PATROL WING TWO,
Confidential                          U. S. NAVAL AIR STATION,
                             Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U. S. A., 16 Jan. 1941
From: The Commander Patrol Wing TWO.
To: The Chief of Naval Operations.
Via: (1) The Commander Scouting force.
     (2) The Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet.
Subject: Patrol Wing TWO-Readiness of.
Reference: (a) OpNav Conf. serial 095323 to the Commander-in-Chief,
           U. S. Fleet-"Protection of Fleet Air-Craft."

1. I arrived here on October 30, 1940, with the point of view that the International situation was critical, especially in the Pacific, and I was impressed with the need of being ready today rather than tomorrow for any eventuality that might arise. After taking over command of Patrol Wing TWO and looking over the situation, I was surprised to find that here in the Hawaiian islands, an important naval advanced outpost, we were operating on a shoestring and the more I looked the thinner the shoestring appeared to be.

2. (a) War Readiness of Patrol Plane Squadrons is dependent not only on the planes and equipment that comprise these squadrons but also on many operating needs and requirements at Air Stations and outlying bases over which the Patrol Wing Commander has no direct control. Needs and requirements for War Readiness include: spare planes, spare engines, hangar and beach equipment, squadron equipment, spare parts, stores, material, bombs, ammunition, base operating facilities, overhaul and repair facilities, qualified personnel to man all base facilities and shops all in sufficient adequacy to insure continuous operating readiness. These cannot be provided overnight. The isolation of this locality from the source of supply, the distance, and time involved, make careful and comprehensive long distance planning mandatory. I am informed that in the past, the average interval between the normal request and receipt of material has been nine months.

(b) Reference (a) reads, in part, as follows: "In about one year practically all fleet aircraft except Patrol Wing TWO will have armor and fuel protection" As there are no plans to modernize the present patrol planes comprising Patrol Wing TWO, this [2] evidently means that there is no intention to replace the present obsolescent type of patrol planes in Patrol Wing TWO prior to one year and; that Patrol Wing TWO will be practically the last Wing to be furnished new planes. This, together with the many existing deficiencies, indicates to me that the Navy Department as a whole does not view the situation in the Pacific with alarm or else is not taking steps in keeping with their view.

3. (a) Presumably, the offices and bureaus concerned are familiar with the situation in the Hawaiian Area over which they have particular cognizance; certainly enough correspondence has already been written concerning patrol plane needs to enable bureaus and offices to take the necessary steps to provide and to anticipate such needs.

(b) If war should break in the Pacific, there is much work cut out for patrol planes and undoubtedly much will be expected of them. Considerably

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more attention will have to be paid to anticipating their needs and action taken to provide deficiencies by all the bureaus and offices concerned if patrol planes are to perform according to expectations.

4. It is therefore urgently recommended that those concerned with War Plans and those in the Planning and Procurement Divisions of all bureaus and offices view the patrol plane situation in the Hawaiian Area in the light of the International situation in the Pacific, that each bureau and office check and recheck their planning and procurement lists for present requirements and future needs and that immediate steps be taken to furnish the personnel, material, facilities and equipment required and under their cognizance, to meet the present emergency and probable eventualities. The tremendous and all consuming work of those in the Navy Department is fully appreciated and there is no intent to criticize or to shift responsibility. This letter is written merely in an effort to insure that we may not be "too late"

5. The following are some of the deficiencies and requirements referred to above:


(a) For Patrol Wing TWO.

1. Replace present obsolescent type patrol planes with high performance modern types having latest approved armor and armament features and in such numbers as the readiness of base operating facilities will permit.

2. Provide squadron spares and squadron equipment in excess so as to have available a sufficiency to provide for shift of operations to outlying bases.

3. Provide bomb handling equipment of latest design in sufficient amounts as to reduce to minimum the time element involved in rearming both at normal base and outlying bases.

4. Provide ordnance material to fill and maintain full squadron allowances.

5. Provide increased number of aircraft torpedoes when additional storage is available. Twenty-four aircraft torpedoes are now stored at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, T. H.

6. Expedite completion and assignment of patrol plane tenders. At present, the tenders for Patrol Wing TWO consists of the U. S. S. WRIGHT and the U. S. S. SWAN. The WRIGHT now is not available due to Navy Yard overhaul until March 17 1941.

(b) For Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, T. H.

1. Increase capacity for overhaul and repair of patrol planes, engines, instruments, radio and ordnance material, and provide manufacture and stowage of breathing oxygen, to anticipate [4] operating needs both now and as estimated for the future, through addition of shop space additional shops, additional personnel, additional equipment, additional supply of spare parts and stock.

2. Increase and improve bomb storage and ammunition storage through enlargement and preparation of present storage and installation of bomb handling equipment.

3. Construction of squadron's ready ammunition storage.

4. Additional bombs in Hawaiian Area.

5. Additional ferries or other suitable means for transporting bombs from Ammunition Depot across water surrounding Ford Island to Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, T. H.

6. Increase supply facilities through additional stowage, additional supply personnel (officer and enlisted), additional facilities for handling supplies, assistance in obtaining and increasing the amount of spares and supplies on hand, and simplification of requisitioning spare parts and supplies.

7. Increase machine gun and rifle range facilities in Pearl Harbor Area to provide for more effective ground training for personnel of patrol squadrons based on Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, T. H.

8. Provide for torpedo war head stowage at some suitable location readily accessible to the [5] Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, T. H.

9. Increase barrack space to provide for increased personnel at Naval Air Station and for personnel of additional patrol squadrons as may be assigned.

(c) For Naval Air Station, Kaneohe.

1. Expedite completion; providing the operating facilities necessary to permit basing and efficiently operating the number of patrol squadrons in

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tended to base thereon, including dredging the patrol plane operating area to the extent recommended, dredging ship channel, housing of the necessary personnel, supplying equipment for the various buildings, supplying necessary boats and supplying adequate station personnel. Anticipate engine and plane overhaul facilities to meet War requirements.

(d) For Keehi Lagoon.

1. Take necessary steps to expedite the development of Keehi Lagoon for a patrol plane base.

(e) For Outlying Bases, Wake, Johnston, Palmyra.

1. Expedite completion of operating facilities with particular regard to dredging ship channels; dredging landing and take-off areas; providing gasoline and oil reserves and issue facilities; bomb and ammunition SUPPLY and stowage; concrete ramps and parking area.

(f) For Midway.

1. Expedite completion and establishment of Midway as an outlying Operating base with the assignment [6] of necessary personnel and with facilities and equipment to provide for the basing thereon of two patrol plane squadrons.

(g) General.

1. Stop the normal shifting and rotating between sea and shore and between other activities of personnel, officer and enlisted, in Patrol Wing TWO, Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, and Naval Air Station, Kaneohe, until all personnel complements have been brought up to the requirements necessary for war-time operations.

2. Provide two sets additional beaching gear and two boats fitted with gasoline bowser tanks for use at each of the following outlying bases: Wake, Midway, Johnston, Palmyra, Guam and Canton.

                                                      P. N. L. Bellinger
                                                      P. N. L. BELLINGER
Copy to:
   Com. 14.
   N. A. S., P. H., T. H.
   Prosp. C. O., N. A. S., Kaneohe.