Top Secret Assignment

WAVE Patricia Farrington Siegner worked in an underground bunker when she was stationed in Hawaii, coding and decoding military messages:

I couldn’t tell my mother where I was.  I have, I have in these letters, I’ve got cut outs, paper dolls where the censor took stuff out.  And of course it went over once it looked like we were going to sign armistice they didn’t have so much censorship.  But I couldn’t tell her where I was. So I said, she wanted to know. And of course it would have been cut out. So I told her, “Think about your favorite fruit.” She loved pineapple (laughs). And she got it right away.  You see, it was a territory then. It was not a state, so it was different, entirely different.  Entirely different.  We were in the center of the Pacific Theater War.

This photograph of WAVES in Hawaii comes from the National Archives.

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