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[54]

PROCEEDINGS OF THE HART INQUIRY
THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 1944
FOURTH DAY
                                                          NAVY DEPARTMENT,
                                                          Washington, D. C. 

The examination met at 9: 30 a. m.

Present:

Admiral Thomas C. Hart, U. S. Navy, Retired, examining officer, and his counsel and assistant counsel.

Ship's Clerk Charles O. Lee, U. S. Naval Reserve, reporter.

The examining officer decided to postpone the reading of the record of proceedings of the third day of the examination until such time as it shall be reported ready, and in the meantime to proceed with the examination.

No witnesses not otherwise connected with the examination were present;

Rear Admiral W. W. Smith, U. S. Navy, the witness under examination when the adjournment was taken, entered. He was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding, and continued his testimony.

Examination by the examining officer (Continued):

159. Q. Admiral, you testified that in the week or so prior to the attack on December 7 several conditions of readiness were prescribed. Do you know if these conditions were at any time prescribed by Admiral Kimmel as Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet?

A. My recollection is that the condition of readiness came from the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District. I do know that Admiral Kimmel had prescribed them as a drill. Whether he actually ordered it, I do not recall. However, all of this is a matter of record and can easily be ascertained from the files of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet or from the then Communications Officer, Captain Curts, now in the Navy Department.

At this point, in order to introduce certain documents into the proceedings which were not until now available, for use in the further examination of this witness, the examining officer directed that the present witness withdraw and Commander Benjamin Katz be recalled.

The witness was duly warned and withdrew.

Commander Benjamin Katz, U. S. Navy, was recalled as a witness by the examining officer and was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.

Examined by the examining officer:

1 Q. Do you have in your custody a dispatch dated January 26,1941, transmitted from the Chief of Naval Operations to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, reference office No. 270038?

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A. I have that, sir.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document, it was return to the Code Room, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document [55] introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 12".

2. Q. Do you have in your possession the dispatch of November 26 1941, from the Chief of Naval Operations to Commander-in-chief Pacific Fleet, office reference 270040?

A. I have that too, sir.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document, it was returned to the Code Room, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 13".

3. Q. Do you have in your possession a dispatch dated November 28, 1941, from the Chief of Naval Operations to the Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, office reference 282054?

A. Yes, sir, here it is.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document, it was returned to the Code Room, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 14."

4. Q. Do you have in your possession a dispatch from the Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, dated November 28, 1941, to the Chief of Naval Operations, office reference 280627?

A. I have that. Here it is.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document, it was returned to the Code Room, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 15".

The examining officer did not desire to further examine this witness.

The examining officer informed the witness that he was privileged to make any further statement covering anything relating to the subject matter of the examination which he thought should be a matter of record in connection therewith, which had not been fully brought out by the previous questioning.

The witness stated that he had nothing further to say.

The witness was duly warned and withdrew.

Rear Admiral W. W. Smith, U. S Navy, was recalled as a witness by the examining officer, who warned that the oath previously taken was still binding, and continued his testimony.

(Examination by the examining officer continued:)

160. Q. Admiral, the Pacific Fleet confidential letter, No. 2CL-41 (Revised), which is Exhibit 4 before this examination, provides that the Commandant of the Fourteenth District, as the Naval Base Defense Officer, should advise the Senior Officer Embarked in Pearl Harbor, exclusive of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet, what condition of readiness to maintain. Do you [56] interpret that directive to grant authority to the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, to order conditions of readiness?

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A. Yes, I do. In my recollection, that was what was in effect at the time.

161. Q. Do you know what condition of readiness was in fact in effect just prior to the attack on the 7th of December?

A. I do not. It is impossible for me to remember details that long ago. However, the fact that the ammunition was readily obtainable and the guns were manned very promptly on the morning of 7 December, I believe that a condition of readiness had been prescribed.

162. Q. Where were you when the attack commenced?

A. I was at home. I believe I was one of the first notified. I was at breakfast at home in Honolulu when I received the telephone call saying, "This is not a drill." I proceeded immediately to Pearl Harbor in my own automobile.

163. Q. At about what time did you arrive at the Navy Yard in Pearl Harbor?

A. At about twenty minutes after eight.

164. Q. What was your observation as to the readiness and effectiveness of the batteries of the various ships in meeting the attack?

A. All ships seemed to be firing. The sky was full of bursts. I could see those long before I got down there. The ARIZONA had already been hit and was smoking. Not only the batteries were firing, but men and machine guns and rifles were all over the tops of buildings and out in the park and everybody was shooting.

165. Q. Did you receive a report of any contact with submarines on that morning, prior to the attack, on the part of naval vessels of the United States?

A. I did not. The report of the submarine was received by the Staff Duty Officer who was Commander Murphy, who delivered the message to Admiral Bloch, and, I believe, to Admiral Kimmel. My recollection is that Admiral Bloch informed the Secretary of Navy a few days after Pearl Harbor that he had received this message at 7:15. Talking to Captain Maddox, who was on board the ANTARES, the ANTARES had been about to enter Pearl Harbor and as she turned, the conning tower of the midget submarine broke the surface. He called this to the attention of the destroyer WARD who sank the submarine, and the WARD informed the signal tower, unfortunately by signal, that he had attacked a submarine at the entrance to Pearl Harbor. As Captain Maddox said at the time, he regretted that he had not put the thing out by radio in plain language telling everybody that it actually was a submarine and it actually had been sunk. You see, we had received so many false submarine reports before that time. I do not remember the exact wording of the signal sent through the signal tower, but I gathered from what Admiral Bloch told us later that he did not consider it as serious as it actually was. I'm quoting from a conversation between Admiral Bloch and the Secretary of Navy, a few days after Pearl Harbor, in the presence of Admiral Kimmel and Admiral Pye and General Short and myself. But the first message I got was that Pearl Harbor was under attack. I received no message before that about the submarine. You must also realize the communications between Pearl Harbor and Honolulu were very poor. Efforts had been made for months to get more trunk lines through but it was sometimes very difficult to communicate between the two places. It was particularly difficult to communicate

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with the Army. It had to go through several stations. The Fleet Communications Officer can give you more details of this than I can, but I do know it had been taken up months before, both by the Army and Navy, to improve these communications. [57] In fact, I was quite astounded that the message from the Fleet Office ashore in Pearl Harbor reached me as quickly as it did. I do not know whether any attempt had been made to inform me of the submarine attack, but if any attempt was made, I never received it.

166. Q. Do you recall the initials of the Commander Murphy who was the Staff Duty Officer?

A. V. R. Murphy, now head of the Post Graduate School at Annapolis.

167. Q. What consideration, if any, had been given by the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet or the members of his Staff to the possibility of a surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor prior to any declaration of war?

A. I believe every consideration that was given is laid down in that directive that you have, dated the 14th of October (indicating Exhibit 4). There was no one, to my knowledge, on the Commander-in-Chief's Staff, or, from later inquiries I have made, in the Navy Department itself, who believed that there was danger of a surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor. As I have stated yesterday, it is provided for in our directive but in the minds of the people out there, it was not expected.

168. Q. As I understand the directive, that sets up the measures to be taken in the event of an air attack. What precautions were taken to get advance warning of an air attack?

A. We had no air patrol to the northward; we had submarines patrolling at Wake and Midway and had had them there for some time. I would say that on the morning of the 7th of December no special precautions were taken against air attack. The air patrol to the South of Oahu was being maintained.

169. Q. And upon what consideration was this decision that such a surprise attack was not considered a possibility based; why was the possibility of a surprise attack not considered and taken into consideration in formulating the security plans of the Fleet?

A. I believe that the attitude was very well stated by the War Plans Officer in his testimony before the Roberts Board when asked that question. I don't know whether it is a matter of record, but I was informed at the time his reply was: "I didn't believe they had the guts to try it, and if they had, they wouldn't get away with it." Unfortunately, I believe that was the attitude of most of us.

170. Q. Under the Navy's usual methods, everything of that sort is primarily based upon an estimate of the situation, is it not?

A. Yes, sir.

171. Q. Those estimates usually contain the courses of action open to the enemy; is that right?

A. Yes, sir.

172. Q. Do you recall any serious consideration in any estimate of the situation which was made of that particular course of action, which naturally was open to the enemy?

A. The estimate of the situation is laid down in the Pacific Fleet Contributory War Plan issued about the 1st of July, 1941, and it did not, to the best of my knowledge, consider that the Japs would make

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an attack against Pearl Harbor. It contemplated their action against Malay and the Philippines, with raids on our outlying islands: Wake, Midway, Palmyra, Johnston. To the best of my knowledge, this estimate did not consider an air attack possibility against Pearl Harbor itself.

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173. Q. Admiral, I show you a publication which is listed as "U. S. Fleet Operating Plan, Rainbow 5". Do you recognize that?

A. I do. It was issued after receipt of the Basic War Plan, Rainbow 5, and was prepared by Captain--now Read Admiral McMorris and his Staff in the War Plans Division of the Commander-in-Chief's Staff. It was issued about July 1, 1941.

171. Q. Was it approved by Admiral Kimmel as the Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Pacific Fleet?

A. It was approved and signed by Admiral Kimmel.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document it was returned to Registered Publications Section, Chief of Naval Operations Office, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 16".

176. Q. Admiral, are you familiar with the contents of this document which has just been introduced and identified as Exhibit 16 before this examination?

A. Yes.

176. Q. In your testimony of yesterday, with reference to the Basic War Plans, you made certain statements concerning the tasks assigned the U. S. Pacific Fleet. Since that time, through the use of this plan, have you recalled to your memory more specifically the provisions of the plans provided herein?

A. Yes sir there were a number of task forces, and the Task Forces 1, 2, and 3 stand out in my mind more than the others. Task Force 1 was the battle force under Admiral Pye. He then had six battleships and cruisers and destroyers, the exact number I do not remember. He was the supporting force. And striking Task Force 2, under Admiral Halsey, consisting of one division of battleships and one carrier, cruisers, and destroyers, was to make a raid on the Marshalls, supported by Task Force 1 of heavy ships. Task Force 3 under Admiral Wilson Brown, was composed of one carrier and some eight heavy cruisers, and destroyers, and that Task Force was scheduled to raid enemy commerce. All of this was in accordance with the basic plan. The basic plan also called for us to capture--to deny to the enemy the Marshalls and Carolines and to capture a fleet base in Truk. You will find that the Pacific Fleet Plan is divided into several phases, because obviously the capture of Truk was impossible. We had only one division of transports, then under intensive training at San Diego for amphibious operations; we had none in Pearl Harbor. We had only a few hundred Marines; we had no supply ships beyond those necessary to service the Fleet, and the outlying islands. In fact, we found it rather difficult to supply the outlying islands with what we had, so that we could not have possibly taken any of the Marshall Islands. We could raid them but we could not capture them. The plan called for the movement, as soon after declaration of war as possible of the Second Marine Division from the California Coast to Hawaii. I might add also, the submarines were given the task of es-

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tablishing patrols in enemy Empire waters, and in the Marshalls and Carolines. Their plans were all made and what to do, but we were continually warned not to take any action until Japan made a move which indicated opening of hostilities. We had not based our submarines in Japanese waters, but we had established a submarine patrol from Wake and from Midway.

177. Q. Admiral, confining the problem to the first phase, notably the intended raid to the westward, was readiness for that step to be made immediately after [59] the outbreak of hostilities very much in the picture around Admiral Kimmel's Headquarters and to such an extent that it amounted to a major preoccupation?

A. It was very much in the minds of Admiral Kimmel and of Admiral Halsey. In fact, Admiral Halsey was anxious to go.

178. Q. Did that preoccupation have any decided effect on the measures for security of the Fleet while in Pearl Harbor?

A. I believe that the question of the security of the Fleet in Pearl Harbor was not seriously considered. The Fleet was ready to carry out its task at the outbreak of war. The question of an attack before negotiations were completed, in spite of the fact that the Japs had done it in previous wars, was not, in my opinion, seriously considered. There was a great deal of confusion in the minds of the entire Staff. They knew that Mr. Nomura and Mr. Kurusu were still in Washington, and perhaps we were too trustful.

179. Q. Referring to your testimony about qualities of Japanese naval leaders, did you not receive anything direct from the Navy Department and in addition to what Commander McCrea told you?

A. Not to my recollection; no, sir.

180. Q. In the minds of the various members of the Pacific Fleet Staff, do you remember much expression of opinion as to the relative efficiency of the Japanese navy prior to the outbreak of the war?

A. It was very much discussed at Staff conferences and it was brought out by the Fleet Intelligence Officer, as it had been brought to my attention years before through Commander Rochefort while on the Staff of Admiral Reeves in 1935, that we had very little knowledge as to the efficiency of the Japanese Navy but it had spent a great deal of time at sea and we believed it was very efficient. We had a high regard for the Japanese Navy on the meager information obtainable, and we were informed by our intelligence officer that it was impossible to get any information on the Japanese Fleet since our ships were never near it. And when ships of our Navy visited Japanese port, such as the ASTORIA did, about 1939, if they met units of the Japanese Fleet, those units were immediately surround by a smoke screen. All of our information on the Japanese Fleet was by radio intelligence only, meaning as to its location.

181. Q. Then you did not in the Office of the Commander-in-Chief tend to underestimate the Japanese, as we now know was the case other circles?

A. Not at all. We did not underestimate them.

182. Q. Admiral, I gather from your testimony that you, your were very much preoccupied with the day to day administrative duties of the position of Chief of Staff. Did you think at the time that you were being left insufficient time for thought on matters of great import, particularly into the future?

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A. I felt then, and still feel, that entirely too much of my time was taken up with administrative matters. I was warned to that effect by predecessor, Admiral Taffinder. While still afloat, while the Commander-in-Chief was in the PENNSYLVANIA, there was time for deep thinking because it was possible to close the door and shut people out and there were intervals at sea when we had plenty of time for thought, but when the Commander-in-Chief and his Staff moved ashore, with the desk always full of papers and many times a day spending hours in conference with the Commander-in-Chief and as many members of his Staff as he had present, I found it difficult to keep the day by day routine going. And I found it almost impossible to give deep thought to future events. I did know, however, that we had four very competent officers in War Plans who were spending all of [60] their time on that and I attempted, so far as possible, to keep the pressure off of those officers because the pressure is high in a Staff organization on shore where the Chief of Staff has one very small office and people are constantly coming in and going out.

183. Q. Who, if anyone, was to blame for that situation in which you found yourself?

A. Possibly I was to blame myself. I had given instructions to the Flag Secretary as to the type of papers which were to be shown to me and many, many papers were not brought to me at all. I attempted to reduce that paper work, but the Commander-in-Chief, whose office was next to mine, rang my bell perhaps too frequently and kept me too long in the office. He knew that because I told him so. But he was a very energetic man, he worked long hours, and when something was on his and he would always send for me and usually for several other members of the Staff. I believe now that we spent entirely too much time in those discussions.

184. Q. Do you blame anyone outside of the Fleet/

A. No, sir, I do not. The entire Navy system of paper work, as you know, is somewhat to blame, but it was not any more so in the Pacific Fleet than it was in the rest of the Navy organization.

185. Q. Do you think that the fact that you, yourself, spent most all of your time and energy on the day-to-day administrative matters left the Commander-in-Chief correspondingly free to give thought to matters of greater importance, particularly dealing with the future?

A. I tried to make it that way, and I believe he was more free. I know he was much more free than I to think of future events. The Commander-in-Chief's day did not end at the office; he considered these things far into the night in his quarters.

186. Q. Admiral, was the matter of the protection of the ships berthed in Pearl Harbor from torpedoes dropped from aircraft considered by the Commander-in-Chief and his Staff?

A. Yes, and by the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District. In the Summer of 1941, we had a communication in the form of an official letter from the Chief of Naval Operations asking whether we needed barrage balloons and torpedo nets for protecting berths. This letter was accompanied by a letter from the Bureau of Ordnance which stated definitely that torpedoes launched from aircraft could not be effective in a depth of water less than 75 feet. The question of the advisability of installing nets about the berths at Pearl Harbor was thoroughly discussed by the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Bloch,

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Admiral Pye, and members of the Commander-in-Chief's Staff. The chart showed that we had practically no spots where the water was more than forty-six feet in depth. And I remember at that conference Admiral Bloch having stated that these nets would further reduce the maneuvering room in the waters of Pearl Harbor, and that if torpedoes were not effective in such shallow water, it would seem unnecessary to use torpedo nets. As a result of that conference, an official letter was signed by the Commander-in-Chief. I would not trust my memory to the extent of making a definite statement, but I believe that the letter to the Navy Department stating that we did not want torpedo nets was originated by the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District, and that the Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Fleet put a concurring endorsement on it. At any rate, I know that we officially informed the Navy Department that we did not consider nets necessary. I believe the opinion expressed by the Bureau of [61] Ordnance was based, of course, on our own torpedo experience and we did not have the information on the Japanese torpedo.

187. Q. Admiral, I show you here several letters, a part of the Secret-Confidential Files of the Navy Department. Can you identify them?

A. I remember the letter from the Chief of Naval Operations on 15 February, 1941, very well. It is this letter I had in mind in my recent testimony. I do not recall ever having seen the second letter.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document, it was returned to the Secret-Confidential Files of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 17".

188. Q. Admiral, I show you a letter signed by Admiral Kimmel, on file in the Secret-Confidential Files in the Navy Department, dated March 12, 1941. Can you identify it?

A. Yes; it passed through my hands before it was signed by the Commander-in-Chief and this letter was written as a result of the conference to which I referred. I was under the impression that it was an endorsement on the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District's letter but I see it originated in the Office of the Commander-in-Chief. I do know, however, that Admiral Bloch was very much in the discussion before that decision was reached.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document, it was returned to the Secret-Confidential Files of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 18".

189. Q. Admiral, I show you a letter, now on file in the Secret-Confidential Files, Navy Department, dated June 13,1941, addressed by the Chief of Naval Operations to the several Commandants of Naval Districts, and marked that a copy was furnished, among others, to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. Can you identify that letter as anything you received?

A. I do not recall ever having seen that letter.

The document was introduced in evidence by the examining officer.

Note: Because of the secret nature of the document, it was returned to the Secret-Confidential Files of the Chief of Naval Operations,

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Navy Department, Washington, D. C. A description of the document introduced in evidence is appended marked "Exhibit 19."

190. Q. Admiral, do you recall whether the decision of the Commander-in-Chief, as outlined in his letter of March 12, 1941, Exhibit 18, was at any subsequent time reconsidered by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet?

A. I'm positive it was never reconsidered. I believe that in the original discussion one of the factors that were stressed was that these old battleships of ours, all overweight and drawing much more water than they were designed to draw, were very difficult to handle at slow speeds, and that the argument advanced by Admiral Bloch was that these torpedo net baffles would restrict too [62] much the maneuvering room in Pearl Harbor in the vicinity of the berths. But the main reason for stating that they were not necessary was that impression carried by this CNO letter that torpedoes could not be expected to be effective in depths of less than 75 feet and that a depth of 150 feet was preferable.

191. Q. In discussing the possibility of providing torpedo baffles, was consideration given to the fact that in the channel that approaches Merry Point, there would probably be clear water for torpedoes to run a sufficient distance to arm themselves, thus making an approach by torpedo planes from that direction a distinct hazard to battleships moored along the south shore of Ford Island?

A. Yes, consideration was given to that, but it was not a question of whether there was sufficient water for the torpedo to arm itself but it was the 75 foot depth required which made us believe that the torpedo could not be launched in that water. I would like to bring out in this record an opinion that is very strong with me, that we are entirely too secretive about such things as torpedoes and that we do not give enough information to the Fleet itself. I have in mind a movement ordered in the early part of 1941 when a number of cruisers and destroyers were ordered to Samoa by the Chief of Naval Operations and they were to be prepared for distant service. The Commander-in-Chief, himself, did not know what this service would be. It turned out to be a cruise to Australia and New Zealand, but the destroyers were ordered to equip themselves with the Mark VI exploder. This dispatch was read by the Commander-in-Chief in my cabin, and I asked him if he knew what the Mark VI exploder is. He did not. I told him that I suspected it was a magnetic head because such a magnetic head had been under experiment while I was manufacturing officer for torpedoes in Newport in 1928 and 9. I had never been able to get any information on whether this magnetic head had been a success. We sent for the Fleet Gunnery Officer, Captain Kitts, now Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, and asked him if he knew what the Mark VI exploder is and he replied that he did not, although he had been a gunnery man practically during his entire career. We returned to port and sent for Admiral Draemel, then commanding the Destroyers of Pacific Fleet. Neither Admiral Draemel nor his Staff had ever heard of the magnetic head. The exploders were in store at the Submarine Base at Pearl Harbor and the submarine people were the only ones who had any knowledge in the Fleet. Now if all of our torpedo information is kept as secret as the Mark VI exploder was kept, then I can understand why we

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didn't know at what height or depth of water a torpedo could be launched from an airplane. I bring that out in my testimony in the hope that in the future things will not be kept so secret.

192. Q. Admiral, was the use of barrage balloons, which happens to have been considered along with the baffles, abandoned for the same reason that you didn't feel that torpedoes could run?

A. Yes, that is my recollection.

193. Q. Admiral, in your testimony yesterday you made reference to the proposed relieving of certain Marine units in the outlying islands by the Army. I now show you a dispatch which has been identified as Exhibit 12 before this examination. Can you identify it in connection with your testimony?

A. Yes, that is the message I had in mind in my testimony yesterday. I don't know the exact date, but I stated at the time I believe it was received in the week preceding Pearl Harbor.

[63]

194. Q. Similarly, I show you Exhibit 13 before this examination.

A. The Army received a message similar to that (indicating previous Exhibit 12). Yes, I remember also that the Army had no guns to put on the islands. It was agreed that we would leave our guns there.

195. Q. Can you identify Exhibit 15 before this examination?

A. Yes, I remember that dispatch which was prepared as a result of the conference we had with the Army. You will note that it questions the usefulness of Army airplanes since they cannot operate more than twenty miles off shore, and it answers the question of whether Army bombs can be used in Navy planes, or Navy bombs in Army planes. That had already been remedied. And it also makes that statement, as of 26 November, that Marine fighters were being sent to Wake. This was the special trip that the ENTERPRISE made.

196. Q. Similarly, I show you Exhibit 14. Can you identify that, sir, as a dispatch under consideration by the Commander-in-Chief?

A. Yes, I have a recollection of that dispatch, and the SARATOGA was in San Diego at the time, I believe.

197. Q. Admiral, it is noted that the first two dispatches, by exhibit numbers 12 and 13, were transmitted by the Navy Department on the 26th of November, 1941, and that the Commander-in-Chief replied to these dispatches on November 28, 1941. It is also observed that the war warning dispatch was dated November 27, or the day intervening. Would you please explain to us the consideration given by the Commander-in-Chief to this problem in connection with the war warning problem, and give particular reference to the bearing of this problem, presented by this series of exhibits, on the actions and thoughts of the Commander-in-Chief as it related to his decisions with respect to the war warning?

A. I don't believe that the dispatch concerning the outlying islands was considered related to the war warning. We had the impression that Marines were needed elsewhere. Also it is my recollection that the discussion didn't end with the dispatch sent by the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet on the 28th of November, but it lasted several days as plans were being made. I have always felt that the question being given such full consideration by the combined Staffs of the Army and the Navy was diverting at a time when we should have been thinking about other things.

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198. Q. Then you think that it amounted to a decided mental preoccupation on the part of the highest Army and Navy officers in Hawaii?

A. I certainly do.

199. Q. Referring to your previous testimony concerning personnel of the Pacific Fleet, was the Fleet being hampered and administrative difficulties and work increased by repeated directives to transfer personnel elsewhere?

A. We had, for years, before us this problem of repeated transfers of personnel, and most officers complained of it, but the plan of new construction was known and, in my opinion, the efficiency of the Fleet didn't suffer from too frequent changes of personnel.

200. Q. Admiral, was the lack of mental apprehension of a carrier raid based upon preoccupation incident to what would be required of the Fleet in the way of an offensive movement at the beginning of a war?

A. No.

[64]

201. Q. Was that same lack of apprehension in any degree incident to the administrative difficulties facing the Fleet which were caused by long-time basing at Pearl Harbor?

A. In my opinion, no.

202. Q. Was it due to a lack of warning of possible surprise attack from the Navy Department; lack of warning from the Navy Department?

A. I think very possibly, yes. This and the fact that all of our warnings mentioned attacks in the Far East probably resulted in a state of mind where we did not believe that we would be subjected to an air attack at Pearl Harbor. We did expect a submarine attack. I believe you will find that the mental attitude of every one, practically every one out there, was such that they did not expect an air raid on Pearl Harbor, although plans were made to meet one, as I have said, by the stationing of ships and conditions of readiness.

203. Q. You've mentioned in previous testimony warnings of surprise hostile action somewhere having been received over a long period of time prior to 7 December. Do you think that so many of those warnings had been received that it was something of the nature of too much crying "wolf"?

A. I most certainly do, because those warnings had been received not only during Admiral Kimmel's administration but the files show they had been received at least six months previously by Admiral Richardson, usually in weekly letters from the Chief of Naval Operations in the form of personal letters, all of which were kept on file.

The examining officer did not desire to further examine this witness.

The examining officer informed the witness that he was privileged to make any further statement covering anything relating to the subject matter of the examination which he thought should be a matter of record in connection therewith, which had not been fully brought out by the previous questioning.

The witness made the following statement: The thought I have had in mind is that we spent too much time in worrying about the outlying islands. We had large forces of civilians working on Wake and Midway and the Commander-in-Chief spent a great deal of time, in fact more time than I think we should have spent, in efforts to complete the defenses of the outlying islands. He even went to the extent

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of personally auditing the records of the number of rounds of ammunition of all sorts on each island. He was much more concerned about the outlying islands than about Oahu, as the estimate shown in the Pacific War Plan will indicate. Looking back upon it, I think that we probably gave too much thought to these islands and not enough to the larger thing. I may be wrong about that but that is my opinion.

(Examination by the examining officer continued:)

204. Q. That is the way it looks to you now?

A. Yes.

205. Q. It did not so occur to you at the time?

A. It did at the time. And to emphasize that, I will state that one afternoon I went into the Commander-in-Chief's office and found him comparing these lists of ammunition with a list brought over by Admiral Bloch at the [65] Commander-in-Chief's direction The two papers disagreed. And I made the remark that the Commander-in-Chief should not be counting bullets, that he had a Staff to do that. Both Admirals laughed and agreed with me.

The witness was duly warned and withdrew.

The examining officer then, at 11:05 a. m., took a recess until 2:30 p. m., at which time the examination was reconvened.

Present: The examining officer and his counsel and assistant counsel.

Jesse Lee Ward, Jr., Yeoman Second Class, U. S. Naval Reserve took seat as the reporter and was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.

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No witnesses not otherwise connected with the examination were present.

A witness called by the examining officer entered and was informed of the subject matter of the examination as set forth in the preface, to the testimony of Rear Admiral W. W. Smith, Record Page 32.

The witness was duly sworn.

Examined by the examining officer:

1. Q. Admiral, please give us your name, rank, and present station.

A. Rear Admiral L. D. McCormick, Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics Plans.

2. Q. Where were you stationed on December 7, 1941, sir?

A. I was Assistant War Plans Officer to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet.

3. Q. Was the War Plans Office of the Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet, divided by duties?

A. Yes.

4. Q. Will you please explain just where you fitted into that division of duties?

A. Under Rear Admiral--he was then Captain--McMorris, I was responsible for the preparation of the written War Plans for the Pacific Fleet, which were required to implement the basic Navy war plans then in effect.

5. Q. And how long prior to December 7 had you been performing these duties, sir?

A. I reported for that duty on February 1st, 1941.

6. Q. In connection with your performance of your duties, were you familiar with this document, which is Exhibit 16 before this examination?

A. Yes.

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7. Q. In connection with the Exhibit before you, will you please state the commitments the U. S. Pacific Fleet provided during the first phase of the war, such as contemplated by Rainbow 5 plan?

A. In general, it was to defend the United States and its possessions, some of which were in special categories, specifically Guam, which was in the category "F", which indicated that it was more or less indefensible; it was to divert the Japanese strength away from the Malay Barrier by raids, and the capture of positions in the Marshall Islands; to protect our sea communications; raid the enemy sea communications--I believe that, more specifically, it was to interrupt the Japanese communications east of Longitude 180.

8. Q. With respect to the task forces composed of combatant ships, then this would provide basically for offensive operations, is that not correct, sir?

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A. That is correct, up to the extent of the capabilities of the Fleet at that time, which limited such operations to raids.

9. Q. Please explain briefly what parts and what percentages of the ships available, to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, would thus be engaged in offensive operations during this first phase, or first phase providing for Japanese participation in the war?

A. If you are taking into account the use of a covering force, you might say that it was the whole of the Fleet.

10. Q. Was there any question in your mind as to the adequacy of the forces then available for making that first raid to the westward?

A. I would say that I was of the opinion that with the three carriers which were attached to the Fleet, if they had been available, we could have raided an island in the fringes of the Marshalls without undue risk. At that time of December 7, there were only two carriers, there being one at the Navy Yard.

11. Q. Was it the custom, or, we will say, the routine of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, to keep this part of his plan in any way fluid, to fit the availability of his forces, or did you simply hope to carry out the plan as laid down, with whatever might be available?

A. I can't state for certain, but I believe that it was the intention of the Commander-in-Chief to carry out the plan, even with the two carriers that were available. I would like to make it clear that that is not confirmed knowledge. But, the Fleet was organized at that time, before the outbreak of the war, into three main task forces of which one was a striking force, with the main carrier strength, one was a covering force, and one was the force that we visualized would support whatever amphibious operations were conducted. These three forces were trained together, went to sea together, and were specifically ordered to train for the tasks which their names imply.

12. Q. I understand from your answer, Admiral, the, that the operating schedules were more or less built around the War Plans, insofar as the operations of the task forces were concerned.

A. That is correct, with the one exception that we had no actual amphibious forces available to us out there, or with any certainty of getting them in any very short period, with the possible exception of the Second Marine Division, which was the Fleet Marine Force.

13 Q. Admiral, were you present at the conferences of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, with his Staff, which related to war plans, future war planning?

A. At a small percentage of them.

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14. Q. Were you familiar with the general attitude of the War Plans Division, as it reflected the Commander-in-Chief's attitude with respect to his current thoughts with respect to the international situation and possible future Fleet operations in case of war?

A. I think that Captain McMorris kept his section adequately informed, but there were undoubtedly matters that he and Admiral Kimmel, discussed, of which we were not informed--the remainder of the section was not informed.

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15. Q. Did the War Plans Section make its own estimates of the situation, of possible enemy action, or war operations?

A. I can remember only about two formal estimates of the situation that were prepared along those lines. I would say that the Commander-in-Chief arrived at his opinions of what enemy action might be more through the means of these conferences that I speak of.

16. Q. During your preparation of war plans did you not, though, perhaps informally rather than formally, in estimating the situation, keep fully apprised of such information as was available with respect to the international situation?

A. I would say that I was quite generally informed of the information that Admiral Kimmel received along those lines, but the usual channel of information was from the Navy Department to Admiral Kimmel, in the first place, rather than through any channels that the staff might have to do with.

17. Q. Did you, in your war planning, cover all possible courses of action, as you saw them, of the enemy, Japan, in the event of war

A. Yes.

18. Q. In arriving at such decisions as to possible courses of action, would you please outline what you believed to be the courses that were open to the enemy?

A. The courses open to the enemy, as we saw them, were in the nature of raids on our positions and communications by means of air and submarine attacks, and the seizure of our possessions which lay easily within their reach. I will change that to the seizure of all possessions in the Western Pacific. So far as any employment of their heavy forces, you might say that it was considered most improbable that they would venture out of the Western Pacific.

19. Q. You no doubt listed a possible attack by air on Pearl Harbor as a course of action, though; sir?

A. Yes.

20. Q. In the preparation of plans, Admiral, which situation was of major concern to the staff planners--the offensive movements of the Fleet or the security measures needed to protect the islands to the westward of Hawaii?

A. I think probably the best answer that I could make to that question is to state where I think the predominant attention was focused--preparation for offensive movement, the countering of Japanese action against Wake and Midway, and protection of the Fleet against submarine attack. In regard to attack by air at Pearl Harbor, it was of course given full consideration, and a great deal of time and attention had been, or rather, was placed on defensive measures against such attack. Immediately after Admiral Kimmel took command, he activated our planning with the Army, on Oahu, with the idea of making up complete plans for repelling an air attack. As

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regards the probability of such attack, particularly before war was well under way, there is no doubt that a very low degree of probability was assigned to it. If you like, I can go into more detail in connection with the actual preparations that were made under Admiral Kimmel's direction.

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21. Q. NO, we don't need that. That opinion just expressed--was that based upon careful consideration of the availability of the forces that the Japanese had, and in such an investigation did Admiral Kimmel call in the advice of any of the Navy aviation personnel?

A. I would say that the capabilities of the Japanese from this point of view, were constantly in mind, but undoubtedly were greatly underestimated. I don't think that any of us, including Admiral Kimmel's aviator advisors, had any real conception of how far the Japanese had come in their training and preparations for such an attack as they made. With respect to Admiral Kimmel's aviation advisors, I would say that they were able, as near as I know, and had full opportunity to present their views.

22. Q. But you do not recall any disagreement in that general point of view on the part of any of our aviation personnel?

A. I do not.

23. Q. Admiral, I show you a letter--are you familiar with that-- which is Exhibit 4 before this investigation?

A. Yes I am.

24. Q. Was that prepared by the War Plans Section of the Staff,

A. It was prepared chiefly by the Operations Section of the Staff, although I should say that the War Plans Section had sufficient opportunity to advise on it.

25. Q. That letter, of course, was intended to provide for the security of the Fleet while in bases, particularly Pearl Harbor. In your preparation of war plans did the War Plans Section consider that the protection afforded through the means set out, to be adequate for the security of the Fleet at Pearl Harbor prior to the declaration of war?

A. I should say that we had the opinion that this was the best deployment and arrangement that we could make with the forces that we had. When it came to being ready to have war brought to Pearl Harbor, the next day, you might say, no one was under any illusions as to the inadequacy of many parts of the means at hand. In general, I might make the remark that it didn't seem possible to be ready in all respects for war until mobilization had been accomplished, and the deployment of extra forces that everyone knew would be necessary, had been accomplished.

26. Q. Did the offensive mission of the combatant forces during this first phase of war enter into your conclusions with respect to the adequacy of the security measures provided in this letter?

A. I don't believe I understand that question.

27. Q. In connection with the security of Pearl Harbor, was consideration given to using Fleet units to augment the Army and local defense forces in event of war, or surprise attack?

A. Yes, decidedly. The Fleet would constitute the backbone of any defense of its own security, and there were little available in the way

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of naval force in the Fourteenth Naval District which would contribute in any degree. The necessity for training for offensive missions, or any other part of war, naturally makes it impossible to keep the forces wholly employed in routine security measures.

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28. Q. Then, the foremost thought in the minds of the Commander-in-Chief's war planning advisors was the offensive movements to be contemplated, rather than the security angle?

A. I don't think that is true, to the state of imbalance, although it was the intention to make the maximum offensive use of the Fleet which its comparatively small size permitted.

29. Q. Admiral, what sources of enemy intelligence were available to the War Plans Section of the Commander-in-Chief's Staff?

A. We had, of course, the routine publications of the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the studies on Japan, and the Japanese. As regards any operational or combat intelligence, if you might call it that in time of peace, I would say that there was no information that came to us except I think that we were cognizant of all warnings that came to the Commander-in-Chief during the pre-war period.

30. Q. Did the Intelligence Section of the Staff provide you with periodic reports as to the information available to them?

A. I may be drawing a blank, but I don't believe I ever saw one. If there was such a one, undoubtedly Admiral Kimmel used it, and probably told Admiral McMorris. I will answer that question by saying that I had no knowledge, I personally had no knowledge of any Japanese movements until we saw dispatches, I think about two dispatches, in the days just before the war, in which the Asiatic Fleet had seen large movements on the way south, off Indo-China.

31. Q. Do you recall the source of that information, sir?

A. I believe that came in the form of a dispatch from the Navy Department, but I am not quite sure.

32. Q. But you were not furnished with daily or periodic reports by the Staff Intelligence, or Fleet Intelligence?

A. For the War Plan Section, as a whole, I would say not. The answer is "No."

33. Q. In formulating such estimates of the situation as you did work through, were the personal characteristics of the Japanese naval leaders taken into consideration?

A. No specific characteristics were ever, in any estimate that I had any part in the preparation of.

34. Q. Did War Plans section receive any intelligence derived from local sources?

A. I remember no instances of it, except a case or two of dealing with counter-espionage.

35. Q. Did you ever hear anything concerning a Navy effort to have certain Japanese agents arrested, or otherwise serrated, somewhat prior to 7 December, 1941?

A. I have no recollection of it.

36. Q. You were cognizant of what is known, or what has come to be known as the "War Warning Despatch" from the Navy Department, 27 November?

A. I remember one such despatch which had.

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37. Q. You know what I am talking about?

A. I had the impression this is it.

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38. Q. When did you first see that dispatch?

A. Probably the day that it came in.

39. Q. Do you recall any particular significance which you then attached to those words "War Warning"?

A. To me, the words were impressive as a general method of alerting for war, but I might add that I had seen a good many messages during the previous months which were only slightly less impressive.

40. Q. At that time, did any thought come to you that perhaps the force in Pearl Harbor should be doing anything different from what they were actually doing, and continued to do until 7 December?

A. I think we all, on Admiral Kimmel's Staff, had knowledge of the warning, reviewed the measures that might be taken, and I am not quite sure as to just the exact measures that were taken, but I think it was as a result of this message that some further action was taken in regard to Wake, and our ships in Pearl Harbor were always in a designated condition of readiness and, although at this time it was the lowest condition of readiness, as I remember it, all higher conditions of readiness would have considerable effect on the condition of the personnel and their ability to continue the program of training for war.

41. Q. That dispatch contained a directive concerning deployment. Do you recall at the time what that directive meant to you?

A. It meant that the forces should be placed in the best position to initiate tasks in the War Plan, if war eventuated immediately. It did puzzle us that the term "defensive deployment" was used. My recollection is that further strengthening of the islands to the westward and defensive submarine patrols were the only changes that Admiral Kimmel and his Staff could derive from this directive.

42. Q. Insofar as the security of the Fleet was concerned, the Japanese submarines were the major considerations, is that right?

A. That is undoubtedly true.

43. Q. Is it true that concern for the outlying islands west and south was a major worry, as regards a surprise attack?

A. Aside from submarine action, that is my recollection.

44. Q. so, security of the Fleet in Pearl Harbor was really quite a minor consideration in the thoughts of everyone, is that correct?

A. Except for the submarine menace already mentioned, which might include a submarine entering the harbor, I think that is true. I can say that I know of no one present at Pearl Harbor who was not completely surprised by the Japanese air attack.

45. Q. As one of the associate members of the Staff, rather than simply as a War Plans officer, do you recall having had any particular doubts as to the ability of the Army Air Forces on Oahu to meet their commitments as regards the security of the Fleet?

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A. In line with what I said about all forces being insufficient for a state of actual war at Pearl Harbor, the Army aircraft were insufficient in number, and due to the limitation of Army fighters over water, were of limited usefulness for that purpose.

46. Q. What was the particular difficulty about Army fighters flying over water?

A. My understanding is that it was the lack of navigational equipment and some weakness in radio--probably no radio.

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47. Q. Was comparative efficiency of personnel in your mental picture at the time?

A. No, sir.

48. Q. Admiral, did you take part in the joint planning with the Army located on Oahu?

A. I took part in some of the conferences which were held in connection with the joint defensive and security matters, which I have already mentioned were initiated by Admiral Kimmel.

49. Q. Did you take part in any conferences during which the warning message, Exhibit 8, was discussed?

A. I am quite sure that I was present at one conference that Admiral Kimmel held in connection with this message.

50. Q. At that conference, was the meaning of this message discussed with the Army officers?

A. I haven't an exact recollection of this particular instance, but it was my observation General Short usually attended Admiral Kimmel's conference when warning messages were discussed.

51. Q. Were the relations of the Army and Navy with respect to contemplated action, joint action, cordial, at these conferences?

A. According to my observation, yes.

52. Q. Then Admiral, you participated, as a Planning Officer, in the work which led up to 2CL-41 (revised), which is Exhibit 4 in these proceedings?

A. I did, insofar as there was joint planning with the Army.

53. Q. Admiral, we have no further questions to ask you. We will be very glad if you will give us any other testimony pertinent to the facts which you consider would be helpful.

A. I am very glad to testify that, in my opinion, no one could have been more whole-heartedly and self-sacrificingly devoted to getting the Fleet ready for war than was Admiral Kimmel. There is no doubt about the fact that we, at Pearl Harbor, did, for various reasons, have what you might call a blind spot in connection with any real probability of the carrier raid on Pearl Harbor. I think that with the means at hand, and with the known difficulty of detecting such an approach, it has been proved many times by our carrier task forces in this war, that we would have suffered almost as greatly, if this blind spot that I mentioned had not existed.

The examining officer did not desire to further examine this witness.

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The examining officer informed the witness that he was privileged to make any further statement covering anything relating to the subject matter of the examination which he thought should be a matter of record in connection therewith, which had not been fully brought out by the previous questioning.

The witness was duly warned and withdrew.

The examining officer then, at 3:30 p. m., adjourned until 2:45 p. m. tomorrow.