D. STATUS OF THE PRINCIPAL HAWAIIAN DEFENSES IN 1941 AND THEIR STATE OF 
READINESS ON DECEMBER 6, 1941, OR THE REASONS FOR THEIR LACK OF 
READINESS.

1. AIRCRAFT WARNING SERVICE AND INTERCEPTOR COMMAND.  The Aircraft 
Warning Service on the  morning of December 7, 1941, was in operative 
condition for all practical purposes.  It had an information center and 
five mobile stations.  It was sufficiently operative to successfully 
pick up the Japanese force 132 miles from Oahu.  This was done by 
Private Lockard and Private Elliott, respectively radar operator and 
plotter, and reported by these privates on their own initiative to the 
information center, where the Sergeant in charge of the switchboard 
received the information and relay it to Lieutenant Tyler, who was a 
pursuit officer of the Air Corps on temporary duty for training.  The 
stations had been used from 0400 to 0700 hours each morning for the 
training personnel, and the personnel was reasonably trained by that 
time, with the exception of certain liaison officers who were still 
getting their training, like Lieutenant Tyler.  If the radar system and 
information center had been fully manned, as it could have been and as 
it was immediately upon the disaster at Pearl Harbor and thereafter 
without further physical additions, it could have been successfully 
operated on December 7th.

The Air Warning Service had been operating on tactical exercises and 
maneuvers prior to December 7th for some weeks.



Page 163

On December 7, 1941 this service could have been a great asset to the 
defense of the islands had the Command and Staff understood its value 
and capabilities and had taken more interest in implementing the 
temporary setup instead of awaiting completion of the permanent 
installations.

The only mechanical difficulty that was being experienced was in 
connection with the stand-by motor generator sets, which were to be used 
to supplement commercial power in case the latter failed.  There had 
been some minor difficulty with the pumps on the motor generator set for 
the internal combustion engines, but that was not of serious character.

The story of the delay in installing both the temporary, mobile sets and 
the permanent sets is as follows:

Army personnel had been receiving radar instructions on Navy surface 
ships and had gone to sea with the ships and had had the benefit of such 
practical training.  Unfortunately the Navy had not detailed its liaison 
officers to the Information Center, and in that it failed.  There also 
had not been brought about, due to failure on the part of General Short 
and Admirals Kimmel and Bloch, a complete integration into a single 
system of Army and Navy defense including radar and particularly the 
Army, Navy and Marine fighters which were to pass to the jurisdiction of 
the Army to form a compositive interceptor command, so that the three 
elements of the system would be working -- the aircraft warning service, 
the interceptor command, and the antiaircraft artillery. 

The only reason that the aircraft warning service was not on a full 
operating basis on the morning of December 7th was due to the type of 
alert put into effect but otherwise it should have been in full effect.  
It was a fully operating 



Page 164

service and did so operate shortly after the attack.

Major Berquist and Major Tindal had been sent to the Interceptor School 
at Mitchell Field in the early summer of 1941.  At that time the AWS was 
new to the U.S. Army and its organization and development had just 
started in the United States.  For the system to be operative required a 
considerable amount of highly technical electrical and radar equipment, 
the supply and manufacture of which was critical.

The whole AWS project was new, novel, and somewhat revolutionary in 
practice.  It took time to get the equipment through War Department 
priorities, and it took time to teach and train operating personnel, and 
to indoctrinate the whole Army as well as the public to its operation 
and value.  This process had been going on since May and June, 1941.

Testimony before the Board has indicated that neither the Army, Navy, 
nor civilian population of the United States or Hawaii anticipated the 
necessity for immediate use of this service.  There was, however, a 
small group directly in charge of the AWS development in Hawaii, 
including Major Berquist, Major Tindal, Major Tetley, and Major Powell, 
all of the Army and Lieutenant Taylor of the Navy, who were pushing the 
AWS project to the fullest extent that their level of authority would 
permit.  As a result of their efforts it is believed that this service 
in the normal course of events would have been established and in 
operation in another two or three weeks, which in view of the lack of 
war-mindedness of the services would have been to the great credit of 
this group.

Since the No. 1 Alert was the decision due to the logic and judgment of 
the Department commander, it is very doubtful had the AWS been 100 
percent completed that it would have been



Page 164

on a full-out operating basis on the 7th of December.  General Short has 
stated in the Roberts report testimony, Volume 14, page 1642, that had 
he had the material and fully equipped radar stations he probably would 
have operated them just as he did.

Nevertheless, had General Short's judgment led him to have decided to go 
to Alert 2 or 3 on November 27th, or at any time prior to December 7th, 
the AWS could have functioned and the fighter airplane could have been 
ready for active defense within a period of minutes.  From the damage 
that was accomplished by the few fighters that did get into the air from 
the Haliewa Airdrome it can be assumed that the seventy or eighty 
fighters that could have been in the air under a normally active alert 
system would have made the Jap attack a much more costly venture.  This 
paragraph, however, is hypothesis.

2. STATUS OF THE AIRCRAFT WARNING SERVICE ON DECEMBER 7TH.

The aircraft warning service consisting of the Information Center and 
five mobile radar stations was in operation on the morning of December 
7th and had been for several weeks prior to that date.  The fact that 
the Information Center was not in its permanent location and the radar 
stations were not permanently built had no bearing upon the operation 
and effectiveness of the aircraft warning system.

"It was set up and the men were being trained for, I would say, possibly 
a month prior to the attack on December 7th."

As testified by General Martin (R. 1825)

The difficulty of putting the AWS into full operation as a practical 
matter was the insistence of General Short that he retain control for 
training purposes whereas the best training would have been to put the 
system into practical operation.



Page 166

Of this General Martin said:

"The Department commander would not turn those (the operating stations) 
over to the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Air Force until he 
(Short) had completed training under his Department Signal Officer.  He 
refused to turn them over unless he considered they were properly 
trained.  So they were still training under those conditions and had not 
been turned over to the Air Force the morning of the attack on December 
7th."  (R. 1824)

Here again is another example of the whole organization of the Army in 
Hawaii being held in a training status instead of acquiring its training 
in or near combat positions, where it would have been ready for any 
eventuality.  As General Martin said:

"They were capable of operating . . . the equipment used primarily in 
the training of personnel to take over the operation of the control 
area."  (R. 1824)

General Martin is confirmed in this by Commander Taylor, loaned by the 
Navy for the purpose of getting this service into operation.  Commander 
Taylor confirmed that fact that:

"On December 7th the plotters were reasonably well trained to watch and 
able to do checking without any controller on the plane.  The only 
source of controllers we could find was to see the Squadron Commander of 
the Pursuit Squadrons at Wheeler Field. . . We had no liaison people to 
man any of the positions . . . On December 7 all the communications 
lines were in; the radar stations; the Derax equipment was working 
satisfactorily enough to give air warning and possibly to make 
interceptions.  The air-to-ground radio equipment was not satisfactory 
for interception work, but it was possible that enough advance 
information could be given to pilots so that they could come back 
without being intercepted."  (R. 1082)

However, the radio equipment that would have enabled control through 
interception a reasonable distance offshore had been given to the Ferry 
Command.  This situation is treated elsewhere, but it should be pointed 
out, to avoid confusion, that on and before December 7th the aircraft 
warning center was able to pick up incoming planes and to give 
notification of that fact.  It was not fully able to perform its other 
function,



Page 167

which was supplementary to the Information Center, that is, for full 
cooperation in conjunction with an Interceptor Command to intercept the 
incoming planes in the full sense of that arrangement.

So far advanced was the organization and apparatus that it would have 
been fully complete within ten days to two weeks at the time of the 
attack.  As Commander Taylor said:

"The only thing that was not carried through after this meeting (a 
conference to wind up the details of organization) to bring the thing 
into operation at the end to two weeks the manpower to operate it."  (R. 
1083)

Taylor, in turn, is confirmed in this by one of the most energetic 
officers who was working with Taylor in pressing this aircraft warning 
system to conclusion, Colonel Berquist, then a Major.  He endeavored to 
have 24-jour service by November 24th and stated that the mobile units 
could have stood it.  There was some minor trouble with the stand-by 
power gas engines, but this was of little importance and the system 
could have run 24 hours a day.  He had been running a school since 
October known as the "Air Defense School" in which he was training Army 
and Marine officers and as many pursuit officers of the Air Corps as he 
could get.  The delay was from the Signal Corps.  As Colonel Berquist 
said:

"I was continually harping to the Signal Corps people to get the 
stations up and get them operating."  (R. 1201)

Despite the efforts of General Martin with Department Headquarters, very 
few results were secured in making the *Signal Corps let go their 
technical operation and allow the practical people who were going to 
operate it go to work*.  This is described by Colonel Berquist, who 
said:

"One of the big arguments was:  we wanted to take over the radar 
stations and get them set up and operating.  The



Page 168

Signal Corps said no, that was their job; they wanted to get them up and 
get them operating and then turn them over to us for our operational 
control.  The Department headquarters decided in favor of the Signal 
Corps." (R. 1196)

This delayed the ultimate completion of the system by a month.  (R. 
1196)

He stated that:

"My opinion on that is that they (the enlisted men) were fairly well 
trained at that stage of the game."  (R. 1197)

This state of training is further described by him as follows:

"Well, I think we had had the sets operating in practice a sufficient 
length of time so that the radar scope operators that we had were fairly 
well trained.  I was in the process of training what I called pursuit 
officers, which is one of the positions on the board -- on the control 
platform, that is -- by running a roster of the fighter pilots in the 
Interceptor command in order to do two things:  to both train them to 
function as pursuit officers on the control board and to acquaint them 
with the workings of the board in order to better carry out instructions 
they received from the board on flying missions.   The only controllers 
that we had, we considered, that could operate, that were trained 
sufficiently, were myself, Major Tindal -- I mean Colonel Tindal; he was 
a major at that time -- and I did have with me at that time Commander 
William E. G. Taylor of the Navy.  The other positions on the control 
platform, we did have an antiaircraft liaison officer, and had conducted 
problems with them so that they were in a fair state of training.  We 
had not been able to get the Navy liaison officers assigned, so there 
was no one trained in that.  The same applies to the bomber command 
liaison, the liaison officers with the Hawaiian Department headquarters.

At this time the system had a maximum range of approximately 130 miles.  
(R. 1190)

On November 24th there was a conference of interested Army and Navy 
officers on this subject, and the consensus of opinion of those experts 
among the younger officers who were actually getting this Information 
Center into operation was expressed by Commander Taylor:



Page 169

"It was felt that the Information Center could be made to function 
adequately within the next two weeks.  (The conference was on November 
24, 1941.)  We found after that, after this, to qualify it, that that 
would be except for the air-to-ground radio communications.  We learned 
that we could not keep contact with the fighter aircraft more than five 
miles offshore with the communication equipment we had at that time."  
(R. 1077)

This confirms the testimony of others that the only thing lacking was 
the IFF equipment on the planes to enable identification of the planes 
in the air by ground personnel.  Considerable equipment had been 
withdrawn from the Interceptor Command and the Hawaiian Air Force for 
this purpose for the use of the Ferry Command.  (R. 1079)

As to the operability of the aircraft warning service on the morning of 
December 7th, Commander Taylor testifying said:

"If we had had the Information Center completely manned there would have 
been some method of identification.  Anybody could have told what that 
(the Japanese) flight was."  (R. 1085)

The Navy had not yet participated in the operation, although Commander 
Taylor said they had been requested to do so about a week before Pearl 
Harbor.  (R. 1086)

This brings us to the question of why General Short or his staff did not 
take more vigorous action in putting this most important part of the 
defense into operation, particularly in view of the fact that both the 
long-distance reconnaissance by the Navy and the inshore reconnaissance 
by the Army were, for all practical purposes, non-existent.  Commander 
Taylor was asked, when he found these delays, whether he had ever seen 
General Short, to which Taylor replied in the negative by saying:  

"I saw his chief of staff.  I saw his operations officer.  We were very 
closely tied in with his staff and the Air Force staff."  (R. 1089)



Page 170

"We saw every chief of staff, but we found that somebody else was always 
responsible." (R. 1088)

Colonel Powell, Hawaiian Department Signal Officer, said repeated 
efforts to get the Navy to cooperate by supplying naval officers to 
complete the working of the service were fruitless.  They were not 
interested.  (R. 3906)

It is significant that when Phillips, Short's Chief of Staff, was asked 
if Short had tried to expedite these matters he professed ignorance (R. 
1143), but it was Phillips, as Chief of Staff to Short, who Taylor and 
others said was principally responsible for acting on Short's behalf in 
this matter.  (R. 1088)

Colonel Powell testified that the construction of permanent 
installations did not hold up the placing of the Information Center and 
the radar stations into operation because there was adequate equipment 
for this purpose that was actually installed in temporary buildings for 
the Information Center and that radar mobile stations were placed around 
the Island.

As a consequence the Information Center and the radar stations were in 
operation some time prior to December 7th.  The only reason they were 
not operated continuously 24 hours a day was the desire to conserve 
tubes, as they were short of tubes and other spare parts.

Two permanent radars, No. 271, were received on June 3, and a third 
radar, No. 271-A, was also received on June 3.  On August 1 six mobile 
radar stations were received and shortly thereafter put into operation.   
They were complete and self-contained and only needed to be placed at 
some appropriate elevation.

Colonel Powell testified that the entire service was oper-



Page 171-172

ative about the 1st of November, 1941.  The installations for the 
permanent radar and Information Center were held up by the Engineer 
construction and were not held up by any lack of information or drawings 
or equipment of the Signal Corps.

Colonel Powell testified that the location of the centers was made by a 
board from Washington.  This board ordered the abandonment of Kaala at 
4,000 feet on the theory that while the range would be extended 150 
miles from Hawaii yet there would be no detection of planes within the 
20-mile radius close to shore.  This does not sound logical because the 
great necessity was the locating of planes at a maximum distance from 
Hawaii.  The other stations lower down were fully capable of picking up 
the close, inshore approach of aircraft.

Colonel Powell added the significant statement that the Navy took little 
interest in the radar system and "We were never able to get any liaison 
officer over from the Navy to take part in the exercises or carry on the 
work."  (R. 3906)  This is confirmed by the fact that Navy liaison 
officers never were supplied for the Information Center although it had 
been in operation for some weeks prior to December 7 and the Army had 
supplied a number of officers to be trained. (R. 3906)

General Short testified again as to the reason why he was interested in 
keeping the aircraft warning service in training.  He said:

"We had gotten, along in November, the mobile stations, and as soon as 
we got them we started using them right away; and when this message of 
the 27th came along, I prescribed that the aircraft warning service 
would function those hours.  In addition to that, they had their normal 
training.  They trained then from 7 to 11, and they had maintenance 
work, work of that kind, from 12 to 4.



Page 173

"Now, it turned out that we were putting a little bit too great a strain 
on this materiel, and later in the afternoon period we had three 
stations working from 11 to 1, and three working from 1 to 4, so that 
there was a little more chance for maintenance work and keeping them in 
shape.  But that was the situation, and the Interceptor Command was 
working with them.  We were trying to educate the Interceptor Command 
and the Aircraft Warning Service, and using this training period as an 
opportunity to give them work at what we considered the most dangerous 
time of the day.  The Navy had a liaison officer functioning with this 
outfit." (R. 298)

Two explanations have been advanced as to the reason why the aircraft 
warning service was not put into operation fully.  The first was that 
the signal equipment was not ready until very late; the testimony of 
Colonel Powell, in charge of this matter for the Signal Corps, plus what 
actually occurred as to its actually going into operation for nearly a 
month before the permanent construction was erected, is ample to 
overrule this objection.  (R. 3896-3898)

The second explanation was that there were serious delays in 
construction.  But such delays in permanent construction did not delay 
the aircraft warning service because it was using temporary housing for 
its Information Center, and its mobile radar stations were operative 
without any permanent housing.  (R. 3885)

As to the Interceptor Command and the Information Center of the aircraft 
warning service, General Burgin, Commanding General of the antiaircraft 
artillery, said:

"It worked, yes, because we would get the information of the planes 
coming in, and immediately the Interceptor Command would take over." (R> 
2604)

He explained how the Interceptor Command had been working during 
previous trials and exercises.  While the Interceptor Command was not 
fully functioning due to the lack of IFF instruments on the planes, yet 
there was ample AWS means for



Page 174

defense and interception that it could have used to a material degree on 
the morning of December 7, 1941.  The Interceptor Command was just being 
set up, but the nucleus of its operation was there, and it would have 
been an effective instrument had it been used when the attack came.  
This was not done.

3. ANTIAIRCRAFT ARTILLERY AND COAST DEFENSES.  General Burgin commanded 
the Coast Artillery Command consisting of seacoast artillery plus all 
antiaircraft artillery in the Hawaiian Department.  He commanded the 
53rd Coast Artillery Brigade composed of the 64th Regiment, 251st 
Regiment, and the 98th Regiment.

He testified that the Interceptor Command was being organized on a 
temporary basis saying:

"We had constant training and maneuvers, practice, where that particular 
thing was stressed, and the antiaircraft was turned over to interceptor 
Command... For at least six weeks or two months prior to December 7, we 
had, every Sunday morning, one of these exercises with the Navy.  Our AA 
would go out in the field and take their field positions.  They would 
know that the Navy was coming in, with carrier-based planes, and they 
would simulate an attack on the island, and we put our guns out mainly 
along the roadways, sometimes in position, and practiced simulating fire 
against this simulated attack made by the Navy.  And we were out just 
one week prior to December 7 ... On Sunday; but, by some stroke, we did 
not go out on December 7.  The fleet was in the harbor."

And again he said, as to the Interceptor Command:

"It worked, yes, because we would get the information of the planes 
coming in, and immediately the interceptor command would take over.  All 
that is, so far as turning it over to the interceptor, is that the 
interceptor command tells you when to hold fire and when to resume 
fire."  (R. 2602-2604)

This brought him to his opinion expressed in the record that if the 
Interceptor Command had worked during the drills and exercises on the 
morning of December 7, then it could have worked for the attack.  He 
said in his opinion it would not



Page 175

have made any difference anyway, "because we didn't have ammunition with 
our mobile antiaircraft.  If they had been out in the field without any 
ammunition, they would have been worse off than they actually were."  
(R. 2604)

He said of his antiaircraft batteries:

"They were all ready to go into action immediately, with the exception 
that the mobile batteries did not have the ammunition."  (R. 2604)

A reference to the next section will show that it was General Short who 
supported the Ordnance Department in refusing to issue this ammunition 
to troops when they went out for exercises in the field.

Additionally, General Burgin found that he could not even put his guns 
into final positions because of the conditions now described.

General Burgin pointed out one of the great handicaps to development of 
field artillery positions was resistance from land owners to letting the 
artillery go on the land or lease it for the placing of battery 
positions.  He described the situation as follows:

"General Russell: Is it true, therefore, General that prior to December 
7, 1941, so far as you can recall, you had never had all of your mobile 
batteries in the positions which they were to occupy in the event of 
hostilities?

"General Burgin:  That is correct; they had not all been in the actual 
position they were to go in.

"General Frank: Was that because of this opposition of the people who 
owned the land?

"General Burgin:  Yes, and the fact that we had not yet gotten the 
leases all fixed up, so that we could move into those positions for 
practice."  (R. 2628)

He also pointed out that if General Short had gone to Alert No. 3 there 
would have been great opposition from important and influential 
civilians on the islands and particularly.



Page 176

those who compose what is known as the Big Five.

As to this he said:

"General Russell:  Is there in you mind some thought that there would 
have been developed a considerable opposition among the influential 
civilian population here on the island toward the results of Alert 
Number 3?

"General Burgin:  I think there is no doubt about it, in the world.

"General Russell: In other words, if General Short had ordered Alert 
Number 3 -- and I am asking this question in the interest of clarity -- 
if General Short had ordered Alert Number 3 and thrown all of his people 
into readiness for immediate combat, including the issuing of 
ammunition, it might, or, in your opinion, it would have provoked 
opposition on the part of some of the responsible and influential 
civilian population here on the island?

"General Burgin: I feel positive it would.

"General Grunert:  Even though he might have explained that to the 
influential citizens, there would still have been opposition?

"General Burgin:  I don't believe you could have explained it, at that 
time.

"General Grunert:  Who are some of those influential citizens that you 
think might have voiced their objection?

"General Burgin:  Oh, my!

"General Grunert: Is Dillingham one of them?

"General Burgin:  Mr. Dillingham, Mr. Walker.

"General Frank:  Which Walker?

"General Burgin:  I don't know. He is a sugar man.  General Wells."  (R. 
2629)

He said amongst those people were the Hawaiian Sugar Planters 
Association, and those having the land and crop interests in sugar, 
pineapples, etc.

In this connection it should be noted that there is proof in this record 
that one of the things that may have influenced Short in selecting Alert 
Number 1 and not stirring up the Japanese population was the opposition 
that developed then and



Page 177

later from the large commercial interests on the Island using Japanese 
labor, that they did not want it disturbed and that they would be shut 
down in their business if a substantial portion of it was either 
deported or interned.  (R. 2654)

4. AMMUNITION ISSUE: SHORT'S AND THE ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT'S 
RESPONSIBILITY.

The Ordnance Department in the Hawaiian Department in its misdirected 
effort to safeguard and maintain ammunition in a serviceable condition 
objected to a full issue thereof to troops except in an emergency.  Such 
issues in an emergency entailed delays which delayed troops in getting 
into position and action.  (R. 2607)

General Burgin, who commanded the antiaircraft artillery, stated that he 
and General Murray, who commanded one of the infantry divisions, 
personally went to the staff and to General Short, who turned them down 
and refused to allow the issue of ammunition for the artillery and the 
infantry ammunition.  Colonel Weddington testified that on the morning 
of December 7th he had insufficient ammunition, that there was none for 
his rifles and ground machine guns, and that the only extra supply of 
ammunition was belted ammunition for his extra supply of ammunition was 
belted ammunition for his aircraft machine guns.  (R. 3026-3027)

The artillery ammunition situation is summed up by General Burgin as 
follows:



Page 178

"They were all ready to go into action immediately, with the exception 
that the mobile batteries did not have the ammunition.  The fixed 
batteries along the seacoast, those batteries bolted down to concrete, 
had the ammunition nearby.  I had insisted on that with General Short in 
person and had gotten his permission to take this antiaircraft 
ammunition, move it into the seacoast gun battery positions, and have it 
nearby the antiaircraft guns.  It was, however, boxed up in wooden boxes 
and had to be taken out.  The ammunition for the mobile guns and 
batteries was in Aliamanu Crater, which you may know or may not, is 
about a mile from Port Shafter, up in the old volcano.  In addition to 
that, the mobile batteries had to move out from the various posts to 
their field positions.  They were not in field positions."  (R.  2604-
2605)

He described the efforts of General Murray and himself to get the 
Ordnance Department to release this ammunition and how he was overruled 
by General Short's staff and General Short himself, in the following 
language:

"General Burgin:  Yes, sir, we did.  I would like to answer that a 
little more elaborately.  You may recollect yourself the great 
difficulty in prying loose ammunition from out storehouse and from the 
ordnance during peacetime.  It was almost a matter of impossibility to 
get your ammunition out because in the minds of everyone who has 
preservation of ammunition at heart it goes out, gets damaged, comes 
back in, and has to be renovated.  The same was especially true here.  
It was extremely difficult to get your ammunition out of the magazines.  
We tried the ordnance people without results.  General Max Murray pled 
for his ammunition for the field artillery.  I asked for ammunition for 
the antiaircraft.  We were put off, the idea behind it being that we 
would get our ammunition in plenty of time, that we would have warning 
before any attack ever struck.

"General Frank:  Was that putting off made directly by the Commanding 
General or by a staff department?

"General Burgin:  Both; staff departments first, then the Commanding 
General in person.

"General Frank: Supported them?



Page 179

"General Burgin:  In his own office, to General Murray and to me.

"General Frank:  Well, what were the staff departments who opposed it?

"General Burgin:  The Gs; G-4s, the Ordnance.

"General Frank:  And their reasons were?

"General Burgin:  Same old reason, that they didn't want to issue any of 
the clean ammunition, let it get out and get dirty, have to take it back 
in later on and renovate it; and, besides, we would get our ammunition 
in plenty of time should any occasion arise."  (R. 2607-2608)

Apparently one of the reasons in General Short's mind was sabotage, if 
the ammunition was out with the guns.  As General Burgin testified:

"As long as the ammunition could be left locked up in the magazines, it 
was pretty safely guarded and could not be tampered with to any great 
extent."  (R. 2608)

He testified that without ammunition for his guns it would take from a 
few minutes to six hours before he could get his guns into position and 
firing.  He was never permitted to take live ammunition on any of his 
practices and as 50% of the mobile guns were on private land he had been 
unable to even place half of his guns in position, and they were unable 
to take ammunition with them.  (R. 2608-09-10)

Therefore on the morning of December 7th he was caught in this position 
with only ammunition adjacent his fixed gun batteries, but half of his 
guns were without ammunition.

As General Burgin summed it up,

"It was just impossible to pry the ammunition loose from the Ordnance, 
the G-4s, or from General Short himself."  (R.2612)

General Maxwell Murray testified as to his difficulties in getting 
ammunition for both his field artillery and his



Page 180

infantry, as follows:

"General Grunert: ... First, I would like to talk to you about artillery 
ammunition, and ask you this question: Why was not sufficient ammunition 
at hand for the artillery, on December 7?

"General Murray:  There was sufficient artillery on hand, but it had not 
been issued to troops.

"General Grunert:  I mean 'at hand,' not 'on hand.'

"General Murray: I was not authorized to draw the artillery ammunition 
from the magazines.  I requested authority from General Short to draw 
artillery ammunition and stack it; I suggested either the gun parks on 
the division review field, in small stacks.  The division review field, 
as you know, is a large area immediately adjacent to the old artillery 
park, and had been planned as the dispersal area for the artillery." (R. 
3075-3076)

"General Grunert:  Now, we get back to the ammunition.  You say that 
there was no ammunition immediately available to you for quick action; 
is that right?

"General Murray:  So far as I can recall, we did not have a round of 
ammunition in the gun parks.

"General Grunert: And, in case you were turned out, to go on an alert 
which required ammunition, you would then have to draw it from 
somewhere?

"General Murray:  We had to draw it.

"General Grunert:  Where did it come from?

"General Murray:  We drew it directly; the majority of it was drawn at 
Schofield Barracks, although the artillery units of the Eighth Field 
Artillery, which came directly to the positions in Honolulu and Hickam 
Field, immediately adjacent to it, were to draw ammunition at the 
Aliamanu Crater, which was down here near Pearl Harbor."  (R. 3080)

General Murray had made arrangements to have separate entrances to get 
the ammunition out of the storage houses, but even with that effective 
arrangement, plus piling ammunition in the warehouses according to unit, 
it would take at least an hour to get the ammunition so the guns could




Page 181

go to the beaches to defend the island.

As General Murray said:

"I was not satisfied, myself, with the status of our ammunition for 
either the infantry or the artillery."  (R. 3081)

He had a limited amount of machine gun ammunition and rifle ammunition.  
He had a large number of machine guns in each rifle company, extra guns, 
and

"It was obviously impossible -- most of our ammunition was not belted -- 
it was obviously impossible to get out the ammunition and belt it 
without serious delay."  (R. 3081)

He had only two belt loading machines for each heavy weapon company, and 
it had taken three days to load up the belted ammunition on a previous 
trial.  (R. 3081)  After applying to General Short he had been 
authorized to draw and belt machine-gun ammunition, draw the necessary 
rifle ammunition, and store it in the parks.  He was not allowed to have 
mortar ammunition or high-explosive grenades inside the barracks; that 
ordnance had to be left in the Ordnance Depot, as was the artillery 
ammunition.  He testified (R. 3081) that it was General Short who was 
personally supporting his ordnance officer and G-4 in following the 
peacetime practice of holding ammunition in depots where it would take 
hours to get it out in the event of a raid.

He testified that his movement of ammunition into the barracks was in 
violation of the standing orders of the post, but he had made that 
movement of ammunition on the express authorization of General Short.  
(R. 3091)

It is to be recalled that when the War Department ordered General 
Herron, in 1940, into an alert in which he stayed for six weeks, he was 
able to draw his ammunition immediately and 



Page 182

take it with him into the field.

The testimony of General Burgin as to his inability to get ammunition 
for use with his antiaircraft guns is borne out by the testimony of 
Colonel Weddington of the Air Corps that when he was in command of the 
Bellows Field base his efforts to get ammunition for his machine guns 
and rifles were met by a response from the Ordnance Department, on each 
request he made, that the ammunition was not available and was not 
authorized and that this was by General Short's order.

Lack of ammunition preparations was shown in the testimony of Colonel 
Weddington, who was in command of Bellows Field prior to and on December 
7th.  (R. 3026-3027)  He testified that it was the custom for the ships 
(aircraft) that were at gunnery practice to be parked on the ramp on 
Saturday afternoon, close to one another.  The guns were taken off  the 
planes for cleaning, the planes were out of gas and were not to be 
refueled until Sunday, and the gas was brought over by truck from 
Honolulu and did not arrive until sometime later in the day.  He also 
indicated that many of the pilots were away over the weekend.

It was in this condition that the attack was launched upon them and they 
were unable to defend themselves.  He said they had 30,000 rounds of 
belted ammunition but no rifle ammunition for their guards and no 
machine-gun ammunition.  When the attack came they were also without any 
30-caliber machine-gun bullets.  His repeated efforts to get ammunition 
from the Ordnance Department met with the statement that it was not 
available and not authorized, and its failure to be issued was on 
General Short's order.



Page 183

5. STATUS OF AIRCRAFT DEFENSES:  The difficulties with supply of both 
aircraft and parts to maintain aircraft, due to the conditions depicted 
in Chapter 2, Background, are no better illustrated than in the case of 
aircraft.  The failure previous to 1941 to provide extended aircraft 
programs and the necessity for revising designs to meet modern combat 
conditions, as revealed by the European War, joined together to put the 
War Department in a difficult situation with respect to a sufficiency of 
aircraft.

On the deficiency of equipment in Hawaii, General Martin, Commanding 
General, Hawaiian Air Force, testified he had written General Arnold, 
Chief of the Army Air Force, personal letters as well as sent official 
communications with reference to his obsolete aircraft, the lack of 
spare parts for the modern craft that he had, and the necessity for 
placing his aircraft in combat condition with adequate weapons, et 
cetera.  (R. 1858-A, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1874 to 1889, 
inclusive)

While correspondence shows a failure on the part of the Army Air Force 
to supply the correct equipment, adequate equipment, spare parts, and 
enough of it to be effective, yet Hawaii was better off than other 
commands.  As General Marshall expressed it:

"As to Hawaii, that had the largest troop concentration we possessed, it 
had the maximum of material that we possessed, and we were accumulating 
the first fighter planes, of the type that we possessed at that time, in 
the Hawaiian garrison.

"As to Panama: if the Hawaiian state of preparation in men and materiel 
was 100, Panama was about 25 percent, and the Philippines about 10 
percent, and Alaska and the Aleutians completely negligible."



Page 184

As elsewhere stated, on December 7, 1941, General Martin had under his 
command 123 modern pursuit and bombardment planes, 15 observation 
planes, 2 transports, 5 observation amphibians, and 8 basic trainers.  
He had non-modern medium bombers to the number of 39, 9 light bombers, 
and 62 non-modern pursuit ships.

General Martin testified:

"When I took over from General Frank in the Hawaiian Islands we had, you 
might say, no combat equipment.  We had some P-26s, an old obsolete type 
of fighter which we than called a pursuit airplane.  We had some old 
observation planes, some b-18 bombers which could never protect 
themselves in any combat at all.  They could be used for reconnaissance, 
but you would lose them as fast as you sent them out, if they went into 
combat.  They were always recognized as not being a combat ship.  In the 
spring of 1941 we received possibly 50 P-36s.  They were obsolescent at 
the time they came over.  A little later -- as I remember it, about May 
-- we received some P-40 fighters.   These ships were brought in on 
carriers and flown off to the station after the arrived in Hawaii.  
About May we received 21 B-17s that were ferried over by air.  9 of 
these, about the 5th or 6th of September, were transferred to the 
Philippines by air.  The 12 remaining were ordered to proceed to the 
Philippines; and upon our request that they be delayed, that we could 
continue the training of combat crews for that type of ship, as the two 
bombardment groups at Hickam Field would be equipped with that type of 
airplane, they would go on the tail of some 60-odd airplanes that were 
being transferred from the mainland to the Philippines. ... The types of 
ships which could have been used in combat, which is the P-40, B-17, and 
ten A-20s, were always possibly 50 percent out of commission due to 
spare parts.  In the beginning of our production program all monies, as 
possible, were placed into the producing of additional engines, and the 
spare parts requirements were neglected at the time.  Therefore the new 
airplanes coming out were deficient to meet the requirements of spare 
parts.  We had sent cablegrams and letters on the subject of spare parts 
through proper channels to our supply agencies, and they were not in a 
position to help us.  I knew that, but I did want them to be sure to 
realize how important it was to improve the spare-part situation as 
rapidly as possible.  If we had an accident in one of our ships we used 
what they call cannibalism to rob it of certain spare parts to repair 
other ships.  ... Therefore the training program had to be rather 
extensive for the fighters.  We were receiving men just out of the 
schools, who had not had advance training at the time; that is, a 
limited advance training but not



Page 185

on any of the modern equipment.  So they were put through a 
demonstration of their ability to handle the old, obsolescent P-26, then 
through the P-36 and on to the P-40, and considerable progress was being 
made in training these men to take over the P-40 equipment. ... The 
bombers, as soon as we got B-17s, in I think it was sometime in May, we 
had a few of our pilots that had flown the B-17s.  They started training 
others, and as I remember there were one or two officers remained with 
the first flight of bombers that came over, and helped train other 
additional crews.  So they had to train the pilots to operate the ship, 
the co-pilots, and all other members of the crew.  We had no knowledge 
of repairing its engines or any of its equipment. ... In other words, 
they had consumed some of their own fat, so to speak, to meet the 
enlargement of the technically school facility.  We were getting but a 
few technical trained men. ... There were possibly 400 men in these 
schools as I remember."  (R. 1858-A to 1861)

It is to be remembered that the record shows that the Japanese carriers 
had over 400 modern aircraft which they brought against the Island, so 
that the superiority was overwhelming.

Although General Short gave a high priority to airfield construction, 
there were many delays due in part to slowness in getting funds and to 
the inefficiency of contractors under the supervision of the District 
Engineer.

Some elements of the Air Force in Hawaii had been used during 1941 
primarily as a training force for officers and men who were being sent 
into the Philippines and into the outlying islands.  The personnel of 
these elements, therefore, were largely untrained or partially trained 
personnel, as the more competent were constantly being forwarded into 
what was then advance theaters where the danger was deemed to be 
greater.  Therefore, much of the Air Force was in a training status 
primarily.  This has been pictured elsewhere in this report through the 
testimony of General Short, General Martin,



Page 186

Colonel Mollison, and others.

The great effort in the latter part of 1941 was to get B-17s, of which 
180 had been allotted to Hawaii.  As there were only 109 B-17s in the 
entire Army (R. 154) it was obviously impossible to comply with this 
request.  General Marshall testified that he had sent General Arnold to 
the West Coast to see what he could do to get these B-17s to the 
Philippines via Hawaii, and that they had been held up by contrary winds 
and production delays for more than three or four weeks.  (R. 167-168)  
General Arnold testified as follows:

"General Frank:  Had anything held up B-17 production that in any way 
had an effort [sic] on this situation?

"General Arnold: No; we did not have the facilities to get the numbers 
that we wanted.  If you will remember, at that time in our endeavor to 
get B-17s we had 90 in January, and by June that 90 was up to 109, and 
by November it had only gone up to 148.  That was the total number of B-
17s produced by the Boeing Company.  We just did not have the productive 
capacity to get the numbers required.  (R. 180)

Due to this condition the planes had been flown out with their guns, but 
without their ammunition, to save weight, a factor that was interpreted 
by Short as indicating that no attack was expected on Hawaii.  (R. 305)

However, the impression in Washington, as testified to by General 
Arnold, was that the Hawaiian Air Force was in good shape despite its 
heavy training mission.  He testified:

"We were always of the belief that the Hawaiian Air Force was probably 
better trained than any of our air forces.  That is the impression we 
had here in Washington as a result of our inspections and due to the 
fact that they were always carrying out some form of mission simulating 
what they would do in active combat."  (R. 179)



Page 187

In order to develop this further, the following question was put and 
answer gained:

"General Frank:  What I was about to approach was this point, which your 
present answer seems to disclaim, namely, that because of the fact that 
they were charged with training a lot of crews to fly B-17s from 
California to Honolulu and then conduct a lot of transition training in 
Honolulu, and do certain training work in preparation for transferring 
squadrons to the Philippines, that perhaps they got themselves into a 
training state of mind rather than a war state of mind.

"General Arnold:  I wrote to General Martin, as I said, from time to 
time, and the establishment of a transition school in Hawaii was not 
done until we were assured that they would get more effective results by 
carrying this transition on in Hawaii than if it were done in the United 
States.  In other words, we had no air force, as such, anywhere at that 
time.  No matter where you had that training, it was going to disrupt 
something.  Where could we put that training so it would interfere least 
with the creation of the small air force that we did have?  And it 
looked to us as if they could carry on this transition in Hawaii and 
interfere less with the training than anywhere else because we would 
have the airplanes then available, in case of emergency, where they 
would be most needed.  (R. 179-180)

It will, therefore, be seen that the Hawaiian Air Force was handicapped 
by conducting a training program not only for itself but also for other 
theaters of action; its ships were mainly obsolete, its modern ships 
were few, and there was a marked deficiency of spare parts, and its 
airfield construction was lagging.  Such was the status on December 7, 
1941, of the Army Air Force installations.

Page maintained by Larry W. Jewell, lwjewell@omni.cc.purdue.edu. Created: 12/12/96 Updated: 12/12/96