RADM Redfield Mason’s Dress Uniform-Japanese Code Breaker SOLD

Admiral Mason helped break the Japanese Code in WW2, and predicted the Japanese were planning a military strike against the US at Hawaii.


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This dress coat and trousers belonged to Rear Admiral Redfield B. Mason, who as a Lt. Commander helped to break the Japanese message codes and in Admiral Hart’s intelligence report to Chief of Naval Operations, his “intelligence officer (Mason) added an endorsement stating that the report revealed the Japanese Navy had assumed a wartime disposition and that the report could not be construed in any other way.” Mason’s work as a cryptologist in naval operations remained secret for a long time, but would later receive a Distinguished Service Medal for his work on the Japanese Code.  This code breaking would lead to many highly important information that helped in the defeat of the Japanese in the Pacific; one such incident was finding out that Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was flying to inspect various installations in the Pacific, and knowing this intelligence lead to the shooting down of his plane by Army P-38 fighters.  In 1956, Admiral Mason appeared on a NBC quiz show “The Big Surprise” and won national fame and $100,000 on television.

Mason was born in Indiana; a graduate if the USNA Class of 1925. He retired in 1966, after a 45 year career, and died in a nursing home in Warrenton, Va. at the age of 91.

The uniform coat is in fine condition, with his original ribbon bars sewn directly on over the left breast pocket. The ribbons include from top to bottom, left to right:

  • Distinguished Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit with “V”
  • Navy Commendation Ribbon
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • China Service with one star
  • American Defense Service
  • American Service Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Service with 2 star
  • WWII Victory Medal
  • WWII Occupation Ribbon
  • National Defense Ribbon
  • Korean Service Medal
  • United Nations Service Medal
  • WWII Philippine Defense Medal

The coat is not named, but I have included a photocopied image of Admiral Mason showing his ribbon bars, as well as a photo of another dress coat of his we are selling separately which is named, and the photo of the tailor label is from the other coat.

The bullion cuff rank shows toning, the ribbons show a wonderfully worn look of certain originality. The trousers are not identified.  Center coat button loose and held to coat by cotter pin.

A super historic US naval officer’s dress uniform, who made a great contribution to the Allied effort against the enemy during WW2.