PATROL WING TWO,
                                      U. S. NAVAL AIR STATION,
                                Pearl Harbor, T. H., December 19, 1941.

Memorandum for Admiral H. E. Kimmel, U. S. Navy.

MY DEAR ADMIRAL: In accordance with our conversation of yesterday, I am forwarding to you the following information:

1. Availability and Disposition of Patrol Planes on morning of 7 December, 1941:

VP-11   12 PBY-5   12       Kaneohe       0      12     0
VP-12   12 PBY-5   11       Kaneohe       1      11     0
VP-14   12 PBY-5   10 [1]   Kaneohe       2       7     3 [1]
VP-21   12 PBY-3   11 [2]   Midway        1       4     7 [2]
VP-21    1 PBY-3    1       Pearl Harbor  1       0     0
VP-21    1 PBY-3   12       Pearl Harbor  2      12     0
VP-22   14 PBY-3   12       Pearl Harbor  1      11     0
VP-24    6 PBY-5    5       Pearl Harbor  1       1     4 [3]

Squad-              In      Total   Under  Ready  In
ron               commis-  avail-   repair  at    air
                   sion     able           base
At Kaneohe          36       33 [1]   3     30     3 [1]
At Pearl            33       28 [3]   5     24     4 [3]
A Midway            12       11 [2]   1      4     7 [2]
          Total     81       72       9     58    14



[1] 3 planes armed with two depth charges each conducting search of assigned fleet operating areas in accordance with U. S. Pacific Fleet Letter No. 2CL-41 (Revised) (Task Force NINE Operating Plan (9-1). 3 planes in condition 2 (30 minutes notice).

[2] 5 planes conducting search of sector 120-170 radius 450 miles, departed Midway at 1820 GCT. 2 planes departed Midway at same time to rendezvous with U. S. S. LEXINGTON at a point 400 miles bearing 130 from Midway to serve as escorts for Marine scouting planes. Four planes, additional plants, armed with 2-500 pound bombs each were on the alert at Midway as a ready striking force. These four planes took off at about 2230 GCT upon receipt of information on the attack on Pearl Harbor, and searched sector 060 to 100 radius 400 miles. One plane was under repair in the hangar at Midway. A spare plane was under overhaul at Pearl Harbor.

[3] Four planes conducting inter-type tactics in area C-5 with U. S. Submarine.

[4] All planes, except those under repair, were armed with machine guns and a full allowance of machine gun ammunition.


2. Material condition:

(a) Of the 81 available patrol planes 54 were new PBY-5's, 27 were PBY-3's having over three years service. The PBY-5's were recently ferried to Hawaii, arriving on the following dates:

Squadron Number Arrival         Squadron Number Arrival
         Planes  date                    Planes  date
VP-11     12    28 Oct. 1941    VP-23     12    23 Nov. 1941.
VP-24      6    28 Oct. 1941    VP-14     12    23 Nov. 1941.
VP-12     12     8 Nov. 1941

(b) The PBY-5 airplanes were experiencing the usual shake-down difficulties and were hampered in maintenance by an almost complete absence of spare parts. In addition, a program for installation of leakproof tanks, armor, and modified


engine nose sections was in progress. They were not fully ready for war until these installations were completed, nor were extensive continuous operations practicable until adequate spare parts were on hand.

(c) The 12 PBY-3 airplanes at Pearl Harbor (VP-22) had returned from Midway on 5 December after an arduous tour of duty at Midway and Wake since 17 October. This squadron was in relatively poor material condition because its extended operations at advance bases with inadequate facilities for normal repair and upkeep. In addition 10 of its planes were [4] approaching 18 months service and were due for overhaul.

(d) It should be noted that the material situation of the patrol squadrons made the maintenance of continuous extensive daily searches impracticable. Under such conditions the PBY-5's were to be expected to experience numerous material failures which would place airplanes out of commission until spare parts arrived. The PBY-3's of Patrol Squadron TWENTY-TWO at Pearl were scheduled for a week of upkeep for repair and maintenance.

(e) Under the circumstances, it seemed advisable to continue intensive expansion training operations and improvement of the material military effectiveness at the same time preserving the maximum practicable availability of aircraft for an emergency. Under the existing material and spare parts situation, continuous and extensive patrol plane operations by the PBY-5's was certain to result in rapid automatic attrition of the already limited number of patrol planes immediately available by the exhaustion of small but vital spare parts for which there were no replacements.

(f) In this connection it should be noted that there were insufficient patrol planes in the Hawaiian Area effectively to do the job required. For the commander of a search group to be able to state with [5] some assurance that no hostile carrier could reach a spot 250 miles away and launch an attack without prior detection would require an effective daily search through 360 to a distance of at least 800 miles. Assuming a 15-mile radius of visibility this would require a daily 16 hour flight of 84 planes. A force of not less than 200 patrol planes, adequate spare parts and ample well trained personnel would be required for such operations.

                                            (Signed) P. N. L. BELLINGER,
                                               Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy,
                                              Commander Patrol Wing TWO.

PW2/A16-3/ 016 Confidential PATROL WING TWO, U. S. NAVAL AIR STATION, Pearl Harbor, T. H., 1 Jan. 1942. From: The Commander Patrol Wing TWO To: Senior Member, Board Investigating Activities of December 7, 1941. Subject: Data Requested by Board.

1. In accordance with your request I am sending herewith six (6) copies of Report of Army-Navy Board of 31 October, 1941.

2. The dates on which Pearl Harbor Air Raid Drills were held are as follows:

24 April, 1941,            20 August, 1941,
12 May, 1941,               5 September, 1941,
13 May, 1941,              27 September, 1941,
19 June 1941,              13 October 1941
10 July 1941,              27 October 1941,
26 July, 1941,             12 November, 1941.
 1 August, 1941,

                                                    P. N L. BELLINGER




In compliance with radiogram to the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, dated 2 October 1941 and a similar radiogram to the Commandant, 14th Naval District, a Joint Army-Navy Board was convened to prepare recommendations covering the allocation of aircraft operating areas for all purposes


for the entire Hawaiian Area with particular recommendations on the jurisdiction the Kahoku Point Area. The board met at 0900 October 7, 1941 and frequently thereafter until final recommendations were submitted. Present were:

Major General F. B. Martin, U. S. A.
Rear Admiral P. N. L. Bellinger, U. S. N.
Brigadier General H. C. Davidson, U. S. A.
Lieutenant Commander S. E. Burroughs, U. S. N.

1. A general discussion was held concerning the various Army-Navy aviation activities, the available training areas, the present congestion of aircraft areas, the expected expansion of aircraft of both services in the near future with the attending operational difficulties which such expansion would produce.

2. In order that the board could intelligently approach the problem which confronted it, it was necessary to have such information as was available as to the total number of airplanes of both services for which operating facilities should be made available. The following lists show the number of airplanes which were considered.


14th Naval District Aircraft: 84 Patrol planes, 48 VSO seaplanes.
Fleet Aircraft: 750 airplanes (10 Aircraft Carrier Groups).
Cruiser and Battleship Seaplanes: 75 seaplanes (approximately)
Patrol Wings One and Two: 98 Patrol planes.


Marine Aircraft Groups: 162 airplanes
Utility Aircraft: 88 Airplanes (various types)
Total, 1305.


54 Group program:

Combat Airplanes
B-17............................................................... 170
A-20-A.............................................................  27
P-40 .............................................................. 163
P-38 .............................................................. 163
C-47 ..............................................................  20

Present Assignment:

Combat Airplanes
B-17 .............................................................. 12 P-40 .............................................................. 104 A-20-A ............................................................ 12 O-47 .............................................................. 13
Obsolescent Airplanes
B-18 .............................................................. 30 P-36 .............................................................. 50 P-26 .............................................................. 17 Total.......................................................... 781

Air Fields Available:


Army: Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Bellows Field.
Navy: Ford Island, Ewa, Kaneohe.Air Fields Proposed: Kahuku, John Rodgers, (Commercial), Barbers Point, Keehi Lagoon (commercial-under construction).


Outlying Islands-Hawaiian Archipelago

Army: Barking Sands, Kauai; Burns Field, Kauai (Commercial-too small

for bombardment airplanes); Morse Field, Hawaii; Hilo, Hawaii (Municipal

port); Lanai (Under construction); Homestead Field, Mologai (Used jointly Army-Navy and commercial).


Navy: Maui (Navy and Commercial; Hilo (Temporary facilities patrol planes).

3. The problem confronting the board as it pertains to Naval aviation was summed up by the Naval representatives as follows:

a. The Navy requires shore air bases for the use of carrier aircraft in order to maintain them in a proper state of training for war readiness. With the imminent increase in numbers of Army and Navy aircraft operating from Oahu the congestion of air space for training and the shortage of suitable sites for air bases on Oahu must be recognized as becoming serious problems. Lack of suitable harbor and dock facilities in islands of the Hawaiian group other than Oahu precludes the development of these islands as bases for carrier-based aircraft, since it is essential that carrier planes be readily accessible to their parent vessels. For this reason Oahu is the only logical island for the development of additional facilities for shore basing of carrier air groups. Carrier aircraft when based on shore, must, on account of the nature of their functions, be considered in a mobile state of readiness and not definitely fixed or attached to any shore base. Nevertheless, there must be provided on shore suitable and adequate facilities for the basing and operating of such aircraft just as definitely and specifically as if they were intended to be shore based permanently. It is estimated that approximately ten carrier air groups will be shore based in the Hawaiian Area at any one time. It is essential that shore bases be available for these air groups in order that a proper state of training may be maintained. These shore bases must necessarily be located on the island of Oahu where transportation facilities are available between bases and berths of parent vessels both for transferring personnel and equipment, and for reasons of readiness. In addition, in order to provide air space and fields for the conduct of daily training of these air groups, adequate aviation facilities must be available not only on Oahu but on other islands of the Hawaiian Group.

b. The Navy has under lease approximately 70 acres of land on Kahuku Point. There is a landing strip and a dive bombing target on this area that is continually in use by shore-based carrier aircraft in connection with training operations. If this area is given over to the Army for construction of an air base. its loss will be strongly felt even now when congestion on Oahu is but a portion of [4] that of the future, and adjustments must be made not only for loss of the existing landing strip and target area, but also for the reduction of the Navy air space involved. With the arrival of each additional carrier group in Oahu, further adjustments will be required to permit the necessary training, to proceed.

c. The principal joint task assigned to Army and Navy forces permanently based in the Hawaiian Islands is "to hold Oahu as a main outlying Naval base." The importance of Oahu in the Hawaiian Group is due entirely to the existence of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base and its attending activities. The existence of Army Forces and Navy District Forces in great numbers in the Hawaiian Islands is solely for the purpose of maintaining the usefulness of Pearl Harbor as a base for the various units of the Fleet. The value of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base to the Fleet is in providing means for Fleet units to be maintained and continued in effecting operating readiness at a point well advanced to the westward. It therefore appears that any military or Naval air units on Oahu which unnecessarily interfere with the maintenance of proper readiness of Fleet units and which are not required on Oahu for the security of Oahu, but are required in the Hawaiian Area, should be based on other islands of the Hawaiian Group.

d. It appears necessary, to develop to maximum practicable capacity all sites on Oahu considered suitable for air bases; to construct auxiliary fields where practicable; and, at the same time, to avoid creating an undesirable degree of air congestion in the vicinity of Oahu that will defeat operating effectiveness. In planning the above developments, due consideration should be given to providing adequate dispersion.

e. To provide for future requirements of Army and Navy air forces in the Hawaiian Islands, it appears necessary to develop all suitable air base sites on islands of the Hawaiian Group, other than Oahu, to their maximum practicable capacities. In order to carry out estimated requirements, these developments should precede or at least proceed with any further developments on Oahu. This may not be entirely practicable of accomplishment, but every effort should be made to do so. A far-sighted policy in which currently foreseen needs are subordinated to and coordinated with a general plan of ultimate development should be adopted now. Otherwise, inevitable future expansion will cause a more difficult problem to arise at a later date.


f. There is every desire of the Navy to cooperate with the Army to the fullest extent, but in the case under consideration there is insufficient space on the island of Oahu for the numbers of aircraft involved, even in current plans, to base thereon at the same time. As both services are basing their requirements on the part they are expected to play in national defense, it follows that final decision as to the action to be taken should be based on the effect of the various alternatives on over-all national defense.


4. The problem confronting the board as it pertains to Army aviation was summed up by the Army representatives as follows:

a. The mission of the Army on Oahu is to defend the Pearl Harbor Naval Base against all attacks by an enemy. The contribution to be made by the Hawaiian Air Force in carrying out this mission is:

(1) To search for and destroy enemy surface craft within radius of action by bombardment aviation.

(2) To detect, intercept and destroy enemy aircraft in the vicinity of Oahu by pursuit aviation.

b. Due to the limited range of pursuit aviation and the uncertainty of ascertaining the direction of approach of enemy aircraft making an attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, it is mandatory that the air fields from which pursuit aviation operates, in the performance of this mission, be situated on the Island of Oahu. Under no other condition could there be assurance that enemy aircraft could be intercepted before they reached their bomb release line. The minimum requirements of pursuit aviation for its mission is two groups. The number of airplanes at present allocated to a pursuit group, which is 163, necessitates two air fields be available on this island. One of these groups is now permanently located at Wheeler Field where atmospheric conditions at times offer an obstacle to their continuous operation. To insure that at least one group of pursuit aviation may operate without being hampered by weather conditions, it should be located at approximately sea level elevation. The Kahuku Point area has been selected as having the necessary level ground and weather prevailing to satisfy these conditions. Furthermore, by having all Army pursuit aviation located at Wheeler Field and Kahuku Point, it makes it possible to carry out the pursuit mission and training therefore on the north side of Oahu, removing all pursuit aircraft from the air congestion which prevails over the Pearl Harbor area. The Kahuku Point area also lends itself to the establishment of grounds targets, in its immediate vicinity, which are so essential to proper progress in pursuit training. This still leaves one group at Wheeler Field without proper ground gunnery facilities which cannot be obtained on the Island of Oahu. The nearest point where these facilities can be made available is on the Island of Molokai where one gunnery range has been established.

e. There is allocated to the Hawaiian Air Force 39 A-20-A airplanes which form the support command to assist the ground forces of the Hawaiian Department in their mission of defending the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. These airplanes must, of necessity, be closely associated with the ground troops which they serve, both for training and to facilitate their employment in time of war. The home for the support command is established at Bellows Field.


d. The bombardment command of the Hawaiian Air Force consists of 182 heavy bombers. To relieve congestion, all of the training for heavy bombardment is conducted over water or land areas removed from the Island of Oahu. This number of heavy bombers over-taxes the capacity of Hickam Field, their home station, to such an extent that provisions must be made for the training of approximately one-half of this force from outlying fields on other islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago.

e. To establish permanent stations for air organizations on other islands in this group entails changing the defense plans for these islands that security for these bases may be established. This would require a decided increase in the number of ground troops or such a dispersion of available forces as to destroy their effectiveness. This cannot be done except at enormous expense of time and money. For this reason the home base for bombardment aviation and the large quantities of bombs and other supplies necessary for continued operations must be placed under the protection of the ground defense installations on Oahu. Operations may be conducted from outlying fields in the Hawaiian group in the beginning of the attack but as the attack is pressed home these bombers will be forced to fall back upon their protected home bases. While the training of bombardment units is normally conducted in areas distant from the Pearl Harbor area, it would be practically impossible to control this force in


time of actual hostilities if they were stationed on outlying islands. Radio is the sole means of communication and is too susceptible to interference to furnish a positive medium of control. A positive means of communication is a prime requisite for successful air operations. It must be in being and constantly used prior to the beginning of hostilities. Further, it must be pointed out that bombardment aviation must be protected by every available means of ground and anti-aircraft defense, i. e., pursuit aviation antiaircraft artillery and aircraft warning service. Duplication of these defenses on outlying islands is manifestly prohibitive. Therefore, as pursuit concentrations for the defense of Oahu must be located on Oahu, it is imperative that bombardment aviation must be based on Oahu under the protection of the Interceptor Command.

f. The 20 transports must of necessity operate from Hickam Field as that is the base at which technical supplies are concentrated for which the transports furnish transportation to outlying fields where training is being conducted Supply and maintenance facilities also require the same protection from the ground and air as is required for grounded bombardment aviation.

g. In the case of actual war, the majority of the Fleet units, with their carriers attached, would be at sea, leaving ample air field facilities for such naval aviation as might be left behind and for all Army aviation participating in the defense of these islands. Therefore, the problem which confronts this board is to find a solution which will permit the maximum use of existing air fields for aviation training for both the Army and the Navy and to suggest such sites as might be developed to increase these facilities.


h. A careful survey has been made of the entire Island of Oahu for sites on which landing fields can be constructed. On this island, with the exception of the Kipapa Gulch area, all level ground that might be available for air fields is either so occupied, projects are underway for preparation of air fields, or the turbulence in the air created by the close proximity of mountain ranges precludes such development. The site commonly referred to as the Kipapa Gulch area will accommodate two 5,000-foot runways free from obstructions. The greatest handicap to the use of this area is that it is about two-thirds of the distance between Pearl Harbor and Wheeler Field which would further increase the congestion of the air over this part of the island. It would also remove from cultivation a highly productive tract of land. The Kipapa Gulch area is the only site remaining where an air field could be constructed. The principal objection to the use of this site, which is congestion of the air over the Pearl Harbor area, is much less of a handicap should this site be used for the training of carrier groups than it would be as a station for Army pursuit aviation. The use of this site by the Navy would permit the concentration of carrier-group training for Naval aviation on the south side of the island of Oahu, at Barber's Point, Kipapa Gulch, and Ford Island. As the training from these stations would be entirely under Naval control it lends itself to aerial baffle regulations which would be difficult to attain if large numbers of airplanes of the two services were intermingled. The Kipapa Gulch area is advantageously located for occupancy of carrier-group aviation in that the site is readily accessible to the parent vessels of the carrier groups. It would permit facility in the transfer of personnel and supplies to and from the parent vessel in Pearl Harbor. It would be advantageous in making for ease of supervision of the training of all carrier-based Naval aviation.

i. The Army is cognizant of the fact that with the increase in carrier-based aircraft contemplated for this area, serious problems arise as to sufficient air and ground space on Oahu. It is also cognizant of the fact that air units in Hawaii will, within the next few months, be reinforced with pursuit and bombardment aircraft for which bases must be available now, while the additional carriers anticipated for this area will not be available for an elapsed time of from one to three years.

j. That far-sighted and long-range planning must be done there can be no doubt. But, provisions for aircraft which may be available within three years should not be allowed to disrupt the plans, training and employment of the Army Air Force units in this area at a time when they may be required for immediate use against a hostile threat.

k. This problem can be solved by restricting the number of carrier groups to that which can be adequately accommodated on existing Navy facilities and those Navy projects which are now under development.


5. Conclusions:

That the board concludes that it has been presented with a problem for which a satisfactory solution to all concerned cannot be obtained due to the fact that--


a. The Army estimates its requirements from directives emanating from the War Department.

b. The Navy estimates its requirements from directives emanating from the Navy Department.

c. There is insufficient space on the Island of Oahu to provide for the estimated future requirements of both the Army and the Navy.

6. Joint recommendations:

a. That it be agreed that in order not to delay starting the development of an important strategical base, the board recommends:

(1) That the Kahuku Point area be developed immediately by the Army as an air base.

(2) That as the Army representatives hold that the Kahuku Point air base should be available for Army air units solely and the Navy representatives hold that the Kahuku Point air base should be available for temporary use by the Navy when circumstances so require, the extent of availability of this base to the Navy as well as the extent of the availability to the Navy of all other Army air bases on the Island of Oahu, be left to the determination of higher authority as the solution of this problem transcends the prerogatives of this board.

b. That progress be continued on the development of air bases on islands of the Hawaiian Group, other than Oahu, which are now under construction.

c. That in order to reduce air congestion on Oahu, all existing and new sites of strategical importance on islands of the Hawaiian Group other than Oahu, suitable for air bases and auxiliary operating fields be expanded or developed to maximum practicable capacities and that such developments have the same high priority as any development proposed for the Island of Oahu.

d. That all sites on the island of Oahu suitable for air bases and auxiliary operating fields be developed to maximum practicable capacities at the same time avoiding the creation of an undesirable degree of air congestion in the vicinity of Oahu.

e. That the existing revised Joint Army-Navy agreement relating to operating areas be placed in force-adjustments which may become necessary, from time to time, to be accomplished by conference between local representatives.

                                             P. N. L. BELLINGER,
                                                 Rear Admiral, U. S. N.
                                                    Senior Naval Member. 
                                             F. L. MARTIN,
                                                 Major General, U. S. A.
                                                    Senior Army Member.

Confidential 17 WAR WASHN, D. C., 210P Oct. 2, 1941 COMMANDING GENERAL Hawaiian Department, Ft. Shafter, T. H.

One eight six second September twenty-three reurad Navy Department instructed Commandant Fourteenth Naval District in radio September twenty six to confer with you and submit joint recommendations covering allocation aircraft operating areas for all purposes for entire Hawaiian area stop This has War Department approval stop Navy radio stated further Joint recommendations on Kahuku Point desired stop You are authorized to confer on this latter matter but will be guided by instructions to you in General Marshall's letter of August nineteen.


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