[This document was taken from the Senate Document noted below rather
than from the PHA. Some page numbers may be different between the two
copies. The page numbers in [brackets] are from the original and will
be the same in both copies. LWJ]

77TH Congress SENATE DOCUMENT 2d Session No. 159 SENATE


S. Docs., 77-2, VOL. 8 - 8



FINDING OF FACT ........................................................  3
SUMMARY OF THE MORE IMPORTANT FACTS .................................... 17
CONCLUSIONS............................................................. 19

January 28 (Legislative Day, January 23), 1942. 

ORDERED, That the report of the Commission appointed by the President to 
investigate and report the facts relating to the attack made by Japanese 
armed forces upon Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii on December 7, 
1941, be printed as a Senate Document.



JANUARY 23,1942

The White House

SIR: The undersigned were appointed by Executive order of December 
18,1941, which defined our duties as a commission thus:
"to ascertain and report the facts relating to the attack made by 
Japanese armed forces upon the Territory of Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

"The purposes of the required inquiry and report are to provide bases 
for sound decisions whether any derelictions of duty or errors of 
judgment on the part of United States Army or Navy personnel contributed 
to such successes as were achieved by the enemy on the occasion 
mentioned, and, if so, what these derelictions or errors were, and who 
were responsible therefor."

The Congress speedily supplemented the Executive order by granting the 
Commission power to summon witnesses and examine them under oath.

The Commission held three meetings in Washington, December 18, 19, and 
20, and, on the latter day, proceeded to Honolulu, T. H., where the 
Commission arrived December 22 and held meetings December 22, 23, 24, 
and 26 at the headquarters of the Hawaiian Department, Fort Shafter, and 
December 27, 29, 30, and 31, 1941, and January 2 and 3, 1942, at the 
submarine base, Pearl Harbor; and January 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at the Royal 
Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu. January 10 the commission left Honolulu for 
Washington, D. C.; held meetings January 12, 13, and 14; arrived at 
Washington January 15 and held further meetings January 16, 17, 18, 19, 
20, 21, 22, and 23.

The Commission examined 127 witnesses and received a large number of 
documents. All members of the Military and Naval Establishments, and 
civil officers and citizens who were thought to have knowledge of facts 
pertinent to the inquiry, were summoned and examined under oath. All 
persons in the island of Oahu, who believed they had knowledge of such 
facts, were publicly requested to appear, and a number responded to the 
invitation and gave evidence.

Various rumors and hearsay statements have been communicated to the 
Commission. The Commission has sought to find and examine witnesses who 
might be expected to have knowledge respecting them. We believe that our 
findings of fact sufficiently dispose of most of them.

The evidence touches subjects which in the national interest should 
remain secret. We have, therefore, refrained from quotation of testimony 
or documentary proof. Our findings, however, have been made with the 
purpose fully and accurately to reflect the testimony, which as respects 
matters of fact is substantially without contradiction.


It is true, as we have found, that due to the enormous demand on the 
Nation's capacity to produce munitions and war supplies, there was a 
deficiency in the provision of materiel for the Hawaiian area. This was 
but natural, in the circumstances, and was well known to the Government 
departments and local commanders. We have made no detailed findings on 
the subject since, as will appear from our report, we find that this 
deficiency did not affect the critical fact of failure to take 
appropriate measures with the means available.

At our hearings reference was made to what has long been a matter of 
common knowledge that there are, and have been, diverse views of 
national policy respecting the basing of the entire United States   
Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, T. H. We feel that the national policy   
in this matter is one that has been settled by those responsible for   
such decisions and that it is not within our province that of finding   
the facts respecting the attack of December 7, and the responsibility 
for the resulting damage to the United States to discuss any such topic.
Regrettable loss of life and extensive damage resulted from the air 
raid. The nature of that damage and the details of the measures taken to 
repair it have no direct bearing on the execution of the mandate 
appointing this Commission, and the subject is dealt with in our report 
only to the extent that it bears on questions of responsibility for the 

The evidence taken covered a wide scope. The Commission intentionally 
invited such latitude of testimony and inquiry in the belief that 
thereby incidental light might be thrown upon the main issues involved. 
As an example, the Commission heard evidence to show what had been done 
at Pearl Harbor and on the island of Oahu by naval and military commands 
subsequent to December 7, 1941, in the view that this might throw some 
light upon the matters submitted for our consideration. Again, the 
Commission heard much testimony as to the population of Hawaii, its 
composition, and the attitude and disposition of the persons composing 
it, in the belief that the facts disclosed might aid in appraising the 
results of investigative, counterespionage, and anti-sabotage work done 
antecedent to the attack of December 7, 1941.

The Commission visited the naval base at Pearl Harbor and air fields of 
the Military and Naval Establishments, as well as the Army posts and 
forts and certain of the coast fortifications on the island of Oahu.

The minutes of each meeting of the Commission are of record. The 
statements of witnesses received in the meetings previous to that of 
December 22 have been recorded in summaries. All testimony received at 
the meeting of December 22 and the subsequent meetings was 
stenographically reported and transcribed.

The oral evidence received amounts to 1,887 typewritten pages, and the 
records and documents examined exceed 3,000 printed pages in number.

Appended hereto is a map of the island of Oahu showing the location of 
the principal naval and military establishments.

All the testimony and evidence received have been considered and, as the 
result of its deliberations, the Commission submits the following:




About 7:65 a. m. Honolulu time (1: 25 p. m. Eastern standard time) on 
Sunday, December 7, 1941, Japanese forces attacked Army and Navy 
installations and ships of the Pacific Fleet in Oahu, T. H .

Although the United States and Japan were at peace on that morning, 
Japan planned to announce to the Secretary of State of the United States 
at 1 p. m. of that day, eastern standard time (7:30 a. m. Honolulu time) 
the severance of diplomatic relations and simultaneously to attack the 
island of Oahu and Pearl Harbor. The military preparations for this 
breach of international faith and honor were put in train and the forces 
for its consummation had been dispatched weeks prior to any intimation 
of the planned severance of relations. 


The Territory of Hawaii comprises the group of islands known as the 
Hawaiian Islands. This group consists of the larger islands Hawaii, 
Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai and a number of smaller islands. They 
extend from Hawaii in the south some 300 miles in a northwesterly 
direction, including Kauai in the north. For purposes of certain 
developments and protection, the islands of Midway, Wake, Johnston, 
Palmyra, Christmas, and Canton had been placed under the responsible 
naval and military heads in the Hawaiian area.

The importance of the Territory of Hawaii from a national defense 
standpoint is the fact that Pearl Harbor, the main outlying naval base 
in the Pacific, is located in the island of Oahu, one of the Hawaiian 
group. For this reason all measures for the protection and defense of 
the Territory have centered in and around Oahu, the other islands being 
garrisoned by minor forces only. A main outlying naval base such as 
Pearl Harbor, is intended for the use of the fleet for taking on fuel 
and supplies, for recreation and rest of the fleet personnel, and for 
the repair and refitting of ships. 


It has been well known that the policy of the United States as to 
affairs in the Pacific was in conflict with the policies of other 
governments. It was realized by the State, War, and Navy Departments of 
the United States that unless these policies were reconciled war in the 
Pacific was inevitable.

Plans and preparations against the contingency of war are the joint 
responsibility of the military and naval authorities, and, within the 
limits of funds and authorizations provided by the Congress, were being 
ceaselessly carried out.

Under these plans the general function of the Army is to conduct 
military operations in direct defense of United States territory. The 
general function of the Navy is to conduct naval operations to gain and 
maintain control of vital sea areas, thereby contributing to the defense 
of the coastal frontiers.


Specific plans for the protection of the Hawaiian area against every 
contingency had been prepared. These included joint Army and Navy war 
plans, and War Department and Navy Department plans subsidiary thereto 
which establish the Hawaiian coastal frontier, assign tasks and forces 
to both Army and Navy for its joint defense, and prescribe that the 
system of coordination between the responsible Army and Navy commanders 
shall be by mutual cooperation.


The responsibility for the Joint defense of the Hawaiian coastal 
frontier rested upon the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, and 
the commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, the latter acting as a 
subordinate of the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. The 
commander in chief of the fleet, in addition, was assigned the task of 
protecting the territory within the Hawaiian naval coastal frontier by 
destroying hostile expeditions and by supporting land and air forces in 
denying the enemy the use of land positions within that frontier, and 
the further task of covering the operations of the Hawaiian coastal 
frontier forces. The commanding general, Hawaiian Department, could 
properly deal, respecting defense measures and dispositions, with either 
the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet or the commandant of the 
Fourteenth Naval District.

The commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet from February 1 to December 
17, 1941, was Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. The commandant, Fourteenth 
Naval District, from April 11, 1940, to date is Rear Admiral Claude C. 
Bloch. The commanding general, Hawaiian Department, from February 7 to 
December 17, 1941, was Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short.

A local joint defense plan entitled "Joint Coastal Frontier Defense 
Plan, Hawaiian Coastal Frontier," was prepared by General Short and Rear 
Admiral Bloch, the latter acting under the direction of Admiral Kimmel. 
Each commander adopted a standing operating procedure, or standing 
orders, to carry out his obligation under the joint agreement. This 
joint coastal frontier defense plan was intended to become operative 
upon order of the War and Navy Departments or, as agreed upon by the 
local commanders in the case of an emergency, a threat of hostile 
action, or the occurrence of war.
The means available to the Army, for the fulfillment of its mission, 
consist of coast defense and antiaircraft artillery, mobile ground 
forces, the Hawaiian air force, and an aircraft warning service. The 
supporting elements of the Navy consist of local naval defense forces 
comprising light surface craft and shore-based aircraft not assigned to 
the fleet. The fleet as such was not charged with the defense of Pearl 
Harbor, except that certain aircraft attached to the fleet when present, 
and the antiaircraft weapons of such units of the fleet as were in port, 
were available.

It was recognized that, prior to furnishing the full war strength 
garrison, insufficient forces were available to maintain all the 
defenses on a war footing for extended periods of time. The responsible 
commanders made numerous recommendations to the War and


Navy Departments for additional forces, equipment, and funds which they 
deemed necessary to insure the defense of the Hawaiian coastal frontier 
under any eventuality. The national situation permitted only a partial 
filling of these requirements. However, presupposing timely dispositions 
by the Army and Navy commands in Hawaii, the forces available to them 
were adequate to frustrate a surprise air attack or greatly to mitigate 
its effectiveness. 


In a letter of January 24, 1941, the Secretary of the Navy advised the 
Secretary of War that the increased gravity of the Japanese situation 
had prompted a restudy of the problem of the security of the Pacific 
Fleet while in Pearl Harbor. The writer stated: 
"If war eventuates with Japan, It is believed easily possible that 
hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the fleet or 
the naval base at Pearl Harbor."

The writer stated that the 

"inherent possibilities of a major disaster "

warranted further speedy action to 

"increase the joint readiness of the Army and Navy to withstand a raid 
of the character mentioned * * *" 

The letter proceeded: 

"The dangers envisaged in their order of importance and probability are 
considered to be: (1) Air bombing attack, (2) air torpedo plane attack, 
(3) sabotage, (4) submarine attack, (5) mining, (6) bombardment by 

It stated the defenses against all but the first two were then 
satisfactory, described the probable character of an air attack and 
urgent consideration by the Army of dispositions to discover and meet 
such attack and provision of additional equipment therefor. It concluded 
with recommendations for the revision of joint defense plans with 
special emphasis on the coordination of Army and Navy operations against 
surprise aircraft raids. It also urged the conduct of joint exercises to 
train the forces to meet such raids.

The Secretary of War replied February 7, 1941, giving the present and 
prospective status of the Hawaiian Department in respect of airplanes 
and antiaircraft artillery, and stating with respect to the other 
proposals of the Secretary of the Navy that a copy of the letter was 
being forwarded to the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, with 
direction to him to cooperate with the local naval authorities in making 
the suggested measures effective.

Admiral Kimmel and General Short received copies of these letters at 
about the time they assumed the commands which they held December 7, 
1941. Rear Admiral Bloch also received copies.

The joint coastal frontier defense plan and plans subsidiary thereto 
envisaged the possibility of an air attack and estimated that, if made 
it would most likely occur at dawn. An agreement between the Hawaiian 
air force and the commander, Navy Patrol Wing 21 established the 
responsibilities for the joint use and operation of the available air 
forces of the Army and Navy. The standing operating procedure, Hawaiian 
Department, and standing orders of the United States Pacific Fleet and 
the Fourteenth Naval District also pre-


scribed measures for protection against air attack. Frequent joint 
drills and exercises were conducted during the year 1941 to insure such 
measures would be effective.

For months prior to December 7, 1941, the Secretary of State was 
repeatedly in contact with the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the 
Navy, not only in Cabinet meetings, but in meetings of the war council; 
and on the occasions of those contacts and in conference, with the 
Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, discussed negotiations 
with Japan and the growing tensity of the relations of the United States 
with Japan. At meetings of the war council the Chief of Staff and the 
Chief of Naval Operations were also present. The Secretary of State 
constantly kept the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy 
informed of the progress of the negotiations, and all three of these 
officials were cognizant of the growing threat of hostilities and of the 
military and naval needs and measures consequent thereupon. The 
Secretaries of War and Navy were in constant touch with the Chief of 
Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations, and imparted to them the 
information received from the Secretary of State and the results of 
their conferences with him. The latter officers in turn advised the 
responsible commanders in the field of the progress of events and of the 
growing threat of hostilities. The responsible commanders in the 
Hawaiian area were aware that previous Japanese actions and demonstrated 
Axis methods indicated that hostile action might be expected prior to a 
declaration of war.


October 16, 1941, the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, and the 
commander in chief of the fleet were advised by the War and Navy 
Departments of the changes in the Japanese Cabinet, of the probability 
of hostilities between Japan and Russia, and of the possibility of an 
attack by Japan on Great Britain and the United States. Both commanders 
were warned to take precautions and to make preparatory dispositions 
which would not disclose their strategic intentions or constitute 
provocation as against Japan. Admiral Kimmel made certain dispositions 
of units of the fleet, and placed additional security measures in effect 
in the operating areas outside Pearl Harbor. At that time various task 
forces of the Navy were engaged in training operations and maneuvers 
which were deemed highly important to the training of the fleet 
personnel, and the Army was also conducting intensive training, 
particularly of its air arm. The responsible commanders testified that 
to undertake increased defense measures respecting Pearl Harbor and the 
Hawaiian area would necessitate curtailment of training, if not its 
virtual suspension, and they thought the situation was not such as to 
require this.
November 24, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations sent a message to 
Admiral Kimmel, in which he stated that in the opinion of the Navy 
Department a surprise aggressive movement in any direction by the 
Japanese, including an attack on the Philippines or Guam, was a 
possibility; that the doubt as to favorable outcome of pending 
negotiations, the statements of the Japanese Government, and the 
movements of its army and naval forces, supported this opinion. The


communication enjoined secrecy to prevent complication of the tense 
existing situation. The message advised that the Chief of Staff of the 
Army requested that the local senior Army officers be advised that he 
concurred in the despatch. This message was seen by both the commander 
in chief of the fleet and the commanding general of the Hawaiian 

The responsible commanders in Hawaii knew that negotiations had been 
continued through October and November, and were awaiting further 
developments. November 27, 1941, the Chief of Staff of the Army informed 
the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, that the negotiations with 
Japan seemed to be ended, with little likelihood of their resumption; 
that Japanese action was unpredictable; that hostilities on the part of 
Japan were momentarily possible; that in the event hostilities could not 
be avoided the United States desired that this Nation should not commit 
the first overt act; that the department commander was not to be 
restricted to any course which would jeopardize his defense. The message 
directed him, even prior to hostile action, to undertake such 
reconnaissance and other measures as he deemed necessary, but to carry 
them out in such a way as not to alarm the civil population or disclose 
his intent. He was directed to restrict the information contained in the 
message to the minimum of essential officers, and to report to the Chief 
of Staff the measures taken. The purport of this message was 
communicated by the department commander to the commander in chief of 
the Pacific Fleet.
On the same day (November 27, 1941), the Chief of Military Intelligence 
sent a message to the intelligence officer on the staff of the 
commanding general, Hawaiian Department, directing him to inform the 
commanding general and his chief of staff that negotiations with Japan 
had practically ceased; that hostilities might ensue; and that 
subversive activity might be expected.
On the same day (November 27, 1941), the Chief of Naval Operations sent 
a message to the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, which stated 
in substance that the dispatch was to be considered a war warning; that 
the negotiations with Japan in an effort to stabilize conditions in the 
Pacific had ended; that Japan was expected to make an aggressive move 
within the next few days; that an amphibious expedition against either 
the Philippines, Thai, or Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo, was 
indicated by the number and equipment of Japanese troops and the 
organization of their naval task forces. It directed the execution of a 
defensive deployment in preparation for carrying out war tasks. It 
stated that Guam, Samoa, and continental districts had been directed to 
take appropriate measures against sabotage, and that a similar warning 
was being sent by the War Department. It ordered that the addressee 
inform naval district and Army authorities. The commander in chief of 
the fleet communicated the purport of this message to the general 
commanding the Hawaiian Department of the Army.

At the time of our hearing General Short had no independent recollection 
of the last-mentioned message, although he felt that it must have been 
shown to him.

November 27, 1941, the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, in 
response to the direction of the Chief of Staff that he report measures 
taken, informed the Chief of Staff that he had alerted his 


command against sabotage and that he was maintaining liaison with the 
Navy. No reply referring to this message was sent by the War Department; 
but General Short testified that he considered the Adjutant General's 
message referred to in the next succeeding paragraph a reply. 

November 28, 1941, the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, received 
from The Adjutant General of the Army a message stating that the 
critical situation required every precaution to be taken at once against 
subversive activities, within the scope of the Army's responsibility; 
that all necessary measures be taken to protect military establishments, 
property, and equipment against sabotage, against propaganda affecting 
Army personnel, and against all espionage. The message disclaimed 
ordering any illegal measures, and warned that protective measures 
should be confined to those essential to security, so as to avoid 
unnecessary publicity and alarm. The message stated that identical 
communications were being sent to all air stations and, on November 28, 
the Chief of the Army Air Forces sent such an identical message to the 
commanding general, Hawaiian Air Force. 

November 29, 1941, the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, replied 
to the last-mentioned message, outlining at length and in detail the 
measures taken to prevent sabotage of military establishments and 
property and essential industrial and public-utility installations. No 
reply was sent by the War Department to this message. General Short 
testified that he considered this series of messages a tacit agreement 
that the measures taken were all that were intended by the Department. 

November 29, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations sent a message to the 
commander in chief of the fleet, which was in substance a quotation of 
the Chief of Staff's despatch of November 27 to the commanding general, 
Hawaiian Department; and in addition directed the addressee to take no 
offensive action until Japan had committed an overt act, and ordered 
certain action in case hostilities should occur. 

November 30, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations sent a despatch to the 
commander in chief of the Asiatic Fleet, and also forwarded the message 
to the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet for his information, in 
which it was stated the indications were that Japan was about to launch 
an attack on the Kra Isthmus, directing the commander in chief of the 
Asiatic Fleet to do certain scouting, but to avoid the appearance of 
attacking. Admiral Kimmel testified that he had viewed this message as 
indicating that the Navy Department was not expecting a Japanese attack 
on Hawaii. 

The Navy Department sent three messages to the commander in chief of the 
Pacific Fleet; the first of December 3, 1941, stated that it was 
believed certain Japanese consulates were destroying their codes and 
burning secret documents; the second of December 4, 1941, instructed the 
addressee to destroy confidential documents and means of confidential 
communication, retaining only such as were necessary, the latter to be 
destroyed in event of emergency (this was sent to the commander in chief 
of the Pacific Fleet for information only); and the third of December 6, 
1941, directing that in view of the tense situation the naval commands 
on the outlying Pacific islands might be authorized to destroy 
confidential papers then or later, under conditions of greater 
emergency, and that those essential to continued operations should be 
retained until the last moment.


The foregoing messages did not create in the minds of the responsible 
officers in the Hawaiian area apprehension as to probable imminence of 
air raids. On the contrary they only served to emphasize in their minds 
the danger from sabotage and surprise submarine attack. The necessity 
for taking a state-of-war readiness which would have been required to 
avert or meet an air-raid attack was not considered. 


December 1,1941, the Director of Naval Intelligence issued a bulletin 
which, under the caption "Japanese Naval Situation,"' stated: 

"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 
Indochina and Formosan ports. Present movements to the south appear to 
be carried out by all 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 battleships also may be assigned, the major capital ship 
strength remains in home waters, as well as the greatest portion of: the 

The Naval Intelligence Service in Hawaii, due to lack of information 
indicating that the bulk of Japanese carriers were at sea, concluded 
they were in home ports.


At about noon, eastern standard time (6:30 a.m. Honolulu time), December 
7, an additional warning message, indicating an almost immediate break 
in relations between the United States and Japan, was its dispatched by 
the Chief of Staff after conference with the Chief Naval Operations, for 
the information of responsible Army and Navy commanders. Every effort 
was made to have the message reach Hawaii in the briefest possible time, 
but due to conditions beyond the control of anyone concerned the 
delivery of this urgent message was delayed until after the attack. 


The commanding general, Hawaiian Department, the commander in chief of 
the fleet, and the commandant, Fourteenth Naval District, their senior 
subordinates, and their principal staff officers, considered the 
possibility of air raids. Without exception they believed that the 
chance of such a raid while the Pacific Fleet was based upon Pearl 
Harbor were practically nil. The attack of Sunday, December 7, 1941, was 
therefore a complete surprise to each of them.

While General Short and Admiral Kimmel conferred frequently with respect 
to joint Army-Navy plans and procedures, they did not, subsequent to 
November 27, 1941, hold any conference specifically directed to the 
meaning of the messages received from the War and Navy Departments or 
concerning action required to be taken pursuant to those messages. 


For some time prior to November 27, 1941, the War Department and the 
Navy Department had under consideration the possibility of sending Army 
airplanes to Wake and Midway and withdrawing Marine planes then on those 
islands; of relieving marines stationed there by the substitution of 
units of the Army. General Short, Admiral Kimmel, and Rear Admiral Bloch 
had been in conference concerning this proposal. 

At the time of the receipt of the messages of November 27 by Admiral 
Kimmel and General Short, respectively, this proposal was a subject of 
discussion. General Short held discussions with Admiral Kimmel on 
November 27, December 1, 2, and 3 concerning this matter in an effort to 
compose certain differences of view. At one of these conferences Admiral 
Kimmel inquired of his war-plans officer, Captain McMorris, who was 
present, concerning the probability of a surprise air attack on Oahu. 
According to General Short, Captain McMorris replied there was no 
probability of such an attack; and, according to Captain McMorris, his 
reply was that the Japanese would never so attack. According to the 
testimony Admiral Kimmel and General Short did not discuss means or 
measures for Hawaiian defense to be adopted in the light of the 

On and after November 27, 1941, the commanding general, Hawaiian 
Department, and the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, 
independently took such action as each deemed appropriate to the 
existing situation. Neither informed the other specifically of the 
action he was taking, and neither inquired of the other whether or not 
any action had been taken, nor did they consult as to the 
appropriateness of the actions taken by them respectively. 

After receipt of the messages of November 27 the following action was 

The commanding general, Hawaiian Department, ordered alert No. 1 (see 
next succeeding paragraph) into effect on November 27, and it was 
maintained in effect until December 7. At the same time he ordered that 
the aircraft warning system operate daily from 4 to 7 a. m. The 
commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District, in his capacity as base-
defense officer, called a conference of all the destroyer commanders of 
the inshore patrol, advised them that something might happen, and that 
they should be on the alert. The commander in chief of the fleet made 
certain dispositions of units of the fleet for the purpose of 
strengthening his outposts to the south and west of the Hawaiian 
Islands, and also issued an order that any Japanese submarines found in 
the operating areas around the island of Oahu should be attacked. This 
order went beyond the authority given him by the Navy Department. 

In the Hawaiian Department's standing operating procedure governing the 
defense of the Hawaiian coastal frontier, three states of readiness were 
prescribed, known as alert No. 1, alert No. 2, and alert No. 3. Alert 
No. 1 was thus defined: 

"This alert is a defense against acts of sabotage and uprisings within 
the islands, with no threat from without."

Alert No. 2 was thus defined:                       

"This alert is applicable to a condition more serious than alert No. 1. 
Security against attacks from hostile subsurface, surface, and aircraft, 
in addition to defense against acts of sabotage and uprisings is 


Alert No. 3 was thus defined:

"This alert requires occupation of alt field positions by all units, 
prepared for maximum defense of Oahu and the Army installations on 
outlying islands."


The responsibilities of the Army included the installation and operation 
of an aircraft warning system for the detection of water-borne and air-
borne craft at a distance from the coast. Throughout the spring and 
summer of 1941 the Army was engaged in the installation of permanent 
facilities for this purpose on the Hawaiian Islands. Permanent 
installations had not, on December 7, 1941, been completed. By November 
27, 1941, certain mobile equipment had been installed at temporary 
locations, and was being operated intermittently throughout the day for 
the purpose of training personnel in its operation. On November 27, 
1941, in connection with the order for alert No. 1, the commanding 
general, Hawaiian Department, ordered that this system be operated each 
day during the period from 4 until 7 a. m. It was intended that in the 
near future the Navy should have officer personnel in the information 
center, but up December 7 such officers had not been designated. In 
accordance with the order in effect, the system closed at 7 a. m. 
Sunday, December 7. A noncommissioned officer who had been receiving 
training requested that he be allowed to remain at one of the stations, 
and as granted leave so to do. At about 7:02 a. m. he discovered what he 
thought was a large flight of planes slightly east of north of Oahu, at 
a distance of about 130 miles. He reported this fact at 7:20 a. m. to a 
lieutenant of the Army who was at the central information center, having 
been detailed there to familiarize himself with the operation of the 
system. This inexperienced lieutenant, having information that certain 
United States planes might be in the vicinity at the time, assumed that 
the planes in question were friendly planes, and took no action with 
respect to them. The recording of the observation made indicated that 
these airplanes were tracked toward the land and then lost. 

On November 27, 1941, there was sufficient partially trained personnel 
available to operate the aircraft warning system throughout 24 hours of 
the day, as installed in its temporary locations. An arc of nearly 360  
around Oahu could have been covered. 

Admiral Kimmel, on and prior to December 7,1941, assumed that the 
aircraft warning system was being fully operated by the Army, but made 
no inquiry after reading any of the messages of October and November 
from the War and Navy Departments as to what the fact was with respect 
to its operation.


The joint coastal frontier defense plan provided that, when it became 
effective, the Army should conduct an inshore airplane patrol, covering 
the circumference of the island of Oahu to a distance of about 20 miles. 
Prior to December 7, 1941, no inshore patrol was conducted, except 
during drills and maneuvers. Pilots were being trained on weekdays, and 
the training involved flying around the confines of Oahu from about 8 
o'clock in the morning throughout


the day. On Sunday morning no inshore airplane patrol conducted.


Under the joint coastal frontier defense plan, when the plan became 
effective the Navy was to conduct distinct air reconnaissance radiating 
from Oahu to a distance of from 700 to 800 miles. Prior to December 
7,1941, no distant reconnaissances were conducted, except during drills 
and maneuvers. The fleet from time to time had task forces operating in 
various areas off the island of Oahu and, in connection with such 
operations, carrier and patrol planes conducted reconnaissances of the 
operating areas. The sectors searched, however, constituted but small 
arcs of the total arc of 360 , and rarely extended to a radius of 700 

Means were available for distant reconnaissance which would have 
afforded a measure of security against a surprise air attack. 

General Short assumed that the Navy was conducting distant 
reconnaissance, but after seeing the warning messages of October and 
November from the War and Navy Departments he made no inquiry with 
respect to the distant reconnaissance, if any, being conducted by the 


There were, prior to December 7, 1941, Japanese spies on the island of 
Oahu. Some were Japanese consular agents and others were persons having 
no open relations with the Japanese foreign service. These spies 
collected and, through various channels transmitted, information to the 
Japanese Empire respecting the military and naval establishments and 
dispositions on the island. 

In Hawaii the local Army Intelligence Service has always devoted itself 
to matters pertaining to Army personnel and property; and the local 
Naval Intelligence Service to matters pertaining to Navy personnel and 
property. In addition, prior to the establishment of an office of the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation in Hawaii, Naval Intelligence 
investigated enemy activities amongst the civil population. Then the 
Bureau's office was established it was agreed by the three governmental 
agencies that the Bureau should take over and become primarily 
responsible for investigation of matters connected with the civil 
population, and that the three services should cooperate with each 
other. Efforts were made by the Bureau to uncover espionage activities 
in Hawaii. The United States being at peace with Japan, restrictions 
imposed prevented resort to certain methods of obtaining the content of 
messages transmitted by telephone or radio telegraph over the commercial 
lines operating between Oahu and Japan. The Bureau and the local 
intelligence staffs were unable prior to December 7, to obtain and make 
available significant information respecting Japanese plans and fleet 
movements in the direction of Hawaii. 

In the summer of 1941 there were more than 200 consular agents acting 
under the Japanese consul, who was stationed in Honolulu, T. H. The 
naval district intelligence office raised a question with the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation, and with the intelligence officer of the 
Hawaiian Department of the Army, whether these agents


should not be arrested for failing to register as agents of a foreign 
principal as required by statutes of the United States. In conferences 
respecting this question, the commanding general, Hawaiian Department 
objected to the arrest of any such persons at least until then had been 
given notice and an opportunity to register, asserting that their arrest 
would tend to thwart the efforts which the Army had made to create 
friendly sentiment toward the United States on the part of Japanese 
aliens resident in Hawaii and American citizens of Japanese descent 
resident in Hawaii and create unnecessary bad feeling. No action was 
taken against the agents. 

It was believed that the center of Japanese espionage in Hawaii was the 
Japanese consulate at Honolulu. It has been discovered that the Japanese 
consul sent to and received from Tokyo in his own and other names many 
messages on commercial radio circuits. This activity greatly increased 
toward December 7, 1941. The contents of these messages, if it could 
have been learned, might have furnished valuable information. In view of 
the peaceful relations with Japan, and the consequent restrictions on 
the activities of the investigating agencies, they were unable prior to 
December 7 to obtain and examine messages transmitted through commercial 
channels by the Japanese consul, or by persons acting for him. 

It is now apparent that through their intelligence service the Japanese 
had complete information. They evidently knew that no task force of the 
United States Navy was anywhere in the sector northeast, north, and 
northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. They evidently knew that no distant 
airplane reconnaissance was maintained in any sector. They evidently 
knew that up to December 6 no inshore airplane patrol was being 
maintained around the periphery of Oahu. They knew, from maps which they 
had obtained, the exact location of vital air fields, hangars, and other 
structures. They also knew accurately where certain important naval 
vessels would be berthed. Their flyers had the most detailed maps, 
courses, and bearings, so that each could attack a given vessel or 
field. Each seems to have been given in a specified mission. 


The passes and liberty granted the personnel of the Army and Navy in 
Hawaii on Saturday, December 6, were normal for a period when the forces 
were not upon a war footing, with the following exceptions: The normal 
Army guard had been increased by approximately 100 percent; two 
battalions of infantry were held in reserve for anti-sabotage defense; 
antiaircraft gun crews were maintained on ships in harbor for instant 
defense; all Navy personnel, with the exception of those authorized to 
be absent, were required to be in their quarters at midnight; all places 
of amusement in Honolulu and all entertainments at the Army posts were 
closed at midnight; all saloons and drinking places in Honolulu were 
closed at midnight. 

On the night of December 6 numerous officers of the Army and Navy 
attended social functions at various points on the island of Oahu, 
principally the usual Saturday functions at the various posts and naval 
establishments. The commanding general, Hawaiian Department, and the 
commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet were both guests at dinners away 
from their posts of command on that evening, but returned to their 
quarters at an early hour. 


The percentages of strength in the Army present for duty on the island 
of Oahu at 8 a. m. December 7, 1941, reported by all major echelons and 
posts, were: Twenty-fourth Infantry Division, 90 per cent; Twenty-fifth 
Infantry Division, 85.6 percent; Coast Artillery Corps, 87.5 percent; 
Air Force, 88.9 percent; miscellaneous, including department 
headquarters, ordnance, quartermaster, and medical, 92 percent. 
Estimated general percentage, 88.8 percent. Reports from large ships and 
destroyers that were in Pearl Harbor during the attack show 60 percent 
of officers on board and 96 percent of the men. Of 75 vessels of the 
fleet, of all kinds, 49 commanding officers were aboard during the 
attack and 22 were en route to their ships, 1 was on another ship, and 1 
was on authorized leave, which leaves 2 for whom we are unable to 

Intoxicating liquor is sold on the island of Oahu, and men on pass or on 
liberty have the opportunity to buy and consume it. Following the 
established procedure, at home and abroad, the Army exercises 
disciplinary control of men on pass through its military police, and the 
Navy of men on liberty by the use of shore patrols. These organizations 
take into custody any person showing evidence of intoxication. On the 
night of December 7, 1941, from 6 p. m. to 6 a. m., arrests of soldiers 
by the military police, for intoxication, were 38, and arrests of 
sailors by the Navy shore patrol, for intoxication, were 4. By 
comparison the arrests of civilians for drunkenness on that night were 
39. Thorough inquiry disclosed there is no evidence of excessive 
drinking by any officer of either service on that night. The evidence 
shows that as respects the use of intoxicating liquor and intoxication, 
the conditions amongst the men of the Army and of the Navy on the night 
of December 6 compare closely with similar conditions for the several 
preceding months. On Saturday, December 6, 1941, the usual percentage of 
enlisted strength entitled to passes or liberty took advantage of such 
privilege to spend the afternoon or evening in the city of Honolulu. 
Application of this ratio to total numbers of all the services then on 
the island of Oahu and in Pearl Harbor, amounting to about 75,000 men 
indicates that no less than 11,000 soldiers, sailors, and marines 
visited Honolulu that afternoon and evening. 

In normal times more enlisted men of both services are absent from duty 
by permission on Saturday nights than on other nights; and on Saturday 
nights more officers are customarily absent than on weekday nights. 

On the morning of Sunday, December 7, Army posts and naval vessels and 
stations were adequately manned, for the readiness and alert then in 
effect, by men fit for duty. 


The attack on the morning of December 7,1941, was a combined air-raid 
and submarine attack on the island of Oahu, a bombardment of Midway, and 
a continuous air attack and bombardment on Wake Island. 

Available information indicates that the force attacking Oahu consisted 
of either three or four Japanese carriers, with supporting surface craft 
and a few small submarines, and that this force had maintained radio 
silence during its approach, which, except for the submarines, was from 
the northward of Oahu.


In the attack on Oahu a suspicions object was sighted in the prohibited 
area off Pearl Harbor at 6:30 a. m., by the U. S. S. Antares. Between 
6:33 and 6:45 this object, which was a small submarine, was attacked and 
sunk by the concerted action of a naval patrol plane and the U. S. S. 
Ward. A report of this action by the Ward reached the naval-base watch 
officer at 7:12 a. m., who notified his chief of staff. The ready 
destroyer was despatched to investigate, but no alert warnings were 
issued based upon this report. Another small submarine was fired upon, 
depth-charged, rammed, and sunk inside the harbor between 8:35 and 8:43 
a. m. A third small submarine grounded in Kaneohe Bay and was captured. 
There is no evidence of any damage by torpedoes fired by these 

Pearl Harbor was provided with an anti-torpedo net which would have 
prevented the entrance of torpedoes into the harbor, and would have 
revealed the entrance of a submarine. The procedure prior to December 7, 
1941, was to keep the net closed during the hours of darkness, opening 
it only when necessary for a vessel to pass through. It was kept open 
during daylight hours, on the theory that, during daylight the channel 
entrance destroyer, the net vessel, and other vessels in the vicinity, 
would detect a submerged or partially submerged submarine. December 7 
the net was opened at 4:58 a. m. for the entrance of two mine sweepers. 
It was kept open until 8:40 a. m., when it was closed by orders. The net 
was not damaged. The submarine was first sighted in the harbor at 7:45 
a. m. The time of its entrance is not known, but probably it passed in 
about 7 a. m. 

An estimated force of from 150 to 200 fighting, bombing, and torpedo 
planes simultaneously attacked Pearl Harbor and all air bases Oahu at 
about 7:55 a. m. All attacking planes had withdrawn before 11 a. m. As a 
result of the attack serious loss of life was caused and serious damage 
was inflicted on ships in the harbor, and planes, hangars, and other 
facilities at Hickam Field, Ewa Field, Ford Island, Wheeler Field, 
Bellows Field, and Kaneohe.

The major part of the damage to ships in Pearl Harbor resulted from 
torpedoes launched from planes. The torpedoes were of an obsolete type, 
altered to increase their explosive load, to decrease their radius, and 
fitted with side vanes to insure functioning in shallow water a weapon 
peculiarly adapted to an attack such as the one delivered upon ships in 
Pearl Harbor. Many of the bombs had extra heavy cases, and appeared to 
be modified armor-piercing shell. 

December 7, 1941, at 9:30 p. m. Midway time (11: 30 p. m. Honolulu 
time), a force believed to consist of two cruisers and two destroyers, 
approaching from the southward, opened fire and shelled Midway Island 
for about 30 minutes. About noon December 8, 1941 (2:50 p. m. December 
7, Honolulu time), some 27 land planes made strafing and bombing attack 
on Wake Island. Some loss of life and damage to material resulted on 
each island. Attacks on Wake continued until its capture on December 22, 
1941 (December 21, Honolulu time). 

Immediately upon realizing that the Japanese were attacking, the 
commanding general, Hawaiian Department, ordered alert No. 3. The alert 
was executed with reasonable promptness. At the same time the commander 
in chief placed the fleet on a full war basis and


issued a series of orders in an effort to intercept and destroy the 
attacking force. 

Officers and enlisted men, in defending against the attack, demonstrated 
excellent training and high morale. Antiaircraft weapons aboard ship, 
which were not already manned, and antiaircraft weapons ashore, which 
were in position, were promptly manned. Junior officers and enlisted men 
on their own initiative procured from storage every possible automatic 
weapon. These weapons continued in action during and in spite of low-
level strafing and dive bombing which have been known to demoralize even 
seasoned troops. At least three fighter pilots, in total disregard of 
their own safety, attempted to take off in the face of greatly superior 
forces then attacking their airdrome, but lost their lives in the 
attempt. A few fighter planes parked on an outlying gunnery training 
field, which was not attacked, took the air. This combined antiaircraft 
and fighter action resulted in the destruction of approximately 30 enemy 
aircraft, and a number of others were lost at sea because they were 
unable to rejoin their carriers. 


The state of readiness prescribed for Army aircraft prior to the attack 
required them to be ready for flight only after 4 hours' notice. The 
type of alert in effect required all Army aircraft to be concentrated in 
order more effectively to guard against possible sabotage instead of 
being dispersed in order to afford greater security against air attack, 
and greater facility in taking the air. This state of readiness, this 
concentration of airplanes, and the element of surprise, all contributed 
to the effectiveness of the Japanese attack, and resulted in such 
permanent or temporary disablement of airplanes that very few fighter 
airplanes were able to take the air during the course of the action. For 
the same reasons it was impossible to get airplanes into the air in time 
to trail the Japanese airplanes back to their carriers. 

The aircraft warning system, which was remanned by about 8:30 a. m. 
December 7, 1941, failed during the balance of that day to furnish any 
reliable information of enemy aircraft returning to their carriers. Such 
information as it afforded indicated enemy forces to the southward and 
southwestward of Oahu. A report of an actual contact with an enemy 
carrier, which later proved to be erroneous, gave credence to numerous 
reports from other sources indicating enemy carriers might be to the 
southward and southwestward thus causing futile searches in those areas. 

On December 7 Naval Task Force 8 was about 200 miles west of Oahu, 
proceeding toward Oahu. Another was about 700 miles west of Oahu. A 
third, Task Force 11, was in the vicinity of Johnston Island, about 700 
miles southwest of Oahu. These task forces were engaged in operations 
connected with strengthening the defenses of the outlying islands. 

On the morning of December 7, 1941, prior to the attack, the following 
searches of sea areas were being made. Six patrol planes were searching 
south and southeastwardly from Midway. These patrol planes were in the 
air engaged in a joint exercise with submarines south of Oahu. Eighteen 
scouting planes from Task Force 8 had been dispatched to scout in 
advance of the force which was on its way to 


Oahu. These scouted to the southwestward of Oahu. After the attack 
following searches were made: The 3 planes in the air south of Oahu, 
according to their standing orders, searched to the northwest of Oahu a 
distance of about 375 miles. Nine planes were dispatched by Task Force 8 
and searched to the south and southwest of Oahu. Carrier planes of Task 
Force 11 searched in an area about 500 miles southwestward of Oahu. 
About 11:27 a. m. 2 heavy Army bombers and 4 light bombers took off to 
attack a carrier reported about 25 miles off Barber's Point. After 
failure to make contact the 2 heavy bombers searched first to the 
southwestward and then in areas to the northwest of Oahu. The other 4 
searched to the southwestward. At 11:50 a. m. 6 Navy VS planes searched 
southward of Oahu. Thereafter 9 planes searched the sector southwest to 
northwest of Oahu. Two utility planes searched northward of Oahu to a 
distance of 300 miles, and 9 planes which had arrived from carriers and 
refueled searched some 200 miles to the northward. No contacts were made 
with enemy aircraft or carriers, except that 1 Navy airplane was 
attacked by a Japanese airplane some 300 miles north of Oahu. This 
incident was not reported until the next day. 


Pearl Harbor is an important outlying naval base, and its security is 
vital to both offensive and defensive operations. It is the Army's 
function to insure the security of Pearl Harbor against hostile attack, 
and the Navy's function to support the Army indirectly by operations at 
sea and directly by making available therefor such instrumentalities of 
the Navy as are on the vessels of the fleet when in harbor and are 
located or based on shore either temporarily or permanently.

Effective utilization of the military power of the Nation is essential 
to success in war and requires that the operations of the Army and the 
Navy be coordinated. Under the then existing plans the joint defense of 
the Hawaiian frontier was to be coordinated by mutual cooperation 
between the commanders concerned. Plans for the defense of the Hawaiian 
coastal frontier were prepared by the commanding general, Hawaiian 
Department, and the commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District, the 
latter acting as a subordinate of the commander in chief of the Pacific 
fleet. Adherence to such a plan prepared in advance of hostilities does 
not suffice to relieve commanders of their responsibility to apply and 
adapt the plan to the situation as it develops.
Where, as here, the defense of an area is the joint responsibility of 
two commanders who are to coordinate their activities by mutual 
cooperation, the first duty of such commanders in the case of an 
emergency is conference and consultation with respect to the measures to 
be taken under the existing plans and the adaptation of those plans in 
whole or in part to the situation.

At about the time that Admiral Kimmel and General Short assumed their 
respective commands, the War and Navy Departments were in correspondence 
with respect to adequate defense against air raids on Oahu and the naval 
base. The correspondence between the departments exhibits a deep concern 
respecting the probability of this form of attack. These commanders were 
acquainted with this 


correspondence. Nevertheless there has been amongst the responsible 
commanders and their subordinates, without exception, a conviction, 
which persisted up to December 7, 1941, that Japan had no intention of 
making any such raid. Consequently this form of attack was a complete 
surprise to all of the superior officers of Army and Navy stationed in 
the Hawaiian area. This conviction persisted notwithstanding messages 
containing warnings and orders, brought to the attention of both 
commanders over a period of weeks prior to the attack. As early as 
October 16 the commanders were warned of the possibility of an attack by 
Japan on the United States and were directed to take precautions and 
make preparatory dispositions in the light of this information. A 
significant warning message was communicated to both the local 
commanders on November 24. On November 27 each responsible commander was 
warned that hostilities were momentarily possible. The warnings 
indicated war, and war only.
Both of these messages contained orders. The commanding general was 
ordered to undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as he deemed 
necessary. The commander in chief of the fleet was ordered to execute a 
defensive deployment in preparation for carrying out war tasks. Other 
significant messages followed on succeeding days. These emphasized the 
impending danger and the need for war readiness.
In this situation, during a period of 10 days preceding the Japanese 
attack, the responsible commanders held no conference directed to a 
discussion of the meaning of the warnings and orders sent them. And 
failed to collaborate and to coordinate defensive measures which should 
be taken pursuant to the orders received. Dispositions as a result of 
the messages were independently made by each commander. Neither of them 
informed himself of the measures and dispositions taken by the other.
The dispositions so made were inadequate to meet a surprise air attack.
Both commanders were handicapped by lack of information as to Japanese 
dispositions and intent. The lack of such knowledge rendered more urgent 
the initiation of a state of readiness for defense.
The personnel, materiel, and equipment were insufficient to place the 
forces on a war footing and maintain them on that footing for an 
extended period. These deficiencies did not preclude measures which 
would have to a great extent frustrated the attack or mitigated its 
A considerable number of the Army and Navy personnel were on pass or 
liberty December 6, for the reason that the state of alert or of 
readiness demanded by the emergency had not been put into effect. With 
immaterial exceptions Army and Navy personnel had returned from leave 
and liberty hours before the attack ensued, fit for duty.

Both officers and men responded immediately in the emergency and 
exhibited initiative, efficiency, and bravery in meeting the raid. 

Based upon its findings of fact, the Commission reaches the following 



1. Effective utilization of the military power of the Nation is 
essential to success in war and requires: First, the coordination of the 
foreign and military policies of the Nation; and, second, the 
coordination of the operations of the Army and Navy.
2. The Secretary of State fulfilled his obligations by keeping the War 
and Navy Departments in close touch with the international situation and 
fully advising them respecting the course and probable termination of 
negotiations with Japan.
3. The Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy fulfilled their 
obligations by conferring frequently with the Secretary of State and 
with each other and by keeping the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval 
Operations informed of the course of the negotiations with Japan and the 
significant implications thereof.
4. The Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations fulfilled their 
obligations by consulting and cooperating with each other, and with 
their superiors, respecting the joint defense of the Hawaiian coastal 
frontier; and each knew of, and concurred in, the warnings and orders 
sent by the other to the responsible commanders with respect to such 
5 The Chief of Staff of the Army fulfilled his command responsibility by 
issuing a direct order in connection with his warning of probable 
hostilities, in the following words: "Prior to hostile Japanese action 
you are directed to undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as 
you deem necessary."

6. The Chief of Naval Operations fulfilled his command responsibility by 
issuing a warning and by giving a direct order to the commander in 
chief, Pacific Fleet, in the following words:

This despatch is to be considered a war warning. 


Execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out 
the tasks assigned.

7. The responsible commanders in the Hawaiian area, in fulfillment of 
their obligation so to do, prepared plans which, if adapted to and used 
for the existing emergency, would have been adequate.

8. In the circumstances the responsibility of these commanders was to 
confer upon the question of putting into effect and adapting their joint 
defense plans.
9. These commanders failed to confer with respect to the warnings and 
orders issued on and after November 27, and to adapt and use existing 
plans to meet the emergency.
10. The order for alert No. 1 of the Army command in Hawaii was not 
adequate to meet the emergency envisaged in the warning messages. 

11. The state of readiness of the naval forces on the morning of 
December 7 was not such as was required to meet the emergency envisaged 
in the warning messages. 

12. Had orders issued by the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval 
Operations November 27, 1941, been complied with, the aircraft warning 
system of the Army should have been operating: the distant 
reconnaissance of the Navy, and the inshore air patrol of the Army,


should have been maintained; the antiaircraft batteries of the Army and 
similar shore batteries of the Navy, as well as additional antiaircraft 
artillery located on vessels of the fleet in Pearl Harbor, should have 
been manned and supplied with ammunition: and a high state of readiness 
of aircraft should have been in effect. None of these conditions was in 
fact inaugurated or maintained for the reason that the responsible 
commanders failed to consult and cooperate as to necessary action based 
upon the warnings and to adopt measures enjoined by the orders given 
them by the chiefs of the Army and Navy commands in Washington.
13. There were deficiencies in personnel, weapons, equipment, and 
facilities to maintain all the defenses on a war footing for extended 
periods of time. But these deficiencies should not have affected the 
decision of the responsible commanders as to the state of readiness to 
be prescribed.

14. The warning message of December 7, intended to reach both commanders 
in the field at about 7 a. m. Hawaiian time, December 7, 1941, was but 
an added precaution, in view of the warnings and orders previously 
issued. If the message had reached its destination at the time intended, 
it would still have been too late to be of substantial use. In view of 
the fact that the commanders had failed to take measures and make 
dispositions prior to the time of its anticipated receipt which would 
have been effective to warn of [ward off?] the attack or to meet it.
15. The failure of the officers in the War Department to observe that 
General Short, neither in his reply of November 27 to the Chief of 
Staff's message of that date, nor otherwise, had reported the measures 
taken by him, and the transmission of two messages concerned chiefly 
with sabotage which warned him not to resort to illegal methods against 
sabotage or espionage, and not to take measures which would alarm the 
civil population, and the failure to reply to his message of November 29 
outlining in full all the actions he had taken against sabotage only, 
and referring to nothing else, tended to lead General Short to believe 
that what he had done met the requirements of the warnings and orders 
received by him.
16. The failure of the commanding general, Hawaiian Department, and the 
commander in chief, Pacific Fleet, to confer and cooperate with respect 
to the meaning of the warnings received and the measures necessary to 
comply with the orders given them under date of November 27, 1941, 
resulted largely from a sense of security due to the opinion prevalent 
in diplomatic, military, and naval circles, and in the public press, 
that any immediate attack by Japan would be in the Far East. The 
existence of such a view, however prevalent, did not relieve the 
commanders of the responsibility for the security of the Pacific Fleet 
and our most important outpost.

17. In the light of the warnings and directions to take appropriate 
action, transmitted to both commanders between November 27 and December 
7, and the obligation under the system of coordination then in effect 
for joint cooperative action on their part, it was a dereliction of duty 
on the part of each of them not to consult and confer with the other 
respecting the meaning and intent of the warnings, and the appropriate 
measures of defense required by the imminence of hostilities. The 
attitude of each, that he was not required to inform him-


self of, and his lack of interest in, the measures undertaken by the 
other to carry out the responsibility assigned to such other under the 
provisions of the plans then in effect, demonstrated on the part of each 
a lack of appreciation of the responsibilities vested in them and 
inherent in their positions as commander in chief, Pacific Fleet, and 
commanding general, Hawaiian Department.

18. The Japanese attack was a complete surprise to the commanders and 
they failed to make suitable dispositions to meet such an attack. Each 
failed properly to evaluate the seriousness of the situation. These 
errors of judgment were the effective causes for the success of the 
19. Causes contributory to the success of the Japanese attack were: 
Disregard of international law and custom relating to declaration of war 
by the Japanese and the adherence by the United States to such laws and 

Restrictions which prevented effective counter-espionage.
Emphasis in the warning messages on the probability of aggressive 
Japanese action in the Ear East, and on anti-sabotage measures.
Failure of the War Department to reply to the message relating to the 
anti-sabotage measures instituted by the commanding general, Hawaiian 

Non-receipt by the interested parties, prior to the attack, of the 
warning message of December 7, 1941. 

20. When the attack developed on the morning of December 7, 1941, the 
officers and enlisted men of both services were present in sufficient 
number and were in fit condition to perform any duty. Except for a 
negligible number, the use of intoxicating liquor on the preceding 
evening did not affect their efficiency.
21. Subordinate commanders executed their superiors' orders without 
question. They were not responsible for the state of readiness 
Respectfully submitted. 


[January 23, 1942]

Page maintained by Larry W. Jewell, lwjewell@omni.cc.purdue.edu. Created: 12/12/96 Updated: 12/19/96