Prologue to Pearl Harbor: The Spy Flight that Wasn’t, Part II

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives at College Park, MD.

On November 27, 1941, Lt. Cmdr. Edwin T. Layton, Fleet Intelligence Officer, United States Pacific Fleet, met with Colonel Edward W. Raley and the Intelligence Section of the Hawaiian Air Force, to discuss the B-24 reconnaissance mission. Layton stressed the urgent need for as wide as possible reconnaissance of the Marshalls, Truk and Ponape, with particular reference to Jaluit, Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Rongelap, Wotje and Maloelap. Either that day, or next, when Layton had another meeting with Raley, he  furnished him with Fleet Intelligence Bulletin No. 45-41, giving the general summary of the installations and developments in the Mandates. Raley promised him that this publication would not be reproduced by them nor given any circulation except to the pilots of the reconnaissance planes and to the commanders of the Army squadrons to be stationed on Wake and Midway. Also, the document would not be carried in any aircraft.[1]

The Sixteenth Naval District Communication Intelligence Unit’s report for November 27 stated that it was impossible to confirm the supposition that carriers and submarines were in the Mandates, since the best sources indicated that all known First and Second Fleet carriers were still in the Sasebo-Kure area. However, a number of cruiser and destroyer divisions, as well as Battleship Division 3 and base forces were expected to operate in the Mandates.[2]   

Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold R. Stark, on November 27 sent the following message to Admiral Thomas C. Hart [Commander of the United States Asiatic Fleet] and Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet:

This despatch is to be considered a war warning X Negotiations with Japan looking toward stabilization of conditions in the Pacific have ceased and an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days X The number and equipment of Japanese troops and the organization of naval task forces indicates an amphibious expedition against either the Philippines Thai or Kra peninsula or possibly Borneo X Execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in WPL46 [the Navy’s war plan] X Inform district and army authorities X A similar warning is being sent by War Department X Spenavo [Special Navy Observer London] inform British X Continental districts Guam Samoa directed take appropriate measures against sabotage.[3]

Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall informed Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, on November 27:

Negotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical purposes with only the barest possibilities that the Japanese government might come back and offer to continue. Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot, repeat cannot, be avoided the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act. This policy should not, repeat not, be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might jeopardize your defense. Prior to hostile Japanese action you are directed to undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary but these measures should be carried out so as not, repeat not, to alarm civil population or disclose intent. Report measures taken. Should hostilities occur you will carry out the tasks assigned in Rainbow Five so far as they pertain to Japan. Limit dissemination of this highly secret information to minimum essential officers. [4]

The following message was sent to General Douglas MacArthur, the Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces in the Far East, on November 27:

Negotiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical purposes with only barest possibilities that Japanese Government might come back and offer to continue. Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot, repeat cannot, be avoided the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act. This policy should not, repeat not, be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might jeopardize the successful defense of the Philippines. Prior to hostile Japanese action you are directed to take such reconnaissance and other measures you deem necessary. Report measures taken. Should hostilities occur you will carry out the tasks assigned in revised Rainbow 5 which was delivered to you by General Brereton[5]. Chief of Naval Operations concurs and request you notify Hart. [6]

Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson recorded in his diary on November 27, “A very tense, long day. News is coming in of a concentration and movement south by the Japanese of a large Expeditionary Force moving south from Shanghai and evidently headed towards Indo-China, with a possibility of going to the Philippines or to Burma, or to the Burma Road or to the Dutch East Indies, but probably a concentration to move over into Thailand and to hold a position from which they can attack Singapore when the moment arrives.” The first thing that morning Stimson called Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who said he had broken off the whole thing. As he put it, “‘I have washed my hands of it and it is now in the hands of you and Knox—the Army and the Navy.’” Stimson then called Roosevelt who gave him his views. When he had finished his conversation with the President, Maj. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Forces, came in to present his orders for the movement of two B-24s from San Francisco and across the Mandated Islands to Manila. Stimson wrote: “There is a concentration going on by the Japanese in the Mandated Islands and these planes can fly high over them, beyond the reach of their pursuit planes and take photographs.” [7]

During the Joint Congressional Investigation on the Pearl Harbor attack, Marshall, testified that he discussed the flight with Arnold, and also required the subject be taken up with the Secretary of War because of the dangers involved. He said “General Arnold discussed that with the Secretary of War, because we regarded it as a very delicate proposition. We could not figure any other way how to obtain this information. We thought it was very important that we should know. We thought it possible that by flying at a high altitude we might get by with the thing without more than a Japanese objection to our coming into their mandated area. However, we had to accept the possibility that they would seize upon this as an overt act.” [8]

Senator Ferguson asked Marshall “Would, from an Army viewpoint, the flying of these planes over this Japanese territory, the mandated islands, would that be an overt act?”  Marshall responded:

Yes…It would certainly be assumed as an indiscreet act, because the flight of our planes over any foreign territory was always supposed to be by previous arrangement, and particularly that would apply to military, to combat planes. Therefore, we were doing something quite definitely that the Japanese might seize upon as an overt act. They themselves had been doing it, but that is not the point.

Ferguson, in asking Marshall about the last few words of the message to Short about the reconnaissance flight, stated that it indicated “that you felt it might be considered an overt act, because we would need guns and ammunition to protect ourselves.” Marshall responded “That is correct, sir.”  Ferguson, continuing in this line of questioning, stated “We were assuming that Japan would treat it as an overt act and that our military authorities felt we should arm our men in these planes, because it says “‘airplanes are fully equipped with guns and ammunition on departure from Honolulu.’” Marshall responded “Yes, sir.” [9]

Marshall said to Ferguson “You used the expression that we are assuming that that was an overt act. We were taking the chance of that.” Ferguson then asked “Well, you guarded against it if they had been attacked.” Marshall replied that “We did not leave our crews in a helpless position. The question was whether they should chance it. We would never be able to find anything in regard to the mandated islands, and it had now become imperative, in our view, to learn something of what the state of affairs in the mandated islands was, particularly as it related to the Japanese fleet.” [10]

After Arnold left Stimson’s office, Knox and Stark conferred with Stimson and Gerow. Stimson recorded in his diary: “Marshall is down at the maneuvers today and I feel his absence very much.” “There was a tendency, not unnatural, on the part of Stark and Gerow to seek for more time.” “I said that I was glad to have time but I didn’t want it at any cost of humility on the part of the United States or of reopening the thing which would show a weakness on our part.” “The main question has been over the message what we shall send to MacArthur. We have already sent him a quasi-alert, of the first signal for an alert, and now, on talking with the President this morning over the telephone, I suggested and he approved the idea that we should send the final alert, namely, that he should be on the qui vive for any attack and telling him how the situation was. So Gerow and Stark and I went over the proposed message to him from Marshall very carefully; finally got it in shape and with the help of a telephone talk I had with Hull, I got the exact statement from him of what the situation was.” [11]

General Miles wrote Marshall on November 27 that certain Japanese troops had been withdrawn from North and Central China within the last three weeks- 24,000 of them sailed from Shanghai area between November 15 and November 23. He reported that a naval task force which was reported by the fourteenth Naval District as organized and concentrated at Taiwan and Hainan appeared according to a November 27 radio from the Sixteenth Naval District to be a loosely organized force on its way to an unknown concentration point. According to the latter dispatch it consists of 3-4 battleships (possibly only), 3 carriers, etc. Miles reported that the Japanese land forces in the mandated islands have been gradually increased in the last six months from 5,000 to 15,000 men, and they now had about 100 combat planes of all types, plus the Fourth Fleet, a mixed naval force of second class units. According to British reports, Miles continued, the Japanese had made and would continue to make aerial reconnaissance over British Pacific Islands, especially the Gilbert group, Nauru and Ocean Islands; also over the Northern portion of British Malaya. “It appears evident that the Japanese have completed plans for further aggressive moves in Southeastern Asia. These plans will probably be put into effect soon after the armed services feel that the Kurusu mission is a definite failure. A task force of about five divisions, supported by appropriate air and naval units has been assembled for the execution of these plans. This force is now enroute southward to an as yet undetermined rendezvous.” Concluding, Miles wrote “this Division [i.e., G-2] is of the opinion that the initial move will be made against Thailand from the sea and overland through Southern Indo-China.” [12]

Meanwhile in Hawaii on November 27, Short, accompanied by Maj. Gen. Frederick L Martin, Commanding General of the Hawaiian Air Force, and Lt. Col. James A. Mollison, Martin’s Chief of Staff, met with Kimmel and Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch, Commandant of the 14th Naval District, in Kimmel’s office, to discuss the reinforcement of the Marine garrisons at Midway and Wake by squadrons of Army pursuit planes. As this would unquestionably weaken the defenses of Oahu, Kimmel asked a question of Captain Charles H. McMorris, his War Plans Officer, which was substantial as follows:

Kimmel “McMorris, what is your idea of the chances of a surprise raid on Oahu?” McMorris: “I should say none Admiral.” [13]

On November 28, the radio traffic analysts reported that the communications volume between South China, Mandates, and Empire was very heavy. That same day, an intelligence summary, reviewed by Kimmel, stated there was no further information concerning the presence of a carrier division in the Mandates and that “carriers were still located in home waters.” [14]   

The Navy Department on November 28 sent Kimmel the contents of Marshall’s November 27 message regarding the negotiations with Japan appearing to be terminated. He was instructed to make no offensive action until Japan had committed an overt act and to be prepared to carry out tasks assigned in WPL-46 so far as they applied to Japan in case hostilities occurred.[15]

Marshall returned to the Carolinas on November 28 to view the maneuvers. [16]

Early on November 28, pursuant to his instructions, G-2 sent Stimson a summary of the information in regard to the movements of the Japanese in the Far East. Stimson wrote that “It amounted to such a formidable statement of dangerous possibilities that I decided to take it to the President before he got up. I told him there was an important coalition of facts and that I thought he ought to read it before his appointment which he had made for us at noon, when the so-called War Cabinet was to meet him- Hull, Knox, Stimson, with Stark and Marshall.” Roosevelt quickly made his own analysis of the situation and discussed alternate actions that the United States could take. Stimson said his choice was to fight at once.

By the time of the noon meeting Roosevelt had read the paper Stimson had left with him. The main point of the paper was a study of what the Expeditionary Force, which they knew had left Shanghai and was headed south, was going to do. G-2 pointed out that it might develop into an attack on the Philippines or a landing of further troops in Indo-China, or an attack on Thailand or an attack on the Dutch Netherlands, or on Singapore. After Roosevelt had read these aloud, he pointed out that there was one more. It might, by attacking the Kra Isthmus, develop into an attack on Rangoon, which lies only a short distance beyond the Kra Isthmus and the taking of which by the Japanese would effectually stop the Burma Road at its beginning. This, Stimson thought, was a very good suggestion on his part and a very likely one. “It was the consensus that the present move- that there was an Expeditionary Force on the sea of about 25,000 Japanese troops aimed for a landing somewhere-completely changed the situation when we last discussed whether or how we could address an ultimatum to Japan about moving the troops which she already had on land in Indo-China.” It was, according to Stimson, “the opinion of everyone that if this expedition was allowed to get around the southern point of Indo-China and to go off and land in the Gulf of Siam, either at Bangkok or further west, it would be a terrific blow at all of the three Powers, Britain at Singapore, the Netherlands, and ourselves in the Philippines.” “It was the consensus of everybody that this must not be allowed.” Then they discussed how to prevent it. It was agreed that if the Japanese got into the Isthmus of Kra, the British would fight. It was also agreed that if the British fought, the United States would have to fight. And it now seemed clear that if this expedition was allowed to round the southern point of Indo-China, this whole chain of disastrous events would follow.

It further became a consensus of views that rather than strike at the force as it went by without any warning on the one hand, which they did not think they could do; or sitting still and allowing it to go on, on the other, which they did not think they could do; the only thing for them to do was to address it a warning that if it reached a certain place, or a certain line, or a certain point, the United States should have to fight. They discussed the possibilities of Roosevelt writing the Emperor and speaking before Congress about the situation. Roosevelt asked Hull, Knox, and Stimson to draft the letter to the Emperor and draft the speech he would make to Congress.[17]

On the morning of November 28, Layton again met with Raley and his Intelligence Section, and plans were made to meet again that afternoon. At the morning meeting the Fleet Aerological Officer was present and had worked up meteorological data in conjunction with the proposed reconnaissance. From a point of view of photographic interpretation, he believed, the hours of medium shadow 9-11 am and 2-4 pm were considered most advantageous and fog conditions were expected to be best at around 10 am. Consequently, that hour was tentatively agreed upon for arrival at the first objective. [18] After the morning meeting Layton wrote Kimmel:

The Army plans to fly two (2) B-24 planes fully manned with defensive armament and photographic equipment from Wake on the selected day, departures to be staggered so that arrivals over assigned initial points would be practically simultaneous. Lacking definite information as to Radar installations in the Mandates it is proposed (tentatively) to make the first objective of the planes Jaluit and Truk respectively. The Jaluit plane returning via Maloelap, Wotje, Kwajelein, Rongelap and Pokaakku. The Truk plane returning via Ujelang and Eniwetok. These return objectives being dependent upon discovery or detection at or after first objective, and existing conditions at the time.
The second reconnaissance is to be conducted over Ponape enroute to Port Moresby was assigned Ujelang, Ponape and Kaplngamarangl (Greenwich Island).

Layton informed Kimmel that Raley requested that he sit in on all conferences after the arrival of the photographic planes and that he brief the pilots on all matters relating to the Mandates prior to their takeoff. [19]

In his book, Layton would write that “Rochefort and I badly needed confirmation of our suspicions that a powerful Japanese task force was assembling within striking distance of Pearl Harbor.” “Kimmel was therefore pleased to receive that Friday morning [November 28] memorandum describing my conference with General Martin [undoubtedly he meant Raley] on the army’s intended high-level reconnaissance by specially modified B-24 bombers.” “We had agreed,” he wrote, “that they were to fly over the Marshalls from Wake on missions that would also cover Truk and Ponape.” [20]

During the Pearl Harbor inquiry Layton was asked about the possibility of the Navy using Consolidated PBY Catalinas to make the reconnaissance. He replied:

It was my personal belief that the first PBY that got near the Marshall Islands would be shot down by the fighters that I felt positive were there, whereas the Army B-24 photographic planes would have good armament, good defensive armament, and would also be very fast and would fly very high. Its chances of a successful reconnaissance flight were considered to be better than three to one. As I remember it, the Army reconnaissance planes were to be armed and they were to fire on any plane that interfered with them in the accomplishment of their mission. I was particularly anxious, and I am sure Admiral Kimmel was also, that this reconnaissance be carried out because it would check on our other information as to the presence or absence of air strength and carriers, also submarines, and naval concentrations, that is, [Japanese] Fourth Fleet units, in the Marshalls area, including also Truk and Ponape. It was felt that this was an ideal opportunity to establish the credulity of existing intelligence on Japanese naval disposition and developments in the Mandated Islands to be reconnoitered. [21]

The Navy was extremely anxious that the reconnaissance be made at the earliest possible date, and Kimmel, upon receipt of Layton’s memorandum, asked him how soon the reconnaissance might be expected. Layton relayed Raley’s answer to the Admiral to the effect that the delay was due to non-installation or non-completion of installation of cameras and the time was still not definitely fixed.[22]

Kimmel on November 29 received Layton’s November 28 summary which indicated, among other things, the view that the Japanese radio intelligence net was operating at full strength upon United States Naval Communications and “is getting results.” There was no information set forth in the summary with respect to carriers. On November 29 the Sixteenth Naval District Communication Intelligence Unit reported a shift in the communication zones of the Commander-in-Chief of the Second Fleet which implied that this fleet was scheduled for southern operations. That same day, it was reported traffic volume was above normal and traffic to South China very high. It was also reported that intelligence-related messages were numerous, e.g., 11 from Tokyo to major commands and that Tokyo Radio Intelligence sent four long messages to major commands. [23]   

On November 30, Kimmel received Layton’s November 29 summary, indicating that Carrier Division 3 was under the immediate command of the Commander in Chief, Second Fleet. But the mystery of where the aircraft carriers of the First Air Fleet were, according to one of Rochefort’s officers, the key to the entire situation, remained unresolved. [24]

Rochefort later informed the Roberts Commission:

That built up [in the Marshalls] until about the end of the month we were so sure of the thing and so positive that we sent a dispatch to the Department telling them of our thoughts on the matter, of what we had worked out, and it still looked like everything was down around Palao [Palau] with the exception of these vessels over in the Marshalls that didn’t make sense. We were quite positive that the carriers were there. We knew that. That was approximately the end of November or possibly the first of December.

In response to this statement, Vice Admiral Joseph M. Reeves asked “How many carriers did you estimate they had?” Rochefort replied “We estimated one division, sir.” “Two carriers” Reeves questioned. “Two carriers or possibly three” Rochefort replied. He added:

And one battleship division, with all of the 4th Fleet submarines and at least one or two squadrons of submarines from the fleet itself. In other words, the submarines in the Marshalls had been built up quite a bit. About a day after that the carriers just completely dropped from sight; never heard another word from them. And the only thing we could say was that the carriers were not heard. We just hadn’t heard the carriers any more. Whether they were the same carriers that came here, whether they were the covering force of carriers, of course, we don’t know, but they just completely dropped out of the picture approximately the first of December; battleships likewise.

The chairman of the commission asked “Well, you hadn’t located all the carrier fleet of Japanese planes in the Marshalls?” Rochefort responded “No, sir; only one division.” [25]

On December 1, Kimmel received the previous day’s intelligence summary which stated with respect to carriers that the presence of a unit of “plane guard” destroyers indicated the presence of at least one carrier in the Mandates, although this had not been confirmed. [26]

Meanwhile, in Japan, on December 1, a Cabinet Council met in the presence of the Emperor and ratified Prime Minister Hideki Tojo’s decision to make war on America, Great Britain and the Netherlands. Operation plans for the three-pronged attack were activated the same day.[27]

At zero hour, Tokyo time, on December 1, all Japanese naval radio calls were changed again. “The shift, only one month after the previous change, was ominous.” It handicapped the traffic analysts temporarily but, within two days, two hundred of the most frequently used calls were identified. However, these identifications did not include a single aircraft carrier call. [28]

The December 1 summary, which Kimmel received from Layton, stated that all Japanese service radio calls of forces afloat had changed promptly at 0000 on December 1; that previously service calls had been changed after a period of 6 months or more and that calls had been last changed on 1 November 1941. This summary stated: The fact that service calls lasted only one month indicates an additional progressive step in preparing for operations on a large scale. [29]

After the war Layton observed:

Japanese radio call signs normally lasted about 6 months. It was anticipated on November 1 from the type of traffic before that that the call signs would change about November 1. They did so do. To find the radio call signs changing in only 1 month, and when I speak of radio call signs I am speaking of fleet and command call signs, not shore stations, this change was significant and was considered an additional progressive step in preparing for active operations because, first, we saw tactical task forces being formed. We heard of them being formed from eye witnesses who had sighted them on the China coast. Call signs changing then on December 1, along with the formation of task forces was a logical thought and that they were preparing for operation was also a logical sequence. [30]

On December 1, Kimmel requested that Layton provide him with a paper showing the approximate location of the Japanese naval units. That same day, in five pages, Layton laid out where he “thought” were the locations of the Japanese fleet. Layton placed 4 carriers (from Carrier Divisions 3 and 4) in the Bako-Takao area, For the Mandate Area he identified at Palau, Truk, and Saipan 144 planes, 11 submarines, and assorted other vessels. For the Marshall area he identified 140 airplanes, 1 aircraft carrier, 4 destroyers, 22 submarines, and other assorted vessels. There was no mention of Carrier Divisions 1, 2, and 5. [31]

The only disagreement noted was Rochefort’s unit believed that a carrier division and one-third of the Japanese submarine force was in the Marshalls. The Sixteenth Naval District unit in the Philippines said, in substance, that they could not confirm the supposition that the above forces were in the Marshalls. [32]

On December 2, Kimmel examined Layton’s memorandum and asked him how well identified and how well placed in Japan were the battleships and carrier divisions that Layton referred to previously. Layton told him that they were not positively identified in Japanese ports but were believed to be in Japanese waters, due to their past activity and lack of, or negative information. Kimmel asked Layton “Do you mean to say they could be rounding Diamond Head and you wouldn’t know it?” Layton’s reply was “I hoped they would be sighted before now.” [33]

As for the combined carrier battle group, the Kido Butai, its cruise eastward across the North Pacific had been entirely uneventful, no planes or ships having been sighted. On December 2, the green light to execute the attack had been sent by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. The message was Niita Kayama Nobore, translated “’Climb Mount Niitaka,” which was the code phrase meaning “proceed with attack.” This meant that the planned “X-day,” December 8 [Tokyo time], was confirmed. On or about that day, all ships were darkened and they continued eastward under radio silence. Late on December 3 or early on December 4, the rendezvous point (42° north; 170° east) was reached and the combat ships fueled to capacity from the tankers. Now, on December 4, at a point some 1,000 miles north-northwest of the Hawaiian chain, the fleet turned onto a southeasterly track to begin its approach to the islands.[34]      

1st Lt. Ted Faulkner’s B-24A departed Hamilton Field for Hickam Field at 9:08 pm on December 4. It arrived at its destination on December 5.[35] The second B-24 was unable to make the trip. Upon arrival it was quickly determined that Faulkner’s plane had insufficient armament for combat, only one .30 caliber and twin .50 caliber guns in the tail, and was without ammunition for the guns that were installed. It was also lacking any armor plate installation and electrical adapters.[36]   

General Short felt the plane was not in shape for the mission it had been given. He did not want it to be attacked by Japanese land-based airplanes in the Mandates without being able to fight back. He therefore decided to hold the plane in Hawaii until it was “satisfactorily armed.”  He and Martin found they could rob B-17s of guns and equip Faulkner’s plane with them. They also learned they had the necessary ammunition but did not have the necessary adapters. Martin, at Short’s instructions, prepared a radiogram to Arnold, informing him they were holding up the plane until another B-24 came with additional equipment and that they would not let this plane go over the Mandates until it was properly equipped and ready to fight. [37]      

On December 5 Short sent a radiogram to Arnold:

Reference secret photographic mission of two B twenty fours Stop One of B twenty fours 1st Lieutenant Faulkner which landed Hickam this date short following equipment considered essential to safety and success of mission colon fifty caliber machine guns comma mounts comma adapters and accessories for upper hemisphere semicolon fifty caliber tunnel gun comma adapter and accessories semicolon fifty caliber guns comma adapters comma mounts and accessories for starboard and port sides semicolon second thirty caliber nose gun comma adapter and accessories Stop Guns can be removed from our equipment and ammunition is available Stop Strongly recommend that second B twenty four bring necessary equipment from mainland for installation on both planes prior their departure from Hickam field Stop Plane being held here until satisfactorily armed Stop Subject plane has no armor plate installation Stop Except for removal of passenger seats plane equipped as for ferry service North Atlantic Signed Martin.
Short.
[38]

On the night of December 6-7 (Hawaii Time) the Japanese fleet’s “run-in” to a point 200 miles north of Oahu was made at top speed. Beginning at 6 am and ending at 7:15 am, December 7, a total of 360 planes were launched in three waves. The planes rendezvoused to the south and then flew in for coordinated attacks on Pearl Harbor.[39]

The first Japanese bomb to fall on Hickam Field, just before 8am on December 7, hit Hangar 15 and set fire to Faulkner’s B-24A, sitting outside the hangar, awaiting dispatch on its photo intelligence mission. Two crew members were killed, three wounded.[40]

Thus ended Faulkner’s mission. With the Japanese capture of Wake Island and its airfield later on December 23, 1941, the opportunity for a photo reconnaissance mission over the Japanese Mandates ended. It would not be until December 1943 that photo reconnaissance missions would be flown over the Marshall Islands.[41]

Image of destroyed B-24 Bomber.
B-24A arrived at Hickam Field on December 5, 1941 to have guns installed prior to continuing to the Philippines to fly reconnaissance missions. It was strafed, burned and destroyed on December 7, 1941. Photo credit: http://aviation.hawaii.gov, The State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Airport Division.

Footnotes

[1] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 35, pp. 50-51; Part 36, pp. 801-802.

[2] The “Magic” Background of Pearl Harbor, Vol. 4 Appendix (Washington, D.C.: Department of Defense, 1977), Vol. 4 Appendix p. A-107; Parker, Pearl Harbor Revisited: United States Navy Communications Intelligence 1924-1941, p.44.

[3] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 14, p. 1406.

[4] Radiogram #472, Marshall to Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, November 27, 1941, File: 381 (11-27-41) Far Eastern Situation, Classified Decimal File 1940-1942 (Entry 360) [NAID 7933774], Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917-, RG 407.

[5] This is a reference to Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton, Commanding General, Far East Air Force, who arrived in the Philippines in October 1941.

[6] Cablegram #624, Marshall to Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, November 27, 1941, File: 381 (11-27-41) Far Eastern Situation, Classified Decimal File 1940-1942 (Entry 360)  [NAID 7933774],  Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917-, RG 407.

[7] November 27, 1941, Mr. Stimson’s Notes, Appendix to Statement of Henry L. Stimson, File: Simson, H. L., Secretary of War, Case Files of Individuals Connected with the Pearl Harbor Investigation (“Persons File”) 1945-1946 (Entry A!-167-D) [NAID 12092403] Pearl Harbor Liaison Office, General Records of the Department of the Navy 1798-1947, RG 80.

[8] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 3, pp. 1289, 1291.

[9] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 3, pp. 1289, 1290.

[10] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 3, p. 1291.

[11] November 27, 1941, Mr. Stimson’s Notes, Appendix to Statement of Henry L. Stimson, File: Simson, H. L., Secretary of War, Case Files of Individuals Connected with the Pearl Harbor Investigation (“Persons File”) 1945-1946 (Entry A!-167-D) [NAID 12092403] Pearl Harbor Liaison Office, General Records of the Department of the Navy 1798-1947, RG 80.

[12] Memo, Sherman Miles, Brig. Gen., Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2 to The Chief of Staff, Subject: Recent developments in the Far East, November 27, 1941, File: Military Intelligence Estimates prepared by G-2, War Department, Files Relating to Hearings and Investigations, 1944-1945 (Entry UD-37) [NAID 3890949], Army Pearl Harbor Board, Records of the War Department General and Special Staff, RG 165.

[13] Short Statement, File: Statement by Major General Walter C. Short of Events and Conditions Leading Up to the Japanese Attack, December 7, 1941, Files Relating to Hearings and Investigations, 1944-1945 (Entry UD-37) [NAID 3890949], Army Pearl Harbor Board, Records of the War Department General and Special Staff, RG 165; Certificate, James A. Mollison, Lt. Col., December 20, 1941, ibid.

[14] Parker, Pearl Harbor Revisited: United States Navy Communications Intelligence 1924-1941, Appendix C: Highlights from COM-14 Daily COMINT Summary, p. 78; Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 134.

[15] Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 99.

[16] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 3, p. 1287.

[17] November 28, 1941, Mr. Stimson’s Notes, Appendix to Statement of Henry L. Stimson, File: Simson, H. L., Secretary of War, Case Files of Individuals Connected with the Pearl Harbor Investigation (“Persons File”) 1945-1946 (Entry A!-167-D) [NAID 12092403] Pearl Harbor Liaison Office, General Records of the Department of the Navy 1798-1947, RG 80.

[18] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 36, pp. 801-802.

[19] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 23, p. 51; Part 36, p. 802.

[20] Layton, Pineau, and John Costello, “And I Was There”: Pearl Harbor and Midway-Breaking the Secrets, p. 223.

[21] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 36, p. 160.

[22] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 39, p. 491.

[23] Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 134; The “Magic” Background of Pearl Harbor, Vol. 4 Appendix (Washington, D.C.: Department of Defense, 1977), Vol. 4 Appendix p. A-117; Parker, Pearl Harbor Revisited: United States Navy Communications Intelligence 1924-1941, Appendix C: Highlights from COM-14 Daily COMINT Summary, p. 79.

[24] Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 134; Holmes, Doubled-Edged Secrets: U. S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific during World War II, p. 28.

[25] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 23, p. 679.

[26] Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 134.

[27] Morison, The Rising Sun in the Pacific 1931-April 1942, p. 78.

[28] Holmes, Doubled-Edged Secrets: U. S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific during World War II, p. 27; Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 26, p. 234.

[29] Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 134; Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 10, p. 4836.

[30] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 10, pp. 4836-4837.

[31] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 26, p. 232; Memo, E. T. Layton, Lt. Comdr., Fleet Intelligence Officer to Admiral [Kimmel], Subject: ORANGE FLEET-Location of, December 1, 1941, File: L-21, Pearl Harbor Liaison Office, The Hewitt Inquiry, Security Classified documents Collected by the Inquiry, 1940-1942, (Entry 167-V [NAID 12092423], General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1798-1947, RG 80.

[32] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 26, p. 233.

[33] Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 135; Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 26, p. 233; Part 10, p. 4839.

[34] Morison, The Rising Sun in the Pacific 1931-April 1942, pp. 78, 92; Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 57; Layton with Pineau and Costello, “And I Was There”: Pearl Harbor and Midway-Breaking the Secrets, p. 254.

[35] Message, Candee, Hamilton Field to The Adjutant General, December 4, 1941, File: 452.1 (9-10-41) Sec. 1 Flight of B-17 Aircraft from U.S. via Haw. Islands to the Phil. Islands, Classified Decimal File 1940-1942 (Entry 360) [NAID 7933774], Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917-, RG 407; Message #1038, Short to Chief of Army Air Forces, December 5, 1941, ibid.; Conference in General Bryden’s Office, 11:45am, December 5, 1941, File: Notes on Conferences, Decisions by Chief of Staff, Deputy Chiefs of Staff, and Other Information, December 1941, Notes on Conference (June 1941-November 1942), Minutes and Notes of Conferences Relating to The Emergency Planning Program (Entry 31) [NAID 824675], Office of the Chief of Staff, Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165.

[36] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 18, p. 2964, Part 22, p. 44, Part 26, pp. 166, 167, Part 33, p. 185; Certificate, James A. Mollison, Lt. Col., December 20, 1941, File: Statement by Major General Walter C. Short of Events and Conditions Leading Up to the Japanese Attack, December 7, 1941, Files Relating to Hearings and Investigations, 1944-1945 (Entry UD-37) [NAID 3890949], Army Pearl Harbor Board, Records of the War Department General and Special Staff, RG 165; Historical Division, Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Army Air Action in the Philippines and Netherland East Indies 1941-1942, U.S. Air Force Historical Study No. 111, March 1945, pp. 40-41.

[37] Historical Division, Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Army Air Action in the Philippines and Netherland East Indies 1941-1942, U.S. Air Force Historical Study No. 111, March 1945, pp. 40-41; Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 26, pp. 166, 167, Part 33, pp. 185, 186.

[38] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 18, p. 2965.

[39] Report of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Document No. 244, p. 57

[40] Dorr, B-24 Liberator Units of the Pacific War, pp. 9-10; Dorr, 7th Bombardment Group/Wing, 1918-1995, p. 52; Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearings Before the Joint Committee On the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, Part 26, p. 167.

[41] Crowl and Love, Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, pp. 157-158.

2 thoughts on “Prologue to Pearl Harbor: The Spy Flight that Wasn’t, Part II

  1. In writing this blog I was remiss in not referring readers to the excellent article by Robert J. Hanyok, “‘Catching the Fox Unaware’: Japanese Radio Denial and Deception and the Attack on Pearl Harbor.” Naval War College Review 61, no. 4 (Autumn 2008): 99-124. Bob provides, among other things, detailed information on Japanese radio silence during the time leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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