rochefort was finally honored by his government Friday when he received a posthumous medal from President Reagan for cracking a World War II Japanese code and providing the Navy with the key to one of its greatest victories at the Battle of Midway.

Reagan presented the medal to Rochefort’s family in a White House ceremony attended by top U.S. national security officials.

Rochefort, who died in 1976, was denied the Distinguished Service Medal twice during his lifetime. But it was granted to him last fall by special order of Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr.

A citation noted that Rochefort’s “unrelenting efforts” resulted in breaking the Japanese code and defeating the Japanese during the Battle of Midway from June 2-4, 1942.