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Honoring Mary Barbara Brennan Dannaher

Mary Barbara Brennan Dannaher volunteered for the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, who came to be known as WAVES. Barbara was called up for duty to serve for the United States Navy on December 12, 1942. She lived and worked at Mount Vernon Seminary, Washington, D.C. until October, 1945. Barbara was a cryptographer, a code breaker, for the United States Navy-her work included decoding "JN-25"(a code system that the Japanese had created using numbers rather than characters). The WAVES played a significant role in ending World war II; V-J Day, August 15, 1945, "Victory in Japan."

Mary Barbara Dannaher had her first date with Thomas Dannaher on December 7, 1941...Barbara and Thomas first met during a "young adult group" at their community church in Manchester, Connecticut. That very same day in history, December 7, 1941, would change the world forever. The United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, the lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, in the United States territory of Hawaii came under a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy. This attack came as a profound surprise to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and in Europe. **Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Thomas Dannaher joined the United States Marine Corps. In October, 1942 Barbara traveled to the Navy Enlistment Office, New York City, New York, to enlist for the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service, who came to be known as WAVES. Barbara Brennan was not quite twenty-one years of age; therefore, her parents signed for her to volunteer for the United States Navy.

Thomas Dannaher and Barbara Brennan were married on May 3, 1947. They raised six children together. Barbara's passion for children's literature led her to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree in Library Studies, and a Master's Degree in Library Science.

Barbara Brennan Dannaher was a resident of The Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, D.C. She is a character in my book entitled, "Remembering With The Heart, Stories by America's Finest." Barbara and I had so many conversations together and I value each and every one of them. We spoke of her love for her country and for her friends who had selflessly served, her love for her faith, and her admiration and love for her family.


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