(The witness was sworn by the Recorder and advised of his rights under Article of War 24.)

1. Colonel WEST. Mr. McDonald, will you please state to the Board your name, rank, organization, and station.

Mr. McDonald. T‑4; Joseph P. McDonald, 13006145, 580th Air­craft Warning, APO 958, care Postmaster, San Francisco, California.

2. General GRUNERT. Sergeant, in this particular investigation, General Frank will ask the questions, and the other Members of the Board will interject any questions they see fit; so just listen to what General Frank has to say ,and give him the answers to his questions.

3. General FRANK. You are back here on furlough, Sergeant?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, Sir.

General FRANK. To what do you belong, now?

Mr. McDonald. I still belong to 580th Aircraft Warning.

4. General FRANK. To what did you belong in December 1941 ?

Mr. McDonald. Well, I was still with the, 580th Aircraft [4153] Warning. It was just a company at the time and was just being organized. We just built up this information center about six months before, and we were assigned to certain jobs, and I happened to be communication man, switchboard operator.

5. General FRANK. Were you on duty the morning of the attack, December 7?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

6. General FRANK. Where?

Mr. McDonald. At the information center‑well, fighter control.

7. General FRANK. Where was this information center at which you were on duty?

Mr. McDonald. It was located in Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

8. General FRANK. And it was the temporary information center that had been set up at that time and from which exercises had been held along back in October?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

9. General FRANK. You ran the private branch exchange switch­board?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

10. General FRANK. Do you have pretty clearly in your mind what happened on the morning of December 7?

Mr. McDonald. Well, Sir, I have written it so many times I imagine I have it memorized.

11. General FRANK. All right. Will you tell us about it?

Mr. McDonald. Well, I was on duty. I went on duty at five o'clock the night before and I was on duty all night, up until 7:30 the morning of December 7; and at 7:20 I received a call from our unit on the north shore. I think [4154] the unit was 6‑QM.

12. General FRANK. That was at Opana Point?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

13. General FRANK. Proceed.

Mr. McDonald. I did not realize at the time that there was anybody in the building, so I wrote the message down, and when I turned around,




the clock was right behind me in the next room, it was in the corner, and I turned around to time the message, and I saw Lieutenant Tyler, and he was sitting at the plotting table. He was supposed to go off duty at eight o'clock, and he was just sitting there. Everybody went home, and that was the first day we had off in over a month, and so the guys went home about seven o'clock. I mean the plotters. They worked all along for a month there. They were working from 4 o'clock in the morning all the way through to dusk, and December 7 was the first day they got off in the month.

Well, when I received the call, wrote it down, and I brought it up to the lieutenant. I am not quite sure whether I read it to him, or handed it. I think I read it to him. Any way, the lieutenant looked at it afterwards, and I expressed that it was the first time I ever re­ceived anything like this. I said, "Do you think we ought to do anything about it?" So I wanted to call back the plotters. I mean they didn't have much practice there all along, and when this fellow called in he expressed it to be "an awful big flight."

14. General FRANK. Tell us what the message was.

Mr. McDonald. Says, "Large number of planes coming in from the north, three points east," and he really expressed; [4155] so after I told the lieutenant, he just, he didn't say nothing; so I went back to the telephone, and I talked to the man on the unit again.

15. General FRANK. That is, you to talked to the man at Opana ?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir. and he just repeated the message, and I went in and I told the lieutenant again. I said; "Sir, I would appreci­ate it very much if you would answer the phone"; and after he was finished with his conversation —

16. General FRANK. He answered the telephone?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, Sir. After he was finished with his conver­sation, I asked him, "What do you think it is?" He said, "It's noth­ing." We learned later he was expecting bombers in from the States. Well, we thought he knew.

Sir, I don't mean to accuse this man, by an means. I am just trying to express it just the way I did, because I, when I wrote this message out, I wrote it up for a department signal, Hawaiian De­partment signal, and before I signed it, I brought it down and had him look it over.

17. General FRANK. You had whom look it over?

Mr. McDonald. This lieutenant, Lt. Tyler; because I felt that anything that I do say was against him.

18. General FRANK. Did you make any comment to him as to whether you thought there might be something real about it?

Mr. McDonald. Well, sir, I did. I said, "It's the first time I have ever received anything like this and. it looks kind of strange." I don't know the exact words I used; but anyway, I took this. I was relieved at 7:30, so I took this message with me. By the way, it was the first time I ever did that, but I wanted to show the fellows, up [4156] at the tent; so they all saw it and when the planes were coming over there, I began to get a little shaky, especially when everybody was saying it was Wheeler Field on maneuvers; but when they started coming down and diving all around, I just started run­ning for the nearest pile.

Anyway, after we realized, we went into the tent and turned on the radio. Everybody knew it was war, because the announcer was




saying, "Oahu is under attack!" So I ran down to the information center, and I gave the message to Lieutenant White. That was my communication officer and commanding officer, and he brought it up to the controller, my controller.

19. General FRANK. Who was the controller at that time?

Mr. McDonald. I am not sure, sir, but I think it was a Major Bergquist.

20. General FRANK. Had he reached the information center by this time?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

21. General FRANK. What time was this?

Mr. McDonald. Well, it was only a couple of minutes after the attack, because he came from Wheeler Field, and he said he was strafed and everything coming down.

22. General FRANK. Well, it would take more than a couple of minutes to come from Wheeler Field. That is 20 miles away.

Mr. McDonald. Well, it must have been about a half an hour, by the time. It was about a half an hour; but anyway, he came down. He questioned me.

23. General FRANK. So, as it really turned out, the man at the radar station at Opana Point probably had really picked up the attacking Japanese force on the oscilloscope, and this [4157] was his report of it; that is correct, isn't it?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

24. General FRANK. And the lieutenant, when you showed him the message, had assumed that it was these B‑17s coming in from the States, is that correct?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

25. General FRANK. As a matter of fact, this Lieutenant Tyler, who was in there, was in there for instruction, was he not?

Mr. McDonald. I think he was, sir. I only saw him around there, I think that was about the second time I saw him. I knew he didn't understand, because he was—well, all those lieutenants just come down there, and they just learn by just looking at the men working.

26. General FRANK. As a matter of fact, it really wasn't your assigned duty to call these things to their attention, but your assigned duty was ready just to man the switchboard?

Mr. McDonald. I don't know, sir. Just commented. That's about what anybody would do.

27. General FRANK. When the information center really got to working, there were other men assigned around, plotting on the boards, whose duty it was to do what you were doing at this time, is that correct?

Mr. McDonald. No, sir. Well, I just got the thing. As soon as I got the information, I just brought it in to the lieutenant, and I just—­well, I just expressed it, "I never had anything like this before."

28. General FRANK. All right, Sergeant.

29. General GRUNERT. Are there any questions?


30. General RUSSELL. Who was Lieutenant White?

Mr. McDonald. He was our communication officer sir

31 General RUSSELL. Did he go on duty in the information center that morning when you went off, Sergeant?

Mr. McDonald. He went on at 8 o'clock, I think; usually came around about a quarter of eight or 8 o'clock.




32. General RUSSELL. Did he go on every day?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir; he was our communication officer, sir, and he really lived up to his last name.

33. General RUSSELL. How about this Lieutenant Tyler? Is that his name, Lieutenant Tyler?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

34. General RUSSELL. Were you two the only two men in the in­formation center that morning

Mr. McDonald. As far as I know; yes, sir.

35. General RUSSELL. You had been in there since the night before, at 5 o'clock?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

36. General RUSSELL. And this lieutenant had been in there all that time with you?

Mr. McDonald. No, sir; he came on about 4 o'clock in the morning.

37. General RUSSELL. Had anybody been in there up until 4 o'clock, except you?

Mr. McDonald. No, Sir. There was a guard outside.

38. General RUSSELL. Normally, when you would get messages over the telephone, didn't you have somebody there to put them up on a board of some sort?

Mr. McDonald. No, Sir. In case I ever got any messages, [4159] I had all the information I wanted, in book form, and if I didn't un­derstand, I could contact Lieutenant White, or contact any of the officers around.

39. General RUSSELL. Was there always an officer there after four o'clock in the morning?

Mr. McDonald. After 4 o'clock? When we went on the alert, why, there were.

40. General RUSSELL. I mean before this morning.

Mr. McDonald. No, sir; they usually came on about 7:30 or 8 o'clock.

41. General FRANK. On this particular morning, the information center had been manned, there had been some people up there to run it, from 4 to 7, had there not?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

42. General FRANK. About how many?

Mr. McDonald. I judge there were about 15.

43. General FRANK. And they went off at what time?

Mr. McDonald. They went off at 7.

44. General. FRANK. They went off at 7 o'clock? Well, how did you happen to stay there?

Mr. McDonald. Well, I was on duty until 7:30; and you see it was Sunday morning, and they didn't eat—my relief didn't eat breakfast until about 7 or 7:15, so I had to wait until about 7 :30.

45. General FRANK. And the people who had been manning it from 4 to 7 had left, and you and the lieutenant were the only ones left of those who had been there from 4 to 7, is that correct?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.


46. General RUSSELL. How long had you been working in the center?

Mr. McDonald. I was working there for about four months before that.

47. General RUSSELL. Had the other soldiers been working along with you for those four months?.




Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir; everybody.

48. General RUSSELL. The same crew would be in there every morning?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir. Most of them were trained men.

49. General RUSSELL. Now, you say that you did not have a day off. I do not know whether that got in the record, what you meant about that, or not. Was everybody going to quit, that day, Sunday, December 7?

Mr. McDonald. No. They didn't have to pull their shift—I mean, they pull it until 7 o'clock in the morning, and then they would have the rest of the day off on Sunday.

50. General RUSSELL. But all the other days, they stayed on after 7 o'clock, they all did?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

51. Colonel TOULMIN. What was the reason, Sergeant, for their getting off on that particular day?

Mr. McDonald. I could not understand it, sir. I just happened to be unlucky, I guess.

52. Colonel TOULMIN. Had they had a day off at any other time prior to that?

Mr. McDonald. Well, I don't think there were any passes for a month before that. I am not quite sure about that, sir. I think most of the men never got passes.


58. Colonel TOULMIN. During the preceding month was the aircraft warning service working all light?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir; it was all working. We used to pick up the clippers and everything else.

54. Colonel TOULMIN. It was doing all it was supposed to do, then?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

55. Colonel TOULMIN. That is all.

General RUSSELL. Would it work all day, Sergeant?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir. Most all day long, the radar was on.

56. General RUSSELL. You had been in there almost every day up until this December 7?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

57. General RUSSELL. After 7 o'clock in the morning, you continued to stay on there, every day, is that right?

Mr. McDonald. No, sir. We changed. We had different shifts.

58. General RUSSELL. But when you would go off duty, some other boys would come in?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

59. General RUSSELL. All right.

60. General FRANK. On this particular morning had there been any reports of flights in the air from 4 to 7?

Mr. McDonald. That was the first I received, sir.

61. General FRANK. Would you receive them? Wouldn't they go directly to the board?

Mr. McDonald. Well, yes, sir; they have their tactical phone. It goes right to the plotting board.


62. General FRANK. So, while the board is manned and in operation, these messages coming in would go directly to the telephone on the board and would not come to you; that is correct, isn't it?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir; that is tactical.




63. General FRANK. And this one happened to come to you because the people at the board had left, and it came to your telephone exchange?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

64. Colonel TOULMIN. Who called you from the outlying station, do you know?

Mr. McDonald. Well, sir, it was Joe Lockard.

65. Colonel TOULMIN. And what did he say?

Mr. McDonald. Well, at first they just said, "There's a large num­ber of planes coming in from the north, three points east," and then when I returned to the phone, he said, "Hey! Mac !" Then he expressed it again, the same message.

66. Colonel TOULMIN. Was he calm, or excited, or what?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir; he was excited. He said he never saw so many planes, so many flashes on the 'scope.

67. Colonel TOULMIN. When you gave him back the information to "forget it," or something to that effect, what did he say?

Mr. McDonald. Well, the Lieutenant talked to him last, sir.

68. Colonel TOULMIN. I see. That is all.

69. Major CLAUSEN. Do you have any way, Sergeant, of fixing the exact time that you received this call first from Lockard?

Mr. McDonald. No, sir. When I turned around, to time the message, it was 7:20.

70. Major CLAUSEN. You are pretty sure of that?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

71. Major CLAUSEN. You saw that time on the clock?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

72. Major CLAUSEN. Was that the time you wrote on the message?

Mr. McDonald. Yes; sir.

73. Major CLAUSEN. Did you work on any other stations con­nected with the radar besides this information center?

Mr. McDonald. No, sir. We had our definite jobs. We all helped put up a radar, then we were assigned to different jobs.

74. Major CLAUSEN. This was a mobile radar station?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

75. General GRUNERT. Sergeant, had there been previous tests and exercises using the communication center?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir.

76. General GRUNERT. And how did it work‑all right?

Mr. McDonald. Yes, sir; it worked.

77. General GRUNERT. Do you know how many stations they used in those exercises, how many radar stations outside of the communi­cation center?

Mr. McDonald. I imagine they used them all sir.

78. General GRUNERT. And how many would be all, do you know?

Mr. McDonald. There were about five or six; I am not quite sure.

79. General GRUNERT. Are there any other questions? Sergeant, do you know of anything else that you might have in your mind that you would like to tell the Board, that may be of help to it?

Mr. McDonald. No, sir.

80. General GRUNERT. All right; thank you for coming down.

(The witness was excused, with the usual admonition.)