Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Jean Briggs Watters

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "A woman has been buried in Nebraska with British military honors for her secret work cracking the Nazi's Enigma code during World War II.
    Jean Briggs Watters died on September 15 at the age of 92. She was buried on Monday at the Omaha National Ceremony next to her husband of 72 years, John Watters, who died in June at the age of 101.
    Watters, who was British, enlisted in the Women's Royal Naval Service when she was 18 and worked on a top secret Enigma codebreaking team tasked with cracking German communication codes throughout the war.
    Watters was among about 10,000 people, mostly women, who took part in secret program led by Alan Turing, who was the subject of the 2014 Oscar-winning film The Imitation Game.
    She operated an electro-mechanical machine known as a bombe, to decipher signals the German armed forces sent out from its Enigma encryption machines.
    The program at Bletchley Park saved lives and helped bring an end to the war.
    Watters' family said she kept the secret for 30 years, until it was declassified in 1975. Her son, Peter Watters, told the Daily Express that his father, who served in the war as a a US Army Air Corps pilot, was stunned when he found out what she really did.
    Peter said Watts had always told friends and family that she was a military driver.
    'When she told my father he was stunned,' Peter said. He said, "We've had six kids together, we've traveled the world together - you could have told me!"'
    Watters met her husband in the war and they married soon after. The couple retired to the US in 1969."

Share This Page