Monday, July 08, 2024

A Call to Former KL-7 and KL-47 Operators

TSEC/KL-7 © Dirk Rijmenants

The TSEC/KL-7 crypto machine was developed by the Army Security Agency (ASA) and Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) under the name AFSAM-7, and introduced in 1953 by the National Security Agency (NSA) into the U.S. Army and Air Force, and later also into the CIA and FBI. The machine also served in all NATO forces, their embassies and some state departments. The U.S. Navy AFSAM-47B, later known as TSEC/KL-47, was compatible with the KL-7. The last machines  retired in the early 1980s. It's been little over 40 years ago that the last machines left the service and time is running out to document first-hand accounts on these machines.

If you are a retired signals veteran with experience on the KL-7 or KL-47 as operator or technician, a member of a signals association or organization, or worked in the communications section of a state department that used the KL-7, then contact us through our website to document your story. The KL-7 is fully declassified and we're not interested in classified information, we only want to preserve the cryptologic history of these Cold War icons.

Besides the United States, the KL-7 was also used by its NATO allies Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal and Turkey. Outside NATO, the KL-7 was also on loan to South Korea, South Vietnam and Taiwan. If you're a signals veteran from any of these countries, a state department or embassy in the 1950s to 1980s era, then contact us, or spread the word.

Unfortunately, time is running out to document first-hand accounts, as the people involved are age seventy to ninety, and memories are fading. Please share this request with all signals communities that might have former KL-7 or KL-47 operators and technicians. Those who share their story retain full control over the content and how it is published. Let's preserve cryptologic history!

Visit the U.S. TSEC/KL-7 ADONIS & POLLUX webpage for more info about the KL-7, its development, technical details and full history, including examples of first-hand accounts, published and linked, to get an idea of the stories we hope to document. Contact us through the website contact page.

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