Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, by Robert B. Stinnett

Peter Myers, March 6, 2011. My comments within quoted text are shown {thus}.

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There are several main topics of interest here:
(1) The US plan to provoke Japan to fire the first shot, so as to motivate an isolationist US public to join the war against Germany
(2) US intercepted Japanese Bomb Plot Grids for Pearl Harbor, but did not warn Kimmel
(3) Vacant Sea: US clears shipping out of the path of the Japanese carrier force, to prevent accidental discovery
(4) Myth of the radio silence of the Japanese carrier force
(5) US moved its aircraft carriers & modern warships away from Pearl Harbor, leaving only old ships to be sunk by the Japanese attack

Perhaps, out of dire necessity, Roosevelt had to deceive the American people in order to defeat Hitler. Perhaps the cost of several thousand lives was justified to bring down a greater evil. But why do we have to keep lying about it? Why can't our history books tell what actually happened?

If, as we're told, we live in a Decocracy, then the people, as rulers, need knowledge, not lies, to make informed judgment. Hence the importance of this book. It's the ONLY book on Pearl Harbor that makes the elite uncomfortable and attracts flak. Any pro-Nazi book would have no standing: whatever Roosevelt's sins, they were multiplied manifold in the Totalitarian regimes. But this book, moderate yet full of detail, based on archives that were opened after the Cold War and now have been partly closed again, is the one to read, to save, to publicise.

This material is not available elsewhere on the internet. Do not assume that this webpage will be here forever. Save it (with the three associated .jpg files) and disseminate it.

If you are interested in this topic, you need to buy the book. New copies are available at Amazon and elsewhere. Second-hand copies are plentiful, and selling from US$ 2.99. See the links at the bottom of this webpage.

The following video contains interviews with Robert B. Stinnett, and with his opponents - Budiansky and others:

Conspiracy? FDR and Pearl Harbor

(1) The US plan to provoke Japan to fire the first shot, so as to motivate an isolationist US public to join the war against Germany

Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor

Robert B. Stinnett

Touchstone paperback (Simon & Schuster), New York, 2001.

{p. 6} CHAPTER 2


AS WARFARE RAGED IN EUROPE AND PORTIONS OF AFRICA AND Japan, Germany and Italy threatened countries in three continents, a memorandum circulated in Washington. Originating in the Office of Naval Intelligence and addressed to two of FDR's most trusted advisors, it suggested a shocking new American foreign policy. It called for provoking Japan into an overt act of war against the United States. It was wrietten by Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Inteligence (ONI) (see Appendix A).

McCollum had a unique background for formulating American tactics and strategy against Japan. Born to Baptist missionary parents in Nagasaki in 1898, McCollum spent his youth in various Japanese cities. He understood the Japanese culture, and spoke the language before learning English. After the death of his father in Japan, the McCollum family returned to Alabama. At eighteeen McCollum was appointed to the naval academy. Upon graduation, the twenty-two-year-old ensign was posted to

{p. 7} the US embassy in Tokyo as a naval attache and took a refresher course in Japanese there. McCollum was no stuffed shirt. He enjoyed parties and the favorite drink of Japan's naval community - Johnny Walker Black Label Scotch. He was never at a loss for words. After telling a long story, he'd pause with his favorite phrases, "In other words," then go into an even longer version.

In 1923, as the fads of the Roaring Twenties swept the world, members of the Japanese imperial household were anxious to learn the Charleston. McCollum knew the latest dance routines, so the embassy assigned him to instruct Crown Prince Hirohito, the future Emperor, in slapping his knees to those jazz-age rhythms. Later that year, McCollum helped coordinate the US Navy relief operations following the great Tokyo earthquake. Though the American assistance was well intentioned, McCollum learned that the proud, self-sufficient Japanese resented the ijin (foreign) relief operations. Nearly twenty years later, McCollum took it upon himself to multiply this resentment a hundredfold by pushing for American interference in Japan's brutal policies of domination in the Pacific.

Lieutenant Commander McCollum's five-page memorandum of October 1940 (hereafter referred to as the eight-action memo) put forward a startling plan - a plan intended to engineer a situation that would mobilize a reluctant America into joining Britain's struggle against the German armed forces then overrunning Europe. Its eight actions called for virtually inciting a Japanese attack on American ground, air, and naval forces in Hawaii, as well as on British and Dutch colonial outposts in the Pacific region.

Opinion polls in the summer of 1940 indicated that a majority of Americans did not want the country involved in Europe's wars. Yet FDR's military and State Department leaders agreed that a victorious Nazi Germany would threaten the national security of the United States. They felt that Americans needed a call to action.

McCollum would be an essential part of this plan. His code name was F-2. He oversaw the routing of communications intelligence to FDR from early 1940 to December 7, 1941, and provided the President with intelligence reports on Japanese military and diplomatic strategy. Every intercepted and decoded Japanese military and diplomatic report destined for the White House went through the Far East Asia section of ONI, which he

{p. 8} oversaw. The section served as a clearinghouse for all categories of intelligence reports, not only on Japan but on all the other nations of eastern Asia.

Each report prepared by McCollum for the President was based on radio intercepts gathered and decoded by a worldwide network of American military cryptographers and radio intercept operators. McCollum's office was an element of Station US, a secret American cryptographic center located at the main naval headquarters at 18th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., about four blocks from the White House.

Few people in America's government or military knew as much about Japan's activities and intentions as Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum. He felt that war with Japan was inevitable and that the United States should provoke it at a time which suited US interests. In his October 1940 memorandum McCollum advocated eight actions that he predicted would lead to a Japanese attack on the United States:

A. Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore.

B. Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies [now Indonesia].

c. Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek.

D. Send a division of long-range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore.

E. Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient.

F. Keep the main strength of the US Fleet, now in the Pacific, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.

G. Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil.

H. Completely embargo all trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire.4

McCollum's eight-action memo was dated October 7, 1940, and was addressed and forwarded to two of Roosevelt's most trusted military advisors: Navy captains Walter S. Anderson and Dudley W. Knox. Anderson was the Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence and had direct White House access to FDR. Knox was a naval strategist and chief of the ONI library. He served as mentor to Admiral Ernest J. King, another of the Pres-

{p. 9} ident's military advisors in 1944 and commander of the Navy's Atlantic Squadron (later the Atlantic Fleet). Knox agreed with McCollum's eight actions and immediately forwarded the memorandum to Anderson with this restrained comment: "I concur in your courses of action. We must be ready on both sides and probably strong enough to care for both." He recognized Britain's precarious military position: "It is unquestionably to our general interest that Britain be not licked. Just now she has a stalemate and probably can't do better." Knox did not discuss maneuvering Japan into committing an overt act of war, though he cautioned: "We should not precipitate anything in the Orient."

The paper trail of the McCollum memo ends with the Knox endorsement. Although the proposal was addressed to Anderson, no specific record has been found by the author indicating whether he or Roosevelt actually ever saw it. However, a series of secret presidential routing logs plus collateral intelligence information in Navy files offer conclusive evidence that they did see it.8 Beginning the very next day, with FDR's involvement, McCollum's proposals were systematically put into effect.

Throughout 1941, it seems, provoking Japan into an overt act of war was the principal policy that guided FDR's actions toward Japan. Army and Navy directives containing the "overt act" phrase were sent to Pacific commanders. Roosevelt's cabinet members, most notably Secretary of War Henry Stimson, are on record favoring the policy, according to Stimson's diary.9 Stimson's diary entries of 1941 place him with nine other Americans who knew or were associated with this policy of provocation during 1941.10

Roosevelt's "fingerprints" can be found on each of McCollum's proposals. One of the most shocking was Action D, the deliberate deployment of American warships within or adjacent to the territorial waters of Japan.11 During secret White House meetings, Roosevelt personally took charge of Action D. He called the provocations "pop-up" cruises: "I just want them to keep popping up here and there and keep the Japs guessing. I don't mind losing one or two cruisers, but do not take a chance on losing five or six.''12 Admiral Husband Kimmel, the Pacific Fleet commander, objected to the pop-up cruises, saying: "It is ill-advised and will result in war if we make this move."13

One of the catalysts for Action D may have been British Prime Minister

{p. 10} Winston Churchill. On October 4, 1940, he requested that a squadron of US cruisers be sent to Singapore. McCollum included the request as a suggestion in his eight-action memo. As it turned out, however, no cruisers were sent to Singapore.14

From March through July 1941, White House records show that FDR ignored international law and dispatched naval task groups into Japanese waters on three such pop-up cruises.15 One of the most provocative was a sortie into the Bungo Strait southeast of Honshu, the principal access to Japan's Inland Sead.16 The strait separates the home islands of Kyushu and Shikoku, and was a favored operational area for the warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1941.

Japan's naval ministry registered a protest with Ambassador Joseph Grew in Tokyo: "On the night of July 31, 1941, Japanese fleet units at anchor in Sukumo Bay (in the Bungo Strait, off the island of Shikoku) picked up the sound of propellers approaching Bungo Channel from the eastward. Duty destroyers of the Japanese navy investigated and sighted two darkened cruisers that disappeared in a southerly direction behind a smoke screen when they were challenged." The protest concluded: "Japanese naval officers believe the vessels were United States cruisers." 17

Action D was very risky and could have resulted in a loss of American lives approaching that of Pearl Harbor. In the end, however, no shots were fired during the cruises. It would take not just one, but all eight of McCollum's proposals to accomplish that.

Two major decisions involving Japan and the Far East took place on October 8, 1940 - the day after McCollum wrote his memo. First, the State Department told Americans to evacuate Far East countries as quickly as possible.13 Then President Roosevelt brought about Action F - keep the United States Fleet based in Hawaiian waters - during an extended Oval Office luncheon with the fleet's commander, Admiral James O. Richardson, and former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William D. Leahy, a favored presidential confidantd.19 When Richardson heard the proposal, he exploded: "Mr. President, senior officers of the Navy do not have the trust and confidence in the civilian leadership of this country that is essential for the successful prosecution of a war in the Pacific."20 Richardson did not approve of Roosevelt's plan to place the fleet in harm's way. He strongly disagreed with two of FDR's lunchtime points: 1. FDR's willingness to sac-

{p. 11} rifice a ship of the Navy in order to provoke what he called a Japanese "mistake," and 2. Richardson quoted the President as saying: "Sooner or later the Japanese would commit an overt act against the United States and the nation would be willing to enter the war.''21 ...

For Richardson, the safety of his men and warships was paramount and the policy was no laughing matter. Richardson stood up to Roosevelt. Doing so ended his naval career. On October 26, 1940, a White House leak to the Washington-based Kiplinger Newsletter predicted that Richardson would be removed as commander-in-chief.23

The admiral was relieved of his command on February 1, 1941, during a major restructuring of the Navy. The sea command held by Richardson - Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (CINCUS) - was modified. In his restructuring, Roosevelt approved a two-ocean Navy and created the Atlantic Fleet and the Pacific Fleet. Skipping over more senior naval officers the President picked Rear Admiral Husband Kimmel to head the Pacific Fleet and promoted him to four-star rank. The job had been offered to Rear Admiral Chester Nimitz in the fall of 1940, but Nimitz "begged off" because he lacked seniority.24

Roosevelt had carefully selected and placed naval officers in key fleet-command positions who would not obstruct his provocation policies. One

{p. 12} of them was Admiral Harold Stark, his chief of naval operations since August 1939, an all too faithful servant of the President. Outgoing Admiral Richardson criticized Stark as "professionally negligent" for kowtowing to FDR and agreeing to place the fleet in jeopardy. He said Stark had been derelict and had suffered a major professional lapse due to "taking orders from above." In Richardson's opinion, Stark could have protested the orders to keep the fleet at Pearl Harbor or at least questioned the policy in proper but forceful fashion. After the success of the December 7 attack, Richardson claimed FDR turned his back on Stark: "The President said that he did not give a damn what happened to Stark so long as he was gotten out of Washington as soon as practical."25

There is no evidence that Admiral Kimmel knew of the action plans advocated by McCollum, because Admiral Richardson never told him of them. "The Roosevelt strategy of maneuvering the Japanese into striking the first blow at America was unknown to us," Kimmel wrote in his book, Admirat Kimmet's Story, published in 1954. His first suspicions that someone in high office in Washington had consciously pursued a policy that led straight to Pearl Harbor "did not occur to him until after December 7, 1941." Kimmel said he accepted the command of the Pacific Fleet "in the firm belief that the Navy Department would supply me promptly with all pertinent information available and particularly with all information that indicated an attack on the fleet at Pearl Harbor."26

Not until Japan surrendered in 1945 did Richardson break his four-year vow of silence and turn on Stark. He said he shared Kimmel's belief and he denounced Stark's failure in harsh terms: "I consider 'Betty' Stark in failing to ensure that Kimmel was furnished all the information available from the breaking of Japanese dispatches, to have been to a marked degree professionally negligent in carrying out his duties as Chief of Naval Operations."" Richardson continued: "This offense compounded, since in writing Stark had assured the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet twice that the Commander-in-Chief was being kept advised on all matters within his own knowledge." Richardson cited Stark's promise: "You may rest assured that just as soon as I get anything of definite interest, I shall fire it along."28

Kimmel received his promotion to admiral and was designated CINC-PAC (Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet). Then, depending upon their mis-

{p. 13} sions, forces were either assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, whose commande was Admiral Ernest J. King as CINCLANT, to the Pacific Fleet with Kimmel as CINCPAC, or to the small Asiatic Fleet, commanded by Admira Thomas Hart in Manila as CINCAF.

Richardson's removal on February 1, 1941, strengthened the position of McCollum. Only five months earlier, in mid-September 1940, Germany and her Axis partner, Italy, had signed a mutual-assistance alliance with Japan. The Tripartite Pact committed the three partners to assist each other in the event of an attack on any one of them. McCollum saw the alliance as a golden opportunity. If Japan could be provoked into committing an overt act of war against the United States, then the Pact's mutual assistance provisions would kick in. It was a back-door approach: Germany and Italy would come to Japan's aid and thus directly involve the United States in the European war.19

McCollum predicted a domino effect if Germany overwhelmed Britain. He was certain that Canada and the British territories in Central and South America and in the Caribbean would succumb to some degree of Nazi control. The strategic danger to the United States was from Germany, not Japan. In his eight-action memorandum, McCollum cited these six military factors in promoting his proposals:

1. All of continental Europe was under the military control of the German-Italian Axis.

2. Only the British Empire actively opposed the growing world dominance of the Axis powers.

3. Axis propaganda successfully promoted American indifference to the European war.

4. United States security in the Western Hemisphere was threatened by the Axis fomenting revolution in Central and South American countries.

5. Upon the defeat of England, the United States could expect an immediate attack from Germany.

6. Warships of the Royal Navy would fall under the control of the Axis when the British were defeated.30

His dire predictions were undoubtedly right. The number one problem for the United States, according to McCollum, was mobilizing public sup-

{p. 14} port for a declaration of war against the Axis powers. He saw little chance that Congress would send American troops to Europe. Over the objections of the majority of the populace, who still felt that European alarmists were creating much ado about nothing, he called for the Administration to create what he called "more ado": "It is not believed," wrote McCollum, "that in the present state of political opinion the United States government is capable of declaring war against Japan without more ado.''31

His solution to the political stalemate: use the eight proposed actions to provoke Japan into committing an overt act of war against the United States, thus triggering military responses from the two other signers of the Tripartite Pact. An allusion to McCollum's eight actions was recorded by Assistant Secretary of State Breckenridge Long. He wrote that on October 7, 1940, he learned of a series of steps involving the US Navy and that one included concentrating the fleet at Honolulu to be ready for any eventuality. "It looks to me as if little by little we will face a situation which will bring us into conflict with Japan," Long wrote in his diary.32

A link to some of McCollum's provocations surfaced earlier in 1940 but did not produce a written directive. McCollum's proposal, triggered by the Tripartite Pact, is the only verifiable evidence of the American policy. The links started in May 1940, when FDR met with Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox and discussed permanently basing the United States Fleet in Hawaii. Their suggestion raised the immediate ire of Richardson, who began a five-month argument to return the fleet to the West Coast.33 He lost the battle on October 8, a day after McCollum wrote his memorandum.

Earlier in 1940, an influential citizens' group urged withholding war materials from Japan as punishment for what they perceived as her aggression in China. But their embargo advocacy called for stopping the Japan-China conflict - not enticing an overt act of war.34

Arthur McCollum continued his close ties to Japan. In 1928, the Navy sent him back to Tokyo, this time as a language instructor. The thirty-year-old McCollum taught a Japanese language class that included three other officers of about the same age. All four were destined to provide FDR with se-

{p. 15} cret intelligence on Japanese war preparations during the 1940-41 prelude to Pearl Harbor. They were also to become lifelong friends.35

Eventually these four men became leading naval intelligence officers in World War II: Joseph J. Rochefort, cofounder of the Navy's communication intelligence section; Edwin Layton, the intelligence officer for the Pacific Fleet, 1940-45; Lieutenant Commander Ethelbert Watts, as assistant to McCollum in 1940-41; and McCollum himself, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Every pre-Pearl Harbor intercept of Japanese radio communications would pass through their hands. Rochefort became commander of Station HYPO, the combat intelligence center for the Pacific Fleet, one of America's most important cryptographic centers, at the Pearl Harbor Naval Yard. (HYPO, a part of the Navy's phonetic alphabet, stood for the letter H - Hawaii.) McCollum and Watts supervised the communications intelligence pipeline to Roosevelt. Layton directed information to the Pacific Fleet commanders: Richardson in 1940, Kimmel in 1941, and Nimitz in 1942-45.

Naval intelligence established a secret delivery system for Japanese military and diplomatic intelligence for Roosevelt in the winter of 1940. McCollum was the distribution officer on 151 routing slips found by the author in the National Archives. These Navy routing slips provide a trail to a massive collection of Army and Navy documents that resulted from monitoring Japanese communications and that were available to Roosevelt and key members of his Administration between February 1940 and December 7, 1941. Sometimes when he had a hot item McCollum personally delivered the report to FDR;36 otherwise the President's naval aide made the delivery. This twenty-two-month monitoring program allowed the American government to anticipate and then study Japan's reactions to the provocations advocated by McCollum.

McCollum dispatched his first intelligence reports to the White House on February 23, 1940. There were two, both in a diplomatic code. McCollum marked both: "Original to Aide to President" and sent them to FDR. At the time, the President and seven members of his staff, including naval aide Captain Daniel J. Callaghan, had reached the midpoint of an eighteen-day

{p. 16} fishing cruise aboard the cruiser USS Tuscaloosa in Pacific waters off the west coast of Panama. Naval seaplanes landed alongside the warship and delivered the documents to Callaghan.

In the first message, Roosevelt learned that Japan was applying diplomatic pressure to obtain oil export rights in Portuguese Timor, a small island east of the Dutch East Indies. The other dealt with Japanese Army plans to send "advisors" to Bolivia, which had vast resources of tin needed by Japan's military-industrial complex. McCollum noted that both reports were based on "highly reliable information," a standard oblique reference to intercepted communications.

Extraordinary secrecy surrounded the delivery system. The Japanese intercepts destined for FDR were placed in special folders. Captain Callaghan as naval aide was responsible for the safety of the documents. Roosevelt read the original copy but did not retain any of the intercepts. Each original was eventually returned to the folder and stored in McCollum's safe at Station US in Washington. There they remained, available for White House review. Shortly after December 7, when Congressional critics began to question the Administration's failure to prevent the Hawaii attack, all records involving the Japanese radio intercept program - including the White House route logs and their secret contents - were locked away in vaults controlled by Navy communications officials.37

During the spring and summer of 1940 the diplomatic intercepts provided valuable insights into Japanese foreign policy. Through the intercepts, FDR could follow Japan's continued pressure on Portugal to supply her Empire with raw materials from Timor, its colony in the East Indies. After Nazi armies conquered France in May 1940, Japan expanded her quest for raw materials and pushed for access to the French colony of Indochina, today's Vietnam.

That August, Hitler's Luftwaffe began all-out bombing of England, targeting airfields, aircraft factories, and radar stations. A massive attack by 2500 planes of the Luftwaffe hit London on Adler Tag (Eagle Day), August 16. The next day the Fuhrer declared a total blockade of the British Isles. By August 31, Germany claimed victory in the Battle of Britain and Hitler began to assemble barges and ships for Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of Britain, which would never take place.

{p. 17} Roosevelt's third-term nomination heartened internationalist-minded Democrats at the party's convention in Chicago. He was forced to campaign against a Republican antiwar platform led by its nominee, Wendell Willkie. A Gallup Poll taken in early September showed that 88 percent of Americans agreed with the views of an isolationist bloc, led by aviation hero Charles Lindbergh and industrialist Henry Ford, that advocated staying away from Europe's wars. Yet Roosevelt outmaneuvered the isolationists and persuaded Congress to pass (by one vote) the Draft Act, then sent fifty World War I destroyers to England as part of what would become the Lend-Lease program of aid to the allied powers, including the Soviet Union. During the campaign, he promised American mothers and fathers: "Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." 33 But according to FDR biographer Robert Sherwood, the President assured members of his staff during a campaign swing through New England, "Of course, we'll fight if we are attacked. If somebody attacks us, then it isn't a foreign war, is it?" McCollum's eight-action memo would soon make the President's words a reality.39

McCollum's concept for his memo's Action F - keeping the fleet in Hawaiian waters - had its beginning in April 1940, when major portions of the US fleet moved from their West Coast bases and joined warships of the Hawaiian Detachment (later named the Pacific Fleet) for an annual training exercise. Once the exercise was completed, Admiral Richardson planned to send the fleet (less the Hawaiian Detachment) back to the West Coast.40

The fleet never returned. Washington slowly put the brakes on Richardson's plan and issued specious explanations for keeping the fleet in Hawaii. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles answered Richardson's objections by predicting a "diplomatic disaster''41 if the fleet returned to the Pacific Coast. In late April, Welles' rationale was touched on in a message sent to Richardson by Admiral Stark, who offered his own version of the potential "diplomatic disaster." He told Richardson the fleet might receive instructions to remain in Hawaiian waters "in view of the possibility of Italy becoming an active belligerent and maybe you won't." 42

There was no adequate explanation for connecting Italian threats to the United States and basing the fleet in Hawaii. The "might" and "maybe"

{p. 18} in the dispatches made no sense to Richardson. He requested a meeting directly with Roosevelt. The admiral disagreed with what he sensed was the "Europe First" priority in the White House.43

As commander of America's major sea command, Richardson's first duty was to carry out the orders of Roosevelt and his military chiefs. He reluctantly obeyed the orders but stated his objections for the record. He would not sacrifice his ships and men to what he saw as a flawed policy. Richardson listed five objections to basing the fleet in Hawaii:

1. Lack of fundamental training facilities.

2. Lack of large-scale ammunition and fuel supplies.

3. Lack of support craft such as tugs and repair ships.

4. Morale problems of men kept away from their families.

5. Lack of overhaul facilities such as dry docking and machine shops.44

He objected in vain. Roosevelt wanted the fleet kept in Hawaiian waters. All Admiral Richardson received from his protests were more indecisive orders from the administration. A dispatch of May 4 is an example:


He was particularly displeased on May 7, 1940, when he was ordered to issue a press release saying that he had asked to keep the fleet in Hawaii. "There was no logical reason for me to make such a request," Richardson wrote. "It made a perfect nitwit out of me." 46

The rationale behind the directives became even less convincing on May 15, when the warships were ordered to "stay in Hawaiian waters for some time." Richardson thought he had a chance to dissuade Roosevelt and asked for a meeting in the White House. The two met alone for lunch on July 8, 1940. The meeting was a disappointment for Richardson. "I came away with the impression that, despite his spoken word, the President was fully determined to put the United States into the war if Great Britain could hold out until he was reelected." But the admiral gave no details of the White House conversation except to say that FDR had promised not to send the fleet to the Far East under "any foreseeable conditions."47

In the "illogical basing of the fleet at Hawaii," Admiral Richardson saw a disaster in the making. He was responsible for 69,000 sailors under his

{p. 19} Pacific command, and he grew increasingly alarmed at using them and his 217 ships in what he saw as a provocative scheme. He asked, "Are we here as a stepping-off place for belligerent activity?"48 Exasperated, he complained, "The President and Mr. Hull [Secretary of State Cordell Hull] never seem to take it into consideration that Japan is led by military men, who evaluate military moves, largely on a military basis."49 Richardson missed the point. White House strategy was based precisely on the premise that Japan's militant right wing would push for an act of force against the United States. Though he got nowhere with Roosevelt, Richardson bided his time.

During midsummer of 1940, with his third-term presidential campaign in mind, Roosevelt issued a licensing plan - McCollum's proposals had not yet been adopted - that appeared to curtail Japanese access to petroleum products and scrap iron in America. The San Francisco Call-Bulletin photographed stevedores in July and October 1940 at San Francisco docks, loading the Japanese vessels Tatsukawa Maru and Bordeau Maru with scrap iron, an apparent violation of FDR's embargo. The ships loaded up with tons of scrap iron, slipped out through the Golden Gate, and headed for Japan.

The oil-licensing system was also a sham in that it did not apply to the refineries on America's West Coast. The White House essentially allowed Japan to obtain petroleum supplies sufficient to maintain its ability to make war. Japan's consul-general in San Francisco assured his government that the Roosevelt administration was not enforcing the embargo; oil and gasoline supplies were available. "All our export permits have been granted. These American agencies from whom the oil is bought go ahead and make suitable arrangements with the government authorities at Washington. " 50

The consul-general wrote that he had purchased "special blend crude oil" and easily evaded Roosevelt's embargo. He then detailed Japanese purchases of over 44,000 tons (321,000 barrels) from the Associated Oil Company. In concluding his secret dispatch, the consul-general told Japan's military leaders: "American oil dealers in the San Francisco area selling to Mitsui and Mitsubishi, of which the principal one is the Associated Oil Company, feel that there will be no difficulty about continuing the shipment of ordinary gasoline to Japan.''51

{p. 20} The consul-general's "no difficulty" dispatch was routed to FDR on September 16, 1940. But no one in the White House enforced the petroleum embargo. Instead, export of oil to Japan received the green light. Japanese oil and gasoline tankers, with the tacit approval of the Administration, rushed back and forth across the Pacific loading up at oil refineries in Pacific Coast ports.52 Naval radio direction finders, on orders from Washington, tracked the tankers to the Japanese naval oil depot at Tokuyama, located at the southern tip of Honshu on the Suo Nada, an arm of the Inland Sea.53

Between July 1940 and April 1941, during a period when American petroleum supplies were supposedly under embargo, nearly 9,200,000 barrels of gasoline were licensed for export to Japan. Approval for 2,000,000 additional barrels was pending late in April 1941. From October 1940 to December 1941, the Japanese tankers were under constant electronic surveillance by the Navy. Washington closely followed the tankers.

Transportation of the petroleum to Japan was monitored at Station SAIL, control center for the Navy's West Coast Communications Intelligence Network (WCCI) near Seattle (SAIL being the Navy phonetic for the letter S - Seattle). Commercial radio facilities of Mackay Radio & Telegraph, Pan American Airways, RCA Communications, and Globe Wireless provided information used in the surveillance. This vast monitoring network extended along the entire West Coast from Imperial Beach, California, to Dutch Harbor, Alaska.s4

The surveillance yielded important intelligence for the White House by tracing the movement of oil supplies, watching forns of Japan withdrawing merchant vessels from the world's oceans, and identifying the radio transmitter characteristics of each vessel. Code breakers at SAIL and the West Coast network produced Tracking Chart I based on radio-direction-finding reports that traced the Pacific Ocean routes taken by eight of Japan's tankers from October I to December 6, 1940. From the tracking chart, US Navy officials learned that most of the petroleum was obtained from the Associated Oil Company refinery at Port Costa, California, and transported directly to Tokuyama - the principal oil storage facility for warships. President Roosevelt obtained his confirmation that Japan was evading his embargo from the consul-general's "no difficulty" intercept.

Naval intercept operators easily followed the tankers. During their

{p. 21} round-trip voyages, they diligently used their radio transmitters and provided their positions to the Navy's radio direction finders. Navy intelligence in San Francisco identified all the tankers by their Japanese radio call signs.55 Two of the tankers, the Kyokuto Maru and the HIMJS Shiriya, were destined to be included in the Pearl Harbor strike force. Both vessels sailed into San Francisco Bay throughout 1940 and 1941, picked up their cargoes of American oil, and returned to fill the Tokuyama storage facility. A year later, the Kyokuto Maru's radio signal was instantly identified when she became the flagship of the eight-vessel tanker train that refueled the warships of the Pearl Harbor force. Maru derives from the Japanese word maru, meaning "circle." Merchant ships, but not warships, have the word added to their name for good luck as they encounter the perils of the high seas in the belief that Marus complete the voyage to the distant port and return to a joyous homecoming, thus completing the circle. In 1940 and 1941, the Kyokuto Maru would make many circles between ports in America and Japan.56

During the last days of September and first week of October 1940, a team of Army and Navy cryptographers solved the two principal Japanese government code systems: Purple, the major diplomatic code, and portions of the Kaigun Ango, a series of twenty-nine separate Japanese naval operational codes used for radio contact with warships, merchant vessels, naval bases, and personnel in overseas posts, such as naval attaches. Much has been made of the Purple Code and far too little of the navy codes. Historians have made misleading references to the Purple Code by confusing its use and purpose. It was used solely by the Japanese Foreign Ministry for encoding diplomatic messages dispatched by radio between Tokyo and selected overseas embassies and consulates. In the United States, Japan issued the Purple system to its Washington embassy and to its consulate in Manila, but not to the Honolulu consulate. The Purple Code was never used by the Japanese Navy.57

Leading historical publications in the United States have confused readers by publishing erroneous details on Purple. The truth of Pearl Harbor is found in the naval codes, not in the diplomatic codes. As recently as December 1997, Naval History, a magazine published by the US Naval In-

{p. 22} stitute, printed an article whlch claimed that the American naval victory at Midway resulted from breaking the Japanese Purple cipher.58 In fact, however, the Midway victory came about because US Navy cryptographers had broken Japan's Code Book D, one of the twenty-nine code systems in the Kaigun Ango. Throughout 1941 and most of 1942, United States naval cryptographers and intercept operators referred to Code Book D as the 5-Num code, because a group of five numbers represented a Japanese word or phrase. Japan's navy assigned thousands of different five-number combinations to represent their language for radio transmission purposes. On November 19, 1941, the five-number group for the carrier Akagi, the flagship of Japan's Hawaii force, was 28494. It was up to US Navy code breakers to solve the meaning of 28494 (and subsequent revisions). And they did, starting in October 1940.59

Cryptographers have their own jargon. To them, "recovered value" or "solution" means that they had solved and knew the meaning of 28494. In addition to the 5-Num code, American cryptographers solved and could recover values from three other code systems of the Kaigun Ango: Merchant Marine Code (Code Book S); radio call signs (Yobidashi Fugo) issued to every category of Japanese warships, units, individual officers, and vessels of the Japanese Merchant Marine, known as Marus; and Japan's naval movement code in which warships, Marus, and individuals reported their arrivals, departures, and destinations. These four naval systems were used by Japan's navy for radio messages in the pre-Pearl Harbor period and throughout the Pacific War. The US success in solving the diplomatic and naval code systems was a closely guarded American secret. President Roosevelt regularly received copies of Japanese messages decoded and translated from both the Purple Code and the Kaigun Ango.

Controversy surrounds the timing of the successful decryption of the four code systems of the Kaigun Ango by American code breakers. Testimony given to various Pearl Harbor investigations suggests that the navy codes were not solved until Spring 1942. The author's research proves otherwise. Their solution emerged in the early fall of 1940, at about the same time Arthur McCollum's memorandum reached the Oval Of fice.

Rear Admiral Royal Ingersoll, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, revealed America's ability to detect and predict Japan's naval war strategy and tactical operations to the US Navy's two Pacific commanders, Admi-

{p. 23} rals James Richardson and Thomas Hart, in a letter dated October 4, 1940. Ingersoll was specific: The Navy began tracking the movement and location of Japanese warships in October 1940. "Every major movement of the Orange (America's code name for Japan) Fleet has been predicted, and a continuous flow of information concerning Orange diplomatic activities has been made available."60 He said that Navy cryptographers had solved the Japanese naval merchant ship code. "The system itself is 99 percent readable," reported Ingersoll.61

Japan's main naval radio system, the "Operations Code" (the 5-Num code) remained a problem for cryptographers. A full solution was expected by April 1941. "Recovery was well defined," wrote Ingersoll, "but demanded laborious work sometimes requiring from only an hour to as many as several days to decode each message."62 To speed up decryption time, the Navy constructed a special decoding machine. Mystery still surrounds the workings of the machine - as is typical of nearly sixty years of Navy secrecy concerning all aspects of the 5-Num code. The machine has not been turned over to the National Archives. Neither have the original Japanese naval intercepts in the 5-Num code that were obtained by US Navy cryptographers. The author contends that this extraordinary secrecy, which still remains in effect in 1999, is intended to distance the American government and particularly FDR from foreknowledge of Japanese attack plans.

But Ingersoll's 1940 letter sheds a light on the 5-Num system that was never intended by the pre-Pearl Harbor naval censors. Recovery was effected before April. By the end of January 1941, President Roosevelt was on the receiving list of the Kaigun Ango, according to the White House route logs prepared by Arthur McCollum.

On January 30, Station CAST, the navy's Philippine cryptographic center on Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, placed the first Japanese military intelligence in FDR's hands. It informed Roosevelt of a large build-up of Japanese warships in the South China Sea off French Indochina. It was an ominous beginning.

{p. 24} Chapter 3


ARTHUR MCCOLLUM WAS NOT CONVINCED THAT THE PUBLIC AND American industry could be mobilized in sufficient time to fight off the Axis powers. His memorandum of October 7, 1940, circulated among Navy and White House officials while a torrent of bad news poured in from the European front. England was nearly on its knees, threatened with invasion and beginning to feel the impact of the German U-boat assault on its shipping lifeline. Hitler had instituted the early stages of what would later be called the Holocaust.

At home, Wendell Willkie, campaigning for the presidency, stumped across America and closed to within a few percentage points of Roosevelt's lead.1 In early September the President took four steps to move the country toward war:

1. He sent America's first peacetime Draft Act to Congress. The act called for conscripting men into military service and sought the authority to seize industrial plants for defense producon.

{p. 25} 2. He called up National Guard units to active duty throughout the country.

3. He traded fifty old US Navy destroyers to England in exchange for the lease of bases in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad, and British Guiana.

4. He signed $5 billion in legislation, creating a two-ocean Navy that would eventually include 100 aircraft carriers.2

Roosevelt haters had a political field day. A fistfight broke out in the House of Representatives when Representative Beverly Vincent (D., KY) tried to trip Representative Martin L. Sweeney (D., OH) in the House aisle. Sweeney had just delivered an anti-FDR speech. The Associated Press reported it as hand-to-hand combat. Each congressman took, and gave, about six blows to the face.3

Willkie condemned the destroyer trade as the most "arbitrary and dictatorial action ever taken by a president in the history of the United States. " 4 Other Republicans agreed: "The destroyer trade is an "outright declaration of war," said Senator Gerald Nye (R., ND). "It's a belligerent act and will weaken our own defenses. If Britain should be defeated, why should we supply her with destroyers to surrender to Germany?" Republicans continued to snap at FDR's heels during a defense-plant inspection trip. "A cheap publicity stunt to make political capital out of national defense," charged Senator Styles Bridges (R., NH). Major newspapers joined in the fray. "An Act of War,n editorialized the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Carl Ackerman, dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism, complained to Willkie: "If the act becomes law the President may classify all education institutions as defense facilities, and our schools will be regimented as they are in Germany, Italy, and Russia. " 5

Throughout the fall of 1940, Roosevelt worked to unite Americans in their country's defense. He rallied public support while traveling by train on "inspection trips" of defense plants throughout the eastern states. Many Americans listening to the President approved of his policies and agreed with the sentiments of his "no foreign war" promise. An audience in Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee cheered and applauded when FDR asked for American preparedness against "the greatest attack

{p. 26} that has ever been launched against freedom of the individual. We must prepare beforehand, not afterward." 6

The president called for constructing new military bases for the defense of our shores. "Men and women must be taught to create the supplies that we need. Liberty through democracy can, I believe, be preserved in future years if we want to preserve it.n Then FDR took aim at his detractors in America: "We must counter the agents of dictators within our country." '

Perhaps Roosevelt's most famous call for preparedness came when he proposed lending military supplies and goods to England. This was FDR using his finest communications skills, in a brilliant analogy: when your neighbor's house is on fire, you lend him your garden hose. He made the analogy during a press conference in mid-December when he claimed he had no news for the correspondents, then revealed his ideas and plans for a Lend-Lease program to help the nations fighting the Axis powers. "Suppose my neighbor's home catches fire, and I have got a length of garden hose four or five hundred feet away: but, my Heaven, if he can take my garden hose and connect it up with his hydrant, I may help him put out his fire. Now, what do I do? I don't say to him before that operation, 'Neighbor, my garden hose cost me $15; you have got to pay me $15 for it.' What is the transaction that goes on? I don't want the $15 - I want my garden hose back after the fire is over."8 Though there was opposition from the isolationist bloc, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act. Military aid went directly to England and later to Russia when Germany invaded that country. But isolationists like Styles Bridges continued to brand the President's call for action as "dragging America to war."9 ...

{p. 27} Roosevelt believed that American political opposition to his defense plans was directed from Germany, Italy, and Japan. He scornfully denounced an editorial in the New York Times12 which expressed doubts that the Axis powers were involved in American politics. Pounding on his desk, FDR blasted the Times' comments and asserted: "It's perfectly true the Axis powers will give anything in the world to have me licked on the fifth of November." 13

Contrasting the Times' news reporting with its editorials, Roosevelt

{p. 28} said he was quite amused - the editorial-page writers didn't read the front-page news articles. For proof he cited a news report from Herbert L. Matthews, the Times' bureau chief in Rome. Matthews reported a meeting between Hitler and Mussolini held at the Brenner Pass, on the border between Austria and Italy, on October 4. "The Axis," wrote Matthews, "is out to defeat President Roosevelt not as a measure of internal policies of the United States but because of the President's foreign policy.''14 McCollum also supplied confidential evidence which confirmed that the two Axis leaders "attempted by every method within their power to foster a continuation of American indifference to the outcome of the struggle in Europe." 15

While Roosevelt fumed over the New York Times' editorial policies, a Tokyo dispatch written by his "old friend" Roy Howard, brought him more worry than anything else in the world.''16 United Press and the Scripps-Howard News Alliance distributed the publisher's story to its worldwide clients. FDR was startled to read of a Japanese spokesman calling on the United States to "demilitarize its bases at Wake, Midway, and Pearl Harbor." 17 The Oval Office's secret microphone recorded the President's anger in a telephone conversation with an unidentified caller: "God! That's the first time that any damn Jap has told us to get out of Hawaii. And that has me more worried than any other thing in the world." 18

When the first election returns came in on November 5, they indicated a Willkie victory. FDR retreated to his Hyde Park study and told his Secret Service chief, Mike Reilly, to lock the doors and keep everyone out. But the news soon brightened. Roosevelt won a huge popular vote and his third landslide victory with 429 electoral votes to Willkie's 51.19 He emerged [rom his study and told a cheering throng gathered in front of his mansion's portico: "We are facing difficult days in this country, but I think Irou will find me in the future just the same Franklin Roosevelt you have cnown a great many years."20 His only bad news: Republicans continued to control the isolationist agenda. But a different agenda was perceived by he British government of Churchill. Admiral Stark wired Hart in Manila that the British expected the United States to be at war a few days after the reelection of Roosevelt.21

As McCollum's eight action proposals began to be applied, relations vith Japan deteriorated. With the New Year, three of his actions were in place: Action E, the dispatch of twenty-four US Navy submarines to

{p. 29} Manila; Action F, retaining the US Fleet in Hawaiian waters; and Action G, the Dutch now refusing to supply Japan with oil and raw materials. Navy intelligence detected the new Japanese attitude from an intercepted diplomatic radio message sent by Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka on January 30, 1941: "In view of the critical situation between the two countries we must be prepared for the worst." 22 Matsuoka directed his ambassador in Washington to change from what he called publicity and propaganda work and establish an espionage-gathering network within the United States. He wanted details on the movement of warships and on military maneuvers, and figures for aircraft production and shipbuilding throughout the United States.

The heart of the Japanese policy was an economic strategy called the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere - a Japanese economic plan establishing a Yen (Y) monetary bloc comprising the East Asian countries. The plan diminished the economic influence of America, Britain, and the Netherlands for the sake of Japanese economic interests. Its aim was to gain access to the region's vital natural resources, resources nonexistent within Japan. To appease militant nationalist elements within the government, a bottom line was added: if and when worse came to worst Japan would go to war with the United States and her allies.

Foreign Minister Matsuoka's worse-to-worst policy revealed Japan's breaking point.73 Arthur McCollum knew it would occur whenever the United States tightened the screws by putting his eight actions into effect. They were soon to come: the pop-up US cruises into Japanese territorial waters and the final action, H, the total embargo intended to strangle Japan's economy.

The civilians in Japan's government still wished to do everything possible to avoid war and to negotiate a diplomatic settlement with the United States. But in an effort to gain support Japan's moderates accommodated her military authorities and authorized a fallback position of general war preparations should diplomatic efforts fail to gain access to Southeast Asia resources.

This fallback position included preparation for an attack on the US Fleet and military bases in Hawaii. It was right out of McCollum's proposed Action F. Though some historians have cited talk about Japanese war planning dating to the 1920s, that was only talk. In 1940, the Japanese

{p. 30} military bases in the Central Pacific were totally inadequate for warfare. They consisted of deep-water anchorages without any established military installations. There was no oil storage for warships, no dry docks or repair facilities. Air-war-support structures such as hangars, refueling equipment for aircraft, and landing fields were nonexistent. Military communications at these Central Pacific bases were primitive.

Japan's initial planning for the attack began in the fall of 1940, about a month after McCollum's action recommendations were sent to the White House. Naval Minister Admiral Koshiro Oikawa moved quickly. In mid-November he promoted Vice Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to full admiral and gave him operational command of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Yamamoto was called to the red-brick Victorian building housing the Naval Ministry in downtown Tokyo. The two admirals informally discussed strategy in opening a war with England and America. They agreed that a surprise air raid on Pearl Harbor should start Japan's military offensive.24

By mid-January 1941, Yamamoto had secretly sketched out his Pearl Harbor strategy and appointed key staff members to work out the tactical details. Pearl Harbor would be the bottom line when worse finally came to worst.

On January 24, while Admiral Yamamoto initiated planning for the attack, Roosevelt's Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, warned of perils to Pearl Harbor. Knox cited the naval base's military vulnerability to air bombing attack, air torpedo-plane attack, sabotage, submarine attack mining of the waters in Hawaii by Japan, and bombardment by gunfire from Japanese warships.25

Soon after Yamamoto began circulating his Pearl Harbor strategy among trusted Japanese naval officers, the general attack plan was leaked to the US embassy in Tokyo. Max W. Bishop, Third Secretary at the embassy, was standing in a teller line in the Tokyo branch of the National City Bank of New York converting some yen to American dollars. A tap on the shoulder caused Bishop to look up; he recognized the face of the Peruvian minister to Japan, Dr. Ricardo Rivera Schreiber. Motioning Bishop to a side alcove, Schreiber revealed "fantastic" information: "Japanese military forces were planning, in the event of trouble with the United States, to attempt a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor using all their military resources."

{p. 31} Bishop had confidence in Schreiber. He had met the minister on a number of occasions and had played golf with members of Peru's legation. Bishop writes that the conversation was completely confidential: "I did not think it odd that he took me to one side in the bank for a brief talk. It was the duty of all diplomatic officers to seek and obtain as much information as possible."

Cutting short his noon lunch break, Bishop hurried back to the US embassy and prepared a confidential dispatch for the State Department. Ambassador Joseph Grew approved the draft of the message. By 6:00 P.M. Tokyo Time it was encoded in an unbreakable State Department cryptographic system, taken across the street to the Japanese Telegraph office, and sent via radiotelegraph to Washington.26

The next morning, on January 27, Secretary of State Cordell Hull read the message:


Hull distributed copies of the Grew cable to Army intelligence and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). Arthur McCollum was directed to provide the ONI's analysis. However, he immediately faced a quandary. By his own analysis as spelled out in his action memo, an attack on Hawaii was just what was needed. As a youngster growing up in Japan, he knew of the Japanese propensity for surprise attacks. As a five-and-one-half-year-old McCollum was living in Japan in February 1904, when Japanese torpedo boats surprised the Russian Fleet at Port Arthur on the Bay of Korea. A stunned world learned of the destruction of the Russian warships, which were ambushed in a surprise attack.

McCollum remembered his history. From his viewpoint, Grew's cable proved the effectiveness of the goad strategy. But instead of alerting the Pacific Fleet that Action F - the American fleet's presence at Pearl - was luring Japan into war, McCollum discounted Grew's information as

{p. 32} "rumor." On February 1, 1941, he sent this analysis to the newly appointed commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel: ''The Division of Naval Intelligence places no credence in these rumors. Furthermore, based on known data regarding the present disposition and employment of Japanese naval and army forces, no move against Pearl Harbor appears imminent or planned for in the foreseeable future."23

Two days earlier, thirty Hollywood movie stars, including Lana Turner, George Raft, and Red Skelton, had been invited to a gala luncheon at the White House to help celebrate the President's birthday. ... It was on the same day that he received his first intelligence based on Japanese naval intercepts.29

The President began to track the movement of Japanese ships and command officers to the coastal waters of French Indochina. Two naval units left the Kure naval base and joined other Japanese warships at Hainan Island in the Gulf of Tonkin.

By the time the birthday celebrations began in the forty-eight states that evening, Roosevelt had a clear intelligence picture of an emerging Japanese strategy involving Southeast Asia. McCollum had proposed that Southeast Asian countries controlled by Britain and the Netherlands cut off their exports of natural resources to Japan, which they had done. Now FDR would see the effectiveness of the move.

According to the cryptographer's summary, Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka had orchestrated border clashes between the Southeast Asia nations of Siam (Thailand) and French Indochina. An armistice-cease fire was proposed, to take effect on January 31, 1941. Japan expected to work out the details during a conference scheduled on the deck of the light cruiser HIJMS Natori, in Saigon's harbor. A final peace settlement was scheduled to be signed at Tokyo later in the year.

Japanese warships, including the flattops of Carrier Division Two were dispatched to the coastal waters off French Indochina (F.I.C.) in a show of force. Their purpose was to ensure that F.I.C., Siam, and and the countries of Southeast Asia would support the yen financial bloc and provide Japan with access to raw materials.

Meanwhile, Roosevelt was celebrating his birthday in the White House

{p. 33} with the movie stars at the luncheon, and that evening the First Lady presided at the fund-raising galas in Washington. ...

Just before midnight, Roosevelt concluded his part in the birthday celebration by delivering a radio address to the nation in which he thanked "every man, woman, and child" who had labored to raise funds for polio, the disease that had robbed him of the use of his leg and thigh muscles. After the microphones were turned off, FDR looked over his presents. They were an impressive lot. He received a five-foot-high, 300-pound birthday cake from the nation's labor unions, a "Happy Birthday" editorial from the New York Times, and a denunciation of his international policies by Adolf Hitler.

A Gallup Poll released that day measured America's attitude toward war. An overwhelming 79 percent of the nation opposed Charles Lindbergh's proposal for a negotiated peace with Hitler, but an even greater majority, 88 percent, continued to oppose United States entry into the European war.

FDR's overhaul of the Navy's seagoing command structure took effect on February 1, 1941, aboard the USS Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor. Four new silver stars brightened the white dress uniform of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel as he spoke into a CBS News radio microphone, reading the orders authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that placed him in command of the newly created Pacific Fleet. About eight feet away and to the admiral's right stood Admiral James O. Richardson, whom Kimmel was succeeding. Outwardly Richardson bore no enmity toward the President. He realized the commander-in-chief had the right to dismiss officers who didn't agree with White House policies: "The President packed my sea bag for me." Privately, though, he was shocked and "deeply disappointed in my detachment."3'

Although few on the Pennsylvania were aware of the change, a monitor of the unfolding provocation policy was now inserted into the Pacific

{p. 34} Fleet command structure. Roosevelt personally promoted the Director of Naval Intelligence, Captain Walter Anderson, to rear admiral and gave him command of all Pacific Fleet battleships with the title Commander Battleships. Anderson's reputation as a naval officer was less than sterling. A sixty-year-old career officer and a naval-academy graduate, his military service was nearing an end. Though he had served aboard warships from 1912 to 1933, he was not a distinguished sailor. ...

{p. 35} Neither Nimitz nor Knox was America's designated admiral maker. That was President Roosevelt's prerogative. In May 1939 the President moved Anderson from the London naval attache post and made him Director of Naval Intelligence in Washington. Anderson's reign in naval intelligence was marked by poor morale in the agency. "ONI was the haven for the ignorant and well connected," according to Marine Corps Colonel John W. Thomason, Jr., at the time head of the ONI Latin American desk.36

At least three times a week, Anderson met with FDR. "It was usually in the late afternoon in the President's private office."3' Two other officials, Major General Edwin "Pa" Watson, the military aide, and Colonel John Magruder, then the Army intelligence chief, would join them. During his ONI tenure, Anderson also developed very close friendships with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Adolf Berle, Jr., FDR's Assistant Secretary of State. Three days before McCollum put his eight action provocations in writing, Anderson met secretly with a group of Roosevelt's staff in the Hay-Adams Hotel, across Lafayette Park from the White House. The group included Berle, Attorney General Francis Biddle, FCC Commissioner James Fly, and Lowell Mellett, a presidential political advisor.

The group, according to Berle's diary entry,35 discussed the isolationist movement and ways to form an integral mechanism to combat the kind of propaganda spreading across the country. Their concerns echoed those enunciated by Roosevelt on the secret recordings, but, Berle wrote, the group was unable to agree on a policy. Three days later, in his proposal to Anderson, McCollum advocated uniting the country by creating "ado" with its eight provocations. Throughout 1940 and 1941, Anderson lent McCollum to Hoover for consultation and advice.39

The new two-star admiral left Washington in mid-January 1941 and assumed command on January 31. Anderson obviously believed in the McCollum strategy and went to Hawaii knowing of the risks inherent in increasing American pressure on a militant Japan. Yet in an oral-history interview conducted by Columbia University in March 1962, he claimed to know nothing of the Richardson-Roosevelt discussion concerning keeping the fleet in Hawaiian waters.40

Most of the Pacific Fleet's senior officers and the crew of the Pennsylvania watched the Kimmel/Richardson change-of-command ceremony on February 1, unaware of its full significance. ...

{p. 36} Anderson was sent to Hawaii as an intelligence gatekeeper. He had powerful connections in the Navy Department and the FBI. Declining military living quarters on the Pearl Harbor base, he rented a house on Dia-

{p. 37} mond Head Road located on the makai (Hawaiian for "toward the water") side of the famed Waikiki landmark. ...

On December 7, Anderson's eight battleships (the ninth, the USS Colorado, was on the West Coast) would receive the brunt of the Japanese attack. Heavy loss of life and injuries were sustained aboard the Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Nevada, Tennessee, Califomia, Maryland, and the Pacific Fleet flagship, the Pennsylvania.49 Anderson was not aboard any of the battleships. He spent that fatal weekend at his Diamond Head Road residence.50

As Director of Naval Intelligence from June 1939 to December 1940, Anderson had been at the center of policy making. He had direct access to Roosevelt in the White House and met weekly with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Most important, he knew of the American success in breaking the Japanese military and diplomatic codes. When he arrived on the quarter-deck of Kimmel's flagship Anderson had one moral duty: to inform his commander-in-chief of the cryptographic triumphs. He failed to do so, and deliberately excluded Kimmel from the decryption success. "I can't understand, may never understand why I was deprived of the information available in Washington," a bewildered Kimmel wrote after the war.51

Had he been briefed, Kimmel could have requested that Purple decryptions be sent to him from either Washington or Corregidor. But without the machine, he did not have the capability to decode them. Ironically, the Army's monitor station on Hawaii, Station FIVE, was a principal interceptor of Purple code messages; the intercepts were forwarded immediately by radio to Washington, where they were decrypted on the Station US machine for the White House. Decryption was speedy. Most of Station FIVE's intercepts of Purple encoded messages were decoded on the Station US Purple machine and translated within a day's time, according to

{p. 38} the White House route logs kept by Arthur McCollum. Incredibly, copies were not sent to Hawaii. Like Admiral Husband Kimmel, Lieutenant General Walter Short, Hawaii's Army commander, was not told of the secrets of Purple, even though the messages were being intercepted just steps from his command post at Fort Shafter.52

Both Admiral Anderson and Commander Vincent R. Murphy Kimmel's assistant war plans officer, knew of McCollum's proposal to keep the fleet in harm's way. Either or both should have told Kimmel everything they knew about America's ability to learn Japan's strategic and tactical intentions from the intercepts. By mid-February, soon after taking command of the Pacific Fleet, Kimmel sensed his exclusion from the intelligence loop. On February 18 he asked Admiral Stark to fix responsibility for disseminating reports of a "secret nature so there will be no misunderstanding."53

Kimmel received Stark's answer on March 22: "Naval Intelligence is fully aware of its responsibility in keeping you adequately informed."54 Determined to plug into the loop, Kimmel tried again. On May 26 he requested the establishment of what he called a "cardinal principle": "Inform the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet immediately of all important developments as they occur by the quickest means available."55 His requests were ignored. What information he got from Washington, for almost the entire time prior to the attack, did not provide him with a full understanding of Japan's intentions. By late July 1941, he had been cut off completely from the communications intelligence generated in Washington.56

{p. 39} CHAPTER 4


ROOSEVELT'S REVAMPING OF THE NAVY'S COMMAND STRUCTURE IN Hawaii lessened the chance that Japanese moves on Hawaii, spurred to action by Arthur McCollum's eight provocations, would be detected. As events would show, there were Americans ready to put all eight into effect. Among McCollum's proposals, the key provocations were actions B and G, which would cut off vital supplies to Japan and force her into a military mode to regain access. McCollum's action B proposed to "Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies." Action G proposed that the United States "insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil." '

Japan's leaders reacted immediately and attempted to change the

{p. 40} Dutch attitude after both provocations were put into effect in the fall of 1940 and early 1941. Intercepts in the diplomatic code, analyzed in Washington by McCollum, revealed the Japanese strategy; they disclosed that her diplomats speedily attempted to restore access to the Dutch-owned natural resources. But each attempt at reconciliation brought forth a classic case of tightening the screws.

During September 1940 Japan sensed the screw-tightening by the Dutch and arranged for a diplomatic conference in Java in an attempt to keep petroleum products and other natural resources flowing to the Empire. Its delegation was headed by Minister of Commerce Ichizo Kobayashi, who met with H. J. van Mook, Dutch minister for economic affairs. Commander Arthur McCollum's proposed role for the Dutch had not yet been written but his provocations - still at a latent stage - managed to surface during the initial Dutch-Japanese negotiations in late September and early October.

Japan's delegation felt right at home in the Dutch East Indies after their long sea journey. Tea gardens, tumbling waterfalls, and rice fields surrounded the conference site in the forested mountain resort near the hamlet of Selabintanah about 120 km southeast of Batavia. The beauty of the region reminded the diplomats of the heights leading to Mount Fuji in Japan.

But the heated diplomatic interchanges between Kobayashi and van Mook were in sharp contrast to the peaceful surroundings. Japan's diplomats angrily contended that the Netherlands delegates were mere puppets of Washington. On the table were proposals involving Japanese rights to obtain oil and petroleum products from Holland's enormous reserves in the Dutch East Indies. Japan called for the Dutch to provide a minimum of 3,150,000 metric tons of petroleum annually. One of the delegates, Japanese minister of commerce Ichizo Kobayashi, demanded that the Dutch guarantee a delivery schedule covering a five-year period. Kobayashi expressed the attitude of his government: "The Netherlands has been closely co-operating with the United Kingdom and the United States. Now is the time to shake hands with Japan."2

Dutch Minister H. J. van Mook reprimanded Kobayashi and labeled the oil demands preposterous. Besides, he said, the Netherlands government's role was only supervisory. Dutch oil firms controlled the production and sale of the petrol products, not the government.3

{p. 41} The Kobayashi mission started off on the wrong foot. When the Nissno Maru, carrying the Kobayashi delegation, arrived in Batavia Harbor on September 12, 1940, the captain committed a diplomatic faux pas: he failed to hoist the Netherlands flag, as required by protocol. But whether the Nissho Man hoisted the colors or not the Japanese mission was doomed, because the Netherlands government went along with McCollum's actions B and G. Japan was not going to obtain any petroleum from the Dutch, despite her prolonged diplomatic overtures, which lasted until June 1941.

Though not mentioned by name, on October 16 President Roosevelt learned of Kobayashi's mission through a summary of a Purple intercept routed by McCollum to naval aide Captain Callaghan. The report mentioned the Japanese economic mission in the Dutch East Indies and disclosed the Japanese interest in seizing the Dutch East Indies at the earliest opportunity. The Japanese Foreign Office ofificials including those in Selabintanah urged fast action in seizing Dutch territory, according to the intercept:


Roosevelt doubted that America would go to war over the Dutch East Indies, for he felt there ws little public support for intervention in the Southeastern Asian countries. He expressed his doubts during the October 8 White House luncheon with Admiral Richardson. "I asked the President if we were going to enter the war. He replied that if the Japanese attacked Thailand, or the Kra Peninsula, or the Dutch East Indies we would not enter the war, that if they even attacked the Philippines he doubted whether we would enter the war, but that they could not always avoid making mistakes and that as the war continued and the area of operations expanded, sooner or later they would make a mistake and we would enter the war." 5

An October 25 intercept provided additional details on the Kobayashi mission. Roosevelt learned that Japan sought a ground lease for the construction of a "technical base" that would be manned by "disguised troops." Once completed, Japan intended to use the base "for military op-

{p. 42} erations against the Netherlands. Realizing the importance of the intercept to the Netherlands government, McCollum delivered a copy of the dispatch to the Dutch naval attache, Captain Johan Ranneft, on the night of October 30, 1940. Ranneft forwarded the message to his government in exile in London. They refused to grant the lease.6

McCollum and Ranneft, an experienced naval-communications officer, worked closely together throughout 1940 and '41. The two shared Japanese intercepts obtained by their governments. Dutch cryptographers eavesdropped on the Japanese navy through a cryptographic unit called Kamer 14 (Room 14) operated by the Royal Netherlands Army at Bandoeng, Java. There is no doubt of the close cooperation and exchange of naval intelligence between the United States, British, and Dutch forces prior to December 7. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox assured Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State, that all US Navy intelligence personnel in the Far East were cooperating with British and Dutch naval intelligence by exchange of vital information of a special nature by rapid means. Admiral Hart, of the Asiatic Fleet, confirmed that a Dutch naval officer, Commander H. D. Linder, was assigned to his staff for such a purpose.

Throughout the spring and summer of 1941, the White House manipulated the oil negotiations. On March 19, Roosevelt met with Netherlands Foreign Minister Dr. Eelco van Kleffens in the Oval Office. Van Kleffens, Roosevelt, and Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles conferred for seventy minutes and reiterated the strategy for frustrating Japanese acquisition of petroleum products as advocated by McCollum's actions B and G . When he left the meeting, van Kleffens went even further than his minister van Mook, and accused Japan of aggressive behavior toward the Netherlands. He told reporters: "We have rejected every attempt by Japan to overstep and we will maintain that attitude." 8

The Dutch foreign minister then began a long journey to Batavia by way of San Francisco, where he boarded the trans-Pacific China Clipper through Hawaii. Van Kleffens was not shy with the press. His journey was punctuated by interviews in which he continued to aim provocative remarks at Japan. In Honolulu, the Japanese Consulate reported his arrival and departure for Batavia by radio to Tokyo. When he reached Batavia, van Kleffens outlined the current policy to the local Dutch officials. Japan was permitted to obtain oil but at a diminished rate. An extra impediment

{p. 43} was added: Japanese tankers would be required for its transportation; there were no Dutch tankers available. "Japan was enraged," reported Hallett Abend of the New York Times, "and suspected she had been outsmarted by van Mook. She blamed him for the irksome provisions under which Japan must haul oil in her own tankers and pay for it in good American dollars.9

Van Kleffens and Ranneft maintained a connection with the Roosevelt Administration throughout 1941, exchanging Japanese military and diplomatic intelligence. In early December, Ranneft learned that the Japanese carrier forces were on the move. The reports came from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in Washington and located two separate movements. According to Ranneft's diary entries, one location was directly west of Hawaii; the other location involved a movement of carriers easterly from Japan. Ranneft did not provide location specifics in his diary. But the oceanic charts of the Pacific can help identify the two separate carrier locations reported by the Dutch naval attache. The 21° North Latitude meridian leads directly west from Hawaii, past the Mariana Islands, and to the Philippine Sea. In early December 1941, units of Japanese Carrier Divisions Three and Four were in the Philippine Sea area preparing to support the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia. Scratch Carrier Divisions Three and Four as a threat to Hawaii.

It's Ranneft's positioning of Japanese carriers on an easterly course from Japan that is most revealing - and the danger to Hawaii. As any nautical chart of the Pacific will prove, an easterly ocean course from Japan must originate somewhere from 32 to 45° North Latitude. In early December, Japan's Hawaii raiding force was proceeding easterly from Japan along the 40° North Latitude region of the North Pacific.

During his visit to ONI on December 2, Ranneft saw a naval intelligence plot (i.e., a route on a nautical chart) that placed two Japanese carriers leaving Japan on an easterly course. Again on Saturday, December 6, he saw an update of the Japanese warship plot maintained by ONI. This time Arthur McCollum and his boss, Director of Naval Intelligence Captain Theodore Wilkinson, pointed to and isolated the Japanese flattops west of Honolulu.'° Although Ranneft has been criticized as a source, his diary account that he provided to historian John Toland is clear. It reads: "December 2, 1941. Meeting at Navy Department, the location of 2 Japanese

{p. 44} carriers leaving Japan with eastern course are pointed out to me on the map."

Official United States naval records also support Ranneft's diary entry. Plottings on the naval intelligence map for December 2 were based on intercepted movement reports and radio direction-finder bearings obtained by the Navy's monitoring stations. Each plot reflected intelligence obtained prior to December 2 and isolated two separate Japanese carrier movements from the Empire: Carrier Route I extended southwest toward the Philippines and Southeast Asia and Carrier Route 2 continued north-east through waters of the North Pacific Ocean and east to Hawaii. Ranneft's unnamed port could only be Hitokappu Bay on Route 2 on the Kurile island of Etorofu, northeast of the main Japanese islands.

There was no way Ranneft could mistake the southern Japanese carrier movement for an eastern foray. Three light carriers comprising units of Carrier Divisions Three and Four were tracked on Route 1, the southern route from the Empire. Each Japanese carrier division usually included two flattops, but Division Three was split. The light carrier HIJMS Zuiho took part in the invasion of the northern Philippines and Malaya while her sister carrier, HIJMS Hosho, remained in the Inland Sea. Carrier Division Four, the HIJMS Ryujo and HIJMS Taiyo (known to America as the Kasuga Maru) assembled at Palau and supported invasions on the east coast of the Philippines. Each of the three flattops and their carrier division commands show up constantly on Route I in the pre-Pearl Harbor intercepts of Station H, the Pacific Fleet's radio intercept station on Oahu, which monitored Japan's fleet broadcasts.

From mid-November onward, American radio monitors linked Carrier Divisions Three and Four with the Japanese battle force headed for the Southeast Asia region. Their sortie port was Sasebo on the southwest corner of Kyushu, the most westerly of Japan's home islands. Reports issued by the monitor stations were emphatic. The two light carrier divisions were under the command of Japan's Third Fleet and were headed for Southeast Asia. Missing from the southern-movement scenario were the SIX heavy flattops of Carrier Divisions One, Two, and Five. They were sailing to Pearl Harbor on Route 2.

By using the geographic term "eastern," 12 Ranneft excluded the port of Sasebo and Japanese Carrier Divisions Three and Four, which were

{p. 45} headed to the south. Navigation by sea eastward from Sasebo is impossible due to the Kyushu land-mass. Then where is the mystery sortie port for the eastern movement of 'The Carriersn of Divisions One, Two, and Five? The answer came in a series of Japanese naval-radio broadcasts originated by the Hawaii-bound carriers, their commanders, and Admiral Yamamoto between November 18 and December 1, 1941. Most of the broadcasts were intercepted at Station H, one of eleven Navy monitor stations in the Pacific and the principal interceptor for the Pacific Fleet. Station H was part of the Navys Mid-Pacific Radio Intelligence Network, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Joseph Rochefort from Station HYPO. Both were on Oahu: HYPO in the Pearl Harbor Naval Yard and H at Heeia, a hamlet on the windward side of the island, fronting on Kaneohe Bay. Though their similar names can confuse those uninitiated into the methods of Navy code-breaking, each had separate functions. HYPO was the combat intelligence center for the Pacific Fleet and the Roosevelt Administration. In cryptographic jargon, HYPO processed (decoded and translated) Japanese naval-radio messages obtained by intercept operators listening to the Japanese broadcasts at the monitoring unit, Station H.

These intercepts and the corresponding radio logs of Station H are powerful evidence of American foreknowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Americans do not know these records exist - all were excluded from the many investigations that took place from 1941 to 1946 and the congressional probe of 1995. The most potent evidence is two radio dispatches sent by Admiral Yamamoto to the First Air Fleet on November 25 while the thirty-one warships were anchored at Hitokappu Bay in the Kurile Islands awaiting instruction to sail to Hawaii. In his messages, Yamamoto provides the evidence that contradicts American and Japanese claims of radio silence and exclusion of the words Hawaii and Pearl Harbor from radio transmissions prior to December 7. Both claims are at the heart of the Pearl Harbor surprise-attack lore. Yamamoto broke radio silence and directed the Japanese First Air Fleet to depart Hitokappu Bay on November 26, advance into Hawaiian waters through the North Pacific, and attack the United States Fleet in Hawaii. He even provided the latitude and longitude for portions of Route 2.

In his first dispatch he wrote:


In the second dispatch he continued:




Both dispatches, stripped of all Japanese communication data and lacking the source of the intercept, can be found in two US naval histories: Peart Harbor by Vice Admiral Homer N. Wallin and The Campaigns of the Pacific War prepared by the Naval Analysis Division of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey.15 The published text of the two messages follows the general form of intercepted Japanese naval radio dispatches obtained by US naval monitoring stations in 1941. Records of Station H indicate that Yamamoto, using the radio call sign RO SE 22, dispatched thirteen radio messages between 1:00 P.M. on November 24 and 3:54 P.M. on November 26. All thirteen are missing from the intercept file of Japanese naval messages released to the National Archives by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.16

By reconstructing records of Station H and Japanese naval records, the destination and the departure port for Ranneft's mystery force is made clear. Japan's fleet movement to Hawaii fitted into two time frames in late November: (1) assembly at standby locations on November 17-25, and (2) the sortie to the target November 25-December 7.17

Hitokappu Bay, an inlet on Etorofu Island in the Kurile Islands group,

{p. 47} was the assembly location for the six carriers of the First Air Fleet - the offensive power of the Pearl Harbor raid. Joining the carriers in the anchorage were its support force of two battleships, two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, eleven destroyers, and three "I" type submarines, plus the crucial supply train of seven tankers. Several warships committed ? serious radio security breach during their sortie to the Hitokappu Bay anchorage: each transmitted coded movement reports - reports that could be read by American naval cryptographers in Washington, according to Albert Pelletier one of the Navy's top cryppies at Station US.18

These Japanese warship movement reports are substantiated by intercept records of Station H. None of the movement reports were shown to the 1945-46 congressional investigation or to the one in 1995. Instead, Congress was told that American radio intelligence had "lost" the warships because each Japanese naval vessel maintained radio silence. Admiral Kimmel's intelligence chief, Edwin Layton, substantiated this claim. During his Capitol Hill testimony in 1946, he said neither the Japanese carriers nor the carrier commanders were ever addressed or heard on Nippon radio frequencies in the twenty-five days preceding Pearl Harbor. But Layton was covering up. The radio intercept reports were available, but Layton failed to inform Admiral Kimmel of the Japanese movement to Hitokappu Bay.19

In fact, Navy radio monitoring stations at Corregidor, Guam, Hawaii, and Dutch Harbor, Alaska, intercepted the transmissions. Japanese warships and the commanding admirals of the thirty-one-ship Hawaii force broke radio silence and were addressed by Tokyo radio during the twenty-five days from about November 12 through the December 7 "surprise attack."

One intercepted message on November 18 defied all security precautions and spelled out H-I-T-O-K-A-P-P-U-B-A-Y. The Roman letters were not even encoded - they were spelled out in clear. Confirmation of this is available from the Station H records, but Captain Duane Whitlock, the radio traffic analyst at CAST, denies that such a message was sent.

Other warships went on the Japanese naval air waves and confirmed that Hitokappu Bay was the standby location for the Hawaii force. British naval monitors at Sinapore and their Dutch counterparts in Java heard the same broadcasts.20 General Hein ter Poorten, commander of the

{p. 48} Netherlands army forces in the DEI, said his cryptologists at Kamer 14 had evidence that "showed Japanese naval concentration near the Kuriles.''21

The plain-language dispatch of the words "Hitokappu Bay," confirmed a prediction made on the basis of radio intercepts on October 22, 1941, by Joseph Rochefort, the commander of Station HYPO on Oahu, who told Admiral Kimmel that Japan was in the midst of a large-scale screening maneuver or operation involving air units. Rochefort laid out the operation for Kimmel.22 He predicted it would include a vast triangular area of the Pacific Ocean from the Kurile Islands in the north to the Marshall Islands in the south and Marcus Island in the east and extending to the south-east areas of Asia. For emphasis, Rochefort cited the Kurile Islands three times in the prediction. He had discovered Japan's secret sortie port for Route 2.

The contents of the Japanese message spelling out "Hitokappu Bay" were not revealed to Admiral Kimmel by Rochefort's Communication Summary dated November 19 - the logical date for disclosure. The plainlanguage "Hitokappu Bay" reference does not appear in the summary though Rochefort wrote that Japanese naval circuits in the far north were intercepted. Dropping "Hitokappu Bay" from the typewritten summary may have been done deliberately to conceal American success in decoding Japanese naval communications. Admiral Harold Stark's testimony before the joint congressional investigation in 19456 indicates that he knew of the Hitokappu Bay rendezvous point prior to December 7, 1941.23 But the plain-language "Hitokappu Bay" reference in the message of November 18 was never presented. Nor was it made available to the Pearl Harbor inquiry of Senator Strom Thurmond in 1995.24

Between November 18 and November 30, some units of the First Air Fleet radioed movement reports as they sailed north in the Pacific from their home ports in Japan. Their route extended off the east coast of Shikoku and Honshu and past Hokkaido, Japan's most northerly home island. Navigating first to the northeast, then north, then northeast again, thelr course took them to Hitokappu Bay.

Japan's naval communications were controlled by six powerful radio shore stations in the home islands: Sasebo, Kure, Maizuru, Tokyo, Yokosuka, and Ominato. In the Central Pacific, four stations were in control Chichi Jima, Saipan, Truk, and Jaluit. For the Far East, the navy used

{p. 49} Takao, Formosa; Shanghai, China; and Pusan, Korea, as radio control points. Three were designated super-stations: Sasebo controlled all radio transmissions to Southeast Asia, China and Korea; Yokosuka to the Central Pacific, and Ominato to the north, including the North Pacific.

For supersecret operations, Japan set up special communication zones known only to senior commanders. It was a way to conceal the operation's location from American and allied eavesdroppers. In mid-November, a special communication zone was assigned to the First Air Fleet at Hitokappu Bay in the Kurile Islands. Normally, Japan issued a 5-Num code equivalent for these special locations, but because Hitokappu had been selected at the last minute it was not on the code list. Tokyo had only one choice: they spelled it out.25

After transmitting of the initial message, there were no more Hitokappu Bay plain-language radio leaks. But some warships disclosed their

{p. 52} locations wnen they filed movement reports through various Japanese naval-radio communication zones. Their reports provided a dead giveaway to American cryptographers who could read the movement reports solved by Pelletier at Station US. First to leak their zonal locations were three of the long-range l-boat submarines assigned to the First Air Fleet, I-19 I-21, and I-23. Adhering to long-standing orders, the sub commanders reported moving northeast from Kure. Their radio reports indicated an advance through the Yokosuka Communication Zone, then the Ominato Zone, "to the communication zone of the First Air Fleet." The message was clear: The carriers of the First Air Fleet were in their own special communication zone. They could be reached by radio at Hitokappu Bay, northeast of Ominato.

Radio direction finders of the US Navy confirmed the Japanese naval movements. The radio signals were picked up throughout the Pacific Rim. Stabons at Corregidor, Guam, and Dutch Harbor provided "fixes" on the carrlers Akagi, Hiu, and Shokaku, and of Carrier Divisions One, Two and Five. Each flattop was plotted moving north by northeast by the radio operators at CAST on Corregidor. These plots were forwarded to Rochefort at Pearl Harbor's Station HYPO and then to President Roosevelt's routing officer Arthur McCollum in Washington by a special secure Navy radio code circuit called TESTM.27

To those uninitiated in the methods of communications intelligence Japan's radio call-sign system, known as the Yobidashi Fugo, looks like alphabet soup. But to the experienced radio intercept operator/cryptographer the call signs, when deciphered, are revealing. The flagship of the Flrst Air Fleet, the 38,000-ton carrier HIJMS Akagi, shared triple radio duty. Its radio transmitter served three masters with different radio call signs: Captain Kiichi Hasegawa of the Akagi, whose radio code name was 8 YU NA, and Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, who wore two hats he was both Commander-in-Chief of the First Air Fleet, YO N 7, and Commander of Carrier Division One, SA SO 2.28

Vice Admiral Nagumo continually broke radio silence by transmitting messages to his command using the Akagi's radio facilities. But Nagumo was not the only offender. Captain Hasegawa added his transmissions to the traffic. So did Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, the commander of the battleshlps and cruisers of Nagumo's force. Mikawa was detected by Sta-

{p. 53} tion CAST using his secret Hawaii call sign, N WA 2. His radio transmissions, according to the CAST radio direction-finder bearings, placed his force off the east coast of Japan. Even worse for Japanese communicatlons security both admirals used their most secret call signs, which were reserved exclusively for the Hawaii attack.29

Japan's navy revised the radio call signs for all warships on November 1, when they put a new radio-call list into effect. Nagumo and Mikawa thought the new coded radio-call signs hid them from detection by US listening posts. They were correct, as long as they kept their radio transmitters silent. But once the warships used the airwaves, the American naval intercept operators solved the new identities quickly.

Transmissions to and from the entire Japanese fleet were in radiotelegraphy, not voice. Radio transmitters emit spurious sounds,30 which can be identified by "radio fingerprinting." These sounds are unique to the transmitter, that is, no two transmitters sound alike. The US Navy used oscilloscopes to identify the wave patterns of these sounds. Experienced naval intercept operators could sometimes recognize individual Japanese radio operators by their unique use of the radiotelegraph key to send the dots and dashes of their code.

The new call list, List 9, thwarted the American code-breakers for a few days. But once the warships began transmitting, and "fingerprints" could be detected, the code-breakers were able to analyze the meaning of the various calls for individual ships or units. This wide use of radio transmissions was necessitated by the fact that Japan's navy and military operations extended over vast stretches of air, land, and sea. In a Thanksgiving Day assessment of Japanese carrier movements, the Pacific Fleet's radio intercept traffic chief, Homer Kisner,3l detected a separation of carrler commands. He noted that Carrier Divisions Three and Four were involved in "southern operations" and received their orders from the commander of Japan's Third Fleet, not from the Commander Carriers, Vice Admiral Nagumo. Kisner spotted another movement which he called "the Carrier Divisions": the six big carriers of the Japanese Fleet. ...

{p. 54} Pushing aside his cranberries and turkey, Kisner examined the pile of radio intercepts culled from the Japanese naval airwaves by his 65 radio operators. The thirty-one-year-old Kisner had assumed the duties of radio traffic chief in June 1941. He supervised the interception of all types of Japanese naval radio communications. His headquarters was Station H, a Navy radio receiving facility located at Heeia on Kaneohe Bay on the windward side of Oahu. Homer Kisner had learned to intercept Japanese radio broadcasts in a Navy classroom operated by Station US on the roof of Navy headquarters in Washington in 1933. After graduating from the three-month eavesdropping course, Kisner, then a radioman second class, traveled to Hawaii and placed Station H in operation that summer. In the ensuing years he served in other monitor stations in the Pacific specializing in the interception of Japan's military and diplomatic radio broadcasts. His unique talent in eavesdropping on Japan's fleet was unsurpassed. His immediate boss Commander Joseph Rochefort, regarded Kisner as tops in the specialized field of plucking Japanese radio broadcasts from the airwaves. From July 1941 to October 1942 Kisner served as the Pacific Fleet's radio traffic chief. For the next three years Kisner operated with the Pacific Fleet supervising various intercept operations. He observed Japan's early success followed by her defeat. He detected the Japanese advance on Hawaii in 1941 and also intercepted Japan's reaction to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the initial peace feelers in 1945. President Harry Truman in 1946 awarded him the Bronze Star for his expertise. Promoted to full Commander in 1953, Kisner was sent to Korea for communications intelligence and earned a second Bronze Star from President Dwight Eisenhower.32

Kisner's daily routine at Station H called for a quick examination of the intercepts for military information. Then he prepared a Daily Chronology and delivered the entire package to Rochefort's basement office at Pearl Harbor, about fifteen miles away on the lee side of Oahu. There were no teleprinters or two-way radio facilities to link the offices. A single telephone line from the Mutual Telephone Company was Kisner's only electronic means of alerting the US government to an emergency. But there was no way Kisner was going to use that telephone. It was a party line.

Every day Kisner packaged the Daily Chronology, intercept message sheets, and radio logs into a neat bundle, strapped a Colt .45 revolver to his hip, and drove to Pearl Harbor in a Navy half-ton pickup truck. He was

{p. 55} carrying America s most precious intelligence secrets, and his daily route to Pearl Harbor took him directly past the Japanese Consulate, where a Japanese naval spy, Tadashi Mrimura, prepared weekly espionage reports for Tokyo. ...

When he wasn't analyzing the Japanese intercepts, Kisner watched his eight men, each at his work station. They sat in swivel chairs before a long

{p. 56} bench stacked with radio equipment. Each wore earphones called "cans" connected by wire to banks of radio receivers tuned to the known Japanese naval frequencies. When a message was heard it was transcribed on a special code typewriter called an RIP-5. (RIP stands for Radio Intelligence Publication.) The machine had been secretly developed by the Underwood Typewriter Company33 to convert the unique dot-dash radiotelegraphy code of the Imperial Japanese Navy to Latin-alphabet equivalents. To the untrained ear, Japan's naval telegraphy procedures sounded like International Morse Code. But each dot and dash had a non-Morse meaning. For example, in Morse Code, dash-dot-dot-dot is the letter B, but in the Japanese naval katakana telegraphic system the same sequence means the syllable HA. When an intercept operator typed B on the RIP-5 the katakana syllable HA was printed out.

Intercepting and transcribing Japanese fleet messages for FDR and his military leaders was a highly skilled task. In 1941, America had only 165 trained katakana operators. Kisner and his 65 operators at H were the best in the business. All had been chosen by Rochefort as the "pick of the crop."

Scanning the Thanksgiving Day intercepts, Kisner looked for Japanese commanders who appeared "bossiest." Kisner first assembled the intercepts in chronological order. He said the interception of "an unusually large number of [radio] messages indicated increased activity or movement of the Carriers." He connected Carrier Division Three with the Third Fleet and associated both commands with a southern movement from Japan toward Southeast Asia.

Kisner discovered other warships. All were destined to attack Pearl Harbor. He placed Destroyer Squadron One and the heavy cruiser HIMJS Tone with Carrier Divisions One, Two, and Five. From mid-November to December 6, this placement never changed.35

Kisner tracked the Japanese fleet movements with radio direction finders that located Japanese warships when they used their radio transmitters. He included the bearings of Japanese warships obtained by the irectlon-finder stations in his Daily Chronology. The documentation of apanese naval broadcasts compiled by Kisner and his radiomen from November 18 through 20 is compelling: Four broadcasts linked warships of

{p. 57} the First Air Fleet with the Kurile Islands and Hitokappu Bay - a serious breach of Japanese naval security.

Nov. 18: Hitokappu Bay appeared in plain language text in a radio dispatch originated by naval headquarters, Tokyo. By using the plain words, the dispatch associated the First Air Fleet with Hitokappu Bay. Intercepted by operator SN at Station H at 7:32 P.M. Tokyo time.

Nov. 19: A Japanese naval submarine transmitted its coded radio call sign of RO TU 00 and filed a movement report to the flagship of the First Air Fleet in Hitokappu's communication zone. Intercepted at Station H by LF at 2:02 A.M. Tokyo time.

Nov. 20: Japanese naval Submarine Squadron Three reported that sub I-19 was underway from Yokosuka to Ominato, and then to the radio zone of the flagship of the First Air Fleet. Intercepted at Station H by radio operator Merrill Whiting, at 2:35 P.M. Tokyo time.

Nov. 20: Two and a half hours later, Whiting heard a third Japanese sub, TA YU 88, when it filed a movement report to the communication zone of the flagship, First Air Fleet.36

Kisner was excluded from every Pearl Harbor investigation, including the 1995 inquiry. His first public comments on the pre-Pearl Harbor communications intelligence were made to the author in April 1988 when he examined the intercepts contained in the President Carter document release. Kisner confirmed their authenticity. He verified that several Japanese intercepts heard by his operators were transmitted in plain language prior to December 7. But after fifty-plus years Kisner could not recall the circumstances of the intercepts or why he failed to flag the plain-language HITOKAPPU BAY in his Daily Chronology on November 19. Emphasizing that he was not excusing himself for overlooking Japan's use of plain language in the radio dispatch, Kisner noted that Joseph Rochefort and his staff of analysts at Station HYPO should have been alerted by the words. On October 22, 1941, HYPO's Communication Summary predicted that Japan was planning a large-scale screening maneuver involving air forces, staged from the Kurile Islands.

{p. 58} In an interview in 1998, Kisner, then eighty-eight years old, was shown McCollum's memo by the author. His reaction to proposal F was the same as Admiral Richardson's - disbelief and outrage: "No one in the Navy would deliberately place warships and sailors in harm's way. If I had known of the plan, I'd have gone direct to Admiral Kimmel and warned him."37

During the four years he served with the Pacific Fleet in communications intelligence, Kisner estimated that he and other staff members handled a minimum of 1,460,000 Japanese military intercepts. Kisner's full documentation for the pre-Pearl Harbor period is contained in the message sheets and separate radio intercept logs kept by his 65 operators, including Whiting and the unknown SN and LF. These Station H message sheets and the operator logs are still classified as among America's most secret documents. The Japanese warships and senior admirals of the First Air Fleet gave away their North Pacific Ocean locations during their sorties to Hitokappu Bay. US naval cryptographic monitors as well as their British and Dutch counterparts verified the movements.33

Dutch code-breakers at Kamer 14 intercepted the same Japanese naval broadcasts and forwarded the information to their government-in-exile in London. These Dutch intercepts placed Japanese warships near the Kuriles toward the end of November 1941. Presumably the Kamer facility obtained Admiral Yamamoto's dispatches to the First Air Fleet, for two Dutch military officers, Lieutenant General Hein ter Poorten and Captain J. W. Henning, claim that intercepts of Japanese naval communications by Dutch code-breakers revealed a concentration of warships in the Kuriles. Both officers are credible. General ter Poorten was commander-in-chief of the Netherlands ground forces in the Dutch East Indies; Henning was cryptologist at Kamer 14. Adding to the credibility of the two Dutch army officers is the written assurance given November 8, 1941, by Frank Knox to Cordell Hull that there was a full exchange of intelligence information between the Dutch, British, and Americans in the Far East prior to Pearl Harbor.39

The Dutch accounts placing the warships in the Kuriles were written in 1960, but they dovetail with the intercepts Kisner gathered in late November 1941. Unfortunately, the military records of the Netherlands East Indies were intentionally destroyed early in 1942 to make sure they would

{p. 59} not fall into enemy hands when Japanese invasion forces overran the Dutch colony. ...

According to Ranneft's account, the intercepts and chart plots clearly indicated an imminent clash with the United States. "No one among us mentions the possibility of an attack on Honolulu. I myself do not think about it because I believe that everyone in Honolulu is 100 percent on the alert, just like everyone here at ONI."40

{p. 59} CHAPTER 5


Joseph Rochefort and his station HYPO would play a large part in the Pearl Harbor story and World War II's amazing decryption effort.

{p. 61} He graduated an ensign in 1919 and became engineering officer of the USS Cuyama, a tanker. In 1924, after five years of uneventful service, a fellow officer noted Rochefort's skills at auction bridge and solving crossword puzzles and recommended him for a Navy cryptanalysis class in Washington. There Rochefort found his true calling. He excelled in the cryptographic work, was promoted to full lieutenant, and was named assistant to Lieutenant Commander Laurance Safford, who was in the initial stages of organizing a communications-intelligence section for the Navy. When Safford was sent to sea duty in late 1924, Joseph Rochefort was named officer-in-charge of the small unit that eventually became Station US.5

Like Rochefort, the American military commanders in the Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Thomas Hart, were part of this "splendid arrangement" - but Hawaii's commanders, Lieutenant General Walter Short and Admiral Husband Kimmel, were not. President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and the Netherlands government-in-exile in London used the entire network, which extended from the West Coast of North America to China's east coast and from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to Batavia on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies. Seventeen of the monitoring stations were run by the United States, four by the British Royal Navy, and one by the Dutch army.

The US Pacific monitoring operation included thirteen Navy stations and four operated by the Army. Command decisions rested with each service. The Navy controlled its cryptographic operations from Station US, located in Navy Headquarters at 1 8th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., in Washington; the Army's control was centered at the Signal Intelligence Service (SIS) in Army Headquarters, down the street at 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., known in 1941 as the Munitions Building. The Navy's Japanese monitoring program was the largest by far. SAIL, CAST, and HYP0 were the regional control centers. Decoding and translating the intercepts took place at four processing centers: CAST and HYP0 in the Pacific and Station US and the Army's SIS in Washington. Station SAIL was limited to intercept operations and dispatched its information by teleprinter to Station US for processing.

{p. 62} Britain's four stations in the Pacific, called WT stations for wireless-telegraph, were controlled from the Far East Combined Bureau, a cryptographic processing center in Singapore's Naval Dockyard. Its monitoring station was on Stonecutter's Island in Hong Kong's harbor. Two radio direction-finder stations in Canada, at Esquimalt and Ucluelet on British Columbia's Vancouver Island, formed the remainder of Britain's Pacific cryptographic efforts. Kamer 14, the Netherlands monitor and processing center at the Bandoeng Army Base in the Dutch East Indies, completed the "splendid arrangement."

America's small Asiatic Fleet, commanded by Admiral Thomas Hart received its Japanese communications intelligence from CAST,6 a full-service facility under co-commanders Lieutenants Rudolph J. Fabian and John Lietwiler. The center was manned by 75 trained cryptographic specialists - including intercept operators, radio direction-finder experts translators, and cryptographers who monitored Japanese diplomatic and military communications. CAST also served as the exchange center for sharing intercepts with the British and the Dutch.7

Rochefort's Station HYPO controlled the Mid-Pacific Network, which was the largest of the Navy's Pacific operations with about 140 radio intelligence specialists. Aside from the HYPO staff, 32 specialists manned five RDF stations: at Dutch Harbor, on Midway, on Samoa, and two on Oahu Coast Guard cryptographers on Oahu also supplied intercepts to HYPO. It was a mammoth job, for about 1000 Japanese military intercepts were produced daily on Oahu and required careful scrutiny. The Mid-Pac Network concentrated only on Japanese naval communications and did not intercept diplomatic messages, since that was the mission of CAST and SAIL.

Rochefort created an accurate picture of Japan's preparations despite being unable to see a single warship, sailor, or aircraft of the perceived enemy. The nearest Japanese fleet unit was several thousand miles away Station HYPO was housed in the basement of the administration building of the Fourteenth Naval District. It was fifteen feet underground in a windowless, damp cellar, dug into the volcanic rock and soil of the naval yard There were no enclosed offices or partitions except for a wall divider that separated the special [and loud] IBM sorting machinery from the rest of the space. From his gray metal desk in the center, Lieutenant Commander Rochefort supervised the entire operation. Tall and lean, with close-

{p. 63} cropped dark brown hair, the forty-one-year-old Rochefort was a model naval officer greatly admired by his handpicked staff of officers and enlisted men. The cryptanalysts at HYPO worked in the open around him. The cryptanalysts, or "cryppies," are among the greatest heroes of the war.

Hawaii's tropical temperatures, combined with the heat in the basement generated by the statistical machinery, made working conditions unbearable, so a powerful air conditioner was installed. To endure this chilled air, Rochefort wore a red smoking jacket over his neatly pressed khaki uniform. Then to ease the discomfort caused by the carpetless concrete floor, he wore cushioned slippers. Officially, the smoking jacket and slippers violated naval dress regulations, but whenever he left HYPO's basement to meet with Admiral Kimmel or attend FBI meetings in downtown Honolulu, Rochefort was properly and meticulously dressed.

Although Rochefort was considered the top cryptanalyst in the Navy's officer corps, he preferred sea duty to the draining mental effort that codebreaking demanded. Frustrations associated with the cryptographic chores ate at him twenty-four hours a day. He suffered from ulcers and at the end of the day needed two to three hours to unwind at his home in the Honolulu hills. He missed many meals with his wife Fay and their children, Janet and Joseph, Jr.

Rochefort lived by the credo: "An intelligence officer has one task, one job, one mission. This is to tell his commander, his superior, today, what the Japanese are going to do tomorrow. This is his job. If he doesn't do this, then he's failed." He was proud of his organization. "I would say with all modesty that this was the best communications intelligence organization this world has ever seen. It was due simply to the fact that our people were tops in their particular fields. All worked together as a team. They had been in this business anywhere from five to ten or twelve years. I had been involved in this thing since 1925 and I fancied myself as a translator." True to his mission, Rochefort did more than just translate, he predicted. "I was better prepared to indicate what was in the Japanese mind. That is why we always specified the meaning of Japanese naval operation orders. We also sent in judgments explaining what the Japanese intended to accomplish by the operation orders. That is where I differed from most intelligence organizations at that time." 8

Rochefort defined the basic concept of communication intelligence

{p. 65} thus: "You cannot always count on being able to read these messages forever. Enemy cryptographic systems are constantly changed to avoid detection. You've got to be able to put yourself in a position where you extract a lot of information just from the messages themselves without being able to read them. This generally is known as radio intelligence." Rochefort cited radio direction finding (RDF) as an important part of communications intelligence. He explained: By means of radio direction finders you ascertain the geographical position of the enemy force. That's called direction finding - DF. That's a part of radio intelligence." 9

Unlike the interservice cryptographic cooperation in the Philippines, there was no liaison between HYPO and the Army's Station FIVE, an intercept station at Fort Shafter on Oahu. FIVE was under the administrative command of Lieutenant General Walter Short. It was an important link in the "splendid arrangement" but - inexplicably - intercepts were not shared between HYPO and FIVE. Short's operators intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages, including the all-important Purple code, but without the Purple decryption machine or help from CAST or Washington they were unable to decode them.

Apparently General Short learned of the importance of the Japanese radio messages intercepted at Station FIVE. On November 27 he requested that Rochefort instruct the Army's intercept operators at FIVE in solving what Short called the "Japanese telegraphic code." Rochefort received Short's request the next day but details are lacking, for censorship conceals both the text of the request and Rochefort's reaction. Apparently he did nothing to assist the general. A direct link to Short's letter - but not the letter itself - can be found referenced in a Fourteenth Naval District route slip in the National Archives at San Bruno. Rochefort initialed the slip and kept Short's original letter in HYPO's files. On January 1, 1942, a similar request again asked Rochefort's cooperation in the solution of enemy codes and ciphers. Again he acknowledged the request, signed his full signature, J. J. Rochefort, and retained the copy in HYPO's files.

Mysteriously, both the November 27 and January 1 letters have the same Army serial number. Short had been relieved of his duties on December 17, so the date of the second request is suspicious. The identical serial numbers suggest a deliberate attempt to make it appear that the request

{p. 66} wasn't received until weeks after the attack. Neither letter has been released by the Navy or the Army. Their existence would not have come to light at all had not the route slips been discovered by the author.10

Lieutenant General Short never told Congress of Rochefort's failure to assist him in decrypting the intercepts. Asked directly about the Army's radio intercept facilities in Hawaii, Short told Senator Alben Barkley (D

KY), the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee established to investigate the disaster in 1945-46, "I had no source of information outside Hawaii, except the War Department. " 11

Short failed to mention Station FIVE or his November 27 request. His discourse with Barkley offered the opportunity to clear his reputation by focusing on the crucial intercepts denied to his command. Traffic encrypted in the two most important Japanese diplomatic code systems, Purple and the J series, passed through Station FIVE's radio receivers at Fort Shafter. These included the Tokyo-Berlin, Tokyo-Batavia and Tokyo-Washington circuits encoded in the Purple code. FIVE also intercepted the J series, which Japan's Foreign Ministry called the Tsu code. It was the top code assigned to Japan's Honolulu consulate for its radio contact with Tokyo and had been broken by the Americans. The Purple machine was not assigned to the consulate.

To foil Allied code-breakers, the Foreign Ministry changed the Tsu code three times in 1941. The changes were ineffectual and were solved promptly by cryptographers at Station US. Each solution was sent immediately by radio dispatch to both Station CAST and HYPO. The first change, put into effect between January and March, was labeled J-17 by Washington; April through May, J-18. The final change, called J-l9, remained in effect for six months - June through December 3. By intercepting the J series, Station FIVE obtained the Tokyo spy orders transmitted in the J-l 9 code system, which directed preparation of bomb plots for the Paclfic Fleet anchorages in Pearl Harbor. Short's intercept operators, unable to decode the bomb plot messages, forwarded them to Washington. They were decoded and, when translated, revealed the bomb plots - but Washington clammed up. Not a word of the bomb plots that targeted Pearl Haror was sent to Short or to Kimmel.

No record has been found indicating that General Short ever told Admiral Kimmel of the intercept capability at Fort Shafter. Conversely, Kim-

{p. 67} mel apparently never told Short that the J-19 messages, and the earlier messages of 1941, could be decrypted at Station HYPO.

America's West Coast was served by six Navy stations, which stretched 2400 miles from Sitka, Alaska, to Imperial Beach, near San Diego, California. Of the six, SAIL copied all categories of Japanese naval and dlplomatic message text while ITEM, at Imperial Beach, was a special sentinel assigned to locate Japanese fleet units approaching Hawaii and the West Coast. The other four stations were engaged solely in radio direction-finder operations aimed at tracking Japanese merchant vessels and warships throughout the Pacific. It was a "big tent" organization, for the stations received electronic help from America's commercial radio firms such as RCA Communications and Globe Wireless, which transmitted Japanese communications between Tokyo and North, Central, and South America. Canadian stations were also part of the abig tent." Monitor stations at Esquimalt and Ucluelet on British Columbia's Vancouver Island joined in tracking the Japanese vessels.12 All of these intercept facilities sent intercepted Japanese messages along to Washington by teleprinter for decoding and translating.

The Army had two intercept stations on the West Coast. One was

called Station TWO and was situated on the headlands of San Francisco's Army Presidio, overlooking the straits of the Golden Gate. The other was Station FOUR at Quarry Heights, near Balboa in the Panama Canal Zone. Their missions paralleled those of the other two Army stations in the Pacific: the interception of Japanese diplomatic messages. There were no processing facilities, so intercepts were sent by teleprinter to the SIS in the Munitions Building, on the site now occupied by the Vietnam Memorial. The "splendid arrangement" required a plentiful supply of Japanese intercepts to work. With the vast quantity of diplomatic codes and the naval intercepts, the network had its hands full. Japan's Foreign Ministry used four separate diplomatic codes for contacting overseas missions during 1941: Purple, the J Series, LA, and PA. Five of the intercept stations in the Pacific were focused on these Tokyo diplomatic broadcasts in 1941. The seeming redundancy was crucial; nothing could be left to chance. Radio signals are easily disturbed by outside elements. Solar storms can disrupt broadcasts here on earth. Transmissions intended for short distance sometimes bounce halfway around the world during sun spot activity. Thus

{p. 69} Army intercept stations in Manila, Honolulu, and San Francisco combined with two Navy facilities - CAST on Corregidor and Seattle's SAIL - as a hedge against a loss.

Of the four code systems, Purple contained messages that involved the most sensitive and important dispatches of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and its overseas ambassadors. Every Purple message yielded strategic decisions involving the Axis nations. In Berlin, Japanese Ambassador Baron Hiroshi Oshima frequently met with Hitler and his lieutenants and learned secret German strategy. Oshima dutifully passed along Hitler's secrets to Tokyo in the Purple Code. In fact, Roosevelt discovered Germany's plans for the invasion of Russia through a Purple intercept on June 14, 1941.13

Purple was a two-step encryption system. In the first encryption step, prior to radio dispatch, Ministry code clerks converted the Japanese text to Roman letters. Then the coded text was further encrypted by an electronic cipher machine process that used six rotor wheels to sequentially rearrange the Roman letters.l4

To further foil American and Allied code-breakers, Japan issued separate ambassadorial codes to her various embassies. For example, the Tokyo-Berlin Purple system always remained cryptographically different from that of Tokyo-Washington. Thus, for the United States to read Purple messages obtained from the Washington and Berlin circuits, cryptographers had to solve each ambassadorial code first, then translate the message into English.

The essential element of the decoding process required reconstructing the cipher machine and its daily wheel sequence. Without the machine and the sequences, messages in the Purple system could not be read. Army cryptographic specialists led by Colonel William Friedman of the SIS solved the intricacies of the Purple machine in 1940 and constructed a prototype.

Friedman's staff produced their first decrypted message on September 25, 1940. When they were satisfied that they had the machine down pat, prototypes were reproduced by naval technicians at the Washington Naval Yard and sent to Station US, to CAST, and to the British government. The machine was not sent to Hawaii because the messages could be decrypted and translated at either CAST or Washington and sent from there to Army and Navy commanders on Oahu. Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, the Director of Naval Communications, made the decision to exclude Hawaii ...

{2. US intercepted Japanese Bomb Plot Grids for Pearl Harbor, but did not warn Kimmel}

{p. 98} CHAPTER 7


MORIMURA BEGAN PHASE TWO OF HIS REPORTS ON AUGUST 2, 1941. In addition to keeping track of the warships present, Phase Two established grid coordinates for Pearl Harbor so that Tokyo could prepare maps of Pacific Fleet anchorages for the bombing and torpedo pilots of the First Air Fleet.

On August 2 1, Morimura, using information gathered at Pearl Harbor by Rlchard Kotoshirodo, identified fifty-three of the Navy's docks, piers, and anchorage areas and designated each by a letter code. He marked the berth of the USS Arizona as Ho Ho, and then sent the coordinate details to Ambassador Nomura in Washington, asking that copies of the message be forwarded to Tokyo and the San Francisco consulate. His bomb plot grid details were encoded in the J code and sent by RCA radiograms from Honolulu to Japan's Washington embassy. Censorship has concealed from the American public the details contained in this first bomb map, nor was the map's existence ever revealed to Congress in any of the Pearl Harbor in-

{p. 99} vestigations Even worse, at the time when it was needed most, the report of these J-code intercepts was withheld from both the US Pacific Fleet and the US Army commander on Oahu.

Though the grid details for the bomb plot map are locked in National Archives vaults in College Park, Maryland, it is possible to circumvent most of the censorship. The contents of Morimura's grids can be pieced together using collateral information found in the Navy wiretaps and secret FBI reports obtained through FOIA requests. The plots were based on the best maps that money could buy. According to the Navy wiretaps provided to the FBI, the Japanese consulate had purchased US Geodetic Survey maps earlier in 1941 from a bookstore in Honolulu. Morimura's grid coordinates were probably keyed to those highly accurate maps.2

On August 21 John Mikami, whose Packard taxi service was favored by Morimura, drove up the circular driveway leading to the two-story Japanese consulate building, which was adorned with the chrysanthemum seal of the Emperor of Japan and the rising-sun flag. He parked the Packard limousine beneath the Emperor's symbol and awaited his passenger. But instead of Tadashi Morimura, out came Richard Kotoshirodo, who sat alongside Mikami and directed him to proceed north to scenic roadside turnouts that provided views of Pearl Harbor. Kotoshirodo, a $75-per-month clerk in the consulate, was paired with Morimura after Vice Consul Otojiro Okuda dismissed Third Secretary Kokichi Seki from the spy team. Two years younger than Morimura, the twenty-five-year-old Kotoshirodo was an American citizen born in Honolulu. He and his wife, who were childless, lived in Honolulu with his mother and two brothers and two sisters. He began working for the consulate in 1935 and had hopes of joining the Japanese diplomatic service.3

Morimura and Kotoshirodo worked well together. Both were young and enjoyed excursions to the nearby islands of Kauai, Maui, and the "Big Island" of Hawaii, where they spent Morimura's generous expense account visiting bars and brothels. In between they scouted the islands for military installations. Kotoshirodo first appears in the wiretaps on December 4, 1940, and about a dozen times in 1941, mostly in conversations with women. Nothing in the wiretaps indicates that he was associated with spying. Though the Navy's espionage file on Kotoshirodo begins on February 18, 1941, he is not mentioned in the pre-Pearl Harbor FBI

{p. 100} spy lists. The Navy file does not contain the 1941 documents pertaining to Kotoshirodo.

Driver John Mikami followed the assistant spy's directions. The trip took two hours - a two-dollar charge in Mikami's account book. Upon his return to the consulate, Kotoshirodo reported to Okuda's office. Here he found Morimura drawing a rough sketch of Pearl Harbor. Kotoshirodo was asked to assist in updating the military layout of the naval base. He confirmed the location of battleships alongside Ford Island and of repair facilities and dry docks in the Navy Yard. Morimura labeled each of the fifty-three military targets with a four-letter symbol. Late in the afternoon RCA's motorcycle messenger picked up the bomb map message and it was dispatched in an unusual roundabout way to the Naval Ministry in Tokyo.

Intercept logs in Station US in Washington traced this message. Two monitoring units, Station CAST on Corregidor and the Army's Station SEVEN at Fort Hunt, Virginia, intercepted its RCA radio signals. Though censorship makes the message difficult to trace today, both units heard and transcribed it. They said that it contained sixty code groups of five letters each in the J system and the subject concerned the movement of US warships.

Navy wiretaps of August 22 show that Morimura celebrated his first bomb map report by going on a binge in several Honolulu bars. At 2:17 A.M. just after the bars closed, he was picked up roaring drunk by the police. ...

{p. 101} Morimura's binge also came to the attention of the FBI. A two-page wiretap transcript describing the incident was forwarded to the FBI s Tillman, who saw and initialed the report on August 27. So by the end of August, Morimura's spying on the Pacific Fleet, his first bomb map of Pearl Harbor, and his raucous public behavior were all in America's intelligence pipeline. It led from Tillman in Honolulu to Hoover at the FBI to Adolf Berle, Jr., at the State Department.

In the White House, the messages soon caught the attention of President Roosevelt. Throughout 1941, Berle served as the President's source for espionage activities involving foreign diplomatic missions within the United States. There is no doubt that Berle was aware of Morimura. On August 7, FBI Director Hoover informed Berle that Morimura was Japan s "outside man" in Honolulu. In the next three weeks Hoover sent five more reports by special messenger to Ber le. To assure that FDR would see the reports, Hoover sent copies to the President's military aide, Major General Edwin "Pa" Watson. But the content of the reports is unknown. In 1999 the text is blacked out by the FBI as a category B-1 national defense secret.5

Captain Theodore Wilkinson, FDR's third Director of Naval Intelligence for 1941 and a colleague of Berle, admitted, "We were cognizant of the fact that espionage on the fleet was underway but we were helpless to

{p. 103} stop it. We could not arrest Japanese subjects. There was nothing we could do. All hands knew that espionage was going on all along and reports were going back to Japan."6

Hoover complained that the Department of Justice impeded his investigation of the espionage being conducted from the Japanese consulates. gerle's diary entry for June 3, 1941, reports that the FBI director was "unhappy about a lot of things but principally because he gets information about various activities but can never do anything about it." Berle hinted in his diary that Francis Biddle, FDR s Attorney General, had silenced the FBI director: "I think there is some tension there between him and Biddle." '

Apparently in late September Hoover, looking for congressional support for the FBI's counter-espionage efforts, leaked some information on Morimura's activity to a Senate committee that included Senator Guy M. Gillette (D., Iowa). The senator was quoted by the Associated Press in an October story alleging that the Japanese consulate in Honolulu was under American espionage surveillance.

On September 24, Tokyo indicated a growing interest in the American fleet's precise anchorage patterns in Pearl Harbor and asked Morimura for more grid details. Station SAIL, the US Navy's monitor station outside Seattle, intercepted the order. Morimura was directed to divide Pearl Harbor into five grid areas and locate the berthing locations of all warships, including aircraft carriers. Morimura lost no time and spent two days scouting the Pacific Fleet. Mikami's Packard once again toured the high roads around the naval base that weekend.

Morimura developed a more intricate grid system for identifying warship berths in his second bomb plot. Battleship Row was designated bombing area FG. Morimura completed the grid details on Monday, September 29, and telephoned for a Mackay messenger. The text was wired to Tokyo and a copy sent to the Washington embassy. The combination of Tokyo's request and Morimura's response was intercepted by four monitor stations: SAIL, CAST, Station TWO, and Station SEVEN at Fort Hunt, Virginia. Officials at Mackay's Station X in Washington permitted Navy photographers to copy the bomb plot messages addressed to the Japanese embassy."

{See for yourself:
The Bomb Plot Order, page 102: stinnett-p.102.jpg;
Morimura's Reply of Sept 29, 1941, page 104: stinnett-p.104.jpg;
Bombing and Torpedo plot of Pearl Harbor, page 106: stinnett-p.106.jpg}

According to testimony given to various Pearl Harbor investigations, the decoded and translated bomb plot messages were greeted with indif-

{p. 105} ference by Army and Navy intelligence officials in Washington. Brigadier General Sherman Miles, head of Army Intelligence, told Congress in 1945 that he saw the bomb plot intercepts but none impressed him as anything more than "chitter chat." Miles dismissed a question posed to him by congressional investigator Gerhard Gesell: It was primarily of naval interest." Miles didn't agree with Gesell's position that Morimura prepared a bombing plan for Pearl Harbor. He implied that Japanese agents prepared similar plots locating US warships in harbors and anchorages throughout the world and that they were inconsequential. Gesell asked, "Will you find me one such message, General?"

"Well," responded Miles, "if you mean similar in dividing the harbor into sections, there are no such messages that I know of.U9

When it came time for Navy intelligence to explain their failure to warn Admiral Husband Kimmel of the bomb plot messages, political pandemonium erupted in the congressional hearing room. Republicans interrupted the testimony of Admiral Theodore Wilkinson and charged that the Navy was "spoon feeding" evidence to Congress. Wilkinson, head of Naval Intelligence between October 15 and December 7, 1941, attempted to deflect Gesell's question about the bomb plot messages:

GESELL: This is a bomb plot message, isn't it, Admiral?

WILKINSON: In general, yes. I discussed the message with other officers in the Navy Department including Captain [sic] McCollum. [In 1941, McCollum was a commander.]

GESELL: Do you recall your conversation?

WILKINSON: It showed an illustration of the nicety of detail of intelligence the Japanese were capable of seeking and getting.

GESELL: What did they say to you?

WILKINSON: I don t recall.10

Military officials may claim to have treated the bomb plot grid communique with indifference, but President Roosevelt certainly did not. On October 14 he invited David Sarnoff, founder and president of RCA, to lunch at the White House. The Mackay connection formed the basis for this one-hour Sarnoff-Roosevelt luncheon. If the British-owned Mackay firm supplied bomb map intercepts for the British Prime Minister, then, the President must have reasoned, US-owned RCA should supply copies of the

{p. 106} Hawaiian bomb plot messages direct from its downtown Honolulu office Sarnoff, who held a general's commission in the Army Reserve, offered to match the Mackay arrangement and left for Hawaii, going by train from Washington to San Francisco, and then taking the SS Matsonia to Honolulu. Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal sent a Navy radio message to Admiral Kimmel asking him to extend every courtesy to Sarnoff.

Sarnoff spent nine days in Hawaii, discussed communications intelligence with Admiral Kimmel, Lieutenant General Short, and Lieutenant ommander Rochefort of HYPO. The Sarnoff visit, but not its true pur-

{p. 107} pose, was well publicized in Hawaii. The Star-Bulletin published a news photo of Short conferring with Sarnoff and the local RCA manager, George Street. During his visit, Sarnoff directed that copies of all Japanese consulate messages filed with RCA in downtown Honolulu be provided to Navy intelligence. Rochefort later testified that at Station HYPO he had the facilities to decode and translate the Japanese messages released by sarnoff, but the early days of December would show that Rochefort failed to do so once they were in his hands.

Before he returned to the mainland on the steamer SS Matsonia, Sarnoff sent a direct wire to President Roosevelt: "I am glad to report to you that the heads and the staff of the Army and Navy here are well informed and keenly alive to the latest developments in communications and to their useful possibilities." It appeared that Admiral Kimmel and General Short would now be given copies of the Japanese espionage messages. But they weren't.

The original copies of the messages were obtained from RCA's Honolulu office under the Sarnoff-Roosevelt arrangement. Then, once transmission started, Army and Navy monitoring stations throughout the Pacific Rim plucked the messages off the RCA airwaves and placed their contents into the White House intelligence loop. But deceit took over. Neither Short nor Kimmel received the cables until after the December 7 attack. According to the evidence, it was not a bureaucratic snafu that delayed the cables getting into American hands but Washington deceit - and the Hawaiian commanders, their sailors and troops, and the civilians of Honolulu were the victims.

A series of Navy documents that were hidden from all Pearl Harbor investigations provides the evidence and the trail of deceit. The trail starts with a seemingly innocuous radio dispatch on November 24. Rear Admiral Walter Anderson, Commander, Battleships of the Pacific Fleet, and the original addressee of McCollum's action plans, sent the November 24 dispatch to Captain Irving Mayfield, District Intelligence Officer for the Fourteenth Naval District. Mayfield was ordered to report aboard Anderson's flagship, the USS West Virginia, to serve on a court-martial board. The radio orders removed Mayfield from his very important intelligence duties - including supervision of the Sarnoff-Roosevelt arrangement. After Mayfield reported aboard Anderson's flagship, the Sarnoff-Roosevelt

{p. 108} arrangement completely failed in Hawaii. Between November 28 and December 6, Morimura's spy messages obtained by American intelligence in Hawaii and Washington were deliberately derailed and mistranslated. There is only one plausible reason for the failure - to keep the information from Kimmel and Short and so ensure an uncontested overt Japanese act of war.

Mayfield's subordinates in the Honolulu naval intelligence office attempted to place the Sarnoff agreement in operation but immediately faced difficult obstacles. Navy intelligence officer Lieutenant Yale Maxon picked up the first batch of spy reports at the RCA office on Monday, December 1. Maxon and his colleague Lieutenant Denzel Carr were skilled Japanese linguists, but not cryptographers, so they were unable to decipher the messages. Maxon knew that Rochefort had the skilled personnel and facilities to decode the messages and requested his help. In 1982 Maxon and Carr vividly remembered alerting Rochefort. "I obtained the RCA messages the morning of December first," Maxon said. UDenzel normally would have taken custody but was ill with the flu. The coded messages on the RCA forms were unreadable. Yet I knew they were important because of the earlier visit of Mr. Sarnoff who met with our boss, Captain Irving Mayfield, head of Navy Intelligence in Honolulu." Maxon decided to send an alert directly to Rochefort; it is known to the author as the Maxon alert.

In his handwritten note to Rochefort, Maxon carefully chose his words. He knew the code-breaking unit was surrounded with secrecy to prevent leaks to the Japanese. Marking the note "SECRET," he alerted Rochefort that "radio checks, from a source you know, are now available." Both Maxon and Carr suspected that the coded messages involved espionage of some sort. The code-breaker had discussed the RCA messages with Sarnoff during his visit and had agreed to assist Maxon and Carr.'4

Then problems arose. There were no Navy officer couriers available to speed the RCA messages to Rochefort's office, eight miles away in Pearl Harbor. Washington had disallowed a five-cents-a-mile cost for use of officer courier automobiles earlier in September. Though made personally aware of the RCA messages by Sarnoff's visit, neither Kimmel nor Short ever took an interest in them. After the war ended, they would claim that they were unaware of these messages. Rochefort was equally lax. He knew

{p. 109} of the spy messages through the Sarnoff meeting and the Maxon alert. And his daily commute to Pearl Harbor from his Honolulu hills home took him directly past the RCA wireless office. He could have personally picked up copies of the messages each day.

On Tuesday, December 2, Morimura informed Tokyo that the naval base at Pearl Harbor was not on the alert for an attack. Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, leader of the air attack, said he received the report aboard the Akagi. According to Fuchida, Morimura's message was:



Morimura filed the report with RCA at 4:51 P.M. as consulate outgoing message 357. The message reached Station HYPO on Friday afternoon, December 5, and was in the group that Rochefort's staff deciphered and translated prior to December 7. The consulate log said it concerned "Movement of USN Warships." But the description of the message by Rochefort's diplomatic cryptographer, Farnsley Woodward, conflicts with the Fuchida version. Woodward labeled the text of 357 as "?". Neither Congress nor any Pearl Harbor investigation explored Woodward's contradictions. Morimura's original of 357 - filed with RCA - has never been released by the United States.

When Sarnoff left Honolulu on November 14, twenty-three days remained before the attack. Toward the end of the period Morimura disclosed that Pearl Harbor was the target. Each report leading up to his final disclosure was flagged for American intelligence by the telltale designators inserted within the message. Five of America's cryptographic stations in the Pacific region intercepted the spy reports. These were Stations CAST and SIX in the Philippines, Station FIVE in Hawaii, and the two West Coast listening posts, SAIL at Seattle and TWO at San Francisco. But before they could be read and produce meaningful intelligence, each report had to be decoded at a processing center. The decoding procedures worked fine in Manila and Washington, but not in Hawaii When the opportunity came for direct Hawaii access to the contents of the espionage messages which originated in Honolulu, it was not properly exploited. This intelligence failure came

{p. 110} not in the acquisition of the messages but in decoding and translating them.

The cover-up concerning the Japanese consulate's spy messages is another Pearl Harbor deceit. There are major contradictions. Four intelligence officials testified that the Japanese spy messages were unavailable to the United States government because the cable firms, RCA and Mackay, refused to provide copies of each message based on a federal law that prevented interception and disclosure of private communications. Robert Shivers, the FBI bureau chief in Hawaii, detailed the cable firms' refusal in a report to J. Edgar Hoover. "It should be stated here that repeated efforts had been made to enlist the cooperation of the managers of Globe Wireless, R.C.A. Communications, Mackay Radio, and Commercial Pacific Cable companies in Honolulu, T.H. to furnish this office and the Office of Naval Intelligence copies of all communications between the Japanese consulate in Honolulu and the Foreign Office in Japan. The managers of these respective companies flatly refused to cooperate to this extent, notwithstanding the fact that they were even pleaded with and that the seriousness of the situation was pointed out to them so we would know in advance what, if anything, was going to happen against the Hawaiian Islands by the Japanese Government."

Three Navy intelligence officials backed up Shivers: Theodore Wilkinson, FDR's fourth Director of Naval Intelligence in 1941, Edwin Layton, the Pacific Fleet's intelligence officer in 1941, and Joseph Rochefort, commander of Station HYPO. In testimony given to the seventh Pearl Harbor investigation in 1945, Wilkinson said, "the District Intelligence Officer of Hawaii had endeavored to obtain copies of dispatches sent by Japanese diplomatic agents from the local cable companies but had been advised that the law did not permit interference of such messages." Layton said, "the FBI was restricted by law from getting Japanese cables." Rochefort said, "the United States was handicapped because it could not censor Japanese communications." 17

But the evidence in the Station US papers contradicts the assertions of Wilkinson, Layton, and Rochefort. Washington intelligence officials ignored the federal laws and intercepted the Japanese messages, but kept the information from Admiral Kimmel and General Short. Mackay's Washington DC office allowed Navy photographers to copy the Japanese spy messages. Again, the evidence is overwhelming. There were sixty-nine spy

{p. 111} messages transmitted from Honolulu to Tokyo by RCA and Mackay between January 1 and December 6, 1941, according to a log book kept by the consulate and confiscated by the Honolulu police department on December 7. Monitor stations of the United States and England obtained fifty eight of the messages. Nine were not intercepted, according to US intercept logs found by the author in Archives II.

President Roosevelt shouldn't have bothered with the Sarnoff deal. It was not needed. Fully 84 percent of the spy messages were in American hands without Sarnoff s help. The total was even higher between August 1941 - when Morimura began sending his bomb plot messages - and December 6, 1941. American intercept operators and cryptographers ignored federal anti-intercept laws and obtained thirty-four of the thirty-six spy messages sent by Morimura - a success total of 94.4 percent during the five months.

The Sarnoff-Roosevelt arrangement for delivery of the spy messages in Honolulu remains a mystery. A logical explanation focuses on Rear Admiral Anderson. The Honolulu release of the RCA cables can be viewed as an arrangement for Anderson's exclusive use so he would know when to expect the attack. He was not aboard his flagship, the USS Maryland, during the weekend of December 6-7, 1941. He left Pearl Harbor Saturday afternoon and went to the safety of his home on the Maui side of Diamond Head - far from the disaster that hit Battleship Row on the morning of Sunday the seventh.

During the final six days of peace, Morimura dispatched ten messages from the RCA office on South King Street. Within minutes the reports were on their way to Tokyo and to American hands, including the important CAST monitoring station in the Philippines. Yet there is no record that General MacArthur or Admiral Hart shared the CAST spy reports with the Hawaiian commanders. Hart had a direct Navy radio dispatch code for contacting Kimmel. It was an electronic cipher machine called COPEK, similar to Japan's Purple and Germany's Enigma, that linked together Hart, Kimmel, Station US, Atlantic Fleet commander Admiral King, HYPO, and CAST. COPEK was the Navy's most secret code system, used exclusively for rapid exchange of intercepted communications intelligence. Access was limited. Commander Laurance Safford, who devised the system, said it was unbreakable. There is no evidence that Japan or Germany

{p. 112} ever solved the COPEK system. Captain Theodore Wilkinson, Director of Naval Intelligence at the time of Pearl Harbor told Congress: "I think our (Navy) code was fairly secure."

Robert Dowd, a Navy yeoman in the cryptographic section of Station CAST (see cutaway drawing in photo insert), can trace the dissemination of the Japanese diplomatic messages obtained by CAST. "They were dis patched by radio in our own cryptographic code to Admiral Hart and General MacArthur in Manila. Copies were relayed by the Navy radio station at the Cavite naval base to Honolulu and Washington," Dowd said in a telephone interview with the author in May 1999. He said he had no way of knowing whether these types of messages were delivered to Admiral Kimmel or General Short in Hawaii. But Dowd said he was positive the intelligence information was dispatched. His post in the CAST cryptographic tunnel was next to the Navy's radio transmitter and the cipher machines used to encode the very secret messages. "I could see our electronic ciphe,r machines from my desk," he said.20 Dowd's recollection is backed up by his boss in 1941, Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, Director of Naval Communications. During testimony to the Joint Congressional Investigation on Saturday, February 16, 1946, Noyes testified: "I knew perfectly well that they [CAST] could decipher the diplomatic traffic and send it to Honolulu.''

Between June 27 and December 3, 1941, Morimura's espionage reports were encoded in the J-19 (Tsu) diplomatic system, which Tokyo believed was impervious to American code-breakers. These J- 19 reports were transmitted from Honolulu to Tokyo over either RCA or Mackay radio circuits (November was MacKay, December RCA). All three of the processing centers knew how to decode J-19, because decryption instructions called Radio Intelligence Publications (RIP) had been issued to them from Station US in Washington.22

But as an intelligence tool the use of J-19 became moot on December 3, when the Japanese Foreign Ministry directed the Honolulu consulate to destroy all their code systems except Oite (Called PA by Navy cryptographers). At midday the Japanese Foreign Office signaled that war was near. It sent a message via RCA to Japanese diplomatic posts in North America that directed:


An exception was made for the embassy in Washington, which was directed to hold on to its Purple machine. In Honolulu the consulate complied. It burned the codebooks including the Tsu code (J-19) and retained Oite (PA) for last-minute communications. It confirmed the destruction to Tokyo by dispatching the code word HARUNA in plain language over RCA. Thereafter, from December 3 to the late afternoon of December 6, all of the Hawaii messages involving Morimura and Tokyo were encoded in PA and transmitted by RCA. Duplicate copies were sent by Navy courier to HYPO for decryption and translation. There was backup; each PA message was intercepted by American monitoring stations and sent to decoding and translations centers in Washington.23

Chief Yeoman Farnsley Woodward was one of America's top code-breakers for Japan's diplomatic codes. He had learned to break the diplomatic codes in 1939 while stationed at the Navy's intercept station in Shanghai. Woodward knew one of the diplomatic systems by heart: the PA code, used for messages requiring less security. Its wide use by Japan over her China diplomatic radio network enabled Woodward to become adept in decrypting the system. His cryptographic know-how was perfect for decoding Morimura's target messages in Hawaii.

Japan's PA messages were startling. On Saturday morning, December 6, Tokyo - using the PA system - ordered Morimura to report on the current status of the anti-aircraft defenses at the naval base and nearby Army facilities. Morimura finished his last descriptive report on Pearl Harbor just before noon. Hawaii, he claimed, was ripe for a surprise attack. His final bit of advice to Japanese bomber and torpedo pilots was explicit:


Then Morimura telephoned the RCA office and asked for a motorcycle messenger. Within minutes his message was in the South King Street office, time-clocked at 12:58 P.M., and dispatched to Tokyo using the PA system. Station TWO, at San Francisco's Presidio, intercepted and forwarded the all-clear message by teleprinter to Washington. RCA also made a copy ...

{p. 188} After November 26, the reports detailing the Japanese military advance on Hawaii were excised from the Presidential monographs. Decrypts about the movement of two-thirds of the Japanese fleet's submarines toward Hawaii, and the location of the Akagi and oil tankers in the Vacant Sea directly north of Oahu, were kept from the usual distribution by McCollum's order. So were the TESTM reports from the "most reliable" CAST. FDR's monographs were stripped of all the information that mattered.

When he returned from Warm Springs on December 1, President Roosevelt received the first "cleansed" monographs. They were monographs 70 and 71 and were based on Japanese naval intercepts and movement reports obtained and analyzed by CAST personnel. Roosevelt's final monograph, prior to the attack, was routed to him on December 3. No mention was made of locating in a communication zone at Hitokappu Bay the First Air Fleet and the carriers - the force that would soon arrive off Oahu.32

But the American intelligence network was a complex and multifaceted one. If one channel was blocked, vital information could still flow through many others. The Japanese were coming and Roosevelt knew.

{3. Vacant Sea: US clears shipping out of the path of the Japanese carrier force, to prevent accidental discovery}

{p. 144} Soon after the attache and his wife returned, Ambassador Grew sent a much stronger warning to Washington. On November 17, he again predicted a sudden military or naval action by Japan's armed forces. Grew was specific. He was referring not to China but to other areas available to Japan for a surprise attack. Be alert, Grew emphasized to Hull, "We cannot give substantial warning." 9

When Rochefort's estimates and Grew's warnings were received in Washington they triggered another astonishing event. Navy officials declared the North Pacific Ocean a "Vacant Sea" and ordered all US and allied shipping out of the waters. An alternate trans-Pacific route was authorized through the Torres Strait, in the South Pacific between Australia and New Guinea. Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, War Plans officer for the United States Navy in 1941, explained the reasoning with a startling admission: "We were prepared to divert traffic when we believed that war was imminent. We sent the traffic down via Torres Strait, so that the track of the Japanese task force would be clear of any traffic.''10 for endnote 10, {see below} On November 25, the day that the Japanese carrier force sailed for Pearl Harbor, Navy headquarters sent this message to Kimmel and San Francisco's Twelfth Naval District:


{endnote 10 on p. 59: 10. See Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner's discussion of the Vacant Sea order in PHPT 4, p. 1942. The significance of his admission that the North Pacific was cleared for the Japanese carrier force did not register with Congress or with the news media covering the 1945-46 investigation.}

{p. 145} The order was dispatched about an hour after Admiral Nagumo's carrier force departed Hitokappu Bay and entered the North Pacific.

The Vacant Sea order dramatizes Admiral Kimmel's helplessness in the face of FDR's desires. The admiral tried on a number of occasions to do something to defend Pearl Harbor, based on Rochefort's troubling intercepts. Exactly two weeks prior to the attack, Kimmel ordered a search for a Japanese carrier force north of Hawaii. Without White House approval, he moved the Pacific Fleet into the North Pacific Ocean in the precise area where Japan planned to launch her carrier attack on Pearl Harbor. But his laudable efforts came to naught. When White House military officials learned Kimmel's warships were in the area of what turned out to be the intended Japanese launch site, they issued directives that caused Kimmel to quickly order the Pacific Fleet out of the North Pacific and back to its anchorages in Pearl Harbor.11 {for endnote 11, see below}

This unfortunate reversal of direction has been ignored by every Pearl Harbor investigation. It was never discussed during the original series of inquiries held from 1941 to 1946. It escaped scrutiny during the 1995 Congressional probe by Senator Strom Thurmond and Congressman Floyd Spence. Congress opened the 1995 Pearl Harbor probe at the request of Husband Kimmel's surviving family members. But neither Admiral Kimmel nor his family ever mentioned the mysterious sortie and the sudden recall from the North Pacific waters. Yet it provides exculpatory evidence which proves that Kimmel vigorously reconnoitered the waters north of Hawaii. After the attack, Kimmel was accused of failure to conduct precisely this type of reconnaissance.

{endnote 11 on p. 59: 11. The Vacant Sea order was authored by Rear Admiral Royal Ingersoll, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, and can be found in PHPT 12, p. 317. The order was Issued after Admiral Kimmel disputed an earlier Vacant Sea order of Nov. 22, which interfered vvith his plans to have the Pacific Fleet patrolling the North Pacific waters starting Sunday Nov. 23. See Kimmel's protest: CINCPAC to OPNAV, Serial 220417 of Nov. 22, 1941 in RG 38, PHLO, Archives II.}

{p. 147} The peacetime operating condi-

{p. 148} tions for the West Coast vessels changed when they entered Hawaiian waters on the morning of November 7. A predawn general quarters was sounded, according to Lieutenant F. W. Purdy of the battleship USS California. 17

Admiral Kimmel assigned 46 warships and about 126 aircraft to the North Pacific. Five battleships and the carrier USS Lecington, plus cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and various auxiliary ships formed the surface force. For air support he grouped the Lexington's 60 planes plus 54 aircraft from Marine Air Group 21 into a fighting unit. Kimmel meant business - the aircraft included both bombers and fighters. Twelve long-distance Catalina flying boats of Patrol Squadron 12 were detailed to search the entire "classical-composer" sea lanes from the Prokofiev Seamount at 157° W to the Chopin and Mendelssohn Seamounts at 162° W.18

The search area was narrow - a 65-degree arc originating on Kaena Point on Oahu's North Shore and curving out 600 miles. Admiral Kimmel did not assign search planes to the west, south, or east quadrants from Kaena Point. No responsible naval officer ever contemplated a Japanese approach from the other quadrants, for those courses involved the main shippings lanes and risked discovery. "Black" would be found in the small search arc north of Oahu. Round-the-clock radar surveillance was included in the operation orders. No one could fault Kimmel's strategic and tactical plans. Every naval discovery tactic was used in the reconnaissance plans for the search of the North Pacific: distance air search and radar on a twenty-four-hour basis. All were sound naval procedures, whether for an exercise or the real thing.

Secret orders directed warship and air unit commanders to attend an urgent conference at Pacific Fleet headquarters on Thanksgiving eve, November 19. The summons was sent by blinker light on Kimmel's orders. Radio transmissions were not used - he did not want Japanese monitoring operations to detect the sortie.19 At the conference, Kimmel laid out his war-game scenario for his officers and men, doing his best to simulate the reality that might soon occur. It was an exact forecast of Sunday, December 7. The White commander was notified by his Navy Department that war was momentarily expected with Black and that Black's raiding force was definitely known to be at sea in vicinity of Base X-Ray [Pearl Harbor]. Black submarines might be encountered, and White could not muster full

{p. 149} naval strength due to Atlantic commitments (escorting of convoys to Britain).70

Kimmel's plans for Exercise 191 required last-minute adjustments tha were not on the original employment schedule. First he canceled all leave for the Thanksgiving weekend. Exercise 191 was planned as a four-day °F eration starting at 0600 on Friday, November 21, to 0600 on Tuesday, Nc vember 25. He concentrated his ships and aircraft in the most likel approach route for a Japanese raiding force. Early dawn hours on a Sunday were set for the start of the operation. Aircraft were poised for long- and short-distance aerial scouting of the North Pacific sea lanes. Kimmel's plans indicate that he was thoroughly prepared for action if he encountered a Japanese carrier force. Upon its discovery he would send his warring signal by blinker light and signal flags indicating that hostile action between America and Japan had begun.

Kimmel mailed ten copies of the operation details to the Navy Department in Washington and on November 19 briefed his fleet commander Rear Admiral Walter Anderson - Commander Battleships - filed a written objection to the 600-mile-wide aerial reconnaissance area outlined by th plan. He wanted to scuttle the search plan because the long aerial flight assigned to the float planes of his battleships jeopardized the safety of the pilots - they would run out of fuel. He raised his objections to the commander of the White Force, Vice Admiral William S. Pye, after learning of the search plan. His complaint alleged that the battleship aircraft could not carry enough fuel for the 600-mile round trip reconnaissance flight. (The aircraft's fuel capacity was rated at 745 miles). But his objection can be seen as another move to support Washington's Vacant Sea policy and clear the North Pacific of US aircraft and ships. Based on Rochefort's intercepts and Grew's warnings, there was an outside chance that Japanes warships had advanced in the North Pacific and might be discovered before they committed an overt act of war.

Shaken by Anderson's charge, Pye asked his Force aviation office: Lieutenant Commander C. F. Greber, for advice.21 Greber argued that Anderson's objections overstated the fuel problem and cited records from the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics showing that the battleships' scout plant could carry fuel for up to 745-mile flights.

{p. 150} Kimmel, aware of Anderson's White House clout, overruled Pye and Greber. Anderson won. Exercise 191 went forward as planned, but long-range reconnaissance of the North Pacific was curtailed.22

{p. 160} Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, commander-in-chief of the First Air Fleet, ordered the "Get Underway" signal flag hoisted from the mainmast of his flagship, the Japanese aircraft carrier HIJMS Akagi. Through the early morning mist, the signalmen attached to the vessels of the First Air Fleet saw the order. Blinker signal lights reflected off the bouncing waves as the warships flashed messages between vessels. The waters of the bay slowly sprang to life as three fleet submarines churned their way into the North Pacific. As the vanguard of the Hawaii force, the subs took position fifty miles ahead. Their mission was to intercept any vessels on the route that might discover and report the movements of the main force.

Nagumo was unaware of the Vacant Sea order issued by the United States that cleared the North Pacific of shipping. He had nothing to fear from the American Navy. There was little chance his sortie would be discovered by ships at sea. There wasn't a United States merchant vessel, warship, or aircraft patrolling in the North Pacific. Japanese naval headquarters erroneously thought that two Russian merchant vessels, the Uritski and the Azerbaidjan, which were reported en route from San Francisco to Russian ports, might cross Nagumo's route, but it didn't happen.4

{4. Myth of the radio silence of the Japanese carrier force}

{p. 189} Chapter 12


As THE THANKSGIVING WEEKEND ENDED AND THE MONTH OF NOVEMber drew to a close, FDR was obtaining the intelligence data that he needed to best serve his interests. Recent research has shown that the most conclusive evidence of the upcoming Japanese attack did reach the White House but has been withheld from public discussion.

In his book Infamy, published in 1982, John Toland wrote that San Francisco's Twelfth Naval District obtained radio direction finder bearings that placed Japanese warships in the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii from about November 30 to December 4, 1941.' Toland's source was Robert Ogg, who in 1941 was on the staff of the naval district intelligence office (DIO) as a special investigator Ogg remembered that during a five-day per-

{p. 190} iod from about November 30 to December 4, his boss, Lieutenant Ellsworth Hosmer, obtained radio direction finder bearings on Japanese warships. Hosmer asked Ogg to enter the bearings on a great-circle chart of the North Pacific Ocean that was kept in the intelligence office on Market Street in San Francisco. Once Ogg plotted them on the chart, the bearings disclosed Japanese warships in the North Pacific.2 In his account to Toland and later to US Navy historian Commander Irwin Newman, Ogg said he remembered that the bearings came from commercial sources such as RCA Radio and Globe Wireless and from the Navy's radio direction finder station at Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Ogg stated that verification of his account could be found in Dutch Harbor records. Today, over fifty years later, those records have been found.

When Ogg plotted the locations of Japanese warships on the DIO's nautical chart, he noticed that they were moving eastward from the international date line toward the United States mainland. On about December 3 the eastward movement stopped. Then the warships turned south toward Hawaii. At that point, no more RDF bearings were obtained. Based on the distinctive communications procedures of the vessels reported to the DIO, Hosmer felt certain the RDF bearings came from Japanese warships and alerted Captain Richard McCullough, the District's intelligence chief. McCullough told Ogg that he forwarded the alert over a secure radio circuit to Washington, where the information reached the White House.

Robert Ogg has strong ties to America's military; generations of his family served in command positions in both the Army and the Navy.3 Through these connections, Ogg found a close family friend in the commandant of the Twelfth Naval District, Vice Admiral John Greenslade. After Robert Ogg had completed his day's work, he often joined the admiral at his quarters on Yerba Buena island in San Francisco Bay. Over a cocktail the admiral called a awilliwaw," the two left work behind and discussed personal matters.4

A portion of Greenslade's command included joint administration of the West Coast Communications Intelligence Network. The WCCI was anchored at its southern end by Station ITEM at Imperial Beach (San Diego), California, and extended 3000 miles north along the Pacific Coast to Station KING at Dutch Harbor. In between were RDF coastal facilities at Sitka, Alaska; Bainbridge Island, Washington; plus Point St. George, the

{p. 192} Farallon Islands, and Point Arguello in California. Greenslade held the keys to GUPID, a Navy code system that enabled him to copy and exchange communications intelligence with CAST, HYPO, and Station US. GUPID was similar to other highly secret systems such as TESTM and COPEK.

Additional sources for the WCCI included direct liaison with Canadian RDF operations and input from Pan American Airways Clippers, RCA Communications, Mackay Radio & Telegraph, American Telephone & Telegraph, and Globe Wireless. San Francisco was the hub of Pacific Rim commercial communications. All Tokyo diplomatic messages intended for Japanese missions in America passed through the RCA-Mackay-ATT communication funnel in San Francisco. Voice telephone service to and from Japan went through American Telephone & Telegraph offices near Market Street. All Japan-USA commercial wireless messages were routed over RCA and Mackay transmitters and receiving apparatus in the headlands north and south of the Golden Gate. Radio messages for Japanese merchant marine vessels originated in San Francisco at Globe Wireless.

Through this vast network, Greenslade's intelligence crew could listen in all along the Pacific Rim. They purchased Japanese navy code books from Japanese naval communication officers assigned to Mar6s calling at San Francisco, and placed "bugs" inside the Japanese Consulate. Thus Japan's government secrets sent through the Golden Gate, both military and diplomatic, were readily available to the highest officials in Washington, including Roosevelt in the White House.

Robert Ogg's expertise was in electronics and navigation; it was his superior, Ellsworth Hosmer, who assembled communications intelligence for the Twelfth Naval District from the San Francisco cable (telegraph) and telephone firms and the Navy's intercept stations. Then he and Commander Frank Venzel, the District's communications officer, coordinated the flow of Japanese intelligence data obtained from the Navy's West Coast network to Station US in Washington. Hosmer was known in Navy intelligence as the San Francisco contact man, and he had a direct link to Arthur McCollum at Station US.s

Over the November 28-30 weekend, US Navy intercept facilities were told to be on the lookout for the Japanese carrier force.6 About Sunday November 30, according to Ogg, commercial radio firms supplied Hosmer

{p. 193} with RDF bearings that placed Japanese warships in the North Pacific. The report of vessels in the North Pacific surprised Ogg and Hosmer, for both were aware of the Vacant Sea orders. Ogg said the RDF bearings that he plotted were obtained from the Japanese navy's four-megacycle radio band of 4000 kilocycles.'

Vice Admiral John Greenslade, who was both the District's commandant and the commander of the Western Sea Frontier, wore a third hat as naval convoy director for American controlled shipping proceeding west across the Pacific Ocean. Under provisions of the National Emergency Declaration, President Roosevelt had designated two ocean areas off the West Coast as Sea Frontiers: The Panama Sea Frontier and the Western Sea Frontier. Both frontiers extended United States sea authority to about the intemational date line. One purpose was to exclude German raiders from the areas and to protect British shipping in the Pacific Ocean, principally in the South Pacific. Another was to comply with the Vacant Sea orders from Washington, which rerouted trans-Pacific shipping via the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea in the South Pacific.

According to Ogg, Hosmer identified the radio transmissions as Japanese, since the vessels used the unique kana telegraphic code of Japan's navy.5 He was certain that the radio signals did not originate with American or Allied vessels, for there were none at sea in the area. Two separate bearings were obtained. One took off from north of San Francisco, the other south. When Ogg traced the two bearings on his chart they intersected in the North Pacific, north of Hawaii. Hosmer was sure that the bearings plotted by Ogg had located warships heading for Hawaii.

Captain Richard McCullough, the District Intelligence Officer, sent these findings in a report to the Navy Department. Most likely it was sent in the GUPID system, which had been assigned to Admiral Greenslade for supersecret contact with Station US and Arthur McCollum. As this book went to press in 1999, censorship prevented a look at the GUPID system. In 1946 the Joint Committee investigating the Pearl Harbor attack was asked to delete all reference of GUPID from the official record of the investigation by the Chief Assistant Counsel Gerhard A. Gesell.9

Once received in the nation's capital, the Japanese warship localions were delivered to President Roosevelt in the White House, according to district intelligence chief McCullough.l° In a handwritten memo filed by Hosmer with the Twelfth Naval District's intelligence of fice, Hosmer wrote that around November 28 he learned that: "at least six, possibly eight Jap [sic] units were operating between Hawaii and the Aleutians and clearly indicated that a force was to steal out on a secret [mission] and attempt to obtain mastery of the air.n ll Hosmer's account differs from Ogg's. Ogg recalled the source as commercial radio facilities; Hosmer said the informa_ tion was contained in an intercept obtained by a Navy operator from the "Jap Kana code." Asked about the conflicting accounts in 1998, Ogg said there was not really a conflict. "After fifty years, I did not recall the Navy intercepts. It is quite possible Lieutenant Hosmer obtained the bearings from both commercial and Navy sources for he had extensive contacts within the radio industry." 12

Ogg never testified before any Pearl Harbor investigation, including the 1995 probe. He first disclosed his role in locating the Japanese force north of Hawaii to writer John Toland. Soon after Toland's book appeared, Ogg's statements were challenged by prominent historians, who cited Japanese claims that the Pearl Harbor warships were on radio silence and could not possibly have been intercepted by Americans. Ogg admitted he had no tangible proof of his assertions, since Navy intelligence personnel were forbidden to retain classified documents. But he assured skeptics that confirmation could be found in the records of the Navy's intercept station at Dutch Harbor, Alaska."Look in the four-megacycle records [4000 kilocycles]. I recall the Japanese broadcasts reported to us were on an odd frequency in that radio spectrum," Ogg said.l3 But no one looked.

In 1984, all original Japanese intercept records of the Pacific Theater were classified TOP SECRET CODEWORD and held in the custody of the Naval Security Group Command in Washington. The author's requests to the Navy to see the 4000-kilocycle records of Dutch Harbor for November and December 1941 were turned down. Navy historians George W. Henriksen and Commander Irwin Newman told the author that there were no such records in the NSGC files.

Trying a different tack, the author learned of a Navy radio direction mder station at Dutch Harbor known as Station KING, which was a unit of Rochefort's Mid-Pacific Direction Finder Network in 1941. Since KING

{p. 195} came under the administration of the Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District in Seattle, the author checked with the National Archives and in October of 1985 discovered the 4000-kilocycle Dutch Harbor reports.l4They irrefutably confirm Ogg's intercept details. According to a secret report issued in November 1941 by Chief Radioman Robert Fox, the traffic chief for KING, the Akagi was heard on 4960 kilocycles in tactical communication with several merchant vessels. Fox wrote that the broadcasts were transmitted on a rarely used Japanese naval radio frequency, but did not list the date. The records of Station H provided the last piece in the puzzle and revealed that Hawaii also intercepted an Akagi broadcast on November 26, when the carrier used 4963 kilocycles.'5

The series of intercepted Japanese broadcasts centering in the North Pacific have been overlooked by every Pearl Harbor investigation. They are described here for the first time. Each report is compelling evidence for Ogg's assertions. As of December 3, the number of Japanese warship broadcasts in the North Pacific was significant. In addition to the HosmerOgg source, five Navy listening posts - Stations ITEM, CAST, H, KING, and SAIL - and a Matson liner, the SS Lurline, heard the broadcasts and placed the information in the intelligence pipeline intended for the White House. This vital information obtained by the five units was logged in official Navy reports and forwarded to Washington, but was withheld from Admiral Kimmel and the Pacific Fleet. CAST's identification of the carriers and of Admiral Yamamoto occurred at the same time as and parallels the reports given to Hosmer.

About mid-November, Japan's navy assumed control of overseas civilian broadcast operations. High-powered Japanese radio stations normally used for worldwide commercial overseas broadcasts aimed their signals at the North and Central Pacific. Instead of transmitting to civilian/commercial radio addresses in North or South America or Europe, each broadcast was now directed to Japanese warships, using the secret Yobidashi Fugo address system of radio call signs. Long-distance frequencies beamed the broadcasts from shore stations in Osaka and Tokyo. Immediately, the powerful transmissions reached the American West Coast and disrupted Navy transmissions. Station SAIL at Seattle and Station ITEM at Imperial Beach, California, reported the interference. Station US in Washington re- {p. 196} quested details of the disruptive Japanese transmissions. One of the first stations to reply was Station ITEM. Chief Radioman Martin Vandenberg, ITEM's traffic chief, investigated the interference and said it was coming from Japanese naval radio stations in Tokyo and Osaka. He wrote that all classes of navy traffic were noted and that the "reception at Station I is very good." Vandenberg gave an example of one intercept. It was ad dressed to the radio call sign of the Japanese battleship HIJMS Kirishima, part of the Hawaii raid force, in the urgent special cipher code.16

The broadcasts to and from the North Pacific grew in intensity and reached the radio room of the American liner Lurline, plying the Pacific between California and Hawaii.

Captain C. W. Berndtson headed the SS Lurline toward Honolulu. The luxury liner, pride of the Matson Line and synonymous with cruises to Hawaii, departed San Francisco on Saturday, November 29, slid under the . Golden Gate Bridge, sailed south along the California coast, and picked up more passengers from the docks at Long Beach, the harbor for Los Angeles. The Lurline's staterooms were filled with civilian workers headed for Hawaii and Pacific isles to build up American defenses.

Leslie Grogan, the Lurline's first assistant radio operator, had little to do. Yearning for more radio work during his midnight-to-morning watch, Grogan moved the dial of his radio receiver - and discovered unusual transmissions from Japan. "The Japs are blasting away on the lower marine radio frequencies. All in the Japanese code and continues for several hours," Grogan wrote in the Lurline's radio log.17 He noted that the broadcasts originated from shore stations in Japan and were beamed toward the Northwestern Pacific.

Grogan's next log entry is startling. He reported that Japanese ships in the North Pacific repeated the messages from the shore stations. "We noted that signals were being repeated back possibly for copying by craft with small antennas [sic].''l8 The broadcasts continued for the next two nights, December 1 and 2. "We continue to pick up the bold Japanese general order signals - it can't be anything else. We got good radio direction finder bearings, mostly coming from a Northwesterly direction from our position. The Jap floating units continue their bold repetition of wireless signals, presumably for the smaller craft in their vanguard of ships. Floating units repeat the signals from JCS, the shore station." l9

{p. 197} Commercial radio call signs such as JCS were not normally used by Japan to address warships, but rather for commercial ships.20 When Japan addressed warships, radio station JCS switched procedure and used the call sign of HA FU 6. Grogan s intercepts appear to coincide with Japanese naval messages originated by HA FU 6 (the same transmitter as JCS) and addressed to units of the Hawaii strike force, which were then proceeding eastward across the North Pacific. Grogan's account of hearing warships repeat radio messages fits in with Admiral Nagumo's radio communication plan, which called for repeating the Tokyo broadcasts for the smaller warships within the task force. The intercepted radio signals from JCS only indicated a land-based station near Tokyo. Each separate vessel had to transmit signals in order to be located by the Lurline's direction finder. Grogan understood the implications of the Japanese naval broadcasts: "We are now making a concise record to turn into the Naval Intelligence when we arrive in Honolulu, Wednesday, December 3, 1941." Immediately upon docking at the Aloha Tower, Grogan presented his transcript of the broadcasts and the RDF bearings to Lieutenant Commander George Pease of Naval Intelligence. According to Grogan's account, Pease was a "good listener but showed little outward reflection as to what we felt was a mighty serious situation.''2l

If Pease, who died in a plane crash in 1945, ever submitted a report on the Lurline's locating Japanese warships north of Hawaii by RDF, it has disappeared. So has the Lurline's original radio log. On December 10, the liner returned to San Francisco and Lieutenant Commander Preston Allen boarded the ship and confiscated the radio log. Allen, a member of the Twelfth Naval District intelligence unit, took the log containing the details of Grogan's interceptions to his District office. It has never been seen since. Grogan's account, quoted in this book, is based on a reconstruction of the missing log that he prepared for Matson Lines after Allen took possession of the log.

During research for this book, the author uncovered details of the Lurline log's disappearance. In the late 1970s, shortly after John Toland began research for his book, he filed an FOIA with the Navy asking to see the log. The Navy said there was no record of such a log, but a withdrawal slip in the National Archives, San Bruno, California, tells another story.22 After he took possession of the log, Lieutenant Commander Allen did not

{p. 198} return it to Matson Lines. Instead he filed it in the voluminous records of the Port Director, Twelfth Naval District. There it remained, unknown to all Pearl Harbor investigations. In 1958, the Port Director files were turned over to the Federal Records Center [FRC] in San Bruno, a division of the National Archives.

Sometime in the 1970s someone removed the log from the National Archives and left a withdrawal slip form in its place. The caption on the slip refers to the Lurline's radio log, but it is not dated or signed - a possible violation of National Archives procedures. "It had to be someone connected with the Navy," said Kathleen O'Connor, who discovered the withdrawal slip in August 1991. O'Connor, an archivist at San Bruno, told the author that the white withdrawal slip is yellowed, indicating deterioration based on a storage period of about twenty or more years - from the time that Toland made his FOIA request. At the time the Lurline's log was in the physical custody of the Center but under the legal control of the Navy. The FRC is a government records center where both temporary and permanent Federal records are kept. Permanent records are eventually transferred to the National Archives' custody and opened for public research. Most FRC records are not open for public inspection. "Only naval personnel had access," explained O'Connor.23

She noted the "curious coincidence" of the above events. "Customary procedures pertaining to the care and preservation of archival documents were neglected," O'Connor said. "There is no date of withdrawal, nor any signature of the person who removed these highly significant records."

The Lurline's radio operators weren't the only ones recording the Japanese radio "blasts." Station SAIL at Seattle confirmed the reports of Hosmer/Ogg and the Lurline. On December 3, operators at SAIL said that strong radio signals were originating in the North Pacific. By the next day three other Navy intercept stations reported the same signals. But 98 percent of the intercepts acquired by the four Navy facilities have been hidden from public view. Included are radio messages to and from the Pearl Harbor-bound warships Kirishima, Akagi, and Tone and Admiral Nagumo commander of the raiding force.24 Radio logs of the three monitoring stations found by the author in Archives II provide the evidence.

December 4, 1941, was a busy day for Japan's powerful radio transmitters. Broadcasts to three vessels of the Hawaii-bound carrier force were

{p. 199} detected by three US Navy monitoring stations - ITEM, CAST, and H.2s Each broadcast was transmitted on long-distance frequencies. Messages to the battleship Kirishima were intercepted at Stations ITEM (San Diego) and H (Oahu). On Corregidor, Station CAST intercepted messages to the First Air Fleet and its flagship, the Akagi. At Station H radio intercept operator Henry F. Garstka wrote in his operator log that he intercepted two messages to a warship with the radio call signal of NU TO 4. According to Garstka's log entry,26 the message came from Radio Yokosuka, who kept asking, aKan?, Kan?," which was a Japanese naval communication procedure meaning: "Can you hear me, and if so, please answer.n The warship did not answer and for a good reason. NU TO 4 was the heavy cruiser HIJMS Tone, and the supersecret call sign was reserved for the Hawaii attack. The cruiser was part of the First Air Fleet - Japan's Pearl Harbor raiding force. The Tone's captain wisely did not answer, for Radio Yokosuka violated Japanese communication security. It made a mistake in jump-starting the secret Hawaii list - it was not to be used, presumably, until the day of the attack. While Garstka did not identify NU TO 4 as the Tone, it proves Radio Yokosuka was a gross violator of Yamamoto's radio silence order. And Henry Garstka's intercept of NU TO 4 provides firm evidence that warships of the Pearl Harbor force were addressed by radio before the raid started and intercepted by US Navy monitoring stations.

Garstka intercepted the broadcast on a long-distance radio frequency used by Japan to contact individual ships and shore stations.2' It was one of many Japanese communication procedures that enabled US intercept operators to estimate the warships' general location. Three distinct communication procedures were generally used: (1) "All Points" broadcasts for the entire Japanese navy; (2) shore to ship and vice versa; and (3) ship to ship.

The "All Points" broadcasts were sent over a vast radio network used by Tokyo to issue orders to commands in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean regions and areas of the Far East under Japanese naval control. Regular time schedules were maintained and Japanese radio operators assigned to diverse units copied the broadcasts, which contained general information for various commands. American cryptographers called these transmissions the UUTU Broadcasts." Japan set aside the frequencies of 4155, 8310, and 16,620 kilocycles for the exclusive use of the UTU trans-

{p. 200} missions. Prime time started at midnight on 4155 kilocycles, then switched to 8310 for the predawn hours and continued throughout daylight on 16,620 kilocycles. As twilight approached the switch was made to 8310, then 4155, etc. These UTU schedules continued twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Every Japanese naval command received general orders from the UTU broadcasts. Other eager listeners were the US Navy's intercept operators at CAST and H. As war neared, Japan set up additional UTU frequencies when the regular radio circuits became overloaded. Although the overload broadcasts did not necessarily provide locations for the warships or air units, they did indicate that her navy was gearing up for some kind of drastic operation, as Homer Kisner dutifully reported in his Chronology of December 4, 1941.25

An entirely different communication procedure provided US Navy intercept operators with the general location of warships and merchant vessels. This procedure is called point-to-point broadcasting and involved reserved frequencies. Each major Japanese naval base had its own set of frequencies. So when intercept operator Henry Garstka of Station H intercepted radio transmissions from the Yokosuka naval base's point-to-point broadcast, that intercept disclosed that the Tone was a great distance away in the North Pacific. Garstka noted that Yokosuka beamed the message on the long-distance frequency of 12,690 kilocycles. There was no other rational analysis in determining her location. If she had been in the Western or Central Pacific, naval radio station transmitters at Sasebo, Saipan, or Takao would have been used to contact the warship. It was a communication intelligence error by Radio Yokosuka and was recognized as such by the captain of the cruiser, who did not respond.29

In the same December 4 Chronology where he predicted Japan's navy was preparing for drastic action, Homer Kisner of Station H reported that "The Carriers are believed to have remained in the vicinity of Kyushu [the southernmost of the main islands of Japan]."30 But which carriers? The Third Fleet carriers of Carrier Divisions Three and Four or the First Air Fleet's Carrier Divisions One, Two and Five - which, at the time, were in the North Pacific headed for Hawaii? Those questions were posed to Kisner by the author during interviews in April 1988 and April 1998.3l "I was locating the Third Fleet carriers," Kisner said of the December 4 Chronology He maintained that his locations were consistent. Since early

{p. 201} November 1941 his daily Chronology linked Carrier Divisions Three and Four with the Southeast Asia movement organized by the commander of the Third Fleet in the area of Kyushu and the port of Sasebo.

Kisner pointed to his Chronology of November 20, where he placed the warships of Cruiser Division Eight, Destroyer Squadron One, with the Carrier Commands [Kisner's capitalization].32 He admitted that by late in the day of Friday, December 5, the locations of the Japanese warships had been obscured by Japan's communication procedures. But the obfuscation didn't fool Kisner. He analyzed the broadcasts of Radio Saipan (Central Pacific), Radio Takao (Philippines and Southeast Asia), and Radio Ominato (North Pacific) and wrote that the "method of delivering the [Japanese fleet] messages tends to keep unknown the position of vessels afloat." He predicted that "Japan's navy operations were near a war-time basis.n33 It was the unknown positions of the vessels afloat between Hawaii, Saipan, and Ominato that worried Kisner, according to his April 1998 interview with the author. UI came to the conclusion they were going to jump us." 34

Japanese navy officers involved in the Pearl Harbor attack insist that the carrier fleet of Divisions One, Two, and Five were on total radio silence and developed a fallback position to deflect questions on their location. They say American monitoring stations heard deceptive broadcasts originated by Japanese naval air stations that pretended to be the Akagi and other vessels. Captain Sadatoshi Tomioka provided details. "The Main Force in the Inland Sea and land-based air units carried out deceptive communication to indicate the carriers were training in the Kyushu area." 35

Tomioka's assertions were backed by the first witness before the 1945-46 Congressional investigation. On November 15, 1945, Admiral T. B. Inglis said Japan used deceptive36 radio broadcasts and simulated the presence of carriers in the Inland Sea prior to the attack. But he gave no details and did not produce a single intercept indicating deceptive messages. Admiral Kimmel's intelligence chief Edwin Layton gave Congress two contradictory stories. He told the Army Board in 1944 that "the Japanese practiced radio deception." Then in his 1985 book he wrote, "Contrary to popular myth and the assumption of many historians, there was no sustained deception plan put into operation by Japan." Layton had gotten it

{p. 202} right the second time. No real examples have ever been located. If radio deception was attempted by Japan, it was inept and soon discovered.3'

Radioman First Class Paul E. Seaward of Station H reported hearing naval air stations at Kanoya, Omura, and Yokosuka in radio contact with a call sign of 1 NI KU on December 5 and 6. Whoever they were attempting to contact - or whether it was an attempt at deception - remains a mystery. The call sign was not assigned to any of Japan's aircraft carriers, battleships, or cruisers with the First Air Fleet.33

American intercept operators were not duped. The ruse (if it occurred) was recognized instantly. On America's West Coast, Navy interception operations at Station SAIL and Station AE at Sitka, Alaska, discovered the false signals. Radioman First Class Fred R. Thomson, the Navy's Sitka traffic chief, wrote that they came from the radio station attached to the Japanese naval air base at Kasumigaura, 34 miles northwest of Tokyo. The air station sent a radio message to a fleet unit, then pretended to receive a reply.39 Thomson detected the sham when Kasumigaura used the same transmitter for the response. In effect, Kasumigaura was talking to itself. In his oral history interview, Joseph Rochefort said that none of his officers or operators were fooled by Japanese radio deception: "It is awfully difficult to deceive a trained counter-communications intelligence organization, awfully difficult."40


IN HIS POSTWAR TESTIMONY TO CONGRESS ADMIRAL HUSBAND Kimmel maintained that he would have been ready to defend Pearl Harbor. . . "if I had anything which indicated to me the probability of an attack on Hawaii." I The information that Kimmel needed was available - so available, in fact, that it often appears as though the Japanese had made few efforts to conceal it. As we now know, Lieutenant Commanders Joseph Rochefort and Edwin Layton could have provided that indication, but they did not do so.

Their failure allowed Japan's First Air Fleet to make its surprise attack and then to escape to Japan. In a postwar assessment of the attack Rochefort said, "It was a pretty cheap price to pay for unifying the country." But others would angrily question that conclusion.2

Seven Japanese naval broadcasts intercepted between November 28 and December 6 confirmed that Japan intended to start the war and that it would begin at Pearl Harbor. The evidence that poured into American in-

{p. 204} telligence stations is overpowering. All the broadcasts have one common denominator: none ever reached Admiral Kimmel. The Navy's head cryptographer in Hawaii developed an excuse. It is a powerful statement that has assured the American and Japanese people that indeed Japan's navy observed radio silence and never divulged in any manner that Pearl Harbor was the target. "There is not the slightest reason to believe that JN-25 or any other navy system contained anything that would have forecast the attack." This assurance came from Lieutenant Commander Thomas Dyer, second in command and chief cryptographer at Station HYPO, in a letter to the author on June 4, 1983.3 But in the Station H records there were plenty of indicators found, in the form of intercepted Japanese broadcasts.

The first of these came on November 28, when Tokyo Naval Radio transmitted a message in the 5-Num code to the First Air Fleet. It warned that the warships could expect a powerful winter storm in their path. Aerographers of the Imperial Navy had located several low-pressure centers in the North Pacific.4 Each low indicated the presence of storm conditions that were steering Siberian polar winds in a southerly direction to meet up with the Kuroshio Current - Japan's Gulf Stream.s For centuries, mariners knew that the warm waters of the Kuroshio or Black Current, which origi nated in the East China Sea, became storm catapults once they reached the North Pacific and clashed with cold Arctic air south of the Kamchatka Peninsula and Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Carried eastward by the high altitude winds of the jet stream, these storm systems deliver heavy rains and snow packs to the United States and Canada. The intensity of the storms can be ferocious, often resulting in the monstrous forty-foot waves that break on the north-facing shores of all the Hawaiian Islands.

Radio operators within the Japanese First Air Fleet didn't need the warning - the storm was already roiling the stomachs of many crew members. Soon the storm slowed the forward speed of the entire thirty-one-vessel fleet and scattered the warships over a fifty-mile area at 42 degrees of north latitude near the international date line. From the deck of the light cruiser Abukuma, flagship of Destroyer Squadron One, Petty Officer Iki Kuromoti described the scene in near-haiku style: "The weather grows worse, a gale blows, the seas rage, a dense fog descends. In this bitter weather, a show of actual force, a test by the gods. Though tossed about in their struggle with the elements, the ships continue on their glorious way."

{p. 205} Kuromoti said men were washed overboard and signal flags were blown away. Without sleep, and by the silent struggle with nature every man was completely exhausted by continuous watches. Our spirits were buoyed that we were soon to strike the first blow in this greatest of all wars." 6

By November 30, the storm's fury had subsided and Admiral Chuichi Nagumo decided to round up his warships. Blinker light signals were out of the question. Driven off course by the typhoon-force winds, warships and tankers were scattered beyond the fifteen-mile horizon line, out of sight and unreachable by light signals. Radio was the only means to return the First Air Fleet to its tight formation. With the Akagi's transmitter tuned to 4960 kilocycles, the carrier sent out broadcasts to the strays and directed them back to the task force. Since the broadcasts were intended for ships relatively close by, the radio operators set the transmitters on low power - a communication procedure that limited their signal range to about a hundred miles.'

But another storm was forming millions of miles away on the surface of the sun. In a sunstorm or solar storm, ions created on the sun's surface bombard the earth's atmosphere, wreaking havoc with radio transmissions.5 These sunstorms distort electronic communications and create what is called the northern lights or aurora borealis, which can be observed in the earth's higher latitudes. (The southern counterpart is called the southern lights or aurora australis.) Radio signals - even those generated by low transmitter power - can be bounced halfway across the earth's surface by the quirks of solar storms. A radio receiver thousands of miles from a transmitter can sometimes clearly hear a broadcast while a similar receiver a short distance away draws a blank.

The Akagi radiomen were not aware that one of the largest solar storms of the century was taking place as they continued on their glorious journey. They were confident that low-power tactical frequencies, limited to a few miles, would be secure. There was no way, they believed, that American, English, and Dutch eavesdroppers would hear the messages.

Admiral Nagumo's round-up directions were transmitted to the flagships within the First Air Fleet. There was a designated command flagship for each type of vessel - battleships and cruisers, destroyers, and the oil tankers. Each flagship, known as a type commander, served as a commu-

{p. 206} nications sentinel for its type of vessel. The Kirishima was the flagship for the battleships and heavy cruisers, the Akagi for the carriers. The destroy_ ers relied on radio orders from the Abukuma; the oil tankers, from the Kyokuto Maru. Homer Kisner of Station H told the author that the type of the broadcasts provided clues to his staff that enabled them to penetrate Japan's hostile plans. He referred to the flagship system as the "mother hen and chickens" breakthrough. 'It enabled us to first identify who was bossiest, then who was being bossed," Kisner said. He gave the Abukuma as an example. "If a single warship continually talks to the same vessels, obviously it is the controlling authority." 9

Nagumo's orders to gather the scattered task force were first transmitted to the command flagships within the First Air Fleet. Then the orders were repeated to the "chicks." An important vessel was the Kyokuto Maru, flagship of the seven-tanker fuel train. The tanker was first spotted for Admiral Kimmel in Rochefort's Communications Summary (COMSUM) of October 9, 1941. In the summary the tanker was associated with what became the thirty-one vessels of the Japanese Pearl Harbor force. Writing that the warships had been fairly prominent during the last part of September and early October 1941, Rochefort identified the commands (the mother hens): Battleship Division 3, Commander Carriers (Admiral Nagumo), Destroyer Squadron 1, Cruiser Division 8, and the Kyukuto Maru. He also listed the Commander of the First and Second Fleets and the oiler Tsurumi, which eventually were attached to the opening salvos of the Southeast Asia campaign.'° By mid-November, the staff had solved the tanker's code-movement reports and associated the vessel with the First Air Fleet.ll In what Kisner later called "a remarkable bit of intelligence," he placed the commanding officer of the Kyokuto Maru aboard the carrier Kaga on October 27. Admiral Kimmel saw and initialed the unusual report the next morning.l2

Throughout the weekend of November 28-30, the solar storm bounced the Akagi's radio transmissions across the Pacific to US Navy intercept stations on Oahu, Alaska, and America's West Coast and to the SS Lurline. Kimmel was informed of the Akagi broadcasts by Rochefort's report dated November 30. The admiral read the warning on the morning of December 2 and asked his intelligence officer, Edwin Layton: "Where are the carriers?" Layton said he didn't know. With a twinkle in his eye, Kimmel asked,

{p. 207} "Could they be rounding Diamond Head?" Layton's reply was, "I hope they would have been discovered before then." 13 But Layton may not have been completely frank. He said that Japan's Carrier Divisions One and Two had not been heard from for at least fifteen to twenty-five days - starting from mid-November. He then expanded the falsification: "Neither the carriers, carrier division commanders or the carrier commander-in-chief [Nagumo] had been addressed in any of the thousands of messages that came out of the Naval General Staff. In addition, no traffic [radio transmissions] had been originated by the carriers." 14

Joseph Rochefort of Station HYPO backed up Layton, claiming that from December 1 onward "We lost our knowledge of their activities and their position because they had gone on radio silence." On the eve of the attack he told Kimmel, "Carriers are lost, carriers not heard." Later in 1946, during the Pearl Harbor investigation, Rochefort modified his statement, testifying on February 15, 1946, that he had "located them in a negative sense." 15

Homer Kisner told the author that bearing locations obtained by the radio direction finder operators were part of the complete intelligence bundle he delivered each day to Station HYPO. Until the end of October, RDF reports were included in intelligence summaries sent to both Kimmel and the White House. But beginning November 1, the RDF reports were omitted from the summaries delivered to Kimmel. When shown the omissions by the author in 1988, Kisner was astounded. nWho held them back? They should have gone to the admiral!n he said.

Why were the RDF reports missing from Admiral Kimmel's copy? Rochefort's original Communications Summaries were found by the author stored among Navy records in the National Archives, but all the RDF reports for November and December 1941 were crudely cut from the copy of each report that had been prepared for Kimmel. Every RDF fix had been excised some time after Kisner delivered the complete reports to Station HYPO. No one at the National Archives could explain the deletions. When were they cut? Before they were delivered to the admiral? Did the deletions trigger the "Where are the carriers" question Kimmel directed to Layton?

In 1993, the deletion questions were posed to Richard A. von Doenhoff, a specialist in the Pearl Harbor section of the National Archives. He

{p. 208} confirmed that more than sixty-five of Rochefort's November and December Summaries intended for Kimmel had been mutilated. Von Doenhoff wrote the author that the RDF pages which listed Japanese warship locations had been cut prior to the start of the 1945 Congressional Hearings. "We examined the Fourteenth Naval District Communication Summaries and found that those summaries had indeed been cut off from the bottom of the pages. We have no idea why this was done, but it appears that the documents were entered into evidence during 1945 and 46 in this manner." 16

So began the myth of the radio silence of the Japanese carrier force. It is a myth that has endured for over fifty years and that continues to baMe historians. In 1995 Stephen Ambrose, one of America's most distinguished historians, excoriated the pre-Pearl Harbor intelligence when he wrote: "It was simply terrible. In late November, intelligence 'lost' the Japanese aircraft carrier fleet," Ambrose wrote. He repeated this charge in the Wall Street Journal in May 1999.17

Layton's claim about the carrier commands' radio silence does not hold up to scrutiny. There were 129 Japanese naval intercepts obtained by US naval monitor stations between November 15 and December 6 that directly contradict Layton's figures. The intercept rate can be documented from the records of Stations CAST and H. For the 21-day period, it averages 6.3 intercepts per day. All categories of Japanese carriers and carrier commands cited by Layton as on radio silence either originated radio broadcasts or received messages during the three-week period, according to an analysis of the intercepts conducted by the Navy's 1941 radio traffic experts, Captain Duane Whitlock of Station CAST and Homer Kisner of Station H.l8

Kisner's reports and intercepts collected in Hawaii have been preserved. The intercepts gathered by Whitlock's operators after mid-November 1941 were burned so they would not fall into the hands of the Japanese troops that were advancing on Corregidor in the spring of 1942. An exception was Station CAST's radio direction finder reports, which were sent to Hawaii over the US Navy's TESTM radio circuit before the attack. 19

During separate interviews with the author, Kisner and Whitlock identified the 129 intercepts that refute Layton's claim of radio silence. Whit-

{p. 209} lock analyzed the radio direction finder reports obtained by Station CAST, and Kisner analyzed the intercepts obtained by his operators at Station H. The 129 reports, dated during the 21-day period, were compiled by the author from three sources found in Archives II: (1) Japanese naval intercepts, (2) Japanese code movement reports filed by warships, and (3) the TESTM radio direction finder reports obtained by Station CAST. Admiral Nagumo, the commander-in-chief of the Hawaii-bound force, was the most talkative. He originated nearly half of all Japanese naval radio broadcasts intercepted by the US Navy monitoring stations. The author compiled the seven categories of intercepts:

A. Radio transmissions by Admiral Nagumo: 60

B. Tokyo radio to the vessels of the First Air Fleet: 24

C. Broadcasts oriinated by carriers: 20

D. Broadcasts originated by Carrier Division Commanders: 12

E. Messages originated by vessels attached to the First Air Fleet, but were not carriers: 8

F. Messages originated by the Midway Neutralization Unit: 4

G. Tokyo radio to individual Carrier Division Commanders: 1


Radio silence was ignored as more Japanese naval broadcasts hit the airwaves. The first military intercept that specified Pearl Harbor as the target came from Japan's highest naval commander, Admiral Osami Nagano, Chief of the Imperial Navy General Headquarters. He breached security in a radio broadcast and disclosed that a Japanese carrier strike force would attack Hawaii. The broadcast was beamed from Tokyo to the communications of ficer of the Eleventh Air Fleet, a powerful naval air command based on Formosa, composed of 500 bombers and fighters that had been massed for an aerial attack on General MacArthur's command in the Philippines and other objectives in Southeast Asia.

Nagano's broadcast was first publicly disclosed in a postwar article written by Commander Koiichi Shimada, an air officer of the Eleventh Air Fleet, who wrote that his command received a radio dispatch from Imperial General Headquarters packed with highly secret information. The message said:


The disclosures contained in this Tokyo-to-Formosa broadcast are confounding. Why would Japan's top naval officer abandon basic radio security? An even more important question for the Pacific Fleet: Was the broadcast intercepted by US Navy cryptographers, or was Commander Dyer of HYPO correct in asserting that Japan did not transmit a single message naming Pearl Harbor as the target?

Although Shimada provided few communication details of Nagano's broadcast, he indicated that it was received on a Tokyo-Formosa radio circuit before the attack. He suggested the date was before December 5, 1941, Formosa Time. The broadcast is another of Pearl Harbor's mysteries. No transcript of it was found in President Carter's 1979 release of Japanese naval intercepts, nor was it discussed by any Pearl Harbor investigation. Since the message dealt with Japanese plans to disrupt American radioreceiving facilities of General MacArthur and Admiral Hart, the author looked for Tokyo radio messages directed to the Eleventh Air Fleet's communication offficer in Formosa. Station H in Hawaii kept a daily log of messages dispatched to Japanese commands. These messages are listed in that log as the UTU broadcast schedule. Each UTU log discloses Japanese communications details, but not the message text. The text - in either navy code or plain language - was recorded on a separate message sheet. Entries in the UTU log contain the Japanese originator and the intended receiver of each message, as well as the radio frequency, the time of the intercept in Tokyo Time, and the initials of the Station H intercept operator.

In the Japanese navy's radio-address code (Yobidashi Fugo), the suffix 49 always designated the staff communications (radiotelegraphy) officer of each command. The suffix code never changed. The November 1941 radio code address for the communications officer of the Eleventh Air Fleet was

{p. 211} SU YO 449; it changed to SI HA 149 on December 1. Japanese attempts to mask the change didn't work. American cryptographers at CAST saw through Japan s disguise and instantly identified the new name for the Eleventh Air Fleet. They sent a TESTM dispatch to Hawaii on December 4 (Manila Time) and named the five new radio call signs: "Idents for Eleventh Air Fleet: HI ME 6, MO NO 1, RE HE 8, SI HA 1, YO NO 1."22

A message sent by Radio Tokyo to SI HA 149 in the UTU log for December 4 (Formosa Time; December 3 in Hawaii) used the same radio call - "idents" - provided by Station CAST. The log tells this story: on December 3, Station H operator CU heard a message sent to the communications staff officer of the Eleventh Air Fleet. CU intercepted the message at 7:45 A.M., entered the communication details of the message in the UTU log book, typed the Japanese text on a separate message sheet, and sent both on their way to Admiral Kimmel.23

As with the other crucial intercepts of the week, there is no record that the message ever reached Kimmel. Yet there is firm evidence that Nagano's message was intercepted in Hawaii. In his Chronology for December 4, Homer Kisner noted that the Communications Division in Tokyo sent high-precedence messages to "general collective calls." One was SI HA 149, the communication offficer of the Eleventh Air Fleet. Except for CU and Commander Shimada, no one in America has admitted seeing the original message that names Pearl Harbor as the target for a carrier attack. Extraordinary secrecy surrounds the intercept. None of the SI HA 149 intercepts have been released.

There were many more clues. Another radio broadcast placed the Japanese submarine I-10 off American Samoa in the South Pacific. On December 4, Tokyo Time, the sub reconnoitered the small US Navy base at Pago Pago on American Samoa, a United States possession of several islands about 1500 miles east of Australia in the South Pacific, and launched a small scouting aircraft on a reconnaissance mission. When the plane, believed to be a float plane converted for submarine operation, failed to return, I-10 broke radio silence, contacted the commander of the submarine fleet, and reported it missing.24

{5. US moved its aircraft carriers & modern warships away from Pearl Harbor, leaving only old ships to be sunk by the Japanese attack}

{94} The big carriers USS Saratoga, Enterpnse, and Lexington sometimes berthed on the Ewa side of the island; the battleships were always on the Diamond Head side. Cruisers, destroyers, and auxiliary warships were moored to buoys in the various lochs. Morimura thought it amusing that US Navy officials allowed Eto, a Japanese alien, to operate his soft-drink stand right in the middle of the Navy base with clear views of the berthed or anchored warships. A slmilar situation was unthinkable in Japan - no American would ever be granted a lease near military compounds. America's freedoms enabled the spy to sip a soft drink, take a census of the Pacific Fleet, and eavesdrop on sailors' scuttlebutt as they waited for liberty boats to haul them to their warships.32

Cautioned not to break US espionage laws, Morimura and Kotoshirodo never physically entered or took photographs of any military installation. There was no need. Color postcards picturing military bases, and maps published by the US Geodetic Survey, were easily available from local merchants.

{p. 95} For over fifty years top FBI officials have denied knowledge of Morimura Noshikawa's activities prior to December 7, 1941. Their denials are another major Pearl Harbor cover-up. Two dozen FBI and Navy documents dated before the attack link Morimura with espionage m Hawaii. According to these documents, senior American intelligence officials, including the President, knew of Morimura's espionage at the Honolulu consulate. His reports clearly pointed to Pearl Harbor as a prlme target of Japanese military planners.35

On April 2, seven days after Morimura's arrival at the Honolulu Consulate, various activities of Japanese governmental missions in the United States came under the direct scrutiny of the Joint Intelligence Committee, a group formed by Roosevelt to monitor suspected espionage. Its members included Hoover, the Army and Navy Intelligence directors,36 and Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle, Jr., FDR's personal representative to the J.I.C.

{p. 150} Exercise 191 went forward as planned, but long-range reconnaissance of the North Pacific was curtailed.22

On Sunday, November 23, Kimmel had both Black and White forces positioned over the Classical Composer Seamounts of the North Pacific. ...

The war games between the two forces continued throughout Sunday and into Monday, November 24, as the warships and aircraft chased one another over the submerged volcanoes of the Handel, Ravel, Scarlatti, and Mozart Seamounts. Suddenly at 3:30 P.M., though the exercise was intended to last another fifteen hours, Kimmel called it off. He issued orders to the Task Groups:


The Lexington recalled its fighters and bombers, which were about to attack White. The warships returned either to their anchorages inside Pearl Harbor or to patrols off Oahu's southwest coast. The North Pacific was again a Vacant Sea.

Kimmel's premature cancellation of the exercise came several hours after Washington sent him specific action orders. He was warned to expect a surprise aggressive movement by Japan in any direction, but not to place the Pacific Fleet in a position that would precipitate Japanese action. Rear Admiral Ingersoll sent the message:


Kimmel said he regarded Ingersoll's message as an injunction directing him not to take provocative action against Japan. He recalled a Roosevelt directive that Stark passed on to him in late September: "At the present time, the President has issued shooting orders only for the Atlantic and Southwest Pacific sub-area." In emphasizing the presidential directive, Stark said that US Navy Regulations backed it up - implying a court-martial if disobeyed.25

At the time, of course, Kimmel did not know of Washington's eight-action policy. If McCollum's action policy was to succeed in uniting America, Japan must be seen as the aggressor and must commit the first overt act of war on an unsuspecting Pacific Fleet, not the other way around. FDR and his highest-level commanders gambled on Japan committing the first overt act of war, and knew from intercepted messages that it was near.26 An open sea engagement between Japan's carrier force and the Pacific Fleet would have been far less effective at establishing American outrage. Japan could claim that its right to sail the open seas had been deliberately challenged by American warships if Kimmel attacked first.

Despite the early cancellation of Exercise 191, Kimmel wasn't quite ready to give up. Though the naval brass in Washington forced him to pull the warships from the North Pacific, he approved two new missions intended to discover a Japanese carrier force: on November 24, shortly after 191 was canceled, Vice Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, Kimmel's carrier chief, issued operation plans for a 25-warship task group to guard against an "enemy air and submarine" attack on Pearl Harbor.27 The force was built around the carrier USS Enterprise and the battleship USS Arizona.

{p. 152} Halsey's directive said the operation would last seven days, from November 28 to December 5. His proposal was similar to Exercise 191. If a true enemy was located he planned to issue the same EASY CAST EASY signal established for 191. But Halsey's plan was never put into effect. During the late afternoon of Thursday, November 26, Admiral Stark directed Admiral Kimmel to use aircraft carriers and deliver Army pursuit planes to Wake and Midway islands.

Early the next morning Kimmel called a conference with General Short, Halsey, and other Army and Navy officers. After hearing the Washington plan, they decided it was faulty.28 Army pursuit pilots were not trained for carrier operations, could not land on a carrier since the planes had no tail hooks, and were unable to navigate over widespread areas of the ocean. Oahu-based Marine Corps pilots, who had the training and whose planes were equipped for carrier operations, were substituted. Halsey agreed to transport twelve Marine fighter planes to Wake Island and canceled his "look for the enemy" operation. He left early on the twenty-eighth aboard the carrier USS Enterprise, with the fighters on the flight deck, escorted by eleven of the fleet's newest warships. The Arizona was left behind at Pearl.

A second delivery of eighteen fighters to Midway was delayed a week. On December 5, the carrier USS Lexington, accompanied by eight modern warships, departed Pearl Harbor and, according to her deck log, headed for an unnamed "assigned area." The fighter planes were never delivered. On December 7, as his force neared Midway and prepared to launch the aircraft for a flight to the island, the Task Group commander learned of the Pearl Harbor attack shortly after 8:00 A.M. and cancelled the flight.29

On orders from Washington, Kimmel left his oldest vessels inside Pearl Harbor and sent twenty-one modern warships, including his two aircraft carriers, west toward Wake and Midway. Those were strange orders, for they dispatched American forces directly into the path of the oncoming Japanese fleet of thirty submarines. The last-minute circumstances that moved the warships out of Pearl Harbor were discussed during the 1945-46 Congressional inquiry. Members wondered whether the sorties were genuine efforts to reinforce Wake Island and Midway or merely ploys to move all the modern warships from the Pearl Harbor anchorages prior to the attack so they would not be hit by the First Air Fleet. Senator Alben Barkley,

{p. 154} the chairman, questioned Admiral Stark about the sortie of the two carrier forces:30 "It is not clear in my mind whether they were sent." Stark replied, "Yes sir; they were sent. The dates were set by Admiral Kimmel. We gave no specific dates." Stark stumbled over the facts: he set the date, not Kimmel. According to Navy records, Stark set the date on November 26:


With the departure of the Lexington and Enterprise groups, the warships remaining in Pearl Harbor were mostly 27-year-old relics of World War I.

While Washington pulled Kimmel's fleet around the Pacific on invisible strings, the admiral still searched for the Japanese carriers that Rochefort had spotted in the Kuriles. Kimmel asked for Rochefort's cryptographic help in a terse order on November 24: "Find The Carriers." According to Edwin Layton, Kimmel's intelligence chief, the admiral wondered if other Pacific monitoring stations had also obtained bearings of the Japanese warships.32

From November 18 to November 24, both Station CAST and Station HYPO tracked the carriers north to Hitokappu Bay. The evidence that was hidden from every Pearl Harbor investigation is overwhelming: on November 19 a Japanese submarine, using the radio call sign RO TU 00, headed toward the First Air Fleet Communication Zone, north of Ominato. The next day subs I-19 and TA YU 88 reported entering the First Air Fleet Communication Zone north of Ominato, according to an intercept by Merrill F. Whiting at Station H. The heavy cruiser HIJMS Tone and Destroyer Squadron One joined the carrier divisions. On November 21, Rochefort informed Kimmel that most of the other Japanese fleet submarines were at sea, moving east in the Pacific. On the following day, November 22, the carrier Akagi, flagship of the First Air Fleet and Carrier Division One, was heard using a tactical call sign of 8 YU NA.33 It was located by radio direction finder at a bearing of 028 degrees from Corregidor. The 028-degree bearing placed the Akagi on a great circle line with Hitokappu Bay. (See chart on p. 191 of this book.) More radio transmissions emerged during November 22 and 23 as the vessels of the First Air Fleet traveled to the rendezvous point. At the same time that CAST heard the Akagi, Admiral

{p. 155} Chuichi Nagumo, commander-in-chief of the First Air Fleet, initiated a radio message using his secret Hawaii radio call sign of SA SO 2, which was reserved for radio contact during the Pearl Harbor attack. His transmission was long enough for Station CAST to obtain a radio direction finder bearing that placed Nagumo on a line of 040° from CAST - a position consistent with the Hitokappu Bay locale. Nagumo's RDF fix - about 12 degrees of longitude from the Akagi - indicates that he must have traveled aboard one of the other warships enroute to Hitokappu, perhaps the Kaga, sister of the Akagi. The 040° bearing would have been reached when the vessels passed Cape Inubo - a point of land on Honshu that juts far out into the western Pacific.

The carrier Zuikaku of Carrier Division Five was also located by radio direction finder at 030° from Corregidor, placing her off the east coast of Japan enroute to Hitokappu Bay. The next fixes from CAST came at 10:00 A.M. on November 27 and placed the Akagi, Shokaku, and Hiryu at 030°. This position is also consistent with their journey to Hawaii, for it would place the flattops about 500 miles east of the Kuriles in the North Pacific. That is where they were on November 27, according to Japanese records. In Bandoeng, Java, Dutch cryptographers at Kamer 14 provided collateral evidence to Washington and reported hearing similar Japanese naval broadcasts originating from near the Kuriles.34

Beginning with the cancellation of Kimmel's exercise, and continuing through the final days before the attack, conclusive cryptographic evidence indicates that FDR shared McCollum's intentions and left the Pacific Fleet in harrn's way. The dispatch containing the plain-language words HITOKAPPU BA was delivered to Rochefort by Kisner and provided a major clue to the location of Japan's fast carriers - the First Air Fleet. Now the carriers appeared to be moving to a position where they could threaten American forces. Their radio direction finder bearings traced a north-by-east course in the North Pacific. None were associated with the southern movement of the Japanese naval expeditionary force. As of November 23, this information was available to Kimmel. The same cryptographic information was transmitted over secure radio circuits to Station US, in Washington, where Arthur McCollum and his staff prepared a daily monograph for President Roosevelt.

Grew's November reports, coupled with the Station H intercepts trac-

{p. 156} ing the movement of the First Air Fleet to Hitokappu Bay, were just what Arthur McCollum had waited to read. The eight provocative actions that he advocated had now fallen into place. Japanese access to fuel and natural resources in Southeast Asia had been interdicted; American heavy cruisers had entered Japanese territorial waters; increased military aid had been granted to Chiang Kai-shek and a US Army Commission headed by Major General John Magruder's had gone to China in October 1941; twenty-four US submarines had been transferred to Admiral Hart in Manila; the Pacific Fleet remained in Hawaiian waters; a complete embargo of all US trade with Japan was in force; the Dutch refused to grant concessions to Japan; and the British had granted the United States use of military bases in the Pacific in accord with McCollum's eight-action memorandum. One of the bases was Rabaul in the Bismarck Archipelago, north of Australia.36

With the recall of the Pacific Fleet from the North Pacific on November 24 and the cessation of aerial reconnaissance over the ocean, America had no effective means of locating the advance of an enemy force on Hawaii except through the intercepts obtained by the monitoring stations. But the cryptographic reports obtained by Stations CAST and H did not appear in the Daily Communication Summaries shown to Kimmel in 1941.

Kimmel, alone and outmaneuvered, would make one last-ditch effort to convince Washington that a critical situation faced the Pacific Fleet.

{p. 157} BY NOVEMBER 25, AN ATMOSPHERE OF CRISIS PERVADED THE WHITE House. During a meeting with his Cabinet, President Roosevelt announced that America might be in a shooting war with Japan in a few days. The President echoed a forecast made ten days earlier by General George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff: "The United States is on the brink of war with the Japanese." Marshall delivered the warning during a strictly secret press briefing.1

Marshall's briefing coincided with the start of phase two of Japan's war preparations, which began on November 15 when she moved forcese toward American territory. During the briefing, Marshall alluded to on of America's most vital secrets when he revealed that the United States could read Japan's encrypted messages. He told the correspondents that his war assessment was based on access to a leak from the Japanese: "We know what they know and they don't know we know it." Marshall then predicted that a Japan-America war would break out during the

{p. 158} "first ten days of December," according to the notes of one correspondent present.

{p. 223} Captain Charles Horatio mcMorris, Kimmel's war plans officer, assured the admiral that there wasn't a chance of a Japanese air raid on

{p. 224} Pearl Harbor: "The admiral asked me when I thought there would be an attack on Pearl Harbor by air and I said, Never. " 55

Was Kimmel convinced by McMorris' answer? On December 5, he had McMorris draw up a secret action plan for the fleet in case war broke out within the next forty-eight hours. McMorris prepared twelve war-action recommendations that essentially kept the fleet's aircraft carriers, Enterprise and Lecington, together with their escorts of six cruisers and thirteen destroyers, out of Pearl Harbor. The third carrier, Saratoga, was held on the West Coast of California. Then, after approving the weekend war-action plan, Kimmel returned to a peacetime routine. He accepted a Saturday-night invitation to a luau at the Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki beach and scheduled a round of golf with General Short for Sunday morning, December 7.

{p. 225} ADMIRAL HUSBAND KIMMEL MIGHT NOT HAVE GONE TO THE LUAU AND might have canceled his golf game if he had heard Cecil Brown's radio broadcast from Singapore: "The British military is prepared for a Japanese surprise move over the weekend. Soldiers and sailors have been recalled to their barracks and ships." Brown reported that American reconnaissance planes had sighted a strong force of Japanese warships and troop transports heading for invasion beaches in central Malaya.l

But despite the many indications of an attack that had been received over the airwaves, Kimmel wasn't looking for carriers or anticipating a surprise move by Japan. Though he had seven aircraft in the air on local patrol, fifty-four of his long-range PBY scout planes were grounded.2

The paradox of the White House ordering Kimmel to stand aside, all the while denying him full access to Japanese communications intelligence, is further illustrated by another cryptographic channel that revealed Japanese war moves.


Debate on Pearl Harbor between Stinnett & Stephen Budiansky

The Truth About Pearl Harbor: A Debate January 30, 2003

Robert B. Stinnett, Stephen Budiansky

The following video contains interviews with Robert B. Stinnett, and with his opponents - Budiansky and others:

Conspiracy? FDR and Pearl Harbor

If this subject is important to you, you will need to buy Stinnett's book Day of Deceit.

You can buy it new here:

and you can buy it second-hand here: