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                                          HEADQUARTERS, COMMANDER AIRCRAFT
                                                    SOUTHERN PACIFIC FORCE.

The examination met at 9 a. m.


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 twenty-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.

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 Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, Record Page 250.

The witness was duly sworn.

Examined by the examining officer:

1. Q. Will you please state your name, rank, and present station.

A. Rear Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, U. S. Navy, Commander Third Amphibious Force, South Pacific Force.

2. Q. Admiral, will you please state the duties you performed during the calendar year 1941.

A. From January 1 to January 30, I was Chief of Staff to Vice Admiral Andrews, then Commander of the Hawaiian Detachment and of the Scouting Force. From January 30 to September 26, I was in command of the U. S. S. MISSISSIPpI. From October 15, I think, until the conclusion of the year, I was director of Naval Intelligence.

3. Q. What were your relations with the Chief of Naval Operations during the time that you were Director of Naval Intelligence?

A. I was head of the Division of Naval Intelligence which was under the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

4. Q. Admiral, this examination is endeavoring to get all testimony available with respect to matters pertinent to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Testimony covering radio and other combat intelligence has been obtained, but very little has been recorded concerning matters coming under your cognizance as Director of Naval Intelligence. It is expected that the local situation in Hawaii will be covered by the then District Intelligence Officer and possibly others.

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Admiral Kingman is also expected to testify. Will you please state any matters of which you have knowledge and which you believe should be recorded and preserved as pertinent to the attack.

A. At the risk of mentioning basic and earlier matters which might not be pertinent, I should like to sketch out the organization of Naval Intelligence, [280] its relationships within the Department, its activities both in the foreign field and in the domestic field as applicable to the Japanese phase, and the actual events, which, to my recollection, occurred. When I assumed duties as Director of Naval Intelligence, I found that the organization of that office, under the Chief of Naval Operations, was divided into three main branches with certain subsidiary branches: The Foreign Branch, the Domestic Branch, and the Administrative Branch. The Foreign Branch was headed by Captain W. A. Heard. Within that Branch was the Far East Section headed by Captain A. H. McCollum, assisted by Commander E. Watts and Colonel R. A. Boone of the Marine Corps (all present ranks). Boone now is Intelligence Officer for ComSoPac. Watts is Executive Officer of the APPLACHIAN. McCollum and Watts were Japanese experts by virtue of duty there and subsequent assignment; and Boone was a specialist on China. In the domestic Intelligence, Captain Kingman-then Captain Waller, date of relief about December 15, I believe, so that Kingman was in charge up to December 7. That contained one division which covered foreign suspects and members of suspected societies, whether foreign or native. Commander Hartwell C. Davis, now Intelligence Officer of the Thirteenth Naval District, was a Japanese expert and was in charge of the Japanese Section. Reverting now to the Foreign Intelligence activities; at the time of my taking over or shortly thereafter, the Japanese-American conversations which had been held intermittently since the preceding Spring, were reopened. A book of radio intelligence was shown to the State Department, the White House, Chief of Naval Operations, Director of Naval Intelligence, Director of War Plans, and the Secretary of Navy, daily or skipping a day if nothing pertinent was at hand. Other sources applicable to Japanese intelligence were the Naval Attache information, reports of the naval observers, a consul form of Naval Attache radio direction finder reports, and contacts which the Domestic Branch thought might be of interest to the Foreign Branch in order to complete the picture of Japanese activities. Such information as we obtained, beyond that radio intelligence distribution I have just mentioned, of the nature of basic or static information, was compiled by Naval Intelligence and issued to a wide circulation, including Commanders-in-Chief of Fleets, and in general Flag Officers, as well as to the offices in the Department interested. This information was contained in the monograph on Japan, which was revised from time to time, in papers describing the organization of the Japanese Fleet and Air Force as discovered by observers, notes which were all too inadequate, however, in view of the strict secrecy maintained by the Japanese general O. N. I. reports from Naval Attaches with respect to fortifications, trade connections, and so on, and the characteristics of principal naval officers, as information of their appointment was received and insofar as we had data on them. This basic information was circulated by means of a mechanism set up and functioning for some years. There was

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not, however, any mechanism established nor effective for the dissemination of information of the type of combat intelligence, which is to say, the immediate movement of enemy ships, fleets, and forces. I had been concerned for some time, during my tours of sea duty and my regular line contact with intelligence requirements, although I had never in any sense been under the Office of Naval Intelligence, with the lack of organization, both in the Fleet and in the Navy Department, for combat intelligence. This would be, I thought, particularly important in time of war and it was one of my concerns when I became Director of Intelligence, to endeavor to improve that or the framework of it, so as to be better prepared in the Fleet and ashore for the collection and dissemination and analysis of combat intelligence. Such combat intelligence as we received, by means of flash reports and direction finder and otherwise, was compiled and analyzed, but it was not a function of the organization of Naval [281] Intelligence to disseminate this information to the Fleet, but rather to report it to the departmental agencies for such analyses as they cared to make, and for dissemination by them. In pursuance of this, for some months prior to December 7, and, in fact, I think, prior to my arrival, the Japanese Section had prepared, daily, an analysis of the situation of Japanese-American relations and of the movement of Japanese forces insofar as we were aware of them. These daily situation reports were held very secret and their circulation was limited to Chief of Naval Operations and Director of War Plans, the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, the Director of Naval Intelligence, and the head of the Foreign Branch. They were compiled by Commander Watts and checked and issued by Captain McCollum.

NOTE: The examining officer has identified the memoranda mentioned by the witness as being ones now on file in the Far Eastern Section, Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department. The series of memoranda, titled "Japanese Fleet Locations", are classified "Secret" and the file presently available indicates that said memoranda were issued approximately once a week, rather than daily. The series of memoranda titled "United States-Japanese Negotiations" are classified "Secret", are addressed to the Chief of Naval Operations, and were issued almost every date. The last of this series bears date of 24 October 1941. The examining officer is advised by officers then on duty in the Far Eastern Section that the written memoranda on this subject were discontinued on 24 October 1941, and that between that date and 7 December 1941, this subject was covered by an oral report each morning by Captain McCollum, the Chief of the Section, to Rear Admiral Wilkinson, the Director of Naval Intelligence, who, in turn, reported the information orally to the Chief of Naval Operations.

A. (Continued) I had found that there was a policy in the Department extending, I understood, from War College practices, that Intelligence was responsible only for the collection of information and the supply of data to the operational agencies and was not required to develop, as I believe is the Army practice, the estimate of the situation from the enemy point of view. I felt that the Naval Intelligence, with its experienced personnel in the various fields, could clearly contribute something in an analysis of the enemy or of prospective

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enemy intentions; and I consulted Admiral Ingersoll, the Assistant Chief of Operations, who confirmed the Navy practice that Intelligence would supply the data but that the Operational side, and particularly war plans, should make the analysis of enemy intentions. I said, however, that with his permission I would have such an analysis prepared from day to day and periodically summed up, say weekly, and submit it along with our daily situation for such value as might be ascribed to it or derived from it by the Operational agencies. With respect to the relationship of the Director of Naval Intelligence to the Chief of Naval Operations, contact was usually through the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, but there was every access to the Chief of Operations himself, and, on occasions, when news of importance appeared, particularly toward the end of the period prior to December 7, Captain McCollum would go direct with me, if I were at hand, or alone if not, to Admiral Stark and tell him what news he had and what conclusions he had reached. There was no scheduled conference with the Chief of Naval Operations in which I, as Director of Naval Intelligence, sat, but I had every access to him. I recall at least two occasions, presumably at the end of November and early December when the information that I brought down as described, along with Captain McCollum, interested the Chief of Operations to the extent of calling in some of his principal subordinates, [282] such as Rear Admiral Turner, Admiral Ingersoll, and perhaps the Director of Communications, to hear the news, and, in brief, to discuss its implications, but I do not recall that at those or any other meetings which I attended, there was discussion of measures to be taken or information to be sent out. On the latter point, however, I may mention, at the risk of momentarily going too far ahead chronologically, that early on the morning of December 7, at such a meeting as I have described, Admiral Stark decided at once as to information which should be sent to Pearl Harbor and departed to consult with General Marshall. Returning to the narrative of events as seen from the Office of Naval Intelligence viewpoint, we had of course followed the development of the very critical stage of the negotiations as evidenced by our information from the State Department and otherwise of diplomatic notes which had been exchanged. We noted a stalemate apparently between the Japanese and American viewpoints; Kurusu's arrival in mid-November, I believe; the United States' statement of policy about November 25; and we learned later, although I do not know that we were specifically informed, as to the war warning which was sent out to the Fleet in late November. With regard to the information we had of the development of the crisis, aside from these dispatches, we had noted the Japanese agreement with Indo-China for the introduction of a minimum of troops; we had noted the apparent violation of that agreement by the introduction of many more troops, and their apparent movement toward the China border, and had concluded that Japan was about to attack China from the South. Later, we had news of the sighting of a transport convoy just off the Central Chinese Coast, the evidence of movements into lower Indo-China, the lack of evidence of enemy movement in the vicinity of the Philippines, reports of the concentration of transport troops in Camrank [sic, LWJ] Bay, indications of the radio silence of some, if not all, of the main Fleet, and the consequent doubt as to their location. We had

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come to the conclusion that the occupation of southwestern coast of Indo-China, Kampot, and possibly Bangkok, or lower Siam on the Malay Peninsula, was the immediate objective of the Japanese. I had understood, from a source which I do not recall, that there was a tentative agreement that the American and British would consider any movement beyond certain geographical limits in Southeast Asia as a casus belli for England and as a matter of grave concern for the United States. These limits, as I recall, were 100 degrees longitude and 10 degrees North latitude. At that time, in our fortnightly summary of international news, issue of December 1, which was intended rather as current information than as specific war warnings, since that was the function of the operational side of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, we had put in a note to the following effect: "Deployment of naval forces to the southward has indicated clearly that extensive preparations are under way for hostilities. At the same time troop transports and freighters are pouring continually down from Japan and Northern China coast ports headed South, apparently for French Indo-China and Formosan ports. Present movements to the South appear to be carried out by small individual units, but the organization of an extensive task force, now definitely indicated, will probably take sharper form in the next few days. To date, this task force, under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, Second Fleet, appears to be subdivided into two major task groups, one gradually concentrating off the Southeast Asiatic coast, the other in the Mandates. Each constitutes a strong striking force of heavy and light cruisers, units of the combined air force, destroyer and submarine squadrons. Although one division of battleships also may be assigned, the major capital ship strength remains in home waters, as well as the greatest portion of the carriers. The equipment being carried South is a vast assortment, including landing boats in considerable number. Activity in the Mandates under naval control consists not only of large reenforcements of personnel, aircraft, munitions, but also of construction material with [283] yard workmen, engineers, etc." This bulletin was sent, in the same manner as the basic reports I have mentioned, to a fairly wide distribution, including all Flag Officers Afloat. It was sent out by air mail December 1. I do not know the actual date of its receipt in distant portions of the Fleet, and I do not recall that I checked. It was intended, as I stated, as a compendium of current intelligence information. Either this specific text, or the information contained in it, was discussed with Admiral Stark and Admiral Turner, either individually or both together, I forget. I believe, however, together, in Admiral Stark's office. Admiral Turner was of the opinion, although there were no specific evidences, that the Japanese would launch an attack on the Philippines coincident with or shortly thereafter their indicated activities to the southward. I did not draw a direct conclusion to that effect but believed it possible. Admiral Turner's opinion was obviously correct. This item was the product of Captain McCollum and the Japanese Section and was included in the entire bulletin, which covered other items of current naval interest. I believe that a full set of the daily situation reports as rendered to the offices I mentioned, plus of course a file of the bi-weekly

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bulletins, will be available in the Office of Naval Intelligence, and if not in the general files the bulletins can be located in the Japanese Section. In the latter days, we received several reports of evidences of Japanese burning codes in Hawaii, notably, and also, as I recall, in Southeast Asia. We had some indication that instructions had been sent out to Japanese official agencies in Allied capitols and ports to destroy their codes. We presumed that this related to diplomatic codes and indicated the imminent severance of diplomatic relations, with the possible reaction of the seizure of the physical properties of the Japanese posts in the Allied countries. Mindful that there might be further implications of possible offensive action coincident with or following the breakage of diplomatic relations, we prepared a dispatch to the Commander-in-Chief of the Asiatic and Pacific Fleets, and the Commandants of the Naval Districts at Hawaii and the Philippines, stating that such instructions had been given Japanese agencies. This dispatch was referred to and released by Admiral Ingersoll on December 3. This actual intention was followed by physical evidences, such as I have mentioned, of unusual smoke from one or more Japanese agencies, particularly at that in Honolulu.

5. Q. Admiral, I show you a dispatch, which is Exhibit 11 before this examination. Can you identify this dispatch?

A. I remember this dispatch as the one I just mentioned.

6. Q. Will you please proceed, sir.

A. Returning now to the question of domestic intelligence, our office in the section devoted to foreign nationalities-I think we called it the "Counter-Espionage Section"-attempted to develop charts indicating the ramifications of all seditious organizations and societies whether foreign-born, of foreign extraction, or even purely American. Perhaps the organization of the Domestic Branch might be mentioned here. In each Naval District, there was a District Intelligence Officer, who was defined as an Aide on the Staff of the Commandant of the District. His administrative control was vested in the Office of Naval Intelligence and his civilian employees were paid through that office, but his command relationships were direct to the Commandant of the District, and, in fact, some District Commandants objected to anything in the nature of instructions emanating from the Office of Naval Intelligence to these District Intelligence Offices. However, these objections did not seriously impair our functions of using these District Intelligence Offices and their organizations of assisting officers and so-called [285] "agents"-really a higher type of detective-in collecting and reporting a vast amount of information on these societies, their activities, the principal and subordinate members, and on the general foreign population as a whole. This, of course, paralleled the Army and F. B. I. organizations, each of which had District offices reporting in to the Central Office. By informal agreement, the major load of Japanese supervision was accorded to the Navy because of our long interest in that field; the then belligerent nationalities to the Army; and subversive American organizations, such as the Communist Party was then thought to be, in the province of F. B. I. There was, however, a constant interchange and close relationship between all three organizations and the data obtained by any was made available to all. In addition, there was a weekly meeting, inspired by Presidential instructions, between Mr. Hoover, General Miles, then

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head of M. I. D., and myself, at which we discussed relationships between the several investigatory services and any conflicts of jurisdictional practice that might arise, as well as measures of cooperation both in head offices and in local offices. I mention this conference because I shall allude to it later. The collection of all this data was intended to facilitate laying hands on and sequestering the suspicious characters at such time as the President might declare an emergency or might authorize that action. We understood, from inquiries of Mr. Hoover at these conferences, that the Attorney General, whether on instructions from the President, or not, would not permit any arrests on suspicion, even of aliens, unless authorized by the President, since it was understood to be against the law. In consequence, we ticketed our suspects in three classes, designated by colored cards, which facilitated ready reference in case of need. One type were those actually dangerous; one potentially dangerous; and a third were those suspected but not definitely belonging to either the first two classes. We endeavored to keep a running record of the location of these individuals so that progressively, from the most dangerous class on, we might, if and when authorized, take them into custody. This actual taking into custody was to be performed, and was subsequently performed rapidly and efficiently after December 7, by the F. B. I. and Federal civil authorities, with the assistance as required of the Naval and Military Intelligence Officers, but the civil officials would make the actual arrests and would retain custody of those taken until further arrangements might be made. Among the District Intelligence Officers there were two whose field was particularly concerned with the Japanese: Commander Ringle, who is now Chief of Staff Officer to Rear Admiral Ainsworth over in Purvis Bay, Assistant District Intelligence Officer at San Pedro, for the West Coast and for Hawaii, Captain Mayfield. The principal Japanese population of the United States was located on the West Coast and Hawaii. A large number of cards of the three classes were at hand as to suspects in these territories. My recollection of the West Coast is entirely indefinite. Of Hawaii; I roughly recall from 300 to 500 in the dangerous class; some 500 in the potentially dangerous; and 2000 in the general suspect, although Captain Mayfield can check this. Among the dangerous class were the quasi-consuls, who were not fully accredited as such, to my recollection, but had some semi-diplomatic status as assistants to the Consul in Honolulu. Their status was some what different from the normal civilian, whether alien or American, in that they were actually agents of foreign governments and hence required, under a recent law, to register, under penalty of criminal prosecution. The District Intelligence Officer, in connection with the local F. B. I. and civil authorities, was greatly concerned with the activities of these quasi-Consuls and recommended to the Commandant that they be prosecuted for failure to comply with the law cited. [285] In November, the Commandant, taking up this recommendation from the District Intelligence Officer, which was made to him rather than to the Office of Intelligence, as it was a matter of command relationship, recommended to the Department, that these men be immediately prosecuted, but that he understood that despite a similar recommendation of the District Attorney, the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department had urged the War Department

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that their prosecution be withheld in order not to disturb cordial relations between the Japanese and Americans. Admiral Bloch, the Commandant, said that he understood that the Department of Justice had directed the District Attorney not to prosecute the cases presumably because of the War Department. We were not too happy about this situation and pursued it by further inquiry and finally drafted a letter, which was dispatched by Admiral Ingersoll to Admiral Bloch on December 6, stating that the Secretary of War had recommended that these agents should be warned to register and should be given a limited time to do so on penalty of prosecution on failure. The War Department suggested approximately one month as such a time, on the recommendation of the Commanding General of Hawaiian Department "because of the latter's campaign to enlist the loyalty of persons of Japanese parentage". This letter notes that "further investigation is being made to determine what action has been taken by the Department of Justice on this recommendation of the War Department". Obviously the next day the situation became such as to permit the immediate arrest of all these agents, as well as other suspects. This letter was drafted in the Domestic Branch of the Office of Naval Intelligence by Commander Hartwell Davis, to whom I have referred, and his information was obtained through his contacts with the F. B. I. who are under the Department of Justice, who could and doubtless did, disclose the precise status of the matter at that time. During this critical period, we understood, whether by formal "instructions or otherwise, that the State Department and the President were desirous of maintaining cordial relations with the Japanese insofar as practicable and not to give rise to any incident which might impair the success of the current negotiations. Aside from actual arrests of suspects, there were, however, some counter-espionage measures which could be and were taken by the intelligence forces under the District Intelligence Offices, such as limitation of the activities of fishing boats, inspection of radios, a constant observation of dangerous suspects, and of society meetings, with a view to counteract any activities, whether sabotage or otherwise, that might be indicated. There was some fear, how well based I do not recall, that public and particularly naval installations on the West Coast and in Hawaii might be damaged by concerted sabotage at a prearranged signal or time, and particular attention was paid at meetings and by information obtained by agents in conversation and otherwise to detect and counter any such moves. I do not recall that any large scale sabotage organization or plan was ever developed. There were, however, very serious limitations upon our activities. We were not allowed to censor the mail nor were we allowed to obtain copies of dispatches sent by Japanese diplomatic agents. The District Intelligence Officer of Hawaii had sought, both from the Commandant and from United States authority, to obtain copies of such dispatches from the local cable companies, but had been advised by the District Attorney, on instructions, I understand, from Washington, that the law did not permit interference even by Federal authorities with the confidential nature of messages entrusted to common communication carriers. There had been for some time a censorship agreement within the Army and Navy Departments wherein, on emergency when authorized by the President or in war, the censorship of communications outside the limits of the United States would be

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divided, in that the Army would censor all mail and the Navy would censor land lines, radio, and cable. Internal land wire was to be the [286] province of the Army and internal mails were not, as I recall, to be censored until later developments might require it. A skeleton organization was erected in both Departments, that in the Navy Department being under Naval Intelligence, with a view to their being able to function at the drop of a hat, and to continue under military control until such time as a Director of Censorship was appointed by the President. This preliminary organization was considerably hampered by difficulties in obtaining funds for offices and telephones and civilian assistants, and by the difficulty of securing sufficient Navy personnel, whether reserve officers or enlisted, in order to build up a nucleus. At any rate, there was no authority for its functioning before December 7, and perhaps the organization is not pertinent. Despite the limitations on obtaining copies of cable messages, the District Intelligence Offices in Hawaii had arranged to tap the long-distance telephone and kept a record of the radio telephone conversations with Japan. As I recall, however, it was only in the last few days before December 7 that this was done. In general, the conversations appeared innocuous and were from civilian sources to supposedly civilian recipients in Japan. There was one very suspicious telephone conversation, however, on the afternoon of December 6, from a doctor in Hawaii to his nephew in Japan, or vice versa, concerning vegetation in Hawaii, mentioning different sorts of flowers and trees, the weather, and mentioning numbers of certain plants, as I recall. This conversation, after translation, was placed on the wire in Hawaii that night but was not received in Naval Intelligence until later on December 7, after the actual attack had occurred. This conversation and the probable contents of the cable dispatches which we had not been allowed to intercept constituted, as I recall, the only important information of any Japanese intelligence activities in Hawaii. Undoubtedly, much was contained in the mails, to which we had no access. There were rumors of unexplained flashing lights and illicit radio stations, but prior to December 7, investigation of most of these reports had disproved them, although of course some may have been correct. With regard to the internal organization of the Intelligence organization as the crisis developed, the normal peacetime routine was the maintenance of a twenty-four hour watch in the Domestic Branch and one in the Foreign Branch, in order that inquiries might be looked up and taken care of and, more particularly, any emergencies arising could be handled immediately, either by contact with other agencies or by notifying me or the Assistant Director, and likewise notifying the watch officer of the Chief of Naval Operations and operational agencies. Some two weeks or ten days before December 7, however, I posted a special twenty-four hour watch in the Japanese Section alone, as well as the one covering the whole Foreign Branch, and, shortly before December 7, set up a watch of the heads of the three Branches and the Assistant Director to be in the office throughout the twenty-four hours, although it was a "sleeping watch." In case of any information received in the Navy Department from Naval Attaches or observers, or elsewhere, it was normally routed by the Communication Division to both the Naval Operations watch officer and to our watch officer, but the latter always

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checked with the Operations watch officer to make sure that he had received the same information that was then available to O. N. I. On more important matters, when I was called, I indicated what action appeared desirable at the moment and also inquired whether the message had been reported to Admiral Ingersoll or Admiral Stark, directing our watch officers not only to make sure that CNO watch officer had it but that it had actually been transmitted by the latter. On occasion, but rarely, and I do not recall specific incidents, I called up Admiral Ingersoll myself and, once or twice I believe, Admiral Stark, but in general the liaison in the lower levels appeared adequate.


7. Q. Admiral, would you please develop your statement further to cover information available to the Office of Naval Intelligence with respect to the efficiency and capabilities of the Japanese Naval Air Force, covering also information which was furnished to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, and other Commanders in this respect.

A. My recollection is very indefinite. I know that we were aware of the number of Japanese carriers and of the general plane-carrying capacity and characteristics of these ships, and of the general organization of the Japanese air force. I do not recall any specific issue to the Navy nor the recipients thereof on this subject, but I presume that in accordance with the mechanism I have outlined, such information as we obtained was included in the original monograph and subsequently supplied from time to time in the form of the briefs of Naval Attaches' reports and the individual papers which were distributed to the principal commands, including the Commanders-in-Chief of the Fleets. These reports were fragmentary, and perhaps might not have received the attention of a well digested summary brought up to date, which, from time to time, were issued on various subjects. But of the last such summary of Japanese air in general or naval air in particular, I have no recollection. It no doubt can be located in the Japanese Section of the Foreign Branch and in the General Files of O. N. I.

8. Q. Admiral, did your information include the status of training and the preparedness for war of the Japanese naval air force?

A. Very roughly, because of the secrecy of the Japanese training operations and general preparedness.

9. Q. Had any evaluation of this material been made so as to bring out the capabilities of the Japanese naval air force to conduct such an attack as they did conduct on the 7th of December, 1941?

A. I don't know that any specific evaluation of their capabilities had been done although it was well within the concept of any naval officer that carriers and carrier aircraft, if permitted to come within aircraft range, could conduct such an attack. We had, somewhat unwisely, in our general thoughts as naval officers and not as my job as Director of Naval Intelligence, conceived that the aircraft searches made out of Pearl Harbor would be adequate to detect any carrier force before they could achieve a raiding position. Very probably the mere detection of this carrier force would not result in an attack upon it until further decisions were made in Washington, but precautionary measures in the Hawaiian Islands could be taken. Answering your question specifically, I do not know that any definite analysis of the number of planes which might attack Pearl Harbor

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or the number of carriers which might participate in such a raid was made.

10. Q. Admiral, do you recall if you, personally, were greatly surprised over the form and power of the surprise attack which did occur on 7 December, when you first heard of it?

A. My recollection is that I was astounded that an attack had gotten in undetected, whether by picking up the ships or by intercepting the planes, by search operations from Pearl Harbor, and I was amazed at the results of the attack, but I do not recall that I was surprised that an attack in such force could be made by a Navy of the type that we know the Japs to have. The subsequent information as to the nicety of planning and execution of the air attack surprised me, although I appreciated that with the open avenues for communication I've mentioned, espionage as to our Fleet movements were simple, but I had not appreciated the thoroughness of the Japanese naval planning evidenced.


11. Q. But do I understand you correctly as not being surprised over the fact that the Japanese did venture a carrier raid?

A. No, sir. I was surprised in the fact of the raid itself but not in the force of the raid as it developed. I was surprised that the Japanese dared to come within presumably certain interception range of our Fleet and over Hawaii-based airplanes, because I fancied that they would expect to be picked up and challenged either before or after the attack, and would be destroyed or suffer severe losses.

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.

The examining officer introduced W. A. Steveley, Chief Yeoman (Acting Appointment), U. S. Navy, as reporter, who was duly sworn.

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. What is your name, rank, and present station?

A. Aubrey W. Fitch, Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy, serving as Commander Aircraft, South Pacific Force.

2. Q. Were you Vice Admiral Bellinger's predecessor in command of Patrol Wing Two?

A. Yes, sir.

3. Q. Between about what dates were you based in Pearl Harbor in that capacity?

A. In early June, 1940, I relieved Rear Admiral Arthur L. Bristol, in command of Patrol Wing Two, then based at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. I remained in command of Patrol Wing Two until relieved by Rear Admiral P. N. L. Bellinger in late October, 1940.

4. Q. During that period, did it occur to you that the patrol planes of your command might be called upon to assist, through air reconnaissance, the forces regularly assigned for the defense of Oahu?

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A. Yes, sir. I can best bring that out by describing, briefly, what I considered my duties in administering the command that I had at that time. During the Summer and early Fall of 1940, the training of the Wing and our efforts toward the development of the bases at Keehi Lagoon, Kaneohe, Midway, Johnston, Palmyra, and Canton were directed primarily towards the perfecting of methods for using patrol planes to give early warning of the approach of Japanese forces to Oahu. It was easily demonstrated that with any number of planes that would probably be made available to us, no adequate warning of [289] the approach of a high speed force could be guaranteed from Oahu bases. Therefore, the efforts of all of us were devoted to: (a) Increasing the war effectiveness and endurance of available material and crews; (b) The development of Western island bases and the formulation of plans for their use to provide distant searches in conjunction with planes based at Dutch Harbor; (c) Efforts to obtain a material increase in the size of the Patrol Wing in Hawaii. Off-shore patrol plane searches were instituted as a routine from Pearl Harbor. The search Plans and Orders used were changed at rather frequent intervals by higher authorities. All of these plans were necessarily unsatisfactory compromises, primarily because the personnel, material and bases available were inadequate to provide protection for all possible contingencies. At least partly as a result of this condition, the searches ordered in 1940 varied from short periods of maximum effort to times when the only search consisted of short dawn anti-submarine sweeps in areas where Fleet units expected to operate.

5. Q. Admiral, a hypothetical question based upon not only your aforesaid experience in Hawaiian waters but your very long experience with patrol planes, particularly for reconnaissance purposes: We will say eighty long-range planes available and employed to the limit of endurance of material and personnel over, say, a two weeks period; give me your estimate of the chances which such reconnaissance from Oahu would have had of detecting the attack made by the Japanese of 7 December.

A. We, at that time, if my memory serves me correctly, figured that approximately double that number of planes would be necessary to maintain, for more or less extended periods, an effective search. With eighty planes available whose performance equals or betters the Catalina, under the conditions stated, and searching only the most probable sectors, a search plan could be evolved which could be reasonably expected to be fifty per cent effective in detecting an enemy attack.

6. Q. Admiral, I am aware that in the few weeks preceding 7 December 1941 you were actually stationed at San Diego. While there and at any time from August, 1941, onward, did it occur to you that there was any great probability or even possibility that the Japanese would venture their carriers in a surprise raid upon Oahu?

A. During the time-that I was in command of Patrol Wing Two, that is, from early June, 1940, until late October, 1940, the efforts of the wing were directed toward being as ready as possible for any possible contingency. Since the only potential enemy in the Pacific was Japan, the general possibility of Japanese attack was naturally the back ground for this work. At that time, it appeared possible but not immediately probable. In direct answer to the question, in the period

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from November, 1940, until immediately before the Japanese attack on Pearl, I was in command of Carrier Division One, based at San Diego, and during this time was concerned primarily with an intensified training program. I do not remember of any occurrence or instance which required an expression of opinion on my part as to the possibility or probability of a Japanese air attack on Hawaii. However, I still felt, knowing what was in the process of development as far as air was concerned in the Hawaiian Islands, that a surprise attack was possible, but I still did not think it probable.

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 [290] 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.

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. Please state your name, rank, and present station.

A. George VanDeurs; Captain, U. S. Navy; Chief of Staff, Commander Aircraft, South Pacific.

2. Q. Captain, will you please state the duties performed by you in Hawaiian waters during your tour of duty there which preceded 7 December 1941.

A. I commanded a patrol squadron in Patrol Wing Two from June, 1939, until August, 1941. In addition, I performed various additional duties with the Patrol Wing Staff. From some time in October, 1940, until January, 1941, I acted as Chief Staff Officer and Operations Officer for Admiral Bellinger. Shortly after that time, I served as a member of a joint Army-Navy committee convened to consider the problem of air command in the Hawaiian Area. Thereafter, I acted as an aide or assistant to Admiral Bellinger during further protracted discussions on this matter with Army Air Corps representatives. I left the Hawaiian area in August, 1941.

3. Q. Captain, as a part of those joint duties with the U. S. Army representatives, did you participate in the preparation of a full Estimate of the Situation which was dated about 31 March, 1941, and ultimately signed by Admiral Bellinger and by General Martin?

A. Yes, sir.

4. Q. Please give, briefly, your actual participation in that estimate.

A. I, personally, made certain studies and prepared the original draft of that estimate and submitted it to Admiral Bellinger. After some discussion, with both Admiral Bellinger and the Army representative, I prepared the final draft in the form in which it was eventually signed.

5. Q. Then, actually, was the aforesaid estimate very largely your own personal work?

A. Yes, sir, that is correct.

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6. Q. In that estimate, in setting forth the Courses of Action open to the Japanese, did a surprise carrier raid in force appear with prominence?

A. As I remember it, it was the most probable course of action in the estimate.

7. Q. Prior to your departure from Pearl Harbor in August, 1941, about how many years experience had you had in patrol plane organizations?

A. Roughly, about five years in patrol planes.


8. Q. Captain, in view of your long experience in that type and of your particular duties in Hawaii, as shown by your testimony, I shall ask you a somewhat hypothetical question: Assume about eighty long-range planes available and used for reconnaissance to an extent which approached the endurance of personnel and material over a period of, say, two weeks; under a reconnaissance plan feature only the most probable sectors through which Japanese attack would have been foreseen, please give your estimate of the chances that would have existed for detecting the 7 December, 1941, Japanese carrier raid, prior to their launching their planes.

A. If there were eighty crews trained to Navy standards for overseas work, the planes performance was equal to or better than the PBY, and they were operated as stated in the question, I would estimate the chances of detecting the Jap force prior to their launching on 7 December at about forty per cent.

9. Q. Reverting to your testimony concerning the estimate of the situation of 31 March-From, say, October, 1941, onward, do you recall any opinions which you may have expressed, or even any thoughts which you may not have expressed, as to the probability or even possibility that a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor would take the form which actually eventuated?

A. I don't remember any such expression of opinion by me after the completion of my work in Pearl. But by the time I had completed my work on that estimate, I was convinced that a surprise carrier attack on Pearl would be one of the opening moves of a Japanese war. I also believed that we would eventually fight a Japanese war.

10. Q. I understand from that, that when you heard of that attack you were in no way in a surprised state of mind?

A. The only surprise was the date.

11. Q. Were you surprised by the power and efficiency which the Japanese naval air showed in the execution of that attack?

A. No, sir, not particularly. Probably because the full extent of the damage only became known to me gradually over a long period of time.

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.

The examining officer then, at 12:05 p. m., took a recess until 4:15 p. m., at which time the examination was reconvened at Camp Crocodile, Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands.

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

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Ship's Clerk Charles O. Lee, U. S. Naval Reserve, took seat as reporter and was warned that the oath previously taken was still binding.


No witnesses not otherwise connected with the examination were present.

Rear Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson, U. S. Navy, who had previously testified, was called before the examining officer, informed that his oath previously taken was still binding, and stated that he had read over the testimony given by him on the twenty-fourth day of the examination, pronounced it correct, was duly warned, and withdrew.

The examining officer then, at 4:20 p. m., adjourned until 8:15 a. m., tomorrow.

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