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PROCEEDINGS OF THE HART INQUIRY
WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 1944
THIRTY-SEVENTH DAY
                                                        NAVY DEPARTMENT,
                                                        Washington, D. C. 

The examination met at 2 p. m.

Present:

Admiral Thomas C. Hart, U. S. Navy, Retired, examining officer, and his 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 thirty-sixth day of the examination until such time as it shall be reported ready, and in the meantime to proceed with the examination.

The examining officer read orders from the Acting Secretary of the Navy, certified copy prefixed marked "D", relieving Captain Jesse R. Wallace, U. S. Navy, as counsel to the examining officer, and orders from the Acting Secretary of the Navy, original prefixed marked "E", detailing Lieutenant William M. Whittington, Jr., U. S. Naval Reserve, as counsel to the examining officer. Lieutenant Whittington took seat as such.

The examining officer read and introduced in evidence a letter, dated 17 April 1944, to Admiral Thomas C. Hart, U. S. Navy, Retired, examining officer, from Rear Admiral Howard F. Kingman, U. S. Navy, who had previously testified, accompanying the return of the transcript of his testimony and attesting, under his former oath, that the testimony given by him on the twenty-ninth day of the examination was correct, appended hereto marked "Exhibit 37".

The examining officer read and introduced in evidence a letter, dated 6 May 1944, to Admiral Thomas C. Hart, U. S. Navy, Retired, examining officer, from Vice Admiral H. F. Leary, U. S. Navy, who had previously testified, accompanying the return of the transcript of his testimony and attesting, under his former oath, that the testimony given by him on the thirty-third day of the examination was correct, appended hereto marked "Exhibit 38".

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. State your name, rank, and present station.

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A. Walter S. Anderson, Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy, President of the Board of Inspection and Survey of the Navy Department.

2. Q. What were your duties during the calendar year 1941?

A. Early in the calendar year 1941, I was detached as Director of Naval Intelligence and took command as Commander Battleships Battle Force, Pacific Fleet.

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3. Q. Were the ships which in general suffered the heaviest damage on 7 December '41 vessels of your command?

A. Yes. The vessels of my command were among those that suffered the heaviest damage.

4. Q. In the administrative organization of the Pacific Fleet, in effect during the latter half of 1941, who was your immediate superior in command?

A. Commander Battle Force, also known as Commander, Task Force One, Vice Admiral Pye.

5. Q. Then is it correct to say that from the operational standpoint also Admiral Pye was generally your immediate superior?

A. Yes. I might add, however, there were numerous occasions when I, myself, was a Task Force Commander for purposes of operations at sea.

6. Q. Were you Admiral Pye's most important subordinate commander?

A. Yes, inasmuch as I commanded his heaviest subordinate unit and was the senior of the Flag Officers under him.

7. Q. During the latter half of 1941, from your position as a principal commander in the third command echelon, what was your observation of the relationships among the officers of the still higher commend echelons, particularly as regards information of the situation vis-a-vis Japan and of the ideas of the Commander-in-Chief?

A. My impression was that relations were normal. My knowledge is not precise nor specific as to what degree of information was passed along to them, but I had no reason to believe there was not a proper dissemination of information, and I believe there was. I, personally, saw my immediate senior frequently, and the Commander-in-Chief at least weekly.

8. Q. As you recall, how much of this most important information and the ideas of the Commander-in-Chief concerning the situation in November, say, became passed down to officers in your own command echelon?

A. I knew that the Commander-in-Chief felt that he needed more resources than he had, especially aircraft, and that he was informed that it was, at that time, impracticable to provide him with what he asked for.

9. Q. Did you feel, at the time, that Commander, Battle Force, was passing to you all of the highly important and probably secret information, including the reactions of the Commander-in-Chief thereto?

A. I assumed that Commander, Battle Force, passed along whatever he thought should be passed along.

10. Q. Do you recall if you felt that Admiral Pye went far enough in taking you into his confidence?

A. I had no feeling then, nor have I now, that he intentionally denied me any information that he thought would conduce to readiness and efficiency.

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11. Q. In that connection, I hand you a dispatch which is Exhibit 6 in this record. Do you recall having seen or been told of the contents of this dispatch during October, 1941?

A. I don't think I ever saw or was told about this particular dispatch.

12. Q. Do you recall whether or not the Fleet put into effect any additional security measures at sea or in port during the latter part of October or during November?

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A. There were a good many additional security measures put into effect in the latter part of 1941. It is difficult for me to remember the exact chronology.

13. Q. Was there, during that period, any particular increase in security measures while in Pearl Harbor?

A. Yes. In my own command, I established continuous twenty-four hour a day watch on a limited portion of my anti-aircraft battery. Provision was made by higher authority for a scheme of sector control for repelling aircraft attack and there were frequent drills using that scheme.

14. Q. During what period next preceding 7 December '41 were the battleships of your command physically present in Pearl Harbor?

A. We came in from sea some days prior to the 7th of December, and the battleships of my command were in Pearl Harbor on that day.

15. Q. Do you recall the date of your entry into port?

A. I do not.

16. Q. Can you give it approximately?

A. About 28 November.

17. Q. About how long was the period at sea next prior to that entry into port?

A. As nearly as I can remember, I would say it was five or six days.

18. Q. Admiral, I hand you four dispatches from the Navy Department which were received at Pearl Harbor either during that last period at sea or shortly after your entry into port. They are Exhibits 7, 8, 10, and 11 in this record. Please state which, if any, of these dispatches you were shown or appraised of with the date, insofar as you can recall.

A. Of these dispatches, I distinctly remember being shown Exhibit 8. It is possible that I was shown or informed of the contents of Exhibit 11; I am not quite sure. Exhibits 7 and 10, to the best of my recollection, I neither saw nor knew of.

19. Q. As concerns either Exhibits 8 or 11, but particularly No. 8, what transpired in the way of conferences, discussions, and so forth between you and the command echelons above you at the time?

A. Exhibit 8 was shown to a group of Flag officers, including myself, by the Commander-in-Chief in his office. Under the war plans in force, which I checked after leaving this office, I had no specific duties to perform. I did not know what subsequent conferences there may have been. I knew that there were two task forces at sea. I knew there was an excellent plan in existence for long-distance daily air reconnaissance. Naturally, I thought considerably about the message. I assumed that whatever was considered necessary to be done was being taken care of.

20. Q. During that conference, was anything told you concerning the mission of the task forces which you mentioned as being at sea?

A. I don't think so.

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21. Q. At the time, or afterward, but prior to 7 December, were you directed to make any change in security measures as applying to your own command?

A. No, but I reviewed, in my own mind, what the situation was trying to think if there was anything that I should do which was not then being done.

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22. Q. At any time after the conference concerning which you have last testified, were there other conferences or discussions in which you engaged, or to which you listened, concerning security of the Fleet in Pearl Harbor which were instituted under the Department's directions or by estimates of the situation in the Pacific, made on the spot?

A. I don't remember being present at any regular conference resulting from this dispatch.

23. Q. Did you have any discussions with Admiral Pye during that period?

A. In a general way, I believe that he and I discussed the situation soon after we learned of this dispatch. Such discussion did not result in any decision to take any more security measures than the considerable ones we were already taking.

24. Q. Admiral, please give, insofar as you can remember, what your own impressions were, during early December, concerning the situation vis-a-vis Japan with particular attention to security features while in Pearl Harbor.

A. My ideas at the time were that there was a very grave situation as far as the United States and Japan were concerned. When I saw this dispatch (Exhibit 8), I was impressed by the fact that it was a war warning; a very serious matter. I noted, particularly, that an aggressive move by the Japanese was expected, but I noted with specific interest and some relief, as far as Pearl Harbor was concerned that this warning did not anticipate any attack on United States territory farther East than the Philippines, and that it gave as a reason for that surmise the quantity and readiness of Japanese troops and the setup of their naval task forces. As a former Director of Naval Intelligence, it seemed to me this basis for the surmise was most important, as I knew there were methods that were pretty efficient by which we could tell pretty closely the organization of the Japanese forces and their locations. I remember thinking, "Well, we've got a pretty good idea where they are, and, being where they are, they can not visualize an attack farther East than the Philippines." My recollection is that I expected something further by way of a warning from the Department if the locations of the Japanese task forces moved in any way to indicate a threat farther East than the Philippines.

25. Q. Do you remember whether or not you gave any particular thought to the possibility of a surprise carrier raid on Pearl Harbor?

A. I remember thinking about this dispatch a great deal and I believe I must have canvassed in my mind all the various possibilities. In all my thoughts as to security, I was influenced by the knowledge, or what I thought was the knowledge, that we were maintaining a long-distance daily reconnaissance by air. Under those circumstances, it would seem highly doubtful to me that carriers could get close enough to launch planes without being seen by our air scouts. It is possible that such mental process as I went through was in more general terms than I here express, but the conclusion was about the

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same. It is a little difficult, after the event, to be sure just what you thought before the event.

26. Q. Do I understand you correctly as saying that you assumed distant air reconnaissance was being maintained and that you never found that such was not the case?

A. That's correct. I had read a very complete plan for distant air reconnaissance to be carried out daily from Pearl Harbor and I knew that it had been placed into effect. I did not know that it had been discontinued prior to December 7 until after the attack on the 7th of December. I had a [395] general impression, which I believe was accurate, that there were not enough planes available to make this plan fully effective through 360 degrees of azimuth every day. I should like to add that this comment by me should not be considered as a reflection on any officer, in view of the fact that I, subsequently, learned that he had what he considered good and sufficient reasons for discontinuing this long-distance daily air reconnaissance, in making a hard choice. That is, he didn't have enough planes, in his opinion, for what he had to do then, and what he might be faced with later. With regard to this dispatch, Exhibit 8, I would like to make it clear that it was received with all the solemnity and intense interest at the time that its context manifestly entitled it to. There was nothing light-hearted about the way it was received.

27. Q. Admiral, what was the mission of the United States Army forces which were stationed in Hawaii at that time?

A. Their mission was to defend Oahu Island and, as I understand it, specifically, the naval base of Pearl Harbor. This statement I base upon common knowledge and my general knowledge of joint action by the Army and Navy.

28. Q. What did you know, in November-December, '41, as regards the readiness of Army forces, Oahu, to fulfill their mission?

A. From time to time, I observed Army forces engaged in tactical concentrations and active maneuvers which appeared to be practices against the contingency of attack. I am referring more now to ground movements than to movements in the air. As to the Army's readiness to repel air attack, my knowledge was by no means exact. I knew there were Army fields and Army planes, and I observed them from time to time exercising in the air and, as I remember it, we sometimes operated in cooperation with them.

29. Q. Did you know anything about the state of readiness of the Army's air warning net, Oahu?

A. No. It is pertinent to observe that the prevalent conception of the security of confidential and secret information, in general, visualized confining secret and confidential information to those who had some need of the knowledge in the discharge of their duties, actual or potential, should they by casualty rise to a higher command. This conception necessarily resulted in certain information not being very widely disseminated.

30. Q. Admiral, I hand you a document, Exhibit 4 in this testimony, known as 2CL-41. Were you familiar with it?

A. Yes.

31. Q. Do you recall having, prior to 7 December, '41, proposed any changes in the document as it stood on 14 October '41?

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A. Yes. On more than one occasion, I recommended to the Commander-in-Chief that whenever our ships entered or sortied from Pearl Harbor that depth charges should be dropped by our destroyers, my point being that crews would learn to drop them promptly when ordered, that we would all get used to depth charges, and that if there were any Japanese submarines in the vicinity they would think their presence was known and they would then adopt a defensive rather than an offensive attitude. This suggestion was not made in writing.

32. Q. Do you recall having proposed any changes in sub-head (G) which appears on page 4?

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A. I may have made minor suggestions but no suggestion of any considerable importance. The plan looked good.

33. Q. During October-November, while at sea, which of the standard conditions of readiness was the Fleet maintaining?

A. There was always some condition of readiness in which a certain number of guns were manned and instantly ready twenty-four hours a day. The exact condition varied at times and also varied by day and by night. I consider that a good state of readiness was maintained at sea which would compare favorably with that maintained during actual war.

34. Q. Reverting to 2CL-41, Exhibit 4, sub-head (G) thereof; which of the three conditions was the Fleet maintaining while in Pearl Harbor during November-December '41?

A. None. That is to say, none of these three specific conditions were in effect at the time of the attack, 7 December.

35. Q. In whose province was it to make effective any one of these conditions of readiness?

A. Exhibit 4 is a copy of a comprehensive security order issued by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, well before Pearl Harbor, providing in great detail for the security of the Fleet, both at sea and in port. Among its many provisions, the Exhibit states, on page 4: "The Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, is the Naval Base Defense Officer." It continues: "As such, he shall . . ." after stating various things, it says ". . . coordinate the Fleet anti-aircraft fire with the Base defense by (1) Advising the Senior Officer Embarked in Pearl Harbor, exclusive of the Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet, what condition of readiness to maintain", et cetera. I want to make it clear that from time to time drills were carried out with the necessary alarms, et cetera. and for such drills there must have been some condition of readiness in effect at the specific time of the drill.

36. Q. Are you certain, however, that the Base Defense Officer (Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District) did not advise the S. O. E., Pearl Harbor, to continuously maintain any one of those three conditions of readiness?

A. That is a statement I, of course, could not make. I do know that there was none of the three conditions of readiness mentioned here usually maintained in port, nor was any one of these conditions of readiness in erect at the time of the attack on 7 December. I am quite clear as to this because I gave close personal attention to matters of gun and ammunition readiness and had increased, on my own initiative, the degree of gun and ammunition readiness in the battleships.

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37. Q. Did you, on your own authority and as applying only to ships of your command, direct any specific degree of gun readiness which resulted in full readiness of any portion of their batteries during the first week in December?

A. Yes. Prior to that time, I had made effective twenty-four hour watches on two of the eight .50 calibre guns on each battleship, and that two of the five inch anti-aircraft guns on each ship should be told off each day as ready guns, their crews specially mustered and instructed with a view to manning these guns instantaneously in case of alarm. As a matter of fact, as near as I could ascertain, these guns functioned in the way it was expected they would, and one of the .50 calibre guns forward in the MARYLAND actually knocked down an approaching Jap plane; be it said upon the initiative of the instructed enlisted gun's crew when they saw the plane approaching from Ford [397] Island where it had been attacking.

38. Q. Did your directive result in the five inch guns' crews being continually at the guns?

A. No, but the directive provided that the guns should be ready with ammunition there so they could go into instantaneous action; the gun crews specially mustered, told off, instructed what their duty was, and to be in the vicinity of the guns to answer a quick call.

39. Q. That is, one set of crews in each ship had that duty for twenty-four hours?

A. Yes, as to the five inch guns, two crews had the duty. The .50 calibre guns though were actually right on the job all of the time. At the two .50 calibre guns on each ship, the watch was the strictest watch that you could contemplate. They were there all the time and had to be relieved, and all that sort of thing. The .50 calibre and those five inch ready guns led off very promptly with firing, I am told. I wasn't there until about nine a. m., 7 December.

40. How many ships of your command were in Pearl Harbor on 7 December?

A. Eight.

41. Q. What was the approximate average anti-aircraft battery of each of those ships, including machine guns above .50 calibre?

A. Their batteries were, generally speaking, eight five-inch antiaircraft guns, 25 calibre, and eight .50 calibre machine guns. Also most of my ships had either four guns of 3"/50 calibre or four quads of 1".1. The ARIZONA and NEVADA did not.

42. Q. Admiral, which form of the air attack suffered on 7 December was most damaging to your ships?

A. Torpedo attack.

43. Q. From what direction did the torpedo planes generally come?

A. While I did not witness that attack, I can speak with assurance when I say that they came from an easterly direction.

44. Q. As the ships were disposed at their berths, was there a considerable number of the ships' guns so placed that they could have borne upon the attacking torpedo planes?

A. Yes.

45. Q. A hypothetical question: Assuming that at least one-fourth of the anti-aircraft guns' crews had been closed up, entirely in readiness for opening fire, and had known that the approaching planes were enemy and authorized to fire upon them at will; what is your

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estimate of the effect that might have resulted as regards defeating that attack?

A. Judging from the experience of this war and the proved inadequacy by the events of this war of the anti-aircraft batteries of our ships as they existed at that time, I would say that the answer to your hypothetical question is that they could not have defeated the attack, nor would they have seriously diminished the attack, notwithstanding that the crews were, in my opinion, well trained crews. The experience of this war has demonstrated that the anti-aircraft batteries of ships must be many, many times greater, especially in heavy automatic guns, than they were at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. Also, it should be borne in mind that the ships on that [398] occasion were moored. They could not maneuver. We had no torpedo nets. I think it might be just as well to state here for purposes of the record a fact which those in the Navy will recognize, that there wasn't any choice as to what Commander Battleships could do in assigning specific ships to specific berths. There were just about as many berths designated as available to him as there were ships. The best estimate made as to the number of planes-not torpedo planes alone-that were shot down by battleship guns was fifteen to seventeen. As a matter of record, it is also desirable to state the Commander Battleships, while an administrative and tactical commander, did not have the say as to what battleships were to be in the Hawaiian or any other area, nor as to which ones were to be in port at any time. Those decisions rested with higher authority.

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: In view of all that's been said since Pearl Harbor, and in justice to the Commander-in-Chief, I would like to say that Admiral Kimmel was obviously taking the situation seriously and was obviously most attentive to his duties as he saw them. I had a high opinion of him as an officer and a gentleman before the attack and still have. One most unfortunate impression got abroad, which was incorrect and very unfair to both Admiral Kimmel and General Short. The Roberts Commission, in making what was an observation about a particular dispatch, said that these officers had, in the opinion of the Commission, not conferred adequately as to steps to be taken following receipt of the war warning dispatch in Exhibit 8. Unfortunately, the American press mistakenly seized upon this as a statement-which it wasn't-that Admiral Kimmel and General Short did not confer together properly in general. The press even spoke as if their relations were not good. I happened, by accident, to have been present, by invitation of Admiral Kimmel, at one of the conferences these officers held not long before Pearl Harbor and, of my own knowledge, I know that their relations were excellent, they frequently conferred, and the whole impression that their relations were bad and that they didn't try to cooperate, which got abroad

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following the attack, was untrue and unfair to them. I'd like to make one further observation from my own standpoint. The report of the Roberts Commission, in one place, referred to a letter of the Secretary of Navy of 27 January 1941, in which was outlined the possibility of various forms of attack on Pearl Harbor. The report stated this letter was known to Admiral Kimmel, General Short, and Admiral Bloch, and then went on to indicate that nothing much about it was thought of or done by any of them, nor by any of the junior Flag officers. So far as I was concerned, the Roberts Commission did not ascertain whether or not I knew of the existence of this letter. The facts are, I did not.

The witness was duly warned and withdrew.

The examination then, at 3:40 p. m., was adjourned to await the call of the examining officer.


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