Women’s History Month: Betty Robarts

betty 2betty 1             Betty Robarts was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. When America became involved in World War II, Betty was eager to do her part for the war effort. Betty joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in January 1943. When asked about her time in the WAVES, Robarts is incredibly humble. Betty hoped she might be stationed near the beach but the Navy assigned her to Dayton, Ohio. Betty worked on war materials but learned in 1995 exactly how important her work for the WAVES had been.
Betty had been assigned to a top secret classified program entitled ULTRA. This program made the machines which decoded messages written by the German Enigma coding machine. The works of Betty and the other women in Dayton, Ohio would end up saving thousands of lives and arguably shorten the war by a year and a half. Betty was interviewed and featured in a documentary titled “Dayton Codebreakers” about the ULTRA program.