Biard, Forrest, CAPT

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Primary Unit
1944-1944, USS Wasatch (AGC-9)
Service Years
1934 - 1955
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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bill Mullins (Moon), CT3 to remember Biard, Forrest (Tex), CAPT USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Born in Bonham, Texas
Last Address
Dallas, Texas

Date of Passing
Nov 02, 2009
Location of Interment
Not Specified
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Not Specified

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Last Known Activity
Biard, USN (Ret), Capt. Forrest R. Died November 2, 2009, at age 96. He was the last surviving pre-war trained Japanese cryptolinguist member of the U.S. Naval codebreaking organization during World War II. Capt. Biard served in all three Navy codebreaking units during the war.

There is one rather remarkable item in this morning's Metro section: Among the paid-for obituaries is a notice that retired U.S. Navy Captain Forrest R. Biard died Tuesday at the age of 96. A Bonham native and North Dallas High School grad in 1930 (he is, in fact, a recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Award), Biard left the U.S. Naval Academy in 1934, graduating 11th in his class, and landed at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo -- where, according to his family, he studied "Japanese language, history, and culture from September 1939 to September 1941," at which point, says the obit, "then-Lt. Cdr. Biard secured p.assage out of Japan for ten expert Navy linguists weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor." He then sent to Station HYPO, the unit charged with breaking Japanese code. Biard, known as "Tex," was working in the basement of the Old Administration Building at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

In a 2002 speech about his experiences as a codebreaker, Biard, then 90 and living in Highland Park, spoke at great length about why his unit "detected absolutely no warning of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor"; he also discussed his role in breaking the code that led to the Allies discovery of a pending attack on June 1942. Which is but one highlight among many, including his tenure working for Gen. Douglas MacArthur's intelligence center in Brisbane (mentioned in the book Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan) and his post-war decision to pursue his master's degree in physics at Ohio State, which landed him the job as operations officer for the first hydrogen bomb test in 1952. According to the obit, visitation takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home and Cemetery; he will then be buried, at later day, at the Arlington National Cemetery.
Other Comments:
I saw the Captain's obituary in the Dallas Morning News. We graduated from North Dallas High School (he in 1930, I in 1963) and he was involved in radio intelligence (I was a CT), so I have created this profile to remember him. I will add more details as I acquire them.
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
State Department, Washington, DC, Naval Support Unit (NSU)Naval Telecommunications Center (NTCC)USS Yorktown (CV-5)US Navy
CNO - OPNAVAmphibious Force Flagship (AGC)
  1939-1941, United States Embassy, State Department, Washington, DC
  1941-1943, Station Hypo (Pearl) [WWII], NTCC Pearl Harbor
  1942-1942, USS Yorktown (CV-5)
  1943-1943, Station Negat (D.C) [WWII]
  1943-1945, Station Cast, Melbourne, Australia
  1944-1944, CNO - OPNAV
  1944-1944, USS Wasatch (AGC-9)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of the Coral Sea
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyOhio State University
  1930-1934, United States Naval Academy
  1950-1953, Ohio State University1
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