Carl Boyd, the Louis I. Jaffé Professor of History and Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University, is a solver of military riddles. A renowned military historian, Professor Boyd is one of the foremost experts on the role of military intelligence in World War II. Utilizing previously untapped primary sources, he has sifted through the documents and emerged with a fascinating historical picture, one which brings the War into clearer historical focus. Through his research and writings he has demonstrated that the Japanese and Germans did not know that the United States was reading the heavily coded and extremely revealing messages the Japanese Ambassador to Germany was sending to Tokyo. He has clarified the role of the Allies in using code breaking techniques to expose German and Japanese troop and ship dispositions and changes. Professor Boyd was the first to translate and explain the significance of many of the key Japanese diplomatic messages that provided the Allies with extraordinary knowledge of what their foes were doing, and even what they were thinking.
Few, if any, military historians know more than Carl Boyd about the use (and misuse) of the Japanese submarine arm during World War II. No doubt the fact that he is a veteran of the United States Navy's own "Silent Service" is partially responsible for his marvelous ability to explicate for his students and his readers the sometimes arcane world of submarines and allow us to understand why submariners and their foes behaved the way they did.
Old Dominion University is indebted to Professor Boyd for his rigorous, content-filled courses; his devotion to academic standards; and, the sparkling example of the teacher-scholar he has provided this campus. He is one of our most distinguished and productive faculty members.
For his contributions in research, scholarship, and teaching, the Friends of the Library presents its 2001 Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to Professor Carl Boyd of the Department of History.
Jean A. Major