A 92-year-old veteran from Bay Shore was recognized Friday at Southside Hospital for his service to an American team that translated encrypted German Enigma transmissions.
The veteran, Michael Feeney, was presented with an American flag from Congressman Peter King, as well as a proclamation from Legislator Tom Cilmi.
Reading those codes played a large role in helping the Allied Forces win World War II. The importance of the Enigma code being cracked was highlighted in the recent Oscar-winning film The Imitation Game.
“I don’t deserve it,” Feeney said during a gathering around his hospital bed. “I did my part, but I thank you so much for recognizing what we did. Maybe some people will understand what the Enigma program was.”
Feeney has been at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore since January with a broken pelvis.
His service in helping defeat the Nazis had gone largely unknown to his family and others until recently.
A niece, Eileen Paradiso of East Islip, had reached out to Cilmi, who in turn worked with King to surprise him with the overdue honors, according to hospital officials.
“We only found out recently about Uncle Mike’s role in the war,” said Paradiso. “And I thought, ‘What can we do for Uncle Mike to perk him up?’”
More Reading: What if the Allies had not broken the German naval code?
Top: Legislator Tom Cilmi and Congressman Peter King with Michael Feeney of Bay Shore on Friday. (Credit: Southside Hospital courtesy photo)