Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

Your relationship with government is simple: government knows everything about you, and you know nothing about government. In practice this means government can do whatever it wants to you before you know it's going to happen. Government policy makers think this is a good way of ensuring citizen compliance. Thus, all of these investigations are retrospective -- they look back at the squirrely shit that government has pulled, and occasionally wring their hands about trying to avoid it happening in the future. Not inspiring reading, but necessary if you are to face the cold reality that Big Brother is more than watching.

Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

Postby admin » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:00 am

[This file contains the REPORT OF NAVY COURT OF INQUIRY, pp. 297-386]

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

PURSUANT TO

S. Con. Res. 27

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AN
INVESTIGATION OF THE ATTACK ON PEARL
HARBOR ON DECEMBER 7, 1941, AND
EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES
RELATING THERETO

PART 39

REPORTS, FINDINGS, AND CONCLUSIONS OF ROBERTS
COMMISSION, ARMY PEARL HARBOR BOARD, NAVY
COURT OF INQUIRY, AND HEWITT INQUIRY, WITH
ENDORSEMENTS

Printed for the use of the
Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1946

Page ii

JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE INVESTIGATION OF THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK

ALBEN W. BARKLEY, Senator from Kentucky, Chairman
JERE COOPER, Representative from Tennessee, Vice Chairman

WALTER F. GEORGE, Senator from Georgia JOHN W. MURPHY, Representative
SCOTT W. LUCAS, Senator from Illinois from Pennsylvania
OWEN BREWSTER, Senator from Maine BERTRAND W. GEARHART, Representa-
HOMER FERGUSON, Senator from Michi- tive from California
gan FRANK B. KEEFE, Representative
J. BAYARD CLARK, Representative from from Wisconsin
North Carolina

COUNSEL

(Through January 14, 1946)

WILLIAM D. MITCHELL, General Counsel
GERHARD A. GESELL, chief Assistant Counsel
JULE M. HANNAFORD, Assistant Counsel
JOHN E. MASTEN, Assistant Counsel

(After January 14, 1946)

SETH W. RICHARDSON, General Counsel
SAMUEL H. KAUFMAN, Associate General Counsel
JOHN E. MASTEN, Assistant Counsel
EDWARD P. MORGAN, Assistant Counsel
LOGAN J. LANE, Assistant Counsel

Page iii

HEARINGS OF JOINT COMMITTEE

Part Pages Transcript Hearings
No. pages

1 1- 399 1- 1058 Nov. 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, and 21, 1945.
2 401- 982 1059- 2586 Nov. 23, 24, 26 to 30, Dec. 3 and 4, 1945.
3 983-1583 2587- 4194 Dec. 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13, 1945.
4 1585-2063 4195- 5460 Dec. 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21, 1945.
5 2065-2492 5461- 6646 Dec. 31, 1945, and Jan. 2, 3, 4, and 5, 1946.
6 2493-2920 6647- 7888 Jan. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21, 1946.
7 2921-3378 7889- 9107 Jan. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, and 29, 1946.
8 3379-3927 9108-10517 Jan. 30, 31, Feb. 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, 1946.
9 3929-4599 10518-12277 Feb. 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14, 1946.
10 4601-5151 12278-13708 Feb. 15, 16, 18, 19, and 20, 1946.
11 5153-5560 13709-14765 Apr. 9 and 11, and May 23 and 31, 1946.

EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE

Part Exhibits Nos.

12 1 through 6.
13 7 and 8.
14 9 through 43.
15 44 through 87.
16 88 through 110.
17 111 through 128.
18 129 through 156.
19 157 through 172.
20 173 through 179.
21 180 through 183, and Exhibits-Illustrations.
22 through 25 Roberts Commission Proceedings.
26 Hart Inquiry Proceedings.
27 through 31 Army Pearl Harbor Board Proceedings.
32 through 33 Navy Court of Inquiry Proceedings.
34 Clarke Investigation Proceedings
35 Clausen Investigation Proceedings.
36 through 38 Hewitt Inquiry Proceedings.
39 Reports of Roberts Commission, Army Pearl Harbor Board.
Navy Court of Inquiry and Hewitt Inquiry, with endorse-
ments.

Page iv

JOINT COMMITTEE EXHIBIT NO. 157

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

1. Report of Roberts Commission, dated January 23, 1942 ............ 1
2. Report of Army Pearl Harbor Board dated October 20, 1944 ........ 23
3. Appendix No. 1: Supplemental Report of Army Pearl Harbor Board on
phases mentioned in House Military Affairs report which relate to
the Pearl Harbor disaster ....................................... 179
4. Exhibits A and B to appendix No. 1 (above) ...................... 219
5. Top Secret Report, Army Pearl Harbor Board ...................... 220
6. November 25, 1944, memorandum, from Judge Advocate General for
Secretary of War, re APHB report ................................ 231
7. September 14, 1945, memorandum, from Judge Advocate General for
Secretary of War, re Lt. Col. Henry C. Clausen's Investigation .. 270
8. September 14, 1945, memorandum from Judge Advocate General for
Secretary of War, re APHB Top Secret Report reviewed in connec-
tion with Clausen Investigation ................................. 283
9. Report of Naval Court of Inquiry, dated October 19, 1944 ........ 297
10. Addendum to Navy Court of Inquiry findings of fact ............. 323
11. First endorsement to Navy Court of Inquiry report, by Navy Judge
Advocate General for Commander in Chief, United States Fleet,
and Chief of Naval Operations, dated November 2, 1944 .......... 330
12. November 3, 1944, memorandum from CincUS and CNO to Secretary of
Navy, listing parts of Navy Court of Inquiry record that contain
information of super secret nature ............................. 332
13. Second endorsement to Navy Court of Inquiry report by CincUS and
CNO to Secretary of Navy, dated November 6, 1944 (not made
public) ........................................................ 335
14. Paraphrase of second endorsement (item 13) which was made
public ......................................................... 345
15. Third endorsement to Navy Court of Inquiry report, by Secretary
of Navy, dated December 1, 1944 ................................ 354
16. Fourth endorsement (undated) to Navy Court of Inquiry report,
and fourth endorsement to report of Hewitt Inquiry, by Secretary
of Navy (not made public) ...................................... 355
17. Paraphrase of fourth endorsement (item 16), dated August 1945,
made public August 29, 1945 .................................... 371
18. December 3, 1944, memorandum, from CincUS and CNO to Secretary
of Navy, commenting on report of Army Pearl Harbor Board ....... 383

19. Third endorsement to report of Hewitt Inquiry, by CincUS and CNO
to Secretary of Navy, dated August 13, 1945 .................... 387
20. Second endorsement to report of Hewitt Inquiry, by Navy Judge
Advocate General for CincUS and CNO. Dated August 10, 1945 ..... 388
21. First endorsement to report of Hewitt Inquiry, by Secretary of
Navy, dated July 25, 1945 ...................................... 389
22. Report of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt to Secretary of Navy, dated
July 12, 1945 .................................................. 390
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

Postby admin » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:02 am

Page 297

REPORT OF NAVY COURT OF INQUIRY           
        
[1156] Under date of 13 July, 1944. this Court of Inquiry was ordered by the Secretary of the Navy to inquire into all circumstances connected with the attack made by the Japanese armed forces on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December, 1941, to include in its findings a full statement of facts deemed to be established, to give its opinion as to whether any offenses have been committed or serious blame incurred on the part of any person or persons in the naval service and, in case its opinion be that offenses have been committed or serious blame incurred, to specifically recommend what further proceedings should be had.

The Court convened on 24 July, 1944, and since then has held daily   sessions almost continuously in Washington, San Francisco, and Pearl   Harbor, having called and examined numerous witnesses from the State,   War, and Navy Departments. 

The Court, having thoroughly inquired into all facts and circumstances   in connection with the attack by the Japanese armed forces on Pearl   Harbor on 7 December, 1941, and having considered all evidence adduced,   finds as follows:

FINDINGS OF FACTS

Pearl Harbor is situated on the Island of Oahu, near the city of   Honolulu, the capital of the Territory of Hawaii, distant 2100 miles   from San Francisco. It is the only permanent outlying United States Naval Base in the Eastern Pacific. It possesses great strategic   importance as a point from which naval operations in defense of the Western United States can be conducted, and offensive operations against an enemy to the Westward launched and supported. The United States   possesses no base on the West Coast of the United States that meets   these requirements to an equivalent extent.

II

Prior to 1940 certain subdivisions of the Pacific Fleet and, beginning in May, 1940, the entire Fleet operated in the [1157] Hawaiian area with Pearl Harbor as a base. In May, 1941, three battleships, one aircraft carrier, four cruisers, and nine destroyers were detached from the Pacific Fleet and transferred to the Atlantic.

For the purpose of conducting exercises and maneuvers at sea designed to increase efficiency and readiness for war, the remaining major vessels of the Pacific Fleet were organized in three main Task Forces. The operating schedule was so arranged that there was always at least one of these Task Forces, and usually two, at sea. Frequently, during Fleet maneuvers, the entire available Fleet was at sea.

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The vessels and the Fleet planes thus rotated their scheduled periods in   port, periods essential to the mobility of the Fleet for purposes   impossible of achievement at sea. At no time during 1941 were all the   vessels of the Fleet in Pearl Harbor.   

The operating schedule in effect on 7 December, 1941, was issued in   September, 1941. In accordance with its provisions Task Force One, under   the command of Vice Admiral W. S. Pye, U. S. N., and part of Task Force   Two were in Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. Task Force Three,   under the command of Vice Admiral Wilson Brown, U. S. N., was at sea,   engaged chiefly in escorting the aircraft carrier LEXINGTON to Midway to   which point planes were being ferried.

Part of Task Force Two, under the command of Vice Admiral W. F. Halsey, Jr., U. S. N., and including the aircraft carrier ENTERPRISE, was returning from ferrying planes to Wake. 

[1158] Task Force One included the preponderance of the battleship strength of the Fleet. The three battleships of Task Force Two had been left behind in Pearl Harbor because their slow speed did not permit them to accompany the ENTERPRISE to Wake. It was purely a coincidence that all battleships of the Pacific Fleet, except one undergoing overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, were in Pearl Harbor on 7 December.

III

Beginning at 0755, Honolulu time, on 7 December, 1941, an attack was delivered from the northward of Oahu by Japanese carrier aircraft against units of the United States Pacific Fleet then moored and anchored inside the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, against Army and Navy aircraft, and against shore installations on the Island of Oahu. An attack delivered simultaneously by Japanese midget submarines was without effect. The details of these attacks and the extent of the loss   of life and of the damage inflicted by Japanese aircraft have since been   made matters of public record.

Within the same 24 hours the Japanese also delivered attacks on the Philippines, Wake and Guam, as well as on Hong Kong and Malaya. The attack on Pearl Harbor cannot be disassociated from these. All were the reprehensible acts of a warrior nation, war- minded and geared to war through having been engaged in hostilities for the past four years, and long known to have aggressive designs for the dominance of the Far East.  The United States was then at peace with all nations and for more than 20 years had not engaged in [1159] hostilities.

In time of peace it is a difficult and complicated matter for the United  States to prevent an attack by another nation because of the   constitutional requirement that, prior to a declaration of war by the Congress, no blow may be struck until after a hostile attack has been delivered. This is a military consideration which gives to a dishonorable potential enemy the advantage of the initiative, deprive   the United States of an opportunity to employ the offensive as a means of defense, and places great additional responsibility on the shoulders of commanders afloat in situations where instant action, or its absence, may entail momentous consequences.

Page 299

IV

From 1 August, 1939, to 25 March, 1942, the Chief of Naval Operations, charged by law under the Secretary of the Navy with the operations of  the Fleet and with the preparation and readiness of plans for its use in war, was Admiral Harold R. Stark, U. S. N. The Commander-in-Chief of th Pacific Fleet from 1 February to 17 December, 1941, was Admiral Husband   E. Kimmel, U. S. N. The Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department   from 7 February to 17 December, 1941, was Lieut. General Walter C. Short, U. S. A. The Commandant of the 14th Naval District from 11 April,   1940, until 1 April, 1942, was Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch, U. S. N. He was an immediate subordinate of Admiral Kimmel and was charged by him   with the task of assisting the Army in [1160] protecting Pearl Harbor.  With respect to those duties connected with the defense of Pearl Harbor,   Rear Admiral Bloch's responsibility was solely to Admiral Kimmel. It is an established fact that this responsibility was discharged to the   complete satisfaction of the latter.

V

Admiral Kimmel and Lieut. General Short were personal friends. They met   frequently, both socially and officially. Their relations were cordial   and cooperative in every respect and, in general, this was true as   regards their subordinates. They frequently conferred with each other on official matters of common interest, and invariably did so when messages   were received by either which had any bearing, on the development of the United States-Japanese situation, or on their several plans in preparing   for war. Each was mindful of his own responsibility and of the responsibilities vested in the other. Each was informed of measures   being undertaken by the other in the defense of the Base to a degree sufficient for all useful purposes.

VI

For some time preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States, engaged in the protection of shipping and the patrolling of sea lanes in the Atlantic, was passing through the preliminary stage of a transition from a state of national military unpreparedness to an ability to cope successfully with two resourceful and fully prepared enemies. The vigorous and convincing representations made by Admiral [1161] Stark before Congressional committees, beginning in January, 1940, showed clearly that the Navy was unprepared for war and greatly needed ships, planes, and men. These representation, linked with the fall of France, resulted in an Act of Congress in June, 1940, whereby appropriations were voted for practically doubling the size of our Navy.

During all of 1941 and for some time thereafter the problem confronting   both the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Staff. U. S. Army,   was one of expansion and of distributing, to the best advantage, the   limited supply of ships, planes, guns, and men and intensifying the   training of personnel while production was being stepped up.

Page 300

Under date of 30 December, 1940, Rear Admiral Bloch, Commanding the 14th Naval District and the Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, after conference with Admiral Richardson, the then Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, and Lieut. General Herron, the then Commanding General Hawaiian Department, initiated correspondence addressed to the Chief of Naval Operations in which he set forth the inability of the 14th Naval District to meet a hostile attack with the equipment and forces at hand. He pointed out that, as Naval Base Defense Officer, he had no planes for distant reconnaissance. He gave as his opinion that neither in numbers nor types were the Army bombers satisfactory for the purpose intended. He invited attention to the serious deficiency on the part of the Army with regard to both fighting planes and anti-aircraft guns. He noted also that an anti-aircraft warning system planned [1162] by the Army was scheduled   for completion at an indefinite time in the future.

This letter was forwarded to the Navy Department by Admiral Richardson,   by endorsement. He concurred in the opinion that the Army aircraft and   anti-aircraft batteries were inadequate to protect the Fleet in Pearl   Harbor against air attack, and urged that adequate local defense forces   be provided. He further expressed the opinion that the forces provided   should be sufficient for full protection, and should be independent of   the presence or absence of ships of the Fleet.

Under date of 24 January, 1941, the Secretary of the Navy addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, based upon the representations made by the Commandant of the 14th Naval District and the recommendations of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, and in general concurrence herewith.  In this letter the belief was expressed that, in case of war with Japan hostilities might be initiated by a surprise attack upon the Fleet or on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. The dangers envisaged in the order of their importance and probability were considered to be: (1) Air bombing attack. (2) Air torpedo plane attack. (3) Sabotage. (4) Submarine attack (5) Mining (6) bombardment by gunfire.

Defense against all but (1) and (2) being considered satisfactory, it was proposed that the Army assign the highest priority to the increase of pursuit aircraft and anti-aircraft artillery, and the establishment of an air warning net in Hawaii; also that the Army give consideration   [1163] to the questions of balloon barrages. The employment of smoke, and other special devices for improving the defenses at Pearl Harbor; that local joint plans be drawn for defense against surprise aircraft   raids; that there be agreement on appropriate defences of joint   readiness for immediate action against a surprise aircraft raid; and that joint exercises for defense against surprise aircraft raids be held.

The Secretary of War, under date of 7 February, 1941, expressed complete   concurrence as to the importance of the subject and the urgency of making every possible preparation to meet such a hostile effort. He pointed out that the Hawaiian Department was the best equipped of all overseas Army departments and held a high priority for completion of its   projected defenses because of the importance of giving full protection to the Fleet. He outlined the details of the Hawaiian project and stated the number of pursuit planes and antiaircraft guns eventually to be supplied. He stated that the equipment for the aircraft warning system was expected to be delivered in 

Page 301

Hawaii in June, 1941, and that all arrangements for installation would   have been made by the time the equipment was delivered.

Copies of these letters were furnished Admiral Kimmel, Lieut. General Short, and Rear Admiral Bloch.

In a letter dated 17 October, 1941, Rear Admiral Bloch reported to the Chief of Naval Operations that the only increment that had been made to the local defense forces during the past year, exclusive of net vessels, was the U.S.S. SACRAMENTO, an old gunboat of negligible gun power [1164] and low speed. He urged that the Department send a number of small fast craft equipped with listening gear and depth charges for anti-submarine purposes and further urged that he be sent two squadrons of VSO planes to be used for patrol against enemy submarines.

Admiral Kimmel forwarded this letter with the following endorsement:

"There is a possibility that the reluctance or inability of the   Department to furnish the Commandant, 14th Naval District, with forces   adequate to his needs may be predicated upon a conception that, in an emergency, vessels of the U.S. Pacific Fleet may always be diverted for these purposes. If such be the case, the premise is so false as to hardly warrant refutation. A fleet tied to its base by diversions to other purposes of light forces necessary for its security at sea is, in a real sense, no fleet at all. Moreover, this Fleet has been assigned,   in the event of war, certain definite tasks, the vigorous prosecution of which requires not only all the units now assigned but as many more as can possibly be made available. The necessities of the case clearly warrant extraordinary measures in meeting the Commandant's needs."

The Chief of Naval Operations replied, under date of 25 November, 1941, that no additional vessels could be supplied for the present but that certain sub chasers, due for completion in May, 1942, had been tentatively assigned to the 14th Naval District, certain privately owned vessels might be expected at a future time and that there were no additional airplanes available for assignment to the 14th Naval   District.

It is a fact that, through 1941, the demand for munitions and war supplies exceeded the capacity of the nation and in all important   commands there existed marged [sic] [1165] deficiencies in trained personnel and in material equipment and instruments of war. Although shortages were inevitable, it is a further fact that they had direct bearing upon the effectiveness of the defense of Pearl Harbor.

VII

On 5 November, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of   Staff, U. S. Army, submitted a joint memorandum to the President, recommending that no ultimatum be delivered to Japan at that time and  giving, as one of the basic reasons the existing numerical superiority of the Japanese Fleet over the U. S. Pacific Fleet.

On 7 December, 1941, the U. S. Pacific Fleet was numerically inferior to the Japanese naval forces in both combatant and auxiliary vessels.

Aware of this existing weakness in relative fighting strength, and of the vigorous steps being taken by the United States to overcome   deficiencies, Japan clearly sensed the advantage of striking before these steps could become effective. Her advantageous position was   strength- 

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ened by her extensive espionage system which utilized her civilian, consular and diplomatic nationals throughout the world, and enabled her constantly to keep accurately informed of the U. S. Naval building program and of the location and movements of U.S. Naval vessels.

The topography of Oahu is peculiarly suited to the observation of Pearl  Harbor and its activities. The local officials of the United States were unable to overcome Japan's advantage in this respect. It was impossible for [1166] them to prevent anyone from obtaining military information and, because of legal restrictions imposed by the Federal statutes, they could not interfere with the mails and the transmission of messages by radio, telegram, and cable.

In addition, having in mind Japan's traditional tendency to distort legitimate actions of a peaceful nation into deliberate threats to her   own security and prestige, the War and Navy Departments were compelled to take every precaution to avoid offending her super- sensitive sensibilities. For example, as of 16 October, 1941, the Chief of Naval   Operations directed the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, to "take such   preparatory deployments as will not constitute provocative action against Japan" and, on 28 November, 1941, the War Department directed the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department to "undertake no offensive action until Japan has committed an overt act".

In contrast to the ease with which Japanese in United States territory,   particularly in Hawaii, were able to obtain and to transmit to Japan   military information of value, every obstacle was placed in the way of   such information being collected in Japan by foreign nationals.

As an instance of Japanese secretiveness and surveillance of foreigners, including those of the U. S. Diplomatic services, the U. S. Naval attache in Tokyo was compelled to report to the Japanese Navy Department whenever he contemplated an excursion beyond the limits of the city, and   he was closely watched at all times. He was effectively prevented from obtaining any information as to the type and [1167] number of Japanese ships under construction and the capacity of their naval shore establishments, as well as of the location and movements of Japanese ships.

It is a fact that the superiority of the Japanese Fleet and the ability   of Japan to obtain military and naval information gave her an initial   advantage not attainable by the United States up to 7 December, 1941.   

VIII

A naval base exists solely for the support of the Fleet. The fundamental   requirement that the strategic freedom of action of the Fleet must be assured demands that the defense of a permanent naval base be so effectively provided for and conducted as to remove any anxiety of the   Fleet in regard to the security of the base, or for that of the vessels   within its limits. Periodical visits to a base are necessarily made by mobile seagoing forces in order that logistics support may be provided and opportunity given for repair and replenishment, for rest and   recreation, and for release of the personnel from a state of tension.

To superimpose upon these essentials the further requirements that the seagoing personnel shall have the additional responsibility for se-

Page 303

curity from hostile action while within the limits of a permanent naval base, is to challenge a fundamental concept of naval warfare.    There is not, and there has not been, any lack of understanding on the part of the Army and Navy on this point. The defense of a permanent naval base is the direct responsi- [1168] bility of the Army. The Navy is expected to assist with the means provided the naval district within   whose limits the permanent naval base is located and the defense of the base is a joint operation only to that extent. To be adequate, the defense must function effectively during the periods when the Commander-in-Chief and all the units of the Fleet are absent.

In the case of naval districts lying beyond the continental limits of the United States, the commandant of the district occupies a dual   status. As commandant of the district, he is governed by all existing instructions relating to the duties of commandants of naval districts and is answerable direct to the Navy Department. He is also an officer of the Fleet and as such is under the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet for such duties as the latter may designate.

The fact that the Commandant of the 14th Naval District was thus   designated as an officer of the Pacific Fleet is the circumstance that  links the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, with the duty of assisting the Army in defending the permanent naval base of Pearl Harbor. Except   for this, the chief responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, was for the readiness, the efficiency, and the security of the vessels of the Fleet while at sea. It is through gaining and maintaining control of vital sea areas that a Fleet contributes to the defense of the shore and its activities.

The defense of the permanent naval base of Pearl Harbor was the direct responsibility of the Army.

[1169] IX

Under date of 27 February, 1941, the Commandant, 14th Naval District, Rear Admiral Bloch, in his capacity as Naval Base Defense Officer, issued an operations plan establishing security measures, including air defense and surface ship patrol, in order to cooperate with and assist the Army in protecting Pearl Harbor and safeguarding the Fleet.

Under date of 28 March, 1941, joint agreements were reached between Lieut. General Short and Rear Admiral Bloch, as to joint security measures for the protection of the Fleet and the Pearl Harbor Base. It was agreed that when the threat of a hostile raid or attack was considered sufficiently imminent to warrant such action, each commander was to take such preliminary steps as were necessary to make available without delay to the other commander such portion of the air forces at his disposal as the circumstances warranted.

Joint air attacks upon hostile *surface* vessels were to be executed under the tactical command of the Navy. The Army bombardment strength to participate in each such mission was to be determined by the commander, Hawaiian Department, the number of bombardment planes released to Navy control to be the maximum practicable.

Defensive *air operations* over and in the immediate vicinity of Oahu were to be executed under the tactical command of the Army. The

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Commandant, 14th Naval District, was to determine the Navy fighter strength to participate [1170] in these missions, the number of fighter aircraft released to Army control to be the maximum practicable.

When naval aircraft under the command of the Naval Base Defense Officer were insufficient for long-distance patrol and search operations, and  Army aircraft were made available, the Army aircraft so made available were to be under the tactical control of the Naval commander directing the search operations.

The Naval Base Defense Officer was entirely without aircraft, either   fighters or patrol planes, assigned permanently to him. He was compelled to rely upon Fleet aircraft for joint effort in conjunction with Army air units. The Commander Patrol Wing Two, Rear Admiral P. N. L. Bellinger, U. S. N., was by Admiral Kimmel placed under Rear Admiral   Bloch's orders, and was by the latter directed to consult with the Army and to prepare a detailed naval participation air defense plan. Rear Admiral Bellinger thus was given the additional status of the Commander   Naval Base Defense Air Force, while retaining his status as an air officer of the Fleet.

Under date of 31 March, 1941, plans were drawn up and jointly agreed   upon by Rear Admiral Bellinger and Major General F. L. Martin, U. S. Army, Commanding Hawaiian Air Force. These plans were complete, and their concept was sound. Their basic defect lay in the fact that the naval participation depended entirely upon the availability of aircraft belonging to the Fleet. This circumstance was forced by necessity, but was at complete variance with the fundamental requirement that to be adequate, the defense of [1171] a permanent naval base must be   independent of assistance from the Fleet.

The effectiveness of these plans depended entirely upon advance knowledge that an attack was to be expected within narrow limits of time and the plans were drawn with this as a premise. It was not possible for the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet to make Fleet planes permanently available to the Naval Base Defense Officer, because of his own lack of planes, pilots, and crews and because of the demands of the Fleet in connection with Fleet operations at sea.

X

Shortly after assuming command of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Kimmel    issued specific comprehensive instructions as to the steps to be taken   for the security of the Fleet in the operating sea areas. Aware of the   inadequacy of the shore defenses of Pearl Harbor, he also required the   vessels, while at the base, to assist to the limit of their resources.   These instructions were revised and brought to date on 14 October, 1941   were given wide circulation within the Pacific Fleet, and were sent for   information to other commands and to the Navy Department.

The security of the Pacific Fleet, operating in the Hawaiian Area and based on Pearl Harbor, was predicted on two assumptions:

(a) That no responsible foreign power will provoke war, under present existing conditions, by attack on the Fleet or Base, but that   irresponsible and misguided nationals of such powers may attempt;

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[1172] (1) sabotage, on ships based in Pearl Harbor, from small craft.

       (2) to block the entrance to Pearl Harbor by sinking an obstruction in the Channel.

       (3) To lay magnetic or other mines in the approaches to Pearl Harbor.

(b) That a declaration of war may be preceded by:

       (1) a surprise attack on ships in Pearl Harbor,

       (2) a surprise submarine attack on ships in operating area,

       (3) a combination of these two.

 
The measures prescribed to provide against these possibilities included continuous inshore, boom, and harbor patrols, intermittent patrol of the inner and offshore areas by destroyers, daily search of operating areas by air, the covering of sortie and entry, and daily sweeps for magnetic and anchored mines. The only entrance to Pearl Harbor was guarded by an anti-torpedo net.

The Task Forces operating at sea were screened protectively by aircraft and destroyers. Torpedo defense batteries were manned day and night, ammunition was at hand, and depth charges were ready for use. Water-tight integrity was maintained, horizon and surface battle lookouts were   kept posted, the ships steamed darkened at night, and the use of the radio was restricted to a minimum. 

Admiral Kimmel, recognizing the potentialities of the submarine as an  instrument of stealthy attack, and believing that Japanese submarines were operating in Hawaiian waters, was of the opinion that this form of surprise attack against his Fleet was the one most likely to be employed   by Japan. Therefore, he had issued, on his own responsibility, orders that all unidentified submarines discovered in Hawaiian waters [1173] were to be depth-charged and sunk.  In so doing he exceeded his orders   from higher authority and ran the risk of committing an overt act against Japan, but did so feeling that it is best to follow the rule "shoot first and explain afterwards".

Actually, in execution of these orders, a midget submarine was discovered in an operating area, attacked and destroyed by the combined efforts of a naval patrol plane and a destroyer of the inshore patrol, about 20 minutes prior to the air attack on the morning of 7 December.  There was nothing, however, in the presence of a single submarine in the vicinity of Oahu to indicate that an air attack on Pearl Harbor was imminent.

It is a fact that the precautions taken by Admiral Kimmel for the security of his Fleet while at sea were adequate and effective. No naval units were either surprised or damaged while operating at sea in the Pacific prior to or on 7 December, 1941. 

XI

While vessels of the United States Navy are lying in port, it is the invariable custom to keep on board a number of officers and men   sufficient to provide for internal security, and to protect against fire and the entrance of water. The force so remaining on board is always balanced as to ranks and ratings so that all requirements can be met in case of emergency. A watch is maintained day and night.

In other than normal situations a "condition of readiness" is placed in effect. On the morning of 7 December considerably [1174] more than half of the Naval personnel were on board their ships in Pearl Harbor, more than ample to meet an emergency in port. Their

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efficiency and their heroic behavior on that day are proof of their fitness for duty.

The Navy's practice in numbering its three prescribed "conditions of readiness" is opposite to the method adopted by the Hawaiian Department of the Army in numbering its "alerts". With the Army, the No. 3 alert represents the maximum state of readiness, while the Navy refers to that state as No. 1. In the interest of clarification, definition of the respective states of readiness is here set forth:   

Army Alerts / Navy Conditions of Readiness

No. 1. Defense against sabotage and uprisings. No threat from without. / No. 1. Entire crew, officers and men at battle stations.  Action imminent.
No. 2. Security against attacks from hostile sub-surface, and aircraft, in addition to No. 1.  / No. 2. Provides the means of  opening fire immediately with one-half the armament. Enemy believed to be in vicinity.  
No. 3. Requires occupation of all field positions. / No. 3. Provides a means of  opening fire with a portion of the secondary and antiaircraft batteries in case of surprise encounter.

 
The alert in effect in the Hawaiian Department of the Army at the time  of the attack was their No. 1. The condition of readiness of the vessels in Pearl Harbor at that time was an augmented Navy No. 3. This condition had been in effect for many months preceding that date. To assume [1175] a high condition of readiness in port and to man guns and stations which cannot be utilized in any circumstance, is to impose on the entire personnel an unjustified state of tension and to defeat the purpose for which the vessels have entered the base; i. e., to make repairs, to replenish supplies, to give the personnel rest and relaxation, and thus to prepare for operations at sea.

The same holds true with regard to the patrol planes of the Fleet. And   to a small number of fighters that had been left behind by the absent carriers. They were part of the Fleet, engaged in daily operations and, when not operating, were undergoing overhaul or the crews were being rested in anticipation of further operations. At the time of and immediately prior to the attack on the morning of 7 December 1941, some were in the air covering the movement of a task force, others were on 30   minutes notice, some others were on 4 hours notice, and the remainder were under overhaul.

These planes were not part of the permanent defense of Pearl Harbor. To have kept the crews awake and ready with engines warmed up, in the absence of any indication of an impending attack, would have been to undermine their further usefulness.

The Navy controlled none of the guns mounted on shore. The only means available to the vessels of the Fleet for contributing to their own defense against aircraft while in Pearl Harbor was their anti-aircraft batteries. The anti-aircraft batteries installed on the ships in Pearl Harbor were incapable of a volume of fire at all comparable to that of the batteries of the same ships today.   

[1176] On all ships inside Pearl Harbor a considerable proportion of the anti-aircraft guns was kept manned day and night and with ammunition immediately at hand. Also, by prearrangement with the Army, there was in effect a system, correct as to its details, for the coordinating of the anti-aircraft fire of vessels of the Fleet in part with that of the Army on shore.

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Existing Fleet orders provided for the establishment of air defense sectors within the Pearl Harbor area, and for the berthing of ships   within the Harbor in such positions as to develop the maximum anti- aircraft gun fire in each sector, commensurate with the total number of ships of all types in port.

These orders were carried out to the letter. On the morning of the attack the vessels of the Fleet brought hostile planes, as they came   within one or more of these air defense sectors, under heavy fire intensified within a very few moments by the full fire of the entire   anti-aircraft batteries of all ships.   

It is a fact that the Navy's condition of readiness in effect on the morning of 7 December, 1941, was that best suited to the circumstances then attending the vessels and patrol planes of the Pacific Fleet. A higher condition of readiness could have added little, if anything to their defense.

XII

An attack by carrier aircraft can be prevented only by intercepting and destroying the carrier prior to the launch- [1177] ing of planes. Once launched, the attacking planes can be prevented from inflicting damage only by other planes or anti-aircraft gunfire or both. Even when a determined air attack is intercepted, engaged by aircraft, and opposed by gunfire, some of the attacking planes rarely fail to get through and inflict damage.

To destroy an aircraft carrier before she can launch her planes requires that her location be known and that sufficient force, in the form of surface or underwater craft, or aircraft, or all three, be at hand. To have the necessary force at or near the point of intended launching in   time to insure the destruction of the carrier, it is necessary that the carrier's presence in a general area, and within narrow limits of time, be known or predicted with reasonable accuracy. Even in time of war the fulfillment of this condition is difficult where vast sea areas are involved, and where both the point from which the carrier departs, as well as the fact of her departure, are unknown.

This was the case during the days immediately prior to 7 December 1941.  Japanese carriers sailed at an unknown time from an unknown port. Their   departure and whereabouts were a closely guarded Japanese secret and   were likewise unknown, all rumors to the contrary notwithstanding.

Although the U.S. Ambassador to Japan reported, as of 27 January, 1941, that there was a rumor to the effect that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was planned, its authenticity was discounted in the Embassy for  the reason that such an attack, if actually contemplated, would scarcely be likely to be a topic of conversation in Japan.

[1178] The Navy Department informed the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific   Fleet, of this rumor and stated that the Navy Department "places no credence in these rumors. Furthermore, based on known data regarding the present disposition and employment of Japanese naval and army forces, no move against Pearl Harbor appears imminent or planned for in the foreseeable future".

In time of war, an outlying naval base may be expected to become an  enemy objective, sooner or later. It is an established fact, however, that no information of any sort was, at any time, either forwarded

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or received from any source which would indicate that carriers or other ships were on their way to Hawaii during November or December, 1941.

The attack of 7 December, 1941, on Pearl Harbor, delivered under the circumstances then existing, was unpreventable. When it would take place was unpredictable.

XIII

Where a carrier's presence in a general area is not known in advance and is not predictable within narrow limits of time, there must be resort to procedure which will give warning of a hostile approach. The usual procedure employed by carriers bent on delivering a surprise attack, although by no means the only procedure possible, is to arrive about 700 miles from the objective at dark the night preceding the attack, steam at high speed during the night, and launch the planes at dawn, about 400 miles from the objective. It [1179] is this general procedure which establishes early morning as the time when an air attack is most likely to be delivered. The events of 7 December, 1941, point to the likelihood  of this procedure having been followed by the Japanese.

The greatest degree of warning of an impending early morning air attack is obtained if the hostile carrier be sighted prior to dark the night before. In such event, a maximum warning of about twelve hours may be obtained. In the case of an island base, such as Pearl Harbor, it is necessary to cover the circumference of a circle of 700 miles radius each day (the direction from which the attack is expected being unknown)   in order to obtain either positive or negative information.

Assuming 25 miles visability (which in the Hawaiian area is not found everywhere nor always assured), an effective daily search requires the daily employment of patrol planes which, in turn, requires that double or triple that number (180-270) be available, it being impossible to employ the same planes and crews every day, or even every other day.   

If only the dawn circle of 400 mile radius is to be searched daily, the   total number of planes required to be available is 100-150. The maximum   warning; is then reduced to about two hours.

Where planes are not available to cover all sectors, the selection of sectors to be omitted is left purely to chance and under such   circumstances the advisability of the diversion of all planes from other duties is questionable unless there be information as to the fact of a hostile [1180] approach and of the direction, within reasonable limits, from which the approach is expected.

Neither surface ships nor submarines properly may be employed to perform this duty, even if the necessary number is available. The resulting dispersion of strength not only renders the Fleet incapable of performing its proper function, but exposes the units to destruction in detail. A defensive deployment of surface ships and submarine over an extensive sea area as a means of continuously guarding against a possible attack from an unknown quarter and at an unknown time, is not sound military procedure either in peace or in war.

It was the duty of Rear Admiral Bloch, when and if ordered by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, to conduct long-range reconnaissance.  The Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, for definite and sound reasons and after making provision for such reconnaissance in case of

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emergency, specifically ordered that no routine long-range reconnaissance be undertaken and assumed full responsibility for this action. The omission of this reconnaissance was not due to oversight or neglect. It was the result of a military decision, reached after much deliberation and consultation with experienced officers, and after weighing the information at hand and all the factors involved.

In brief, the deciding factors were:

(a) The Naval Base Defense Officer, Rear Admiral Bloch, although charged with the conduct of the reconnaissance, had no patrol planes permanently assigned to his command.

[1181] (b) The only Naval patrol planes in the Hawaiian area were the 69 planes of Patrol Wing Two and these were handicapped by shortages of relief pilots and crews. They were a part of the Fleet, and not a part of the permanent defense of Pearl Harbor. The only other planes suitable and available for daily long range reconnaissance were six Army bombers.

(c) The task assigned the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, was to prepare his Fleet for war. War was known to be imminent (how imminent he did not know). The Fleet planes were being constantly employed in patrolling the operating areas in which the Fleet's preparations for war were being carried on. Diversion of these planes for reconnaissance or other purposes was not justified under existing circumstances and in the light of available information.

(d) If so diverted, the state of readiness of the Fleet for war would be reduced because of the enforced suspension of Fleet operations.

(e) The value of the Fleet patrol planes to the Fleet would be reduced seriously after a few days because of the inability of planes and crews to stand up under the demands of long-range reconnaissance.

It is a fact that the use of Fleet patrol planes for daily long-range, all-around reconnaissance was not justified [1182] in the absence of   information indicating that an attack was to be expected within narrow limits of time. It is a further fact that, even if justified, this was   not possible with the inadequate number of Fleet planes available.   

XIV

At the time of the attack, only a few vessels of the Pacific Fleet were fitted with radar. The radar of vessels berthed in a harbor such as Pearl Harbor, partially surrounded by high land, is of limited usefulness at best and does not provide the necessary warning of a hostile approach.

The shore-based radar on the Island of Oahu was an Army service and entirely under Army control. The original project called for 6 permanent (fixed) and 6 mobile installations. The fixed installations had not been completed by 7 December, 1941, and only 3 sets had been shipped to Oahu  up to that time. On that day there were in operation 6 mobile sets located in selected positions, with equipment in efficient condition, but inadequately manned.

Training of personnel had started on 1 November, 1941. Lieut. General Short earlier had requested that the Navy assist in this training,

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and 15 of his men had been sent to sea on vessels of the Fleet for that purpose. Admiral Kimmel also had detailed the Pacific Fleet  Communication Officer as liaison officer with the Army. He could not supply six other naval officers requested for permanent duty in the  Information Center of the air warning system because no officers were available for such detail.

During the second week of November, 1941, Commander [1183] W. G. Taylor  USNR, was, by Admiral Kimmel, detailed to the Army Interceptor Command  for duty in an advisory capacity, in connection with the setting up of  the Army air warning system. Commander Taylor had had experience with  the British air warning system and was familiar with radar in the stage  of its development that existed at that time.

On 24 November, 1941, he called a conference for the purpose of  determining how quickly the Information Center could be made fully  operative on a war-time basis, and to decide what additional personnel and equipment would be needed. Two naval officers and 6 Army officers  were present at this conference.

The minutes of the conference, concurred in by all present, included an exhaustive statement of deficiencies and the steps to be taken for their remedy. Copies of the minutes were furnished the conferees and copies  were forwarded to the Acting Commanding Officer of then Interceptor Command, and to the Acting Signal Officer, Headquarters, Hawaiian  Department. Steps agreed upon as necessary for the improvement of the  system had not become effective by 7 December, 1941.

The Army Interceptor Command was barely in the first stages of  organization by 7 December. Four of its officers had been sent to school  on the mainland in order to fit them for their new duties. Until 17 December, 1941, the organization was on a tentative basis only and the  actual order setting up the Command was not issued until that date. One  of the [1184] principal weaknesses of the Interceptor Command on 7 December, 1941, was that the Information Center had no provision for  keeping track of planes in the air near and over Oahu, and for distinguishing between those friendly and those hostile.

Between 27 November and 7 December, 1941, the Air Warning System operated from 0400 to 0700, the basis for these hours being that the  critical time of possible attack was considered to be from one hour  before sunrise until two hours after sunrise. On week days training in  the operation of the system also took place during working hours.

On the morning of 7 December the only officer in the Army Information  Center was 1st Lieutenant (now Lt. Colonel) K. A. Tyler, Army Air Corps. He had received no previous instruction as to his duties, had been on  duty there only once before, and on the morning in question was present  only in the capacity of an observer for training. At 0715 that morning he received a call from the radar station at Opana, located in the  northern part of the Island of Oahu, to the effect that a large number of planes, bearing approximately north, had been picked up on the screen. Assuming that these were friendly planes because he had heard  indirectly that a flight of B-17s was en route from Hamilton Field,  California, to Oahu, he did nothing about this report. These B-17s actually arrived over Oahu during the attack, and many of them were  destroyed.

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At the Opana station, where this report originated, Private Locard [sic]  (now 1st Lieutenant) and Private Elliott [1185] (now sergeant) were on  duty with instructions to observe and track flights and report them to  the Information Center. Private Locard had had some previous training but Elliott none. The station was scheduled to shut down at 0700, but as the truck had not come to take these men to their camp for breakfast, Private Locard continued to operate the radar set in order to assist in  the training of Elliott.

Shortly after 0700 there was picked up on the screen an unusually large  flight of planes, coming in from a northerly direction at a distance of  about 136 miles. Checking the equipment to make sure, Locard decided to  call the Information Center and did so when the planes had come in to  132 miles. Having reported the fact to the Army officer on duty (1st Lt.  Tyler), Locard and Elliott continued to track the planes in to twenty  miles from Oahu, when they lost them due to distortion.

For information of this flight to have been of value as a warning, it  would have been necessary for the planes first to have been promptly identified as hostile, and then their presence and their bearing and  distance immediately reported to and received by higher authority, and  disseminated throughout the Command. The organization and training, of the Information Center and Communication System at this time was not such as to permit these important requirements to be fulfilled.  Actually, the oncoming planes were not identified as hostile until the  Japanese marking on their wings came into view.

[1186] XV

The greatest damage to ships resulting from the attack of 7 December was  that inflicted by torpedoes launched from Japanese torpedo planes. These  torpedoes were designed specially for the form of attack in which they were used. Up to the time that the Japanese demonstrated the feasibility of delivering an attack from torpedo planes in relatively shallow water and under conditions of restricted length of approach, the best  professional opinion in the United States and Great Britain was to the effect that such an attack was not practicable.

After a study had been made of the problem of protecting vessels in port  against torpedo attack, the Chief of Naval Operations in a letter to the  Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, dated 15 February, 1941, stated that  it was considered that the relatively shallow depth of water (about 45  feet) limited the need of anti-torpedo baffles in Pearl Harbor, and, in addition, that the congestion and the necessity for maneuvering room  limited the practicability of the present type of baffles.

The letter further stated that certain limitations and considerations  must be borne in mind in planning the installation of anti-torpedo  baffles within harbors, among which were the following:

(a) A minimum depth of water of seventy-five feet may be assumed necessary to successfully drop torpedoes from planes. One hundred and  fifty feet of water is desired. The maximum height planes at present experimentally drop torpedoes is 250 feet. Launching speeds are between  120 and 150 knots. Desirable height [1187] for dropping is sixty feet or less. About two hundred yards of torpedo run is necessary before the  exploding device is armed, but this may be altered.

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(b) There should be ample maneuvering room available for vessels approaching and leaving berths.

(c) Ships should be able to get away on short notice.

(d) Room must be available inside the baffles for tugs, fuel oil barges and harbor craft to maneuver alongside individual ships

(e) Baffles should be clear of cable areas, ferry routes, and channels used by shipping.

(f) Baffles should be sufficient distance from anchored vessels to insure the vessels' safety in case a torpedo explodes on striking a  baffle.

(g) High land in the vicinity of an anchorage makes a successful airplane attack from the land side most difficult.

(h) Vulnerable areas in the baffles should be so placed as to compel attacking planes to come within effective range of antiaircraft  batteries before they can range their torpedoes.

(i) Availability of shore and ship anti-aircraft protection, balloon barrages, and aircraft protection.

(j) Availability of naturally well protected anchorages within a harbor from torpedo plane attack for a number of large ships. Where a  large force such as a fleet is based, the installation of satisfactory baffles will be difficult because of the congestion.

On 13 June, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations in a letter to the Commandants of the various naval districts, modified limitation (a) by stating that recent developments had shown that United States and British torpedoes may be dropped from planes at heights as much as 300  feet and, in [1188] some cases, make initial dives of considerably less than 75 feet with excellent runs. This letter, however, did not modify the view expressed in the letter of 15 February as to the need for anti- torpedo baffles in Pearl Harbor.

Barrage balloons and smoke were also considered as means of defense but were rejected, the barrage balloons because they would interfere with the activity of U. S. Aircraft, and the smoke because the strength of the prevailing winds would render it ineffective.

The specially designed Japanese torpedo and the technique for its use fell in the category of the so-called secret weapon, of which the robot bomb and the magnetic mine are examples. Such weapons always give to the originator an initial advantage which continues until the defense  against them has been perfected.

It is a fact that by far the greatest portion of the damage inflicted by the Japanese on ships in Pearl Harbor was due to the secret development and employment of a specially designed torpedo.

XVI

Strained relations between the United States and Japan had existed and been a source of concern to this country for many months prior to 7 December, 1941. That the Japanese policy in the Far East was one of aggression had been well known for many years. Their program of  expansion, which envisaged Japan as *the* dominating power in the Western Pacific, was in direct conflict with the policies of the United  States [1189] and Great Britain, and opposed to agreements established by treaty.

At the instigation of the Japanese, negotiations were begun by the State Department on 12 May, 1941, looking to the peaceful settlement

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of existing problems. On 17 November, 1941, the Japanese Ambassador in Washington was joined by Mr. Kurusu in the capacity of special envoy.

On 26 July, 1941, Japanese assets in the United States were frozen. The order freezing these assets required a system of licensing shipments to Japan, and no licenses were issued for oil or petroleum products.

There was a feeling on the part of U. S. officials that hostilities, unless prevented by some means, would become an actuality in the not  distant future. They were familiar with the Japanese trait of attacking without declaration of war, as had been done against China in 1894, and against Russia in 1904.

The Secretary of State held numerous conferences with the Secretary of  War and the Secretary of the Navy, at which the negotiations with Japan were discussed. The Chief of the Army General Staff and the Chief of  Naval Operations attended many of these conferences and were kept  informed of the progress of these negotiations. At the same time efforts to improve the military position of the United States were being  vigorously prosecuted.

On 16 October, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations informed Admiral  Kimmel by dispatch that a grave situation had been created by the  resignation of the Japanese cabinet, [1190] that the new cabinet would  probably be anti-American, that hostilities between Japan and Russia were a possibility, and that the Japanese might also attack the United  States and Great Britain. In the same dispatch Admiral Kimmel was directed to take precautions and to make such deployments as would not  disclose strategic intentions, nor constitute provocative action against  Japan.

On the following day, 17 October, 1941, Admiral Stark addressed a personal letter to Admiral Kimmel in which he stated "Personally I do not believe that the Japs are going to sail into us and the message I  sent you (that of 16 October) merely stated the 'possibility'".

For the purpose of viewing the events of the succeeding months in their  true relation to the events of 7 December, this date of 16 October, 1941, may well be taken as the beginning of a critical period which terminated in the attack of 7 December, 1941.

In accordance with the directive contained in the dispatch of 16  October, Admiral Kimmel made certain preparatory deployments, including the stationing of submarines off both Wake and Midway, the reinforcement  of Johnston and Wake with additional Marines, ammunition, and stores, and the dispatch of additional Marines to Palmyra. He also placed on 12  hours' notice certain vessels of the Fleet which were in West Coast  ports, held six submarines in readiness to depart for Japan, delayed the sailing of one battleship which was scheduled to visit a West Coast Navy  Yard and placed in [1191] effect additional security measures in the Fleet operating areas.

He reported to the Chief of Naval Operations the steps taken and received written approval of his action. He continued the measures which he had already placed in effect looking to readiness for war, preparation of the Pacific Fleet for war being his assigned task.

He did not interpret the dispatch of 16 October as directing or  warranting that he abandon his preparations for war. He held daily  conferences with his subordinate commanders and the members of his  staff, all experienced officers of long service, and sought by every
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

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means to ascertain wherein his interpretation might be incorrect. The consensus throughout was that no further steps were warranted by the  information at hand.

On 24 November, 1941, Admiral Kimmel received a dispatch from the Chief  of Naval Operations, addressed also to the Commander- in-Chief, Asiatic  Fleet, and to Commandants of Naval districts with headquarters at San  Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Panama, which stated:

"Chances of favorable outcome of negotiation with Japan very doubtful X This situation coupled with statements of Japanese Government and  movements their naval and military forces indicate in our opinion that a surprise aggressive movement in any direction including attack on Philippines or Guam is a possibility X Chief of Staff has seen this dispatch concurs and requests action addresses to inform senior Army  officers their areas X Utmost secrecy necessary in order not to  complicate an already tense situation or precipitate Japanese action X Guam will be informed separately."

The contents of this dispatch were made known to Lieut. General Short  and discussed with him.

[1192] The reaction on Admiral Kimmel and his advisers was to direct  their attention to the Far East. They did not consider that the  expression "a surprise aggressive movement in any direction" included the probability or imminence of attack in the Hawaiian area, specific  mention having been made of the Philippines and Guam with no mention of  Hawaii.

They recognized the capability of Japan to deliver a long-range surprise bombing attack and that she might attack without a declaration of war.  They reasoned that she would not commit the strategic blunder of  delivering a surprise attack on United States territory, the one course that irrevocably would unite the American people in war against Japan.  Public opinion in the United States was far from being crystallized on  the question of taking steps to curb her expansion in the Western  Pacific.

Conceivably, Japan might well have taken aggressive action against  British and Dutch possessions in the Far East, gaining the oil and other raw materials that she was seeking, without military interference from  the United States. An attack elsewhere than in the Far East seemed,  therefore, to be only a remote possibility and not enough of a  probability to warrant abandonment of the preparation of the Fleet for war.

To continue these preparations was, therefore, Admiral Kimmel's  decision, made on his own responsibility in the light of the information then available to him and in the knowledge that every precaution within  his power, compatible [1193] with maintaining the Fleet in a state of  readiness for war, had already been taken.

XVII

On 27 November, 1941, Admiral Kimmel received a dispatch from the Chief  of Naval Operations, reading as follows:

"This dispatch is to be considered a war warning. Negotiations with  Japan looking toward stabilization of conditions in the Pacific have  ceased and a aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few  days.  The number and equipment of Japanese troops and the organization  of naval task forces

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indicates an amphibious expedition against either the Philippines, Thai  or Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo. Execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned. Inform  District and Army authorities. A similar warning is being sent by War  Department. Continental districts, Guam, Samoa directed take appropriate  measures against sabotage."

This dispatch was sent also to the Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet,  and has since become known as the "war warning message".

On the morning following the receipt of this dispatch, Admiral Kimmel  discussed its contents with Lieut. General Short, Rear Admiral Bloch, the Flag officers of the Fleet present, and the members of his staff.

After much further study, Admiral Kimmel and his advisers interpreted  the warning to mean that war was imminent, and that readiness to  undertake active operations was expected. They were unable to read into it any indication that an attack against the Hawaiian area was to be  expected, particular attention having been directed to the Japanese activities in the Far East, with objectives in that area [1194] specifically mentioned. No reference was made to the possibility of a surprise aggressive move "in any direction", as had been done in the  dispatch of 24 November.

There was nothing to indicate that defensive measures should take precedence over all others. The "appropriate defensive deployment" that  was directed was not interpreted as referring specifically to the  Pacific Fleet, in view of the deployments of the Pacific Fleet already  made in compliance with the directive contained in the dispatch of 16 October. In addition, since that date, a squadron of submarines had been  sent to the Philippines, leaving only 5 in Pearl Harbor.

There were other considerations which no doubt influenced Admiral  Kimmel. The Navy Department's dispatch of 30 November, addressed to the Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet, and sent to Admiral Kimmel for his  information, ordered the Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet, to scout for  information of Japanese movements in the China Sea. This appeared to  indicate that the authorities in Washington expected hostilities to  occur in the Far East, rather than elsewhere.

On 28 November the Chief of Naval Operations advised Admiral Kimmel that  the Department had requested, and the Army had agreed to, the relief of  Marine garrisons at Midway and Wake with Army troops, and the replacement of Marine planes with Army pursuit planes. This action, involving as it did a complicated problem and the movements of sizeable U. S. Naval forces westward to effect their transfer, was an indication of the fact that the authorities [1195] in the War and Navy Departments  did not then expect a hostile movement toward the Hawaiian Islands.

On 28 November, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations repeated to Admiral  Kimmel the information contained in a dispatch which the War Department,  on 27 November, had transmitted to Lieut. General Short, and other Army addressees, to the effect that negotiations appeared to be terminated, that Japanese future action was unpredictable, that hostile action was  possible at any moment, and that it was desirable that Japan commit the  first overt act in case hostilities could not be avoided. Such measures as were undertaken were to be carried out so as not to alarm the civil  population or disclose intent.

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To this dispatch Lieut. General Short had replied on 27 November:

"Report Department alerted against sabotage. Liaison with Navy."

The steps taken caused the Army planes to be grouped in such manner as to afford better protection against sabotage, although militating against their taking the air promptly. In the absence of a reply from the War Department, Lieut. General Short considered that the alert he  had placed in effect was approved.

Lieut. General Short having, on 28 November, 1941, received instructions from the Adjutant General of the Army to take measures to protect military establishments, property, and equipment against sabotage, reported in detail the measures that he had taken and repeated the fact that he had placed in effect Alert (No. 1) against sabotage. He interpreted the dispatch from the Adjutant General as further [1196]  indicating that his alert against sabotage constituted complete compliance with the War Department's wishes.

There was no mention in any of the dispatches received by Lieut. General  Short, between 27 November and 7 December, 1941, of the possibility or  probability of an attack against Oahu.

As further evidence of the prevailing sentiment against the likelihood  of an immediate move toward Hawaii, it is a fact that a flight of B- 7s from the Mainland arrived over Oahu during the attack of 7 December,  without ammunition and with guns not ready for firing.

These considerations, and the sworn evidence of the witnesses testifying  before the Court, establish the fact that although the attack of 7  December came as a surprise to high officials in the State, War, and Navy Departments, and to the Army and Navy in the Hawaiian area. There  were good grounds for their belief that hostilities would begin in the Far East, rather than elsewhere.

XVIII

From 26 November to 7 December, 1941, conversations between our  government and Japan did continue, notwithstanding the statement  contained in the war warning message under date of 27 November, 1941,  that "negotiations with Japan, looking toward stabilization of  conditions in the Pacific have ceased."

This statement was based upon the note delivered by the State Department  to the Japanese representatives on 26 November, a copy of which was furnished the Navy [1197] Department. It did not in itself discontinue  negotiations and conversations, but, on the contrary, gave an "outline  of proposed basis for agreement between the United States and Japan."  The stipulations contained therein were drastic and were likely to be  unacceptable to Japan.

The reply to this note was anxiously awaited by the high officials of  the War and Navy Department because of the feeling that Japan would not accept the conditions presented, and that diplomatic relations would be  severed or that war would declared. The sending of the note therefore began the final phase of the critical period which culminated on 7 December.

Although it was stated in the press that a note had been delivered none of its contents was given out to the public until after the attack.  Admiral Kimmel had no knowledge of the existence of such a note nor of  its contents until many months after the attack.

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In a personal letter to Admiral Stark, dated 26 May, 1941, he had  invited attention to the importance of keeping commanders, well removed  from Washington, informed of developments and eventualities, stating:

"The Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet is in a very difficult position.  He is far removed from the seat of government, in a complex and rapidly changing situation. He is, as a rule, not informed as to the policy, or change of policy, reflected in current events and naval movements and, as a result, is unable to evaluate the possible effect upon his own situation. He is not even sure of what force will be available to him and has little voice in matters radically affecting his ability to carry out his assigned tasks. This lack of information is disturbing and tends to create uncertainty, a [1198] condition which directly contravenes that singleness of purpose and confidence in one's own course of action so necessary to the conduct of military operations.

"It is realized that, on occasion, the rapid developments in the international picture, both diplomatic and military, and, perhaps, even the lack of knowledge of the military authorities themselves, may militate against the furnishing of timely information, but certainly the  present situation is susceptible to marked improvement. Full and authoritative knowledge of current policies and objectives, even though  necessarily late at times, would enable the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet to modify, adapt, or even re-orient his possible courses of action to conform to current concepts. This is particularly applicable to the current Pacific situation, where the necessities for intensive training of a partially trained Fleet must be carefully balanced against the desirability of interruption of this training by strategic dispositions, or otherwise, to meet impending eventualities. Moreover, due to this same factor of distance and time, the Department itself is not too well  informed as to the local situation, particularly with regard to the status of current outlying island development, thus making even more necessary that the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet be guided by broad policy and objectives rather than by categorical instructions.

"It is suggested that it be made a cardinal principle that the  Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet be immediately informed of all  important developments as they occur and by the quickest secure means  available."

From time to time during this critical period there was received in the  War and Navy Departments certain other important information bearing on the current situation. The testimony as to this information forms a part  of the record of this Court. The details of this information are not discussed or analyzed in these findings, the Court having been informed  that their disclosure would militate against the successful prosecution  of the war.

[1199] This information was not transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, nor to the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department. No facilities were available to them, either in the Fleet or in the Hawaiian area, which would enable them to obtain the information direct.  They were dependent solely upon Washington for such information.

With regard to not transmitting this information, the stand taken by the Chief of Naval Operations was that the "war warning message" of 27 November completely covered the situation. The fact remains however, that this message, standing alone, could not covey to the commanders in  the field the picture as it was seen in Washington.

Only three other messages were received by the Commander-in-Chief,  Pacific Fleet, from the Chief of Naval Operations between 26 November and 7 December, one informing him that the Japanese had instructed  diplomatic and consular posts in the Far East, Washington, and London to destroy certain codes, and the other two relative to the destruction of United States codes at Guam and  outlying islands.

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In the early forenoon of 7 December, Washington time, the War and Navy  Departments had information which appeared to indicate that a break in  diplomatic relations was imminent and, by inference and deduction that  an attack in the Hawaiian area could be expected soon. This information was embodied in a dispatch by the Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, who, after consulting with the Chief of Naval Operations by telephone, had it encoded and sent to the Commanding Generals in Panama, Manila, and  Hawaii, with instructions that the naval authorities in those areas be  informed of its contents.

[1200] The dispatch to Hawaii left Washington at 12:17 p. m. Washington  time (6:47 a. m., Honolulu time) and arrived in Honolulu's RCA office at 7:33 a. m. (Honolulu time) . Thus there remained but 22 minutes before the attack began for delivery, decoding, dissemination, and action.  Lieut. General Short did not receive the decoded dispatch until the  afternoon of 7 December, several hour after the attacking force had departed.

Had the telephone and plain language been used, this information could  have been received in Hawaii about two hours before the attack began.  Even in this event, however, there was no action open, nor means  available, to Admiral Kimmel which could have stopped the attack, or which could have had other than negligible bearing upon its outcome.  There was already in effect the condition of readiness best suited to  the circumstances attending vessels within the limits of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, and the Fleet planes at their air bases on Oahu.

XIX

It is a prime obligation of Command to keep subordinate commanders, particularly those in distant areas constantly supplied with  information. To fail to meet this obligation is to commit a military error

It is a fact that Admiral Stark, as Chief of Naval Operations and  responsible for the operation of the Fleet, and having important  information in his possession during this critical period, especially on  the morning of 7 December, failed to transmit this information to  Admiral [1201] Kimmel, thus depriving the latter of a clear picture of  the existing Japanese situation as seen in Washington.

OPINION

Based on Finding II, the Court is of the opinion that the presence of a  large number of combatant vessels of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor on 7 December, 1941, was necessary, and that the information available  to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, did not require any departure from his operating and maintenance schedules.

Based on Finding III, the Court is of the opinion that the  Constitutional requirement that, prior to a declaration of war by the  Congress, no blow may be struck until after a hostile attack has been  delivered. Prevented the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, from taking  offensive action as a means of defense in the event of Japanese vessels  or planes appearing [in] the Hawaiian area, and that it imposed upon him the responsibility of avoiding taking any action which might be  construed as an overt act.

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Based on Finding V, the Court is of the opinion that the relations  between Admiral Husband E Kimmel, USN, and Lieut. General Walter C.  Short, U. S. Army, were friendly, cordial and cooperative, that there was no lack of interest, [1202] no lack of appreciation of  responsibility, and no failure to cooperate on the part of either. And  that each was cognizant of the measures being undertaken by the other  for the defense of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base to the degree required by the common interest. 

Based on Finding VI, the Court is of the opinion that the deficiencies in personnel and material which existed during 1941, had a direct  adverse bearing upon the effectiveness of the defense of Pearl Harbor on and prior to 7 December.

Based on Finding VII, the Court is of the opinion that the superiority  of the Japanese Fleet over the U.S. Pacific Fleet during the year 1941, and the ability of Japan to obtain military and naval information gave her an initial advantage not attainable by the United States up to 7  December, 1941.

Based on Finding VIII, the Court is of the opinion that the defense of  the Pearl Harbor Naval Base was the direct responsibility of the Army, that the Navy was to assist only with the means provided the 14th Naval District, and that the defense of the base was a joint operation only to  this extent. The Court is further of the opinion that the defense should  have been such as to function effectively independently of the Fleet, in view of the fundamental requirement that the strategic freedom of action  of the Fleet [1203] must be assured demands that the defense of a permanent naval base be so effectively provided for and conducted as to remove any anxiety of the Fleet in regard to the security of the base, or for that of the vessels within its limits. Based on Findings IV, VIII  and IX, the Court is of the opinion that the duties of Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch, U.S.N., in connection with the defense of Pearl Harbor,  were performed satisfactorily.

Based on Finding IX, the Court is of the opinion that the detailed Naval  Participation Air Defense plans drawn up and jointly agreed upon were complete and sound in concept, but that they contained a basic defect in  that naval participation depended entirely upon the availability of  aircraft belonging to and being employed by the Fleet, and that on the  morning of 7 December these plans were ineffective because they necessarily were drawn on the premise that there would be advance knowledge that an attack was to be expected within narrow limits of  time, which was not the case on that morning.

The Court is further of the opinion that it was not possible for the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, to make his Fleet planes permanently available to the Naval Base Defense Officer in view of the need for  their employment with the Fleet.

Based on Finding X, the Court is of the opinion that Admiral Kimmel's action, taken immediately after assuming command, in placing in effect comprehensive instructions for the security of the Pacific Fleet at sea and in the operating areas, is indicative of his appreciation of his responsibility for the security of the Fleet, and that the steps taken  were adequate and effective.

Based on Finding XI, the Court is of the opinion that, by virtue of the information that Admiral Kimmel had at hand which indicated

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neither the probability nor the imminence of an air attack on Pearl Harbor, and bearing in mind that he had not knowledge of the State  Department's note of 26 November, the Navy's condition of readiness on  the morning of 7 December, 1941, which resulted in the hostile planes being brought under heavy fire of the ships' antiaircraft batteries as  they came within range, was that best suited to the circumstances, although had all anti-aircraft batteries been manned in advance, the  total damage inflicted on ships would have been lessened to a minor  extent and to a degree which is problematical; and, that, had the Fleet  patrol planes, slow and unsuited for aerial combat, been in the air, they might have escaped and the number of these planes lost might thus  have been reduced.

The Court is of the opinion, however, that only had it been known in  advance that the attack would take place on [1204] 7 December, could  there now be any basis for a conclusion as to the steps that might have been taken to lessen its ill effects, and that, beyond the fact that  conditions were unsettled and that, therefore, anything might happen,  there was nothing to distinguish one day from another in so far as expectation of attack is concerned.

It has been suggested that each day all naval planes should have been in  the air, all naval personnel at their stations, and all antiaircraft  guns manned. The Court is of the opinion that the wisdom of this is  questionable when it is considered that it could not be known when an  attack would take place and that, to make sure, it would have been  necessary to impose a state of tension on the personnel day after day,  and to disrupt the maintenance and operating schedules of ships and  planes beginning at an indefinite date between 16 October and 7  December.

Based on Finding XII, the Court is of the opinion that, as no  information of any sort was at any time either forwarded or received  from any source which would indicate that Japanese carriers or other  Japanese ships were on their way to Hawaii during November or December, 1941, the attack of 7 December at Pearl Harbor, delivered under the circumstances then existing, was unpreventable and that when it would  take place was unpredictable.

Based on Finding XIII, the Court is of the opinion that the action of  the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, in ordering that no routine,  long-range reconnaissance be undertaken was sound and that the use of  Fleet patrol planes for daily, long-range, all-around reconnaissance was  not possible with the inadequate number of Fleet planes available, and  was not justified in the absence of any information indicating that an  attack was to be expected in the Hawaiian area within narrow limits of  time.

[1206] Based on Finding XIV, the Court is of the opinion that the shore-based air warning system, an Army service under the direct control of  the Army, was ineffective on the morning of 7 December, in that there was no provision for keeping track of planes in the air near and over  Oahu, and for distinguishing between those friendly and those hostile and that, because of this deficiency, a flight of planes which appeared  on the radar screen shortly after 0700 was confused with a flight of  Army B-17s en route from California, and that the information obtained  by Army radar was valueless as a warning, because the planes could not  be identified as hostile until the Japanese markings on their wings came  into view.

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Based on Finding XV, the Court is of the opinion that by far the greatest portion of the damage inflicted by the Japanese on ships in  Pearl Harbor was due to specially designed Japanese torpedoes, the  development and existence of which was unknown to the United States.

Based on Finding XVI. And particularly in view of the Chief of Naval  Operations' approval of the precautions taken and the deployments made by Admiral Kimmel in accordance with the directive contained in the  dispatch of 16 October, 1941, the Court is of the opinion that Admiral Kimmel's decision, made after receiving the dispatch of [1207] 24  November, to continue preparations of the Pacific Fleet for war, was sound in the light of the information then available to him.

Based on Finding XVII, the Court is of the opinion that, although the  attack of 7 December came as a surprise, there were good grounds for the  belief on the part of high officials in the State, War, and Navy  Departments, and on the part of the Army and Navy in the Hawaiian area, that hostilities would begin in the Far East rather than elsewhere, and that the same considerations which influenced the sentiment of the  authorities in Washington in this respect, support the interpretation which Admiral Kimmel placed upon the "war warning message" of 27 November, to the effect that this message directed attention away from  Pearl Harbor rather than toward it.

Based on Findings XVIII and XIX, the Court is of the opinion that  Admiral Harold R. Stark, U.S.N., Chief of Naval Operations and  responsible for the operations of the Fleet, failed to display the sound  judgment expected of him in that he did not transmit to Admiral Kimmel,  Commander-in-Chief, Pacific fleet, during the very critical period 26  November to 7 December, important information which he had regarding the Japanese situation and, especially, in that, on the morning of 7 December, 1941, he did not transmit immediately [1208] the fact that a  message had been received which appeared to indicate that a break in  diplomatic relations was imminent, and that an attack in the Hawaiian area might be expected soon.

The Court is further of the opinion that, had this important information  been conveyed to Admiral Kimmel, it is a matter of conjecture as to what action he would have taken.

Finally, based upon the facts established, the Court is of the opinion  that no offenses have been committed nor serious blame incurred on the part of any person or persons in the naval service.

RECOMMENDATION

The Court recommends that no further proceedings be had in the matter.

ORIN G. MURFIN,
Admiral, U. S. Navy (Ret.),
President.

EDWARD C. KALBFUS,
Admiral, U. S. Navy (Ret.),
Member.

ADOLPHUS ANDREWS,
Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy (Ret.),
Member

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The Court having finished the inquiry, then at 4 p. m., [1209] Thursday,  October 19, 1944, adjourned to await the action of the convening Authority.

ORIN G. MURFIN,
Admiral, U. S. Navy (Ret.),
President.

HAROLD BIESEMEIER,
Captain, U. S. Navy,
Judge Advocate.

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[1] ADDENDUM TO COURT'S FINDING OF FACTS

In the Finding of Facts, No. XVIII, the Court had referred to "certain  other important information" as being available to the War and Navy Departments.  This information was obtained by intercepting Japanese  messages and breaking their diplomatic codes.  The Court has been  informed that these codes are still in use and, if it became known to the Japanese Government that they had been broken by the United States,  the codes would be changed and, as a consequence, the war effort would  be adversely affected.

For this reason, the Court has refrained from analyzing or discussing  the details of the information in its Finding of Facts but feels that  its report would not be complete without a record of such details. The Court, therefore, submits the following record in this addendum and  transmits it to the Secretary of the Navy for filing with other highly secret matter referred to as such in the record of the Court's  proceedings.

Highly secret messages, hereinafter mentioned, were intercepted by the War and Navy Departments during the very critical period 26 November to 7 December, 1941, and prior thereto. The method of handling these messages in the Navy Department was as follows:

The Director of Naval Intelligence and the Director of Naval  Communications operated directly under the Chief of [2] Naval  Operations. They were responsible to see that all messages were  transmitted to him in order that he might be kept conversant at all  times with existing conditions.

Officers in Intelligence and Communications, Divisions of Naval  Operations, remained on duty night and day. They made every effort to obtain all possible diplomatic and military information, in order that high officials of our government might be kept fully informed. 

Messages were translated and placed in a folder immediately upon receipt  or intercept. The important messages were marked with a clip and taken  by a designated officer to the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval  Operations, the Directors of War Plans, Naval Intelligence, and Naval  Communications, and to the Chief of the Far Eastern Division of Naval  Intelligence. The Director of Naval Intelligence, Captain Wilkinson, kept himself constantly informed regarding all messages. He checked as to whether or not the Chief of Naval Operations had seen the important  ones and in many cases took them personally to the Chief of Naval  Operations and discussed them with him.

Immediately after the receipt of the note of 26 November, 1941, from the  Secretary of State, the Japanese representatives in Washington sent a  message to Tokyo which was intercepted by the Navy Department. This is Document 17, Exhibit 63, which gave Tokyo the following stipulations  contained in the note:

(a) The recognition of Hull's "four principles".

(b) (1) Conclusion of mutual non-aggression treaty between Tokyo,  Moscow, Washington, The Netherlands, Chungking and Bangkok.

[3] (2) Agreement between Japan, United States, England, The Netherlands, China and Thai on the inviolability of French Indo-China  and equality of economic treatment in French Indo-China.

(3) Complete evacuation of Japanese forces from China and all French  Indo-China.

(4) Japan and the United States both definitely to promise to support no regime but that of Chiang Kai-shek.

(5) The abolition of extraterritoriality, the concessions in China, and  other requirements bearing on reciprocal trade treaty, rescinding  freezing orders, stabilization of yen, etc., and for Japan to amend her tripartite pact with Germany and Italy.


The Japanese representatives added in their report to Tokyo, the following:

"Both dumbfounded and stated to Hull we could not even cooperate to the extent of even reporting this to Tokyo."

No information regarding the delivery of this note or of its contents was transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, or to other commanders afloat.

From 26 November to 7 December, 1941, there was much diplomatic dispatch  traffic intercepted between Tokyo and the Japanese Ambassador in Washington which had a bearing on the critical situation existing and  which was not transmitted to the Commander-in- Chief, Pacific. A message  dated 19 November, 1941, Tokyo to Washington, translated on 28 November, 1941, and referred to as "The Winds Code" was as follows:

"Regarding the broadcast of a special message in an emergency.

"In case of emergency (danger of cutting off our diplomatic relations),  and the cutting off of international communications, the following warning will be added in the middle of the daily Japanese language short wave news broadcast. 

[4] "(1) In case of a Japan-U.S. relations in danger: HIGASHI NO KAZEAME.*

"(2) Japan-U.S.S.R. relations: KITANOKAZE KUMORI.**

"(3) Japan-British relations: NISHI NO KAZE HARE.***

"This signal will be given in the middle and at the end as a weather  forecast and each sentence will be repeated twice. When this is heard please destroy code papers, etc. This is as yet to be a completely  secret arrangement. 

"Forward as urgent intelligence."

The Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet, on 28 November, 1941, sent to the  Chief of Naval Operations, information to Commander-in- Chief, Pacific  Fleet; Commandant 16th Naval District; and Commandant 14th Naval District, substantially the same information as outlined above. On 5 December, 1941, the United States Naval Attach‚, Batavia, sent to the Chief of Naval Operations substantially the same information. These  messages stated that at some future late information would be sent by  Japan indicating a breaking off of diplomatic relations or possibly war  between countries designated.

All officers of the Communication and Intelligence Divisions in the Navy Department, considering the expected information most important, were on the lookout for this notification of Japanese intentions. On 4 December an intercepted Japanese broadcast employing this code was received in the Navy Department. Although this notification was subject to two interpretations, either a breaking off of

* East wind rain.
** North wind cloudy.
*** West wind clear.

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diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States, or [5] war, this information was not transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, or to other Commanders afloat.

It was known in the Navy Department that the Commanders-in-Chief,  Pacific and Asiatic Fleets, were monitoring Japanese broadcasts for this code, and apparently there was a mistaken impression in the Navy Department that the execute message had also been intercepted at Pearl  Harbor, when in truth this message was never intercepted at Pearl  Harbor. No attempt was made by the Navy Department to ascertain whether this information had been obtained by the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, and by other Commanders afloat.

Admiral Stark stated that he knew nothing about it, although Admiral Turner stated that he himself was familiar with it and presumed that  Admiral Kimmel had it. This message cannot now be located in the Navy  Department.

It is a matter of general knowledge that Japan has had for many years a thorough system of espionage throughout the world and continuously sought and received information regarding the location and movements of United States naval vessels. There were certain messages received in the Navy Department which showed very clearly that Japan, at this critical  period, was particularly desirous of obtaining exact information from  two sources, namely, Manila and Honolulu. Messages between Tokyo, Manila, and Honolulu inquiring especially about planes, ships, their  places of anchorage, etc., in the latter ports, were intercepted.  Similar messages were sent to Japanese officials in Honolulu clearly indicating that Japan was most [6] desirous of obtaining exact  information as to ships in Pearl Harbor.

The important messages having special reference to Pearl Harbor were as follows:

(a) On 15 November, 1941, Document 24, Exhibit 63, an intercept from Tokyo to Honolulu, translated in Navy Department, 3 December, 1941, states:

"As relations between Japan and the United States are most critical make your "ships in harbor report" irregular but at rate of twice a week.  Although you already are no doubt aware, please take extra care to  maintain secrecy."

(b) On 18 November, 1941, Document 37, Exhibit 63, an intercept from Tokyo to Honolulu, translated in Navy Department on 5 December, 1941, states:

"Please report on the following areas as to vessels anchored therein:  Area "N" Pearl Harbor, Manila Bay, and areas adjacent thereto. Make your investigation with great secrecy."

Note by Navy Department on this message:

"Manila Bay" probably means "Mamala Bay."

(c) On 18 November, 1941, Document 40, Exhibit 63, an intercept from Honolulu to Tokyo and translated in Navy Department 6 December, 1941, gives information as to ships moored in certain areas in Pearl Harbor  and movements of ships in and out. 

[7] (d) On 29 November, 1941, Document 36, Exhibit 63, an intercept from Tokyo to Honolulu, translated in Washington 5 December, 1941, states:

"We have been receiving reports from you on ship movements but in future will you also report even where there are no movements."

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Admiral Kimmel was not aware of and had no information regarding these  messages.

On 5 November, 1941, Document 7, Exhibit 63, Tokyo to Washington, was  intercepted. This message stresses the necessity of signing an agreement between the United States and Japan by 25 November, 1941.

On 22 November, 1941, Document 11, Exhibit 63, intercept from Tokyo to  Washington, stated that the signing of agreement set for 25 November, 1941, could be postponed until 29 November, and in explanation this  message stated:

"* * * There are reasons beyond your ability to guess why we wanted to settle Japanese-American relations by the 25th, but if within the next  three or four days you can finish your conversations with the Americans;  if the signing can be completed by the 29th, * * * if the pertinent  notes can be exchanged; if we can get an understanding with Great  Britain and the Netherlands; and in short if everything can be finished,  we have decided to wait until that date. This time we mean it, that the  deadline absolutely cannot be changed. After that things are  automatically going to happen. * * *"

No intimation of the receipt of this message was transmitted to the  Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, or to other Commanders afloat, nor was any  information transmitted to them regarding contents of the messages mentioned in the following paragraphs.

[8] On 28 November, 1941, a dispatch, Document 18, Exhibit 63, was intercepted between Tokyo and Washington which in part reads as follows:

"* * * The United States has gone ahead and presented this humiliating proposal—"

referring to note of 26 November—

"* * * the Imperial Government can by no means use it as a basis for  negotiations. Therefore, with a report of the views of the Imperial  Government on this American proposal which I will send you in two or three days, the negotiations will be de facto ruptured. This is  inevitable. However, I do not wish you to give the impression that the negotiations are broken off. Merely say to them that you are awaiting  instructions * * *"

etc.

The message indicates the position of Japan regarding the note of 26 November, and further indicates that within two or three days  negotiations will be de facto ruptured. Further, it emphasizes the  importance of delay. Neither the message nor any of its contents were  transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, or to other Commanders  afloat. 

On 29 November, 1941, Document 19, Exhibit 63, intercept Tokyo to Washington and translated by the Navy Department 30 November, 1941, directs that Japanese representatives make one more attempt to have  United States reconsider and states:

"* * * please be careful that this does not lead to anything like a breaking off of negotiations."

Again, on 30 November, 1941, Document 20, Exhibit 63, an intercept from Washington to Tokyo indicated that negotiations were to be stretched  out.

These two messages indicate that the Japanese were sparring for time.

[9] On 30 November, 1941, Document 22, Exhibit 63, translated by the Navy Department on 1 December, 1941, was intercepted, being

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a message from Tokyo to Japanese representatives in Berlin, reading as follows:

"1. Japan-American negotiations were commenced the middle of April of  this year. Over a period of half a year they have been continued. Within  that period the Imperial Government adamantly stuck to the Tri-Partite  Alliance as the cornerstone of its national policy regardless of the  vicissitudes of the international situation. In the adjustment of  diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States, she has based  her hopes for a solution definitely within the scope of that alliance.  With the intent of restraining the United States from participating in the war, she boldly assumed the attitude of carrying through these  negotiations.

"2. Therefore, the present cabinet, in line with your message, with the  view of defending the Empire's existence and integrity on a just and  equitable basis, has continued the negotiations carried on in the past.  However, their views and ours on the question of the evacuation of  troops, upon which the negotiations rested (they demanded the evacuation of Imperial troops from China and French Indo-China), were completely in opposition to each other.

"Judging from the course of the negotiations that have been going on, we first came to loggerheads when the United States, in keeping with its traditional ideological tendency of managing international relations, re-emphasized her fundamental reliance upon this traditional policy in  the conversations carried on between the United States and England in  the Atlantic Ocean. The motive of the United States in all this was brought out by her desire to prevent the establishment of a new order by  Japan, Germany, and Italy in Europe and in the Far East (that is to say,  the aims of the Tri-Partite Alliance). As long as the Empire of Japan  was in alliance with Germany and Italy, there could be no maintenance of  friendly relations between Japan and the United States was the stand  they took. From this point of view, they began to demonstrate a tendency  to demand the divorce of the Imperial Government from the Tri-Partite  Alliance. This was brought out at the last meeting. That is to say that  it has only been in the negotiations of the last few days that it has [10] become gradually more and more clear that the Imperial Government  could no longer continue negotiations with the United States. It became  clear, too, that a continuation of negotiations would inevitably be  detrimental to our cause.

"3. The proposal presented by the United States on the 26th made this  attitude of theirs clearer than ever. In it there is one insulting  clause which says that no matter what treaty either party enters into  with a third power it will not be interpreted as having any bearing upon  the basic object of this treaty namely the maintenance of peace in the  Pacific. This means specifically the Three-Power Pact. It means that in  case the United States enters the European war at any time the Japanese  Empire will not be allowed to give assistance to  Germany and Italy. It  is clearly a trick. This clause alone, let alone others, makes it  impossible to find any basis in the American proposal for negotiations. What is more before the United States brought forth this plan, they  conferred with England Australia, The Netherlands, and China—they did so  repeatedly. Therefore, it is clear that the United States is now in collusion with those nations and has decided to regard Japan, along with Germany and Italy, as an enemy."

On 1 December, 1941, the Navy Department intercepted a message from  Tokyo to the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin as follows:

"The conversations between Tokyo and Washington now stand ruptured. Say very secretly to Hitler and Ribbentrop that there is extreme danger that war may suddenly break out between the Anglo Saxon nations and Japan and this war may come quicker than anybody dreams. We will not relax our  pressure on the Soviet, but for the time being would prefer to refrain  from any direct moves on the north. Impress on the Germans and Italians  how important secrecy is."

On 1 December, 1941, Document 21, Exhibit 63, was intercepted, being a message from Tokyo to the Japanese Ambassador in Washington which reads  as follows:

"1. The date set in my message #812** has come and gone, and the situation continues to be increasingly critical. However, to prevent the  [11] United States from becoming unduly suspicious we have been advising  the press and

** JD-1: 6710

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others that though there are some wide differences between Japan and the  United States, the negotiations are continuing. (The above is for only  your information).

"2. We have decided to withhold submitting the note to the U.S. Ambassador to Tokyo as suggested by you at the end of your message  #1124***. Please make the necessary representations at your end only.

"3. There are reports here that the President's sudden return to the  capital is an effect of Premier Tojo's statement. We have an idea that  the President did so because of his concern over the critical Far  Eastern situation. Please make investigations into this matter."

On 2 December, 1941, Document 25, Exhibit 63, intercept Washington to  Tokyo, translated by the Navy Department 3 December, 1941, reports that  conversations with the State Department continue; that the Japanese  representatives stated to Welles, the Under Secretary of State, that it  is virtually impossible for Japan to accept new American proposals as  they now stand, and that the Japanese representatives feel that the  United States is anxious to peacefully conclude the current difficult  situation.

On 3 December, 1941, Document 29, Exhibit 63, intercept Tokyo to  Washington, translated by the Navy Department 4 December, 1941, requests  their representatives to explain Japan's increased forces in Indo-China.

On 3 December, 1941, Document 33, Exhibit 63, intercept Washington to  Tokyo, translated by Navy Department 5 December, 1941, states: [12]

"Judging from all indications, we feel that some joint military action between Great Britain and the United States, with or without a  declaration of war, is a definite certainty in the event of an  occupation of Thailand."

On 6 December, 1941, Document 38, Exhibit 63, from Tokyo to Washington,  was intercepted, giving notice to the Japanese representatives that a reply consisting of 14 parts to American proposal of 26 November is  being sent to them, directing that secrecy should be maintained and  stating that the time of presenting this reply would be sent in a  separate message.

The first 13 parts of this reply were intercepted and received by the Navy Department at about 3:00 p.m., December 6, 1941, and were  translated and made ready for distribution by 9:00 p.m., Washington  time, of that date. These 13 parts contain a very strong and conclusive  answer to the note of November 26 and state in part,

"Japan cannot accept proposal as a basis of negotiations."

Commander Kramer, the officer whose duty it was to distribute this class  of information, prior to 9:00 p.m., 6 December, 1941, 'phoned Captain  Wilkinson that an important message had been received and was being  translated. He also tried to communicate with Admiral Stark and Rear  Admiral Turner at their homes but found them out.

At about 9:00 p.m., Washington time, Commander Kramer proceeded to the  White House with the 13 parts of reply and delivered a copy to a White  House aide, with the request that [13] it be delivered immediately to  the President. Kramer then proceeded to the home of Secretary Knox where  he personally delivered to the Secretary a copy of the Japanese reply.  Secretary Knox read the reply, did not discuss it in detail with Kramer, but 'phoned the Secretary of War and Secretary of State.

*JD-1: 6921.
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

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Kramer then proceeded to the home of Captain Wilkinson and gave a copy  to him. Kramer told Wilkinson that he had tried to get Stark and Turner.  Wilkinson made several 'phone calls, presumably to Admiral Stark and others. This information regarding receipt of these 13 parts or their contents was not transmitted to the Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet or  other Commanders Afloat.

Kramer then returned to his office in the Navy Department, arriving  about 12:30 a.m., 7 December, and as no other important messages were at  hand, went home and returned to the Navy Department about 7:00 a.m. Upon  his arrival he found the 14th part of the Japanese reply had been  received and decoded. He then delivered a copy of all 14 parts to the  Flag Secretary in his office of the Chief of Naval Operations at about 9  a.m., where he found several officers gathering for a conference with  Admiral Stark. Kramer then proceeded, about 9:30 a.m., to the White  House and made delivery of the 14 parts of the message. He proceeded  then, at about 9:50 a.m., to the State Department and delivered same to  the Secretary of the Navy, who was there in conference with the  Secretary of State.

At about 10:30 a.m., Kramer returned to the Navy Depart- [14] ment where  he found another message had been translated. This message, an intercept  from Tokyo to Washington, was marked "Urgent, very important" and read  as follows:

"Will the ambassador please submit to the U.S. Government (if possible to the Secretary of State) our reply to the U.S. at 1:00 p.m., on the  7th, your time."

Kramer delivered a copy of this message (hereinafter referred to as the "one p.m. message") to the Flag Secretary of Admiral Stark, the latter  at the time being in conference with several officers.

Kramer then returned to the White House and delivered the "1:00 p.m.  message." From there he went to the State Department where the Secretary of the Navy was still in conference with the Secretary of State. On arrival he requested one of the State Department assistants to present  the message to the Secretary of the Navy and to invite his attention to  the fact that 1:00 p.m., Washington time, meant dawn at Honolulu and  midnight in East Asia.

Admiral Stark had arrived in his office at the Navy Department at some  time between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m., on the morning of 7 December. Although  he testified that he had no information prior to this time relative to the Japanese reply to the note of November 26th he was informed of the  14 parts and "the 1:00 p.m. message" not later than 10:30 a.m., of that  date. He testified that General Marshall 'phoned him and suggested that  the information regarding the delivery of the 14 parts at 1:00 p.m. was most important and significant and, in his opinion, should be  transmitted to Commanders in the [15] Pacific. Admiral Stark at first  demurred and hung up the receiver. Shortly thereafter he 'phoned General  Marshall requesting that, in the event he sent the message to the  Commanding Generals in the Pacific area, he instruct them to relay this  message to naval opposites.

The message which General Marshall sent to the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department (Exhibit 48) reads as follows:

"Japanese are presenting at one p.m. Eastern Standard Time today what  amounts to an ultimatum also they are under orders to destroy their Code machine immediately stop Just what significance the hour set may have we

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do not know but be on alert accordingly stop Inform naval authorities of this communication."

This message left the War Department at 11:52 a.m., Washington time, was  sent out over R.C.A. at 12:17 p.m. (6:47 a.m. Honolulu time) and arrived  in Honolulu's R.C.A. office at 7:33 a.m. Honolulu time. There remained  but 22 minutes before the attack for delivery, decoding, dissemination,  and action. Lieut. General Short did not receive the decoded dispatch  until the afternoon of 7 December, several hours after the attacking  force had departed.

Had the telephone and plain language been used, this message could have  been received in Hawaii before the attack began.  Even in this event,  however, there was no action open to Admiral Kimmel which could have stopped the attack or which could have had other than negligible bearing  upon its outcome.  There was already in effect the condition of  readiness best suited to circumstances attending vessels within the  limits of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base and the Fleet planes in their air bases in Oahu.

Orin G. Murfin,
Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
President.

Edward C. Kalbfus,
Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Member.

Adolphus Andrews,
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Member.

[1] FIRST ENDORSEMENT [Stamped:] Nov. 2, 1944.

To: The Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.

Subj: Court of Inquiry to inquire into the attack made by Japanese armed  forces on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941, ordered  by the Secretary of the Navy on 13 July, 1944.

1. Forwarded for comment and recommendation.

2. The weighing of conflicting evidence and testimony is peculiarly the  function of a Court of Inquiry or Board of Investigation, and not that  of the reviewing authorities. Where the testimony is such as will  reasonably support either two or more different conclusions, it is not  within the province of the Judge Advocate General to attempt to  substitute his evaluation of the evidence for that of the Court. But  where there is no creditable evidence in a record to support a finding  or opinion, or where the weight of evidence is so preponderantly on one side that it appears unreasonable to reach a contrary conclusion, the Judge Advocate General must hold, as a matter of law, that such a  finding or opinion is not supported by the evidence adduced. See CMO 9  of 1928, P. 8; CMO 12 of 1937, P. 8; CMO 5 of 1936;, P. 11.

3. Attention is invited to the following portion of Finding of Fact  XVIII:

"In the early forenoon of 7 December, 1941, Washington time, the Army  and Navy Departments had information which appeared to indicate that a break in diplomatic relations was imminent, and, *by inference and  deduction, that an attack in the Hawaiian area could be expected soon*."

4. This Finding, standing alone, may be misleading, in the sense that it  may convey an impression that the Court concluded that responsible  officials of the War and Navy Departments did in fact make the inference  and deduction underscored above. The fact that the Court, in phrasing  this Finding, used the past tense of the verb "appear", and used the  expression "appeared to indicate rather than "should have indicated"  lends support to this construction. Such

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an [12] impression would not be supported by the record, as the great preponderance of the evidence before the Court refutes any such  conclusion. It is quite clear from the evidence that the responsible  officials of the Navy Department had evaluated the information available  to them in Washington to mean that a hostile move by the Japanese could  be expected, not in the Hawaiian area, except by submarines, but rather  against Guam, the Philippines, and British and Dutch possessions in the  Far East.

5. Those witnesses who, on 7 December, 1941 held positions in the Navy Department which qualify them to speak authoritatively as to the  prevailing opinion there just prior to the attack, are all in  substantial accord that the Chief of Naval Operations and his assistants  had not deduced or inferred that an attack in the Hawaiian area could be  expected soon. On the contrary, the consensus in the Navy Department was that any attack would probably come in the Far East, and the possibility  of an air attack on Pearl Harbor was given a comparatively low probability rating. Those witnesses who stated that the information  available to the Navy Department clearly indicated, by inference and deduction, that an attack on Hawaii could be expected, were all officers  who were not on duty in the Navy Department at that time, or occupied  subordinate positions. Their testimony is opinion evidence, undoubtedly  unconsciously colored by hindsight, and arrived at by a process of  selecting, from the great mass of intelligence reports available to the  Chief of Naval Operations, those which in the light of subsequent events  proved to be hints or indications of Japanese intentions.

Therefore, any finding, opinion or inference that the responsible  officials the Navy Department knew, prior to the actual attack, that an  attack on Hawaii was impending, is not supported by the evidence. The  Court recognizes this fact, as shown by its finding last paragraph of  Finding XVII) that);

"These considerations, and the sworn evidence of the witnesses  testifying before the Court, establish the fact that although the attack  of 7 December came as a surprise to high officials in the State, War,  and Navy Departments, and to the Army and Navy in the Hawaiian area,  there were good grounds for their belief that hostilities would begin in  the Far East, rather than elsewhere."

[3]  7. The foregoing remarks apply equally to the underscored portion of Opinion expressed by the Court (P. 1207) that:

"Admiral Harold R Stark, USN, Chief of Naval Operations and responsible  for the operations of the Fleet, failed to display the sound judgment expected of him in that he did not transmit to Admiral Kimmel,  Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, during the very critical period 26  November to 7 December, important information which he had regarding the  Japanese situation, and especially in that, on the morning of 7 December 1941, he did not transmit immediately the fact that a message had been received which appeared to indicate that a break in diplomatic relations  was imminent, and, that an attack in the Hawaiian area might be expected  soon."

As been previously pointed out, the message herein referred to was not  construed by the Chief of Naval Operations and his principal advisers as indicating an attack in the Hawaiian area.

8. It is noted that the Court finds (Finding of Fact XVIII) that the  time at which the War and Navy Departments had information indicating a break in diplomatic relations on 7 December 1941, and the possibility of  hostile action by the Japanese on that date, was in the early forenoon of 7 December, Washington time. It is not considered amiss to comment in  further detail on this finding, in view of a widespread misconception in  some quarters that this information was known in Washington on 7  December, 1941. The evidence before this Court establishes, beyond any  doubt, that the information referred to was not available to any  responsible official in Washington prior to approximately 10 a. m., the  morning of 7 December 1941.

9. The Judge Advocate General feels constrained to comment on the  apparent contradiction between the Opinion expressed by the Court that  the Chief of Naval Operations failed to display the sound judgment  expected of him in failing to transmit certain information to the  Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, and the final Opinion that "no  offenses have been committed nor serious blame incurred in the part of  any person in the naval service". That this is only an apparent, and not  a real, incongruity, is shown by the Opinion that had this important information been conveyed to Admiral Kimmel, it is a matter of  conjecture as to what action he would have taken. This statement, as  well as the Finding of

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Facts and Opinions taken as a whole indicate [4] that it was the  conclusion of the Court, although not clearly expressed that the  evidence adduced did not prove that Admiral Stark's failure to transmit the information in question to Admiral Kimmel was the proximate cause of  the damage suffered by the Fleet on 7 December 1941 and that any causal connection between this failure on Admiral Stark's part and the disaster would be entirely speculative. Such a conclusion is fully supported by  the testimony in this record.

10. Subject to the foregoing remarks the proceedings findings opinions and recommendations of the attached Court of Inquiry are, in the opinion of the Judge Advocate General, legal.

T. L. Gatch
T. L. GATCH
The Judge Advocate General.

---------------------

TOP SECRET

[1] UNITED STATE FLEET
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief
NAVY DEPARTMENT
Washington 25, D. C.

3 Nov. 1944.
FF/A17-25.
Serial: 003191.
TOP SECRET.

From: The Commander In Chief United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.
To: The Secretary of the Navy.
Subject: Record of Proceedings of Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry—Review of.
Reference: (a) SecNav ltr of 21 October 1944.
Annex: (A) List of Parts of Record that Contain Information of super-secret nature.

1. In compliance with Reference (a) the following comment is submitted as to how much of the record of the Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry bears such relation to present military operations as to require high security  classification.

2. There are only two general classifications of information which, if  made public, would be detrimental to the conduct of current and future operations. These are:

(a) Information which directly or by inference would lead the Japanese to suspect that we have been able to break their codes.

(b) Verbatim plain language reproductions of messages sent in United  States Codes. The Japanese presumably have the enciphered versions of  these messages and if they are given the word for word plain language version it would help them to work on our codes. This is a matter of less importance than the possible compromise of what we know about Japanese encryption but it should be guarded against.

[2]  3. The really vital point is to preserve absolute secrecy as to our success in breaking Japanese codes. It is essential to keep this  information to ourselves. I say this for the following reasons:

(a) All Japanese intercepts considered by the Court were in diplomatic  codes. Most of these are still in effect with only minor changes. They  are still the sources of information of incalculable value. Furthermore, all Japanese codes, Army and Navy, as well as diplomatic, are of the  same general structure. The Japanese codes of today are not basically  different from those they used in 1941. Breaking one code makes it easy  to break the others. The Japanese presumably are well aware of this. If  they were told that we broke their diplomatic codes in 1941 there is a reasonable assumption that they will change the whole basic code structure. If they were to do this the damage would be irreparable. The information we get relates not only to the current and prospective  movements of Japanese naval vessels upon which we base our operating  plans but also include data as to troop strength and prospective troop  movements which are vital to the Army. It also relates to the  disposition of Japanese Army and Navy air forces. It is impossible to overstate the disadvantages we would suffer if there were to be a  leakage direct or indirect that an alert enemy might interpret as indicating that we can and do break his codes. It is no exaggeration to state that Midway might have been a Japanese victory had it not been for  the information which we obtained by intercepting his coded despatches.  The risks we have

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taken in advancing into the Marshall Islands and the Philippines would  have been far greater than they actually were had we not been able to obtain information of Japanese dispositions and movements from Japanese sources.

(b) In view of the foregoing I strongly recommend that there be no  public release of any information which would alert the Japanese as to the possibility that we were breaking their codes.

[3]  (c) It is a pertinent question as to just what part, if any, of the  record of proceedings can be made public, without resulting in a leak of  vital information.

(c) I can say unequivocally that Volume 5 (the Top Secret volume of  proceedings) must not be made public. With regard to the other volumes  of the record I find there are certain paragraphs which do point quite  clearly to the fact that we have information which could only be obtained by reading Japanese coded messages. I have listed these in  Annex (A) of the report, which also includes certain references which might be damaging to the security of our own codes.

(e) I am not any too certain of the effectiveness of the deletions  recommended in Annex (A). There are statements of a border-line nature  concerning which it is difficult to tell whether or not an alert enemy  might find a clue as to what our knowledge of his codes really is.  However, if the record is also abridged by deletion of the matter  enumerated in Annex (A), it would be devoid of any direct reference to  information which we must keep from becoming public.

(f) The foregoing should not be interpreted to mean that I am in favor  of making public the parts of the record not referred to in the Annex.  On the contrary, I am of the opinion that publication of a weeded record or of abridged Findings would have the following undesirable results:

(1) The picture presented would be disjointed and full of unexplained gaps. I think this would lead to a demand of Congress and by the Press for more information, on the ground that the part made public was incomplete, and that withholding of any information is indicative of a desire on the part of the Navy to whitewash high naval officers. A situation such as this might well lead to discussions that would  inadvertently disclose just the information that we feel is vital to  keep secret.

[4]  (2) Admiral Kimmel's principal contention is that he was kept in  the dark as to certain information which the Navy Department had  obtained from various sources, including the breaking of Japanese codes.  This is a matter which cannot be made public without irreparable damage  to the conduct of the war. It is not unlikely that if there is a public  release of some of the Facts and Opinions, but no release concerning  matters in which Admiral Kimmel is particularly concerned, he may take further action to protect his own reputation. The potentialities are  particularly dangerous, because Admiral Kimmel's civilian lawyers have now been informed, so I understand, of the existence and content of the  many Japanese messages in question. I know of no means of keeping these  lawyers from talking in public, except such ethical views as they may  have concerning their responsibility for not doing anything that would  jeopardize war operations. It is a question just how far they could be restrained by ethical considerations, if the Navy Department were to  make public the part of the record which is unfavorable to Admiral  Kimmel, while suppressing that part which he regards as a main element  of his defense.

(3) I also invite attention to the fact that the Findings include  certain Facts and Opinions critical of Army efficiency, ascertained by  proceedings to which the Army was not a party. The publication of this  part of the record might well result in an inter-service dispute, which  would tend to bring out the very information which it is essential to  conceal.

4. In regard to the requirements of Public Law 339, 78th Congress, I note that the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy are  severally directed to proceed forthwith with an investigation into the facts surrounding the Pearl Harbor catastrophe, and to commence  proceedings against such persons as the facts may justify. This law does [15] not obligate the Secretary of the Navy to make any public statement  of what the Court of Inquiry has ascertained. Furthermore, as I understand it, the President has definitely expressed himself as opposed  to any act which might interfere with the war effort. I, therefore,  conclude that there is no necessity for making anything public, except  on the ground that something should be done to suppress the rumors and irresponsible accusations that are now current. I do not believe that such considerations in any way warrant jeopardizing the war effort by publicising all or any part of the record.

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5. With regard as to whether or not there should be any public statement, I offer the opinion that no steps should be taken without  consulting the Secretary of War, and arranging for parallel action. The two Departments should not issue conflicting statements, nor should one  keep silent while the other one makes a statement. Assuming that the War  Department would take parallel action I recommend that there be no  public release whatsoever. However, if the Secretary of the Navy and the  Secretary of War decide that there must be some report to the public, I recommend a statement to the Press in substance as follows:

"The Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry is of the opinion that no offenses  have been committed which warrant court martial proceedings against any  person or persons in the naval service. The Secretary of the Navy approves the Findings. The record of the Court will not be made public  while the war is in progress."

6. If you should find it advisable, at a later time, to issue a further  statement it seems to me that it would also be desirable to make public in some manner the fact (see page 1160 of the record) that Admiral  Kimmel and General Short were personal friends, that they met  frequently, that their relations were cordial and cooperative in every respect, and that they [6] invariably conferred on matters bearing on  the development of the Japanese situation and their several plans in  preparing for war. This would refute the statements and rumors that have  been prevalent to the effect that Admiral Kimmel and General Short were  at odds with one another. Of course, no such statement could be made  unless the Secretary of War concurs. If the Secretary of War does concur  you might find occasion to make informal comment on the matter at a  press conference.

/S/ E. J. King,
E. J. King.

TOP SECRET

ANNEX "A" To COMINCH SERIAL 003191

1. The following portions of the Record of the Pearl Harbor Court of  Inquiry should not be made public, because they convey information which the enemy could use to the detriment of United States war operations.

(a) Volume 5 (the "Top Secret" volume).

(b) The following paragraphs of Volumes 1, 2,3, and 4:

(1) Volume 1

Page   Paragraph     Page   Paragraph

166     683          255    174
172     739          256    179
213 Entire Page      266    180
214     116          266    260
214     117          266    261
214     127          297     81

(2) Volume 2

Page   Paragraph     Page   Paragraph

315     25           470      3
315     26           470      4
326    145           471      5
328    153           471      6
344    226           471      7
396     54           471      8
427     43           471      9
430     54           472     15
432     63           473     18
432     64           473     19
463     18           473     20
463     19           473     21
463     20           473     22
465     24           483     51
466     25           534     40
466     26           563    168
466     27           567    187
468     38  

 Page 335

(3) Volume 3

Page   Paragraph     Page   Paragraph

805    176           889     16
817      7           889     17
818      8           911     38
850    149   

(4) Volume 4

Page   Paragraph

938     34
939     35

(c) Also the following parts of the "Findings" in Volume 4: Page 1191. Third paragraph (beginning with words "on 24 November") and the despatch quoted therein.

Page 1192. Entire page.
Page 1193. Entire page.
Page 1194. First 3 lines
Page 1198. Last paragraph.
Page 1199. Entire page.
Page 1200. Entire page.
Page 1201. First 2 lines
Page 1206. Last paragraph.
Page 1207. Entire page.
Page 1208. First 7 lines.

Statement of Admiral Stark:

Paragraph 7.
Paragraph 8.

Statement of Admiral Kimmel:

Page 21. Last paragraph.
Page 22. First paragraph.

(d) All "Top Secret" exhibits, and the following exhibits listed in the index to Volume 1: 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 40, 57, 62, 63, 64,  65, 66, 68, 76, 76, 77.

NOTE

The Top Secret Second Endorsement to Record of Proceedings of Pearl  Harbor Court of Inquiry, dated 6 Nov. 1944 by the Commander in Chief,  United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, was not published,  however a paraphrased copy of this endorsement was published.

[1] TOP SECRET
UNITED STATES FLEET
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief
NAVY DEPARTMENT
Washington 25, D. C.

FF1/A17-25.
Serial: 003224
TOP SECRET.

6 Nov 1944.

SECOND ENDORSEMENT TO RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS OF PEARL HARBOR COURT OF  INQUIRY

From: The Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.

To: The Secretary of the Navy.

Subject: Court of Inquiry to inquire into the attack made by Japanese  armed forces on Pearl Harbor. Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941,  ordered by the Secretary of the Navy on 13 July 1941.

Page 336

1. I concur in the Findings, Opinion and Recommendation of the Court of  Inquiry in the attached case subject to the opinion expressed by the  Judge Advocate General in the first endorsement and to the following  remarks.

2. (a) As to Facts I and II (page 1156), the routine practice of  rotating units of the Fleet, so that each vessel had approximately two- thirds of its time at sea and one-third in port, was usual and  necessary. Definitely scheduled upkeep periods in port were required,  not only for keeping the ships in good mechanical condition, but, also,  for giving the personnel sufficient recreation to keep them from going  stale. Whether or not Admiral Kimmel was justified in having one task  force and part of another in port on 7 December is a matter which I  discuss later on.

(b) In Fact III (page 1158) the Court points out that, because of  constitutional requirements, no blow against a potential enemy may be  struck until after a hostile attack has been delivered, unless there has been a declaration of war by Congress. The great advantage which this  gives an unscrupulous enemy is obvious. This requirement made it impossible for Admiral Kimmel and General Short to employ the offensive  as a means of defense, and, therefore, was a definite handicap.

[2] (c) Fact IV (page 1159) sets forth that the Commandant of the 14th  Naval District (Admiral Kimmel) was subordinate to Admiral Kimmel and  was charged by him with the task of assisting the Army in the defense of  Pearl Harbor. Admiral Kimmel was, therefore, responsible for naval  measures concerned with local defense.

(d) Fact V (page 1160) sets forth that Admiral Kimmel and General Short  were personal friends; that they met frequently, that their relations  were cordial and cooperative in every respect; that they frequently conferred, and invariably conferred when messages were received by  either which bad any bearing on the development of the United States- Japanese situation, or on their several plans in preparing for war. Each  was informed of measures being undertaken by the other in the defense of  the base to a degree sufficient for all useful purposes. This is  important, in that it refutes the rumors which have been prevalent since  the Pearl Harbor incident that Admiral Kimmel and General Short did not  cooperate with one another.

(e) Part VI (page 1160) sets forth the information that the Navy  Department and the War Department had been fully informed as to the  weaknesses of the defensive installations at Pearl Harbor, and in  particular that means to cope with a carrier attack were inadequate. It  further sets forth that the Secretary of War, on 7 February 1941,  expressed complete concurrence as to the importance of the subject and  the urgency of making every possible preparation to meet a hostile  attack. It is made clear that Admiral Kimmel stressed the concept that  the base at Pearl Harbor should be capable of defense by local Army and  Navy forces, leaving the Fleet free to operate without concern as to the  safety of the base. It is further made clear that both the War and the Navy Departments had given full consideration to this matter and had  been unable, during 1941, to augment local defenses to an adequate  degree, because of the general state of unpreparedness for war.

[3] (f) Fact VII (page 1165) sets forth that the Chief of Naval  Operations and the Chief of Staff of the Army submitted a joint memorandum to the President on 5 November 1941, recommending that no  ultimatum be delivered to Japan at that time, and giving, as one of the basic reasons, the existing numerical superiority of the Japanese Fleet over the United States Pacific Fleet. The Court, also, points out that  owing to security policies in the two countries, it was easy for Japan to conceal her own strength, while at the same time Japan enjoyed a free  opportunity to obtain information as to our own strength and  dispositions.

My comment is that this state of affairs, coupled with the requirement  that United States forces could take no overt action prior to a  declaration of war, or actual attack, must always place the United  States distinctly at a disadvantage during the period of strained  relations.

(g) Fact VIII (page 1167) stresses the fact that periodical visits to a  base were necessary for seagoing forces in order that supplies may be provided, and opportunity given for repair and replenishment and for  rest and recreation of personnel. The Court points out that it is  foreign to the concept of naval warfare to require seagoing personnel to  assume responsibility for security from hostile action while within the  limits of a permanent naval base. The Court remarks that this concept  imposes upon the Army responsibility for base defense, and that the  United States Army fully understood this responsibility. My comment

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is that this principle is sound enough but it cannot be carried to an  illogical extreme. In the case of Pearl Harbor, where local defenses  were inadequate, the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet could not,  and did not, evade responsibility for assisting in the defense, merely  because, in principle, this is not normally a Fleet task. It appears  from the record that Admiral Kimmel appreciated properly this phase of  the situation. His contention appears to be that Pearl Harbor *should*  have been strong enough for self defense. The [4] fact that it *was not*  strong enough for self-defense hampered his arrangements for the  employment of the Fleet, but nevertheless, he was aware of, and accepted  the necessity for, employing the Fleet in defensive measures.

(h) Fact IX (page 1169). This section of the Findings outlines the plans  made by Admiral Kimmel and General Short for the defense of Pearl  Harbor. It points out that the Naval Base Defense Officer was assigned  responsibility for distant reconnaissance, that no planes were assigned  to him, but that the 69 patrol planes belonging to the Fleet were to be  made available to him in case of necessity. The Court remarks that the basic defect of this section of the plan lay in the fact that naval participation in long range reconnaissance depended entirely upon the  availability of aircraft belonging to the Fleet, and that this  circumstance, forced by necessity, was at complete variance with the  fundamental requirement that the defense of a permanent naval base must  be independent of assistance by the Fleet. The Court further remarks  that the effectiveness of these plans depended entirely upon advance  knowledge that an attack was to be expected within narrow limits of  time, that it was not possible for Admiral Kimmel to make Fleet planes  permanently available to the Naval Base (because of his own lack of  planes, pilots, and crews, and because of the demands of the Fleet in  connection with Fleet operations at a base). My comment is that the  Court seems to have over-stressed the fact that the only patrol planes in the area were assigned to the Fleet. In my opinion, it was sound  policy to place all aircraft of this type at the disposal of Admiral  Kimmel, whose responsibility it was to allocate all the means at his  disposal as best he could between the Fleet and the base defense forces.

[5] (i) Facts X and XI (page 1171) set forth the states of readiness of  the forces at Pearl Harbor. In so far as the Navy is concerned, the  state of readiness was predicated on certain assumptions, which included  the assumption that a declaration of war might be preceded by surprise  attacks on ships at Pearl Harbor or surprise submarine attack on ships  in operating areas, or by a combination of these two. The measures  prescribed by Admiral Kimmel included local patrols, daily search of  operating areas by air, certain extensive anti-submarine precautions,  the netting of the harbor entrance and the maintenance of augmented Condition 3 on board vessels in port. Condition of readiness No. 3 provides a means of opening fire with a portion of the secondary and  anti-aircraft batteries in case of a surprise encounter. The Court  points out this state of readiness did permit ships to open fire  promptly when Japanese planes attacked. Local Army forces were in Alert  No. 1 which provides for defense against sabotage and uprisings, with no  threat from without. With respect to this phase of the matter I offer  the comment that condition of readiness No. 3 is normally maintained in  port. However, it is prerequisite that vessels in this condition enjoy a  considerable measure of protection by reason of adequate local defense  forces when dangerous conditions exist. This measure of protection was  not enjoyed by vessels at Pearl Harbor on 7 December, a matter which was  well known to Admiral Kimmel. It must, therefore, be assumed that he was  not aware of the imminence of the danger of attack, a matter which I  discuss further later on. I also note from this section of the Findings  that Army and Navy aircraft on the ground, and naval patrol planes  moored on the water were not in condition to take the air promptly. Some  patrol plane squadrons were in "day-off for rest" status; some patrol  planes were in the air for local patrol and exercises: 50% were on 4 hours notice (page 669). This is further indication of the lack of  appreciation of the imminence of attack, and led to the destruction of  large [6] numbers of United States aircraft. This section of the  Findings, also points out that there were no longer range reconnaissance  in effect on 7 December a matter which I will refer to again later on.  It will be noted that the last paragraph of Fact XI (page 1176) reads:

"The Navy's condition of readiness in effect on the morning of 7  December 1941, was that best suited to the circumstances then attending  the vessels and patrol planes of the Pacific Fleet. A higher condition  of readiness could have added little, if anything, to their defence."

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This seems to be a matter of opinion rather than fact. I do not concur, for reasons set forth later on.   

(j) Fact XII (page 1176). The Court sets forth that attack by carrier  aircraft can be prevented only by intercepting and destroying the  carrier prior to the launching of planes. It is further pointed out that  to destroy a carrier before she can launch her planes, her location must  be known and sufficient force must be at hand. The Court points out that  in this instance Japanese carriers sailed at an unknown time from an  unknown port, and that it is an established fact that no information of  any sort was, at any time, either forwarded or received from any source  which would indicate that carriers or other ships were on their way to  Hawaii during November or December 1941. The Court deduces, and states  as a fact, that the Japanese attack on 7 December, under the  circumstances then existing, was unpreventable and unpredictable as to  time. I concur that there was no direct and positive knowledge that the  Japanese attack force was en route to the Hawaiian area. However, as  discussed later on, there was information that might logically have been  interpreted as indicating that an attack on Hawaii was not unlikely, and  that the time could be predicted within fairly narrow limits.   

[7] Fact XIII (page 1178) discusses the difficulty of long range  reconnaissance with the forces available to Admiral Kimmel, and points  out that Admiral Kimmel, after weighing all factors, specifically  ordered that no routine long range reconnaissance be undertaken. The  controlling reason seems to have been Admiral Kimmel's feeling that if  the Fleet patrol planes were used for routine reconnaissance they would  have been rapidly worn out and, therefore unavailable for Fleet  purposes. Admiral Kimmel had a difficult decision to make in this  matter. There were many factors to be considered, and it is not easy to put one's self in his place. However, after considering all of the  information that was at his disposal, it seems to me that he was not on  entirely sound ground in making no attempt at long range reconnaissance,  particularly as the situation became more and more tense in the few days  immediately preceding the Japanese attack. It is obvious that the means  available did not permit an all-around daily reconnaissance to a distance necessary to detect the approach of carriers before planes  could be launched. However, there were certain sectors more dangerous  than others which could have been covered to some extent. And it would  appear that such partial cover would have been logical in the  circumstances as known to Admiral Kimmel in late November and early December. A pertinent matter in this connection is that when Admiral  Richardson was Commander in Chief he provided for distant reconnaissance  by patrol planes using the few at his disposal to cover the most  dangerous sectors in rotation. He considered the arc between 170 and 350  to be of primary importance, and believed the most probable direction of  attack was from the southwest. These patrols were discontinued when, or  shortly before, Admiral Kimmel relieved Admiral Richardson (pages 683,  1053, 1055).

(l) Fact XIV (page 1182). This section sets forth the fact that the Army  had assumed responsibility for the air warning service, and was in the  process of installing radar and other [8] elements of the air warning  system, but that the whole system was in an embryonic state on 7 December and not in condition to function. The system was partially in  use for training and it so happened that a mobile radar station did pick  up the approaching Japanese planes when they about 130 miles away, and  reported this fact to the Information Center, where the only officer present was an officer under training, who assumed the planes to be a  flight of Army bombers known to be en route from the United States.  He  made no report of the matter.  My comment is that this is indicative of the unwarranted feeling of immunity from attack that seems to have  pervaded all ranks at Pearl Harbor-both Army and Navy.  It there had  been awareness of the states of tension that existed in Washington, and  awareness of Japanese potentialities, it appears that the air warning  system, embryonic as it was, could have been used to give at least an  hour's warning before the air attack struck.

(m) Fact XV (1186)  states that the greatest damage to ships in Pearl  Harbor resulted from torpedoes launched from Japanese aircraft.  The Court points out that, though the harbor entrance was well protected  against break-through by enemy submarines or small craft, there were no anti-torpedo baffles within the harbor for the protection of individual  ships, because it had been assumed that aircraft torpedoes could not be  made to run in the extremely shoal water of Pearl Harbor.  The decision not to install baffles appears to

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have been made by the Navy Department (page 1187). Proposals to use barrage balloons and smoke were considered but rejected for technical reasons. It is evident, in retrospect, that the capabilities of Japanese  aircraft torpedoes were seriously underestimated.

(n) Fact XVI (page 1188). In this section of the Findings the Court traces the deterioration of relations with the Japanese and outlines  certain information given to Admiral Kimmel on the subject. The more  important items are as follows:

[9]  (1) On 16 October 1941, Admiral Kimmel was informed by CNO that a grave situation had been created by the resignation of the Japanese cabinet, that Japan might attack the United States, and that it was necessary for the Pacific Fleet to take precautions and to make such deployments as would not disclose strategic intentions or constitute  provocative action against Japan.

(2) On 17 October, Admiral Stark addressed a personal letter to Admiral  Kimmel in which he stated his personal view that it was unlikely that  the Japs would attack the United States.

(3) On 24 October, Admiral Kimmel received a despatch from CNO stating  that chances of favorable outcome of negotiations with Japan were doubtful and that indications were that a *surprise aggressive movement in any direction*, including attack on the Philippines or Guam, was a  possibility.

(o) Fact XVII (page 1193). In this section the Court sets forth certain  in, formation, which was known in Washington and which was transmitted to Admiral Kimmel, which the Court holds to have established the fact that the attack of 7 December came as a surprise to high officials in the State, War, and Navy Departments, and to the Army and Navy in the Hawaiian area, and that there were good grounds for their belief that hostilities would begin in the Far East, rather than elsewhere. The summary of the information on which this is based is as follows:

(1) On 27 November 1941, Admiral Kimmel received a despatch from CNO  beginning with the words, "This despatch is to be considered a war  warning," and going on to say that an aggressive move by Japan was expected within the next few days:  [101] [sic] that there were indications of an amphibious movement against either the Philippines, Thai, or Kra Peninsula, or possibly Borneo; and directing Admiral Kimmel  to execute an appropriate defensive deployment.

(2) On 28 November, Admiral Kimmel received from General Short a War Department Message to the effect that negotiations appeared to be terminated; that Japanese future action was unpredictable; that hostile action was possible at any time and that it was desirable that Japan commit the first overt act, in case hostilities could not be avoided.      

(3) On 30 November, Admiral Kimmel was included as an Information Addressee in a despatch to the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, directing him to scout for information of Japanese movements in the  China Sea.

(4) On 28 November, CNO advised Admiral Kimmel that it had been decided to relieve Marine garrisons at Midway and Wake with Army troops.

(5) Admiral Kimmel interpreted the foregoing as indicating that the Department was not particularly concerned as to the possibility of a  Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the time.

(p) Fact XVIII (1196). This section of the Findings deals with  information that became available in Washington during the period  beginning 26 November. It is set forth that from 26 November to 7 December, conversations, which had been in progress between our  Government and Japan, were continued, coming to all end on 7 December.  The circumstances under which information as to Japanese intentions  during this period came to the attention of the Navy Department are set forth as follows:

[11]  (1) A number of messages were received from informers during and  prior to this period in the Navy Department but were not sent to Admiral  Kimmel. These messages are summarized in the Addendum to the Court's  Finding of Facts at the back of Volume 5 of the record. The test of the messages is set forth at length in Volume 5, beginning at page 692.  These messages indicate definite Japanese interest in dispositions at  Pearl Harbor, and mention, in some cases, a desire to know where United  States ships were berthed. Admiral Stark testified that he considered it undesirable to send Admiral Kimmel these despatehes, because to do so might jeopardize the secrecy which it was necessary to main as to the  ability of the Navy Department to obtain them. This contention as some merit, in my opinion. It was Admiral Stark's responsibility to protect  the sources of this information. However, it was equally his  responsibility to give

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Admiral Kimmel a general picture of the information contained in these  messages. Admiral Stark says that he considered that the despatehes he  did send to Admiral Kimmel gave an adequate picture of what was known  and inferred as to Japanese intentions. As set forth under "Opinions," the Court holds that the information given to Admiral Kimmel was not an  adequate summary of the information at his disposal. I have to concur in  this view.

(2) In addition to the foregoing the Court goes at length into the  handling of the "14 part message", originated in Tokyo and addressed to the Japanese Ambassador in Washington. The first 13 parts were received  in the Navy Department on 6 December at 2100, on that date. They set  forth the Japanese views as to certain United States proposals for resolving matters under dispute between the [12] countries, and leave no  doubt that the United States proposals were unacceptable to Japan, but  do not come to the point of indicating a break in relations. At or about  0700, 7 December, the 14th part of the message was received. This part  of the message said that the Japanese Government had finally lost hope of being able to adjust relations with the United States and that it was  impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiation. This part of the message was delivered at about 0900, 7 December, to the Office of  the Chief of Naval Operations, at about 0930 to the White House, and  0950 to the State Department for Secretary Hull and Secretary Knox.  Secretary Knox was conferring with Mr. Hull at the State Department.

(3) At about 1030 on 7 December, the so-called "1:00 p. m. message" was  received in the Navy Department. It directed the Japanese Ambassador deliver the 14 part message to the Secretary of State at 1:00 p. m. on  that day. This message was of significance because 1:00 p. m. in Washington was dawn at Honolulu. This message was delivered at once to the Office of the Chief Naval Operations, and immediately thereafter to  the State Department, where the official who received it was asked to  point out to Mr. Knox and Mr. 13 the significance of the "1:00 p. m.  time of delivery". In my opinion, the foregoing indicates that at about  10:30 on 7 December (0500 Honolulu time) Navy Department, or at least,  some officers therein, appreciated that the formation just received pointed to the possibility—even to the probability-of a dawn attack on  Pearl Harbor. General Marshall states that this mess came to his  attention about 11:00 a.m., and that he immediately telephoned to  Admiral Stark that he proposed to warn General Short that a break with  Japan was imminent, and that an attack against Hawaii would be expected  soon. Admiral Stark demurred at first, as to the [13] need for sending  this message, but after brief consideration asked General Marshall to  include in his proposed despatch directions to pass the contents to  naval commanders. General Marshall sent a despatch to the effect that  the Japanese were presenting "what amounts to an ultimatum at 1:00 p.m., Washington time, on 7 December; that Japanese are under orders to destroy their codes immediately and that while the War Department does  not know the significance of the hour set for delivering the note, you  are to be on the alert accordingly and to inform naval authorities of  this communication." He sent this via commercial radio, which was then the usual means of communicating with the Hawaiian Department. The despatch left Washington at 12:17 on 7 December (6:47 a. m. Honolulu  time) and arrived in the RCA office in Honolulu at 7:33 a. m. Honolulu time. This was 22 minutes before the attack began. By the time the message had been decoded and delivered to General Short, the attack was  already underway. The Court states that if the most expeditious means of  delivery had been used (plain language telephone) this information could  have been received in Hawaii about two hours before the attack began.  The Court remarks that even in this event there was no action open, nor  means available, to Admiral Kimmel which could have stopped the attack,  or which could have had other than negligible bearing upon its outcome,  since there was already in effect a condition of readiness best suited  to the circumstances attending vessels within the limits of Pearl Harbor  naval base, and the Fleet planes at their air bases on Oahu. I cannot go  along with this reasoning of the Court. Even two hours advance warning  would have been of great value in a planes and in augmenting the condition of readiness existing on board ship.

(4) On 3 December (the date is not specified in the Findings: it is  stated Exhibit 20) Admiral Kimmel was [14] informed that the Japanese had instructed diplomatic and consular posts in the Far East, Washington and London to destroy most of their codes. Admiral Kimmel says (his  statement, page 28) that "the significance of this despatch was diluted substantially by publication 
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

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of the information in the morning newspaper in Honolulu," and that he did not regard it as a clear-cut warning of Japanese intentions to  strike the United States.

(5) On 4 December, Admiral Kimmel received a despatch directing the  destruction of secret and confidential documents at Guam, except those necessary for current purposes, which were to be kept ready for instant destruction in event of emergency (Exhibit 21). This was followed on 6  December by authorization for outlying islands to destroy secret and confidential documents "now or under later conditions of greater emergency". (Exhibit 22.)

(q) Addendum to Court's Finding of Facts (Volume 5). In this section the Court sets forth matters which have already been discussed in the three preceding sub-paragraphs; and, in addition, touches on the matter of the so-called "Winds message". This Japanese message, originating in Tokyo on 19 November, was received in the Navy Department on 28 November. It set forth that "in case of emergency (danger of cutting off our diplomatic relations)" certain code words would be inserted in the  middle of the daily Japanese short wave news broadcast, and directed  that when these words were heard codes were to be destroyed. This message was received in various places, including Pearl Harbor, and Admiral Kimmel had it. A monitor watch was set at various places to look  out for the expected "weather forecast". On 4 and 5 December the Federal  Communications Commission monitored the expected "weather forecast"  which was sent from Tokyo twice, first at 2200 on 4 December, and again  at 2130 on 5 December. The code words appearing in this implementing  message meant that Japanese relations with Russia were [15] in danger.  These two messages have been preserved in the files of the Federal  Communications Commission. In addition to this indication that the  Japanese were about to break relations with Russia, there is evidence  (Volume 5, page 746) that Captain Safford, on duty in the Office of the  Director of Naval Communications saw on 4 December, a "yellow slip" on  which was written a different version of the implementing code, which  meant that relations with the United States and Great Britain were in  danger. Captain Safford thinks that this message was intercepted by an  East Coast station, but he was not sure. No written trace of the message referred to by Captain Safford could be found in the files of the War  Department or the Navy Department There is considerable testimony in the  record as to what was done with the "Winds message." Various officers  testified that the implementing despatches were transmitted to the  Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Director of Naval  Communications, but Admiral Stark and Admiral Noyes testified that they  do not remember hearing anything about them. *It is an established fact that none of the implementing messages were ever sent to Admiral  Kimmel*. However, as noted in paragraph 2 (p) (4) above, the Court finds  that it is a fact that Admiral Kimmel was informed on 3 December that  the Japanese had instructed diplomatic and consular posts in the Far  East, Washington, and London, to destroy certain codes.

(r) The Court further sets forth the fact (mainly under Section XVIII on  page 1196) that on 26 November a note, couched in strong terms, was delivered by the United States State Department to Japanese  representatives. The stipulations contained therein were drastic, and  likely to be unacceptable to Japan. Admiral Kimmel had no knowledge of  the existence of such a note, nor of its contents until after the attack. The Court points out that Admiral Kimmel in May 1941 had  particularly asked the Chief of Naval Operations to keep him informed of  the diplomatic situation in order that he might be "informed of all  important developments as they occur by the quickest secure means  available."

[16] (s) Fact XIX (page 1200). The Court points out that it is a prime  obligation of command to keep subordinate commanders constantly supplied with information, and that Admiral Stark, having important information in his possession, during the critical period from 26 November to 7 December, failed to transmit this information to Admiral Kimmel, thus  depriving the latter of a clear picture of the existing Japanese  situation as seen in Washington. I am in thorough accord with this view  of the Court.

(t) It will be noted from the foregoing that one of the most important  phases of this investigation is concerned with the handling of enemy information in the Navy Department. In this connection it would seem  essential to a thorough exploration of the facts to have the testimony of the Director of Naval Intelligence, who was largely responsible for  handling information of the enemy.

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It appears from the record that Rear Admiral Wilkinson, the then  Director of Naval Intelligence, was not available to the Court as a  witness. I assume that the Court believes that all essential information was obtained, despite the fact that Admiral Wilkinson did not testify;  however, it appears to me that the failure to obtain his testimony was unfortunate.

3. I submit the following comment as to the Court's Opinion:

(a) In the Opinion based on Finding II (page 1201), the Court expresses the view that the presence of a large number of combatant vessels in Pearl Harbor on 7 December was necessary, and that the information available to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, did not require any departure from his operating and maintenance schedules. I do not entirely go along with this opinion. Had all of the information  available in the Department been properly evaluated and properly disseminated, I am inclined to believe that Admiral Kimmel's dispositions on the morning of 7 December would not have been as they  actually were on that occasion.

[17]  (b) In the Opinion, based on Fact VI (page 1202) the Court expresses the view that deficiencies in personnel and materiel which  existed in 1941 had an adverse bearing upon the effectiveness of the defense of Pear I Harbor, on and prior to 7 December. I offer the  comment that, obviously, the Army and Navy were short of men and  materiel at the time and that available means were spread thin  throughout the various areas of probable hostility. The shortage of  means available to Admiral Kimmel must be taken into consideration.  However, the pertinent question is whether or not he used the means  available to him to the best advantage. In my opinion, he did not. The fault lay in the fact that he was not fully informed by the Navy Department of what was known as to probable Japanese intentions and of the tenseness of the situation, and further, that his judgment was to some extent faulty and that he did not fully appreciate the implications  of that information which was given to him.

(c) In the Opinion, based on Finding VIII (page 1202), the Court holds  that the defense of Pearl Harbor naval base was the direct  responsibility of the Army, that the Navy was to assist only with means  provided to the 14th Naval District, and that the defense of the base was a joint operation only to this extent. As I stated above, I think  this is a narrow view of the weakness of local defenses, the Fleet had to be employed to protect Pearl Harbor and the Hawaiian Islands in  general.

(d) The Court holds (page 1203) that Admiral Bloch performed his duties satisfactorily. I concur.

(e) In the Opinion, based on Fact IX (page 1203), the Court states that  naval defense plans were complete and sound in [18] concept, but contained a basic defect in that naval participation depended entirely  upon the availability of aircraft belonging to and being employed by the  Fleet, and that on the morning of 7 December, these plans were  ineffective because they necessarily were drawn on the premise that there would be advance knowledge that an attack was to be expected  within narrow limits of time, which was not the case on that morning. I cannot go along with this view. As I have already stated, there could be  no question that available aircraft had to be employed in the manner best suited to the danger that threatened. I doubt that, with the forces available, it would have been possible to intercept and destroy the  Japanese carriers before they launched their planes, except by lucky chance. However, I do think that Admiral Kimmel was not sufficiently  alive to the dangers of the situation, not entirely due to his own  fault. This had a bearing on the amount of damage that was incurred by the Fleet when the Japanese did attack.

(f) The Opinion, based on Fact X (page 1204), expresses the view that  Admiral Kimmel's action, taken immediately after assuming command, in placing in effect comprehensive instructions for the security of the Fleet at sea, is indicative of his appreciation of his responsibility for the security of the Fleet and that the steps taken were adequate and effective. I concur in this.

(g) The Opinion, based on Finding XI (page 1204), as to the effect that  the measures taken for the security in port were adequate and proper,  and that only had it been known in advance that the attack was to take  place on 7 December could there now be any basis for a conclusion as to  the steps that might have been taken to lessen its ill effects. The  Court takes note of suggestions that each day all naval planes should  have been in the air, all naval personnel at their stations, and all  anti-aircraft guns manned, and expresses the view that 

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no such course of action could have been carried out as a matter of  routine. I concur in this. The question at issue is whether or not  indications called for a tightening up of precautions as 7 December  approached. I think they did.

[19] (h) In the Opinion, based on Finding XVIII (page 1207), the Court  holds that Admiral Kimmel was justified in not providing for routine  long range reconnaissance in the absence of any information indicating  that the attack was to be expected in the Hawaiian area within narrow limits of time. I have already discussed this phase of the matter. I think that if all available information had been placed at Admiral  Kimmel's disposal, and that if he had evaluated it properly, he would  have found it necessary to do something about long range reconnaissance in the few days immediately preceding the 7th of December.

(i) In the Opinion, based on Fact XVII (1207), the Court expresses the  view that there was good ground for belief on the part of high officials  in the State, War, and Navy Departments, and on the part of the Army and  Navy in the Hawaiian area, that hostilities would begin in the Far East rather than elsewhere. I concur that the Far East was the most probable  scene for the initiation of Japanese operations. As a matter of fact,  the Japanese did begin to operate in the Far East on 7 December.  However, it was not illogical to suppose that an attack on Pearl Harbor  would be regarded by the Japanese as one of the initial steps in a campaign, and there is ample evidence that all concerned were aware of  this possibility—a possibility that was strengthened by information received in Washington, all of which was not given to Admiral Kimmel.

(j) In the Opinion, based on Facts XVIII and XIX (page 1207), the Court  expresses the view that Admiral Stark failed to display sound judgment  in that he did not transmit to Admiral Kimmel, during the very critical  period from 26 November to 7 December, important information which he had received regarding the Japanese situation, and, especially, in that,  on the morning of 7 December 1941, he did not transmit immediately the  fact that information had been [20] received which appeared to indicate  that a break in diplomatic relations was imminent, and that an attack in  the Hawaiian area might be expected soon. I note from the first  endorsement that the Judge Advocate General takes exception to this Opinion, on the ground that the evidence shows that Admiral Stark and  his principal advisers did not construe this message as indicating an attack in the Hawaiian area. While I concur in the view of the Judge  Advocate General as to the construction which Admiral Stark placed upon  the message in question nevertheless, I note that Commander Kramer  (attached to the Communications Division of the Navy Department) did  take steps to invite the attention of the Secretary of the Navy to the  fact that 1:00 p. m. Washington time meant dawn at Honolulu, and  midnight in East Asia (page 14 of Top Secret Addendum to the Findings).  It, therefore, seems evident, though Admiral Stark did not have his  attention drawn to the possible significance of this message,  nevertheless the implications were appreciated by at least some officers of his office. The Court further expresses the view that had this  important information been conveyed to Admiral Kimmel, it is a matter of conjecture as to what action he would have taken. I take no exception to  this expression of opinion. However, it is a fair conclusion that if  Admiral Kimmel had been given all of the information available at the  Department, he would have been in a position to judge the situation  better than he did.

4. In the final Opinion and Recommendation (page 120S) the Court finds  that no offenses have been committed or serious blame incurred on the part of any person or persons in the naval service, and recommends that no further proceedings be had in the matter. I concur that there is not  adequate evidence to support general court martial proceedings, but this  does not bar administrative action, if such action is found appropriate. 

5. Despite the evidence that no naval officer was at fault to a degree likely to result in conviction if brought to trial, nevertheless the  Navy cannot evade a share of responsibility for the Pearl Harbor [21] incident. That disaster cannot be regarded as an "act of God", beyond human power to prevent or mitigate. It is true that the country as a whole is basically responsible in at the people were unwilling to support an adequate army and navy until was too late to repair the  consequences of past neglect in time to deal effectively with the attack  that ushered in the war. It is true that the Army was responsible for  local defense at Pearl Harbor. Nevertheless, some things could have been done by the Navy to lessen the success of the initial Japanese blow.  Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel were the responsible officers, and it is pertinent to examine the possible courses of action they might have  taken.

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(a) Admiral Stark was, of course, aware that the United States was  primarily concerned with its own possessions, and the most important United States possessions in the Pacific were the Philippine Islands and the Hawaiian Islands. His attention should have been centered on those  two places, as the Pacific situation became more and more acute. He had  been informed by Admiral Kimmel, in his letter of 26 May 1941, that  Admiral Kimmel felt the need for early and accurate information as to the general situation, and that he needed to be informed of all  important developments as they occurred by the quickest and most secure means available. This letter should have emphasized the obvious fact  that Admiral Kimmel was in a difficult position, that he had to use his  initiative to keep his Fleet dispositions in step with changes in the situation, and that in order to do so he had to have an accurate running  picture of the rapidly moving course of diplomatic events. In my opinion, Admiral Stark failed to give Admiral Kimmel an adequate summary of the information available in Washington, particularly in the following respects:

(1) Admiral Kimmel was not informed of the State Department's note of 26 November to the Japanese. This note was a definite step towards breaking relations.

[22] (2) Admiral Kimmel was not informed of the substance of certain Japanese messages inquiring as to dispositions of ships inside Pearl  Harbor, which indicated a Japanese interest in Pearl Harbor as a possible target.

(3) Admiral Kimmel was not informed of the implementation of the "Winds Message". Admiral Stark says he never got this information himself, but it is clear that it did reach Admiral Stark's office. This, together with the handling of other matters of information, indicates lack of  efficiency in Admiral Stark's organization.

(4) Admiral Stark failed to appreciate the significance of the "1:00 p.m. message" received on the morning of 7 December, although the  implications were appreciated by at least one of his subordinates. It appears that had this message been handled by the quickest available means, and with due appreciation of its significance, it might have reached Admiral Kimmel in time to enable him to make some last minute  preparations that would have enhanced the ability of the ships in Pearl Harbor to meet the Japanese air attack.

(5) There is a certain sameness of tenor of such information as Admiral Stark sent to Admiral Kimmel. They do not convey in themselves the sense of intensification of the critical relations between the United States  and Japan.

(b) In my opinion Admiral Kimmel, despite the failure of Admiral Stark to keep him fully informed, nevertheless did have some indications of  increasing tenseness as to relations with Japan. In particular, he had  the "war warning" message on 27 November, the "hostile action possible  at any moment" message on 28 November, the 3 December message that  Japanese had ordered destruction of codes, and the messages of 4 and 6  December [23] concerning destruction of United States Secret and confidential matter at outlying Pacific Islands. These messages must be considered in connection with other facets of the situation, and Admiral  Kimmel's statement on this phase of the matter must be given due  consideration. After weighing these considerations, I am of the opinion that he could and should have judged more accurately the gravity of the danger to which the Hawaiian Islands were exposed. The following courses  of action were open to him:

(1) He could have used patrol aircraft which were available to him to conduct long range reconnaissance in the more dangerous sectors. Whether or not this would have resulted in detecting the approach of the Japanese carriers is problematical. However, it would have made the Japanese task more difficult.

(2) He could have rotated the "in port" periods of his vessel in a less  routine manner, so as to have made it impossible for the Japanese to  have predicted when there would be any vessels in port. This would have  made the Japanese task less easy.

(3) If he had appreciated the gravity of the danger even a few hours  before the Japanese attack, it is logical to suppose that naval planes  would have been in the air during the early morning period, that ships'  batteries would have been fully manned, and that damage control  organizations would have been fully operational.

6. The derelictions on the part of Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel were faults of omission rather than faults of commission. In the case in questions they indicate lack of the superior judgment necessary for exercising command commensurate with their rank and their assigned duties, rather than culpable inefficiency.

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[24] 7. Since trial by general court martial is not warranted by the evidence adduced, appropriate administrative action would appear to be the relegation of both of these officers to positions in which lack of superior judgment may not result in future errors.

8. In my serial 003191 of 3 November, to you, I set forth at length my views concerning how much of the record bears such a relation to present military operations as to require high security classification.

E. J. King.
E. J. KING.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

Memo for File:   This is Admiral King's Second Endorsement, as paraphrased, by the deletion of the magic. This is the paraphrase that  was made public because the public interest required that the magic not be made public.

JOHN FORD BAECHER, USNR,
Special Assistant to the Secretary.

COMINCH FILE
UNITED STATES FLEET
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief
NAVY DEPARTMENT
Washington 25, D. C.

[Copy]

FF1/A17-25.
Serial:
Memorandum for the Secretary of the Navy.

Subject: Correspondence re Court of Inquiry Investigating Pearl Harbor.
Enclosure: (A) Subject correspondence.

1. The attached file copy and rough draft (which was published) is the paraphrased version of my second endorsement to the record of  proceedings of the Court of Inquiry investigating Pearl Harbor.        
           
/S/ E. J. KING,
Fleet Admiral, U. S. Navy.

[1]  COMINCH FILE

UNITED STATES FLEET
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief
NAVY DEPARTMENT
Washington 25, D. C.

NAVY COURT OF INQUIRY

SECOND ENDORSEMENT

From: The Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.
To: The Secretary of the Navy.
Subject: Court of Inquiry to inquire into the attack made by Japanese  armed forces on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941, ordered by the Secretary of the Navy on 13 July 1941.

1. I concur in the Findings, Opinion and Recommendation of the Court of  Inquiry in the attached case subject to the opinion expressed by the  Judge Advocate General in the First Endorsement and to the following  remarks.

2. (A) As to Facts I and II, the routine practice of rotating units of  the Fleet, so that each vessel had approximately two-thirds of its time  at sea and one-third in port, was usual and necessary. Definitely  scheduled upkeep periods in port were required, not only for keeping the  ships in good mechanical condition, but, also, for giving the personnel  sufficient recreation to keep them from

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going stale. Whether or not Admiral Kimmel was justified in having one task force and part of another in port on 7 December is a matter which I  discuss later on.

(b) In Fact III the Court points out that, because of constitutional  requirements, no blow against a potential enemy may be struck until  after a hostile attack has been delivered, unless there has been a  declaration of war by Congress. The great advantage which this gives an unscrupulous enemy is obvious. This requirement made it impossible for  Admiral Kimmel and General Short to employ the offensive as a means of defense, and, therefore, was a definite handicap.

[2] (c) Fact IV sets forth that the Commandant of the 14th Naval  District (Admiral Bloch) was subordinate to Admiral Kimmel and was  charged by him with the task of assisting the Army in the defense of  Pearl Harbor. Admiral Kimmel was, therefore, responsible for naval  measures concerned with local defense.

(d) Fact VI sets forth that Admiral Kimmel and General Short were  personal friends; that they met frequently; that their relations were  cordial and cooperative in every respect, that they frequently conferred, and invariably conferred when messages were received by  either which had any bearing on the development of the United States-Japanese situation, or on their several plans in preparing for war. Each was informed of measures being undertaken by the other in the defense of  the base to a degree sufficient for all useful purposes. This is  important, in that it refutes the rumors which have been prevalent since  the Pearl Harbor incident that Admiral Kimmel and General Short did not  cooperate with one another.

(e) Part VI sets forth the information that the Navy Department and the  War Department had been fully informed as to the weaknesses of the defensive installations at Pearl Harbor, and in particular that means to  cope with a carrier attack were inadequate. It further sets forth that the Secretary of War, on 7 February 1941, expressed complete concurrence  as to the importance of the subject and the urgency of making every possible preparation to meet a hostile attack. It is made clear that  Admiral Kimmel stressed the concept that the base at Pearl Harbor should  be capable of defense by local Army and Navy forces, leaving the Fleet  free to operate without concern as to the safety of the base. It is  further made clear that both the War and the Navy Departments had given full consideration to this matter and had been unable, during 1941, to  augment local defenses to an adequate degree, because of the general state of unpreparedness for war.

[3] (f) Fact VII sets forth that the Chief of Naval Operations and the  Chief of Staff of the Army submitted a joint memorandum to the President  on 5 November 1941, recommending that no ultimatum be delivered to Japan  at that time, and giving, as one of the basic reasons, the existing  numerical superiority of the Japanese Fleet over the United States Pacific Fleet. The Court, also, points out that owing to security policies in the two countries, it was easy for Japan to conceal her own strength, while at the same time Japan enjoyed a free opportunity to obtain information as to our own strength and dispositions. My comment  is that this state of affairs, coupled with the requirement that United  States forces could take no overt action prior to a declaration of war, or actual attack, must always place the United States distinctly at a  disadvantage during the period of strained relations.

(g) Fact VIII stresses the fact that periodical visits to a base are  necessary for seagoing forces in order that supplies may be provided,  and opportunity given for repair and replenishment and for rest and recreation of personnel. The Court points out that it is foreign to the concept of naval warfare to require seagoing personnel to assume  responsibility for security from hostile action while within the limits  of a permanent naval base. The Court remarks that this concept imposes  upon the Army responsibility for base defense, and that the United  States Army fully understood this responsibility. My comment is that  this principle is sound enough, but it cannot be carried to an illogical  extreme. In the case of Pearl Harbor, where local defenses were  inadequate, the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet could not, and  did not, evade responsibility for assisting in the defense, merely  because, in principles this is not normally a Fleet task. It appears  from the record that Admiral Kimmel appreciated properly this phase of  the situation. His contention appears to be that Pearl Harbor should  have been strong enough for self-defense. The [4] fact that it was not strong enough for self-defense hampered his arrangements for the employment of the Fleet, but, nevertheless,

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he was aware of, and accepted the necessity for employing the Fleet in defensive measures.

(h) Fact IX. This section of the Findings outlines the plans made by  Admiral Kimmel and General Short for the defense of Pearl Harbor. It  points out that the Naval Base Defense Officer was assigned responsibility for distant reconnaissance, that no planes were assigned  to him, but that the 69 patrol planes belonging to the Fleet were to be  made available to him in case of necessity. The Court remarks that th  basic defect of this section of the plan lay in the fact that naval participation in long range reconnaissance depended entirely upon the  availability of aircraft belonging to the Fleet, and that this circumstance, forced by necessity, was at complete variance with the  fundamental requirement that the defense of a permanent naval base must  be independent of assistance by the Fleet. The Court further remarks  that the effectiveness of these plans depended entirely upon advance  knowledge that an attack was to be expected within narrow limits of  time, that it was not possible for Admiral Kimmel to make Fleet planes  permanently available to the Naval Base Defense Officer (because of his own lack of planes, pilots, and crews, and because of the demands of the  Fleet in connection with Fleet operations at a base). My comment is that  the Court seems to have over-stressed the fact that the only patrol planes in the area were assigned to the Fleet. In my opinion, it was sound policy to place all aircraft of this type at the disposal of  Admiral Kimmel, whose responsibility it was to allocate all the means at his disposal as best he could between the Fleet and the base defense  forces.

[5] (i) Facts X and XI set forth the states of readiness of the forces  at Pearl Harbor. In so far as the Navy is concerned, the state of  readiness was predicated on certain assumptions, which included the assumption that a declaration of war might be preceded by surprise attacks on ships at Pearl Harbor or surprise submarine attack on ships in operating areas, or by a combination of these two. The measures prescribed by Admiral Kimmel included local patrols, daily search of operating areas by air, certain extensive anti-submarine precautions, the netting of the harbor entrance, and the maintenance of "augmented  Condition 3" on board vessels in port. "Condition of readiness No. 3" provides a means of opening fire with a portion of the secondary and  anti-aircraft batteries in case of a surprise encounter. The Court  points out this state of readiness did permit ships to open fire  promptly when Japanese planes attacked. Local Army forces were in "Alert  No. 1" which provides for defense against sabotage and uprisings, with no threat from without. With respect to this phase of the matter I offer the comment that "condition of readiness No 3" is normally maintained in  port. However, it is prerequisite that vessels in this condition enjoy a  considerable measure of protection by reason of adequate local defense forces when dangerous conditions exist. This measure of protection was not enjoyed by vessels at Pearl Harbor on 7 December, a matter which was    well known to Admiral Kimmel. It must, therefore, be assumed that he was not aware of the imminence of the danger of attack, a matter which I  discuss further later on. I also note from this section of the Findings that Army and Navy aircraft on the ground, and naval patrol planes  moored on the water, were not in condition to take the air promptly.  Some patrol plane squadrons were in "day-off for rest" status; some  patrol planes were in the air for local patrol and exercises; 50% were on 4 hours notice. This is further indication of the lack of  appreciation of the imminence of attack, and led to the destruction of large [6] numbers of United States aircraft. This section of the  Findings, also, points out that there were no long range reconnaissance in effect on 7 December, a matter which I will refer to again later on.  It will be noted that the last paragraph of Fact XI reads:

 "The Navy's condition of readiness in effect on the morning of 7  December 1941, was that best suited to the circumstances then attending  the vessels and patrol planes of the Pacific Fleet. A higher condition of readiness could have added little, if anything, to their defense."

This seems to be a matter of opinion rather than fact. I do not concur,  for reasons set forth later on.

(J) Fact XII. The Court sets forth that attack by carrier aircraft can  be prevented only by intercepting and destroying the carrier prior to  the launching of planes. It is further pointed out that to destroy a  carrier before she can launch her planes, her location must be known and  sufficient force must be at hand. The Court points out that in this  instance Japanese carriers sailed at an unknown time from an unknown  port, and that it is an established fact that

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no information of any sort was, at any time, either forwarded or  received from any source which would indicate that carriers or other  ships were on their way to Hawaii during November or December 1941 The Court deduces, and states as a fact, that the Japanese attack on 7 December, under the circumstances then existing, was unpreventable and  unpredictable as to time. I concur that there was no direct and positive  knowledge that the Japanese attack force was en route to the Hawaiian  area. However, as discussed later on, there was information that might  logically have been interpreted as indicating that an attack on Hawaii  was not unlikely, and that the time could be predicted within fairly  narrow limits.

[7] (k) Fact XIII discusses the difficulty of long range reconnaissance  with the forces available to Admiral Kimmel, and points out that Admiral  Kimmel, after weighing all factors, specifically ordered that no routine  long range reconnaissance be undertaken. The controlling reason seems to  have been Admiral Kimmel's feeling that if the Fleet patrol planes were  used for routine reconnaissance they would have been rapidly worn out  and, therefore, unavailable for Fleet purposes. Admiral Kimmel had a difficult decision to make in this matter. There were many factors to be  considered, and it is not easy to put one's self in his place. However, after considering all of the information that was at his disposal, it seems to me that he was not on entirely sound ground in making no attempt at long range reconnaissance, particularly as the situation  became more and more tense in the few days immediately preceding the Japanese attack. It is obvious that the means available did not permit an all-around daily reconnaissance to a distance necessary to detect the approach of carriers before planes could be launched. However, there  were certain sectors more dangerous than others which could have been  covered to some extent. And it would appear that such partial cover  would have been logical in the circumstances as known to Admiral Kimmel  in late November and early December. A pertinent matter in this  connection is that when Admiral Richardson was Commander in Chief he  provided for distant reconnaissance by patrol planes, using the few at his disposal to cover the most dangerous sectors in rotation. He considered the are between 170 and 350  to be of primary importance, and believed the most probable direction of attack was from the southwest. These patrols were discontinued when, or shortly before,  Admiral Kimmel relieved Admiral Richardson.

(1) Fact XIV. This section sets forth the fact that the Army had assumed  responsibility for the air warning service, and was in the process of installing radar and other [8] elements of the air warning system, but  that the whole system was in an embryonic state on 7 December and not in  condition to function. The system was partially in use for training, and it so happened that a mobile radar station did pick up the approaching  Japanese planes when they were about 130 miles away, and reported this  fact to the Information Center, where the only officer present was an  officer under training, who assumed the planes to be a flight of Army  bombers known to be en route from the United States. He made no report  of the matter. My comment is that this is indicative of the unwarranted feeling of immunity from attack that seems to have pervaded all ranks at Pearl Harbor—both Army and Navy. If there had been awareness of the  states of tension that existed in Washington, and awareness of Japanese  potentialities, it appears that the air warning system, embryonic as it  was, could have been used to give at least an hour's warning before the  air attack struck.

(m) Fact XV states that the greatest damage to ships in Pearl Harbor  resulted from torpedoes launched from Japanese aircraft. The Court  points out that, though the harbor entrance was well protected against  break-through by enemy submarines or small craft, there were no anti-torpedo baffles within the harbor for the protection of individual ships, because it had been assumed that aircraft torpedoes could not be made to run in the extremely shoal water of Pearl Harbor. The decision  not to install torpedo baffles appears to have been made by the Navy Department. Proposals to use barrage balloons and smoke were considered  but rejected for technical reasons. It is evident, in retrospect, that  the capabilities of Japanese aircraft torpedoes were seriously underestimated.

(n) Fact XVI. In this section of the Findings the Court traces the  deterioration of relations with the Japanese and outlines certain  information given to Admiral Kimmel on the subject The more important  items are as follows:

[9]  (1) On 16 October 1941, Admiral Kimmel was informed by CNO that a grave situation had been created by the resignation of the Japanese cabinet,

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that Japan might attack the United States, and that it was necessary for  the Pacific Fleet to take precautions and to make such deployments as would not disclose strategic intentions or constitute provocative action  against Japan.

(2) On 17 October, Admiral Stark addressed a personal letter to Admiral  Kimmel in which he stated his personal view that it was unlikely that  the Japs would attack the United States.

(3) On 24 October, Admiral Kimmel received a despatch from CNO stating that chances of favorable outcome of negotiations with Japan were doubtful  and that indications were that a surprise aggressive movement in any direction, including attack on the Philippines or Guam, was a possibility.

(o) Fact XVII. In this section the Court sets forth certain information, which as known in Washington and which was transmitted to Admiral Kimmel  which the Court holds to have established the fact that the attack of 7 December came as a surprise to high officials in the State, War, and Navy Departments and to the Army and Navy in the Hawaiian area, and that there were good grounds for their belief that hostilities would begin in the Far East, rather an elsewhere. The summary of the information on which this is based is as follows:

(1) On 27 November 1941, Admiral Kimmel received a despatch from CNO beginning with the words, "This despatch is to be considered a war  warning," and going on to say that an aggressive move by Japan was expected within the next few days; [10] that there were indications of  an amphibious movement against either the Philippines, Thai, or Kra Peninsula, or possibly Borneo; and directing Admiral Kimmel to execute  an appropriate defensive deployment.

(2) On 28 November, Admiral Kimmel received from General Short a War  Department Message to the effect that negotiations appeared to be terminated; Japanese future action was unpredictable; that hostile action was possible any time; and that it was desirable that Japan  commit the first overt act, in case hostilities could not be avoided.

(3) On 30 November, Admiral Kimmel was included as an Information  Addressee in a despatch to the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, directing him scout for information of Japanese movements in the China  Sea. 

(4) On 28 November, CNO advised Admiral Kimmel that it had been decided relieve Marine garrisons at Midway and Wake with Army troops.

(5) Admiral Kimmel interpreted the foregoing as indicating that the  Department was not particularly concerned as to the possibility of a  Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the time.

(p) Fact XVIII. This section of the Findings deals with information that  became available in Washington during the period beginning 26 November.  It set forth that from 26 November to 7 December, conversations, which had been in progress between our Government and Japan, were continued, coming an end on 7 December. The circumstances under which information as to Japanese intentions during this period came to the attention of  the Navy Department are set forth as follows:

[11] (1) Information was received from trusted sources during and prior  this period which was made available in the Navy Department but which was to sent to Admiral Kimmel. This information indicates definite  Japanese interest in dispositions at Pearl Harbor and indicates a desire in some cases to know where United States ships were berthed. Admiral  Stark testified that he considered it undesirable to send Admiral Kimmel  this information, because to do so might compromise the sources from  which it was obtained. This intention has some merit, in my opinion. It  was Admiral Stark's responsibility to protect the source of this  information. However, it was equally his responsibility to give Admiral  Kimmel a general picture of the information which he was receiving.  Admiral Stark says that he considered that the dispatches he did send to  Admiral Kimmel gave an adequate picture of what was known and inferred  as to Japanese intentions. As set forth under "Opinions," the Court  holds that the information given to Admiral Kimmel was not an adequate  summary of the information at Admiral Stark's disposal. I have to concur in this view.

(2) In addition to the foregoing, the Court goes at length into the handling certain information which was received in the Navy Department on the 6th of December, at 2100 on that date. The greater part of this information indicated the Japanese views concerning certain United States proposals for solving matters under dispute between the  countries, and leaves no doubt that the United States' proposals were [12]  unacceptable to Japan, but do

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not come to the point of indicating a break in relations. At, or about, 0700, 7 December, further trustworthy information was received which  indicated that the Japanese Government had finally given up hope of being able to adjust relations with the United States and that it was impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations. This information was delivered at about 0900, 7 December, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, at about 0930 the White House, and at 0950 to the State Department for Secretary Hull and Secretary Knox.  Secretary Knox was conferring with Secretary Hull at State Department.

(3) At about 10:30 A. M. on 7 December, further reliable information was  received in the Navy Department. The substance was that the Japanese  Ambassador was to deliver a note containing the information referred to  in the preceding paragraph to the Secretary of State at 1:00 P.M. on  that day. Information was of significance because 1:00 P. M. in  Washington was dawn in Honolulu. It was delivered at once to the Office  of the Chief of Naval Operations and immediately thereafter, to the State Department, where the official who received it was asked to point  out to Mr. Knox and Mr. Hull its significance. In my opinion, the foregoing indicates that at about 10:30 on 7 December (Honolulu time) the Navy Department, or at least some officers therein, appreciated that  the information just received pointed to the possibility—even  probability—of a dawn attack on Pearl Harbor. General Marshall states  this information came to his attention about 11:00 A. M. and that he  immediately telephone [sic] to Admiral Stark that he proposed to warn  General [13] Short that a break with Japan was imminent and that an  attack against Hawaii could be expected soon. Admiral Stark demurred at  first, as to the need for sending this message, but after brief  consideration, asked General Marshall to include in his proposed  dispatch directions to pass the contents to naval commanders. General  Marshall sent a dispatch to the effect that the Japanese were presenting  what amounted to an ultimatum at 1:00 P. M. Washington time on 7  December; and that while the War Department did not know the  significance of the hour set for delivering the note, he, General Short, was to be on the alert  accordingly and to inform naval authorities of  this communication. He sent this via commercial radio, which was the usual means of communicating with the Hawaiian Department. The dispatch  left Washington at 12:17 on 7 December (6:47 a. m. Honolulu time) and arrived in the RCA office in Honolulu at 7:33 A. M. Honolulu time. This  was 22 minutes before the attack began. By the time the message had  decoded and delivered to General Short, the attack was already underway.  The Court states that if the most expeditious means of delivery had been used (plain language telephone) this information could have been  received in Hawaii about two hours before the attack began. The Court  remarks that even in this event there was no action open, nor means available, to Admiral Kimmel which could have stopped the attack, or  which could have had other than negligible bearing upon its outcome, since there was already in effect a condition of readiness suited to the  circumstances attending vessels within the limits of Pearl Harbor naval  base, and the Fleet planes at their air bases on Oahu. I cannot go with  this reasoning of the Court. Even two hours advance warning would been  of great value in alerting planes and in augmenting the condition of  readiness existing on board ship.

[14] (4) On 3 December Admiral Kimmel was told that there was every reason to believe that the Japanese had instructed diplomatic and  consular in the Far East, Washington and London to destroy most of their  codes. Admiral Kimmel says that "the significance of this dispatch was diluted substantially by publication of the information in the morning  newspaper in Honolulu," and he did not regard it as a clear-cut warning  of Japanese intentions to strike the United States.

(5) On 4 December, Admiral Kimmel received a dispatch directing the  destruction of Secret and confidential documents at Guam, except those necessary for current purposes, which were to be kept ready for instant  destruction in event of emergency. This was followed on 6 December by authorization for outlying islands to destroy Secret and confidential  documents "now or under later conditions of greater emergency."

(q) There was also available to the Navy Department on 25 November  reliable information, received from a trusted source, to the effect that certain code words would be inserted in the middle of the daily Japanese  short-wave news broadcast. When these words were heard, codes were to be destroyed. This inform was available in various places, including Pearl Harbor, and Admiral Kimmel had

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it. A monitor watch was set at various places to look out for the  expected broadcast. On 4 and 5 December, the Federal Communications Commission monitored the expected broadcast which was sent from Tokyo twice, first at 2200 on 4 December, and again at 2130 on 5 December.  Various officers testified that the implementing broadcasts were  transmitted to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Director of Naval Communications, but [15] Admiral Stark and Admiral  Noyes testified that they do not remember hearing anything about them.  *It is an established fact that these implementing broadcasts [1] were  never sent to Admiral Kimmel*. However, as noted in paragraph 2 (p) (4)  above, the Court finds that it is a fact that Admiral Kimmel was informed on 3 December that the Japanese had instructed diplomatic and  consular posts in the Far East, Washington, and London, to destroy  certain codes.

(r) The Court further sets forth the fact (mainly under Section XVIII)  that 26 November a note, couched in strong terms, was delivered by the United States State Department to Japanese representatives. The stipulations contained therein were drastic, and likely to be  unacceptable to Japan. Admiral Kimmel had no knowledge of the existence  of such a note, nor of its contents until after the attack. The Court  points out that Admiral Kimmel in May 1941 had particularly asked the  Chief of Naval Operations to keep him informed of the diplomatic situation in order that he might be "informed of all important  developments as they occur by the quickest secure means available."

(s) Fact XIX. The Court points out that it is a prime obligation of command to keep subordinate commanders constantly supplied with  information, and that Admiral Stark, having important information in his possession, during the critical period from 26 November to 7 December, failed to transmit this information Admiral Kimmel, thus depriving the  latter of a clear picture of the existing Japanese situation as seen in Washington. I am in thorough accord with this view of the Court.

(t) It will be noted from the foregoing that one of the most important  phases of this investigation is concerned with the handling of enemy information in the Navy Department. In this connection it would [16] seem essential thorough exploration of the facts to have the testimony of the Director of Naval Intelligence, who was largely responsible for handling information of the enemy. It appears from the record that Rear Admiral Wilkinson, the then Director of Naval Intelligence, was not  available to the Court as a witness. I assume that the Court believes  that all essential information was obtained despite the fact that  Admiral Wilkinson did not testify; [2] however, it appears to that the failure to obtain his testimony was unfortunate.

[17] 3. I submit the following comment as to the Court's Opinion.

(a) In the Opinion based on Finding II, the Court expresses the view  that presence of a large number of combatant vessels in Pearl Harbor on 7 December was necessary. And that the information available to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet did not require any departure from his  operating and maintenance schedules. I do not entirely go along with this opinion. Had all of the information available in the Department been properly evaluated and properly disseminated, I am inclined to  believe that Admiral Kimmel's disposition on the morning of 7 December would not have been as they actually were on that occasion.

(b) In the Opinion, based on Fact VI, the Court expresses the view that  deficiencies in personnel and material which existed in 1941 had an  adverse bear upon the effectiveness of the defense of Pearl Harbor, on  and prior to 7 December. I offer the comment that, obviously, the Army  and Navy were short of and material at the time and that available means were spread thin through the various areas of probable hostility. The  shortage of means available to Admiral Kimmel must be taken into consideration. However, the pertinent question is whether or not he used the means available to him to the best advantage. In my opinion, he did  not. The fault lay in the fact that he was not informed by the Navy  Department of what was known as to probable Japanese intentions and of  the tenseness of the situation, and further, that his judgment was to  some extent faulty and that he did not fully appreciate the indications  of that information which was given to him.

[1] Later investigations indicate that the vital implementing broadcasts were not, in fact, received by the Navy Department.

[2] Admiral Wilkinson's testimony was later received but did not change any of the opinions or facts established.
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

Postby admin » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:23 am

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[18] (c) In the Opinion, based on Finding VIII, the Court holds that the  defense of Pearl Harbor naval base was the direct responsibility of the Army, that the Navy was to assist only with means provided to the 14th  Naval District and that the defense of the base was a joint operation  only to this extent. As I stated above, I think this a narrow view of  the question, and that Admiral Kimmel was fully aware that, in view of  the weakness of local defenses, the Fleet had to be employed to protect  Pearl Harbor and the Hawaiian Islands in general.

(d) The court holds that Admiral Bloch performed his duties  satisfactorily. I concur.

(e) In the Opinion, based on Fact IX, the Court states that naval  defense plans were complete and sound in concept, but contained a basic defect in that naval participation depended entirely upon the  availability of aircraft belonging and being employed by the Fleet, and that on the morning of 7 December, the plans were ineffective because  they necessarily were drawn on the premise that there would be advance  knowledge that an attack was to be expected within narrow limits of  time, which was not the case on that morning. I cannot go along with this view. As I have already stated, there could be no question that  available aircraft had to be employed in the manner best suited to the  danger that threatened. I doubt that, with the forces available, it  would have been possible to intercept and destroy the Japanese carriers before they launched their planes except by lucky chance. However, I do think that Admiral Kimmel was not sufficiently alive to the dangers of  the situation, not entirely due to his own fault. This had a bearing on the amount of damage that was incurred by the Fleet when the Japanese  did attack.

[19] (f) The Opinion, based on Fact X, expresses the view that Admiral Kimmel's action taken immediately after assuming command, in placing in effect comprehensive instructions for the security of the Fleet at sea, is indicative of his appreciation of his responsibility for the security of the Fleet and the steps taken were adequate and effective. I concur  in this.

(g) The Opinion, based on Finding XI, as to the effect that the measures  taken for the security in port were adequate and proper, and that only  had it been known in advance that the attack was to take place on 7  December, could there now be any basis for a conclusion as to the steps  that might have been taken to lessen its ill effects. The Court takes note of suggestions that each day naval planes should have been in the  air, all naval personnel at their stations, and all anti-aircraft guns manned, and expresses the view that no such course of action could have been carried out as a matter of routine. I concur in this. The question  at issue is whether or not indications called for a tightening of  precautions as 7 December approached. I think they did.

(h) In the Opinion, based on Finding XVIII, the Court holds that Admiral  Kimmel was justified in not providing for routine long range  reconnaissance in the absence of any information indicating that the  attack was to be expected in the Hawaiian area within narrow limits of  time. I have already discussed this phase of the matter. I think that if  all available information had placed at Admiral Kimmel's disposal, and  that if he had evaluated it properly he would have found it necessary to  do something about long range reconnaissance in the few days immediately  preceding the 7th of December.

[20] (i) In the Opinion, based on Fact XV II, the Court expresses the  view that there was good ground for belief on the part of high officials in the State, War, Navy Departments, and on the part of the Army and  Navy in the Hawaiian area, that hostilities would begin in the Far East rather than elsewhere. I concur that the Far East was the most probable scene for the initiation of Japanese operations. As a matter of fact, the Japanese did begin to operate in the Far East on 7 December.  However, it was not illogical to suppose an attack on Pearl Harbor would  be regarded by the Japanese as one of the initial steps in a campaign, and there is ample evidence that all concerned were aware of this  possibility—a possibility that was strengthened by information received  in Washington, all of which was not given to Admiral Kimmel.

[21] (j) In the opinion, based on Facts XVIII and XIX, the court presses the view that Admiral Stark failed to display sound judgment in that he did not transmit to Admiral Kimmel, during the very critical period from 26 November to 7 December, important information which he received regarding the Japanese situation, and especially, in that, on the  morning of 7 December, 1941, he did not transmit immediately the fact  that information had been received which appeared to indicate that a break in diplomatic relations was imminent, and that an attack in the Hawaiian area might be expected soon. I note from the first endorsement that the Judge Advocate General takes exception to this

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Opinion, on the ground that the evidence shows that Admiral Stark and  his principal advisers did not construe this information as indicating  an attack in the Hawaiian area.  While I concur in the views of the  Judge Advocate General as to the construction which Admiral Stark placed  upon the information, nevertheless, I note that Commander Kramer  (attached to the Communications Division of the Navy Department) did  take steps to invite the attention of the Secretary of the Navy to the  fact that 1:00 p. m. Washington time meant dawn at Honolulu and midnight  in East Asia. It, therefore, seems evident, that though Admiral Stark  did have his attention drawn to the possible significance of this  information, nevertheless the implications were appreciated by at least  some officers of his office. The Court further expresses the view that  had this important information been conveyed to Admiral Kimmel, it is a  matter of conjecture as to what action he would have taken. I take no  exception to this expression of opinion.  However, it is a fair  conclusion that if Admiral Kimmel had been given all of information  available at the Department, he would have been in a position to judge  the situation better than he did.

[22]  4. In the final Opinion and Recommendation the Court finds that no  offenses have been committed or serious blame incurred on the part of  any person or persons in the naval service, and recommends that no  further proceedings be had in the matter. I concur that there is not  adequate evidence to support general court martial proceedings, but this  does not bar administrative action, if such action is found appropriate. 

5. Despite the evidence that no naval officer was at fault to a degree  likely to result in conviction if brought to trial, nevertheless the  Navy cannot evade a share of responsibility for the Pearl Harbor incident. That disaster cannot be regarded as an "act of God," beyond  human power to prevent or mitigate. It true that the country as a whole is basically responsible in that the people are unwilling to support an adequate army and navy until it was too late to repair the consequences of past neglect in time to deal effectively with the attack that ushered in the war. It is true that the Army was responsible for local defense at Pearl Harbor. Nevertheless, some things could have been done by Navy to lessen the success of the initial Japanese blow. Admiral Stark and  Admiral Kimmel were the responsible officers, and it is pertinent to examine possible courses of action they might have taken.

(a) Admiral Stark was, of course, aware that the United States was primarily concerned with its own possessions, and the most important United States possessions in the Pacific were the Philippine Islands and the Hawaiian Islands. Attention should have been centered on those two  places, as the Pacific situation became more and more acute. He had been  informed by Admiral Kimmel, in his letter of 26 May 1941, that Admiral  Kimmel felt the need for early accurate information [23] as to the general situation, and that he needed to be informed of all important developments as they occurred by the best and most secure means available. This letter should have emphasized the obvious fact that Admiral Kimmel was in a difficult position, that he had to use his  initiative to keep his Fleet dispositions in step with changes in the situation, and that in order to do so he had to have an accurate running  picture the rapidly moving course of diplomatic events. In my opinion, Admiral Stark failed to give Admiral Kimmel an adequate summary of the  information able in Washington, particularly in the following respects:

(1) Admiral Kimmel was not informed of the State Department's note of 26  November to the Japanese. This note was a definite step towards breaking relations.

(2) Admiral Kimmel was not informed of the substance of certain  information available to the Navy Department concerning the disposition of ships inside Pearl Harbor, which indicated a Japanese interest in  Pearl Harbor as a possible target.

(3) Admiral Kimmel was not informed of the implementation of the  broadcast containing the code words. Admiral Stark says he never got this information himself, but it is clear that it did reach Admiral  Stark's office. This together with the handling of other matters of  information, indicates lack of efficiency in Admiral Stark's organization.

(3) Admiral Stark failed to appreciate the significance of the  information which he received indicating that a message was to be given  to the Secretary of State at 1:00 p. m., which information Admiral Stark  received on the morning of 7 December, although the implications were  appreciated by at least one of his subordinates. [24] It appears that  had this information been handled by the quickest available means, and with due appreciation of its significance, it *might* have reached Admiral Kimmel in time to enable him to make some last

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minute preparations that would have enhanced the ability of the ships in  Pearl Harbor to meet the Japanese attack.

(5) There is a certain sameness of tenor of such information as Admiral Stark sent to Admiral Kimmel. They do not convey in themselves the sense of intensification of the critical relations between the United States  and Japan.

(b) In my opinion Admiral Kimmel, despite the failure of Admiral Stark  to keep him fully informed nevertheless did have some indications of increasing tenseness as to relations with Japan. In particular, he had  the "war warning" of 27 November; the 3 December information that the Japanese were destroying their codes, and the messages of 4 and 6  December concerning destruction of United States secret and confidential matter in outlying Pacific Islands.  These messages must be considered in connection with other facts of the situation, and Admiral Kimmel's statement on this phase of the matter must be must given consideration.  After weighing those considerations, I am of the opinion that he could and should have judged more accurately the gravity of the danger to which the Hawaiian Islands were exposed. The following courses of action  were open to him:

(1) He could have used patrol aircraft which were available to him to conduct long range reconnaissance in the more dangerous sectors.   Whether or not this would have resulted in detecting the approach of the  Japanese carriers is problematical. However, it would have made the  Japanese task more difficult.

[25] (2) He could have rotated the "in port" periods of his vessels in  a less routine manner, so as to have made it impossible for the Japanese to have predicted when there would be any vessels in port. This would  have made the Japanese task less easy.

(3) If he had appreciated the gravity of the danger even a few hours  before the Japanese attack, it is logical to suppose that naval planes  would have been in the air during the early morning period, that ships'  batteries would have been fully manned, and that damage control  organizations would have been full [sic] operational.

6. The derelictions of the part of Admiral stark and Admiral Kimmel were  faults of omission rather than faults of commission. In the case in question they indicate lack of the superior judgment necessary for  exercising command commensurate with their rank and their assigned duties, rather than culpable inefficiency.

7. Since trial by general court martial is not warranted by the evidence  adduced, appropriate administrative action would appear to be the relegation of both of these officers to position in which lack of superior judgment may not result in future errors.

8. In my serial 003191 of 3 November, to you, I set forth at length my views concerning how much of the records bears such a relation to present military operations as to require high security classification.

E. J. King
E. J. KING

THIRD ENDORSEMENT TO RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS OF PEARL HARBOR COURT OF  INQUIRY

[Stamped:] 1 Dec. 1944

Subject: Court of Inquiry to inquire into the attack made by Japanese armed forces on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941, ordered by the Secretary of the Navy on 13 July 1944.

1. On the basis of the record, findings, opinion and recommendation of  the Court of Inquiry, the First Endorsement of the Judge Advocate General, a Second Endorsement of the Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet, I  find the evidence obtained to date indicates that there were errors of  judgment part of Admiral Kimmel and Admiral Stark. I am not satisfied, however, that the investigation has gone to the point of exhaustion of  all possible evidence.

2. Further investigation into this matter will be conducted by an  investigating officer, and, in addition to the subjects recommended for  further investigation by the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet in the  Second Endorsement, will include the taking of the testimony of Rear Admiral Wilkinson and Captain McCollum, and such other investigation as may appear to be necessary in order to ascertain the relevant facts relating to the Japanese attack. Pending the completion of the necessary further investigation into this matter, I withhold decision as to institution of any proceeding against any naval officer involved.

FORRESTAL
Secretary of the Navy.

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TOP SECRET

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

Memo for File:

This is the Sec'ys 4th End that was not used because it contained magic; instead the Secy signed the one of Aug 13, that the President made public Aug 29, from which the magic was deleted in the public interest.

JOHN FORD BAECHER, USNR
Special Assistant to the Secretary

[1] TOP SECRET

Fourth Endorsement to Record of Proceedings of Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry and Fourth Endorsement to Admiral Hewitt's Report to the Secretary of the Navy Dated 12 July 1945

Subject: Court of Inquiry to inquire into the attack made by Japanese  armed forces on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941, ordered by the Secretary of the Navy on 13 July 1944, and further investigation by Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, U.S.N., ordered by the  Secretary of the Navy on 2 May 1945.

1. Pursuant to Executive order dated 18 December 1941, a commission  headed by Mr. Justice Owen J. Roberts conducted an investigation into the facts surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The commission reported its findings on 23 January 1942. The commission concluded in part that:

"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 himself 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."

2. Pursuant to precept of the Secretary of the Navy dated 12 February 1944, Admiral Thomas C. Hart, USN (Retired), conducted an examination of witnesses having knowledge of facts in connection with the Japanese attack. Admiral Hart completed his examination on 15 June 1944.

3. Public Law No. 339, 78th Congress, approved 13 June 1944, directed  the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, severally, to proceed forthwith with an investigation into the facts surrounding the  Pearl Harbor catastrophe, and to commence such proceedings against such  persons as the facts might justify.

[2] 4. A Court of Inquiry, consisting of Admiral Orin G. Murfin, U.S.N.,  (Retired), Admiral Edward C. Kalbfus, U.S.N., (Retired), and Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews, U.S.N., (Retired), with Commander Harold  Biesemeier, U.S.N., as Judge Advocate, was appointed on 13 July 1944.  The Court was directed to convene on 17 July 1944, or as soon thereafter  as practicable, for the purpose of inquiring into all circumstances  connected with the attack made by Japanese forces on Pearl Harbor,  Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941; to inquire thoroughly into the matter, and to include in its findings a full statement of the facts it  might deem to be established. The Court was further directed to state  its opinion as to whether any offenses were committed or serious blame  incurred on the part of any person or persons in the Naval service, and, in case its opinion was that offenses had been committed or serious  blame incurred, to recommend specifically what further proceedings should be had.

5. The Court of Inquiry commenced its proceedings on 31 July 1944, and submitted the record of its proceedings on 20 October 1944. Certain  portions of the record of proceedings before the Court, including the findings and opinion of the Court, have been classified "TOP SECRET,"  and the balance "SECRET."

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6. The net result of the findings of fact and opinion of the Pearl  Harbor Naval Court of Inquiry, as reviewed by Judge Advocate General of the Navy, and the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval  Operations, and by me, was that the evidence secured by the Court did  not warrant and would not support the trial by general court martial of  any person or persons in the Naval Service.

7. In my Third Endorsement to the Record of Proceedings of the Pearl  Harbor Court of Inquiry, dated 1 December 1944, I found that the evidence obtained indicated that there were errors of judgment on the part of Admiral Kimmel and Admiral Stark, but that the investigation had  not gone to the point of exhaustion of all possible evidence.  Accordingly, I directed that further investigation would be conducted by  an investigating officer and that pending the completion of the necessary further investigation I would withhold decision as to the  institution of any proceeding against any naval officer involved.

8. In order to insure that the further investigation would cover every  material question, I directed that a thorough review be made of the  prior investigations and that an appropriate summary of all information developed in the prior Naval investigations be prepared. Upon the completion of this review of prior investigations and after examination  of the report of the Army Pearl Harbor Board, dated 3 December 1944, I  appointed Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, U.S.N., as investigating officer, and  John F. Sonnett as counsel to examine such witnesses and obtain such  other evidence as might be necessary in order fully to develop the facts  in connection with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The further  investigation directed by my precept of [3] 2 May 1945 was completed on 12 July 1945 and the report by Admiral Hewitt was forwarded to the Judge  Advocate General and the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and  Chief of Naval Operations for recommendation and comment.

9. In his Second Endorsement to Admiral Hewitt's Report of further  investigation, dated 10 August 1945, the Judge Advocate General advised, among other things, that he did not believe that there was sufficient  evidence to warrant conviction of any of the officers concerned of any offense known to Naval law; that the evidence indicated that the  officers in question lacked superior judgment rather than being guilty  of culpable inefficiency; and that "lack of superior judgment" is not an offense triable by general court martial. The Judge Advocate General  further advised in his Second Endorsement that: "I am of the opinion  that any such court-martial proceedings prior to the end of hostilities  with Japan is highly impractical and would be detrimental to the war  effort, and further, that any such proceedings during the six months  immediately following the end of hostilities would seriously impair the  efficiency of the Naval service." Notwithstanding the difficulties  pointed out by him, the Judge Advocate General was of the opinion,  however, that the Navy Department is morally obligated to order Admiral  Kimmel tried by general court martial should Admiral Kimmel so insist.  The Judge Advocate General recommended that Admiral Hewitt's investigation be made available to Admiral Kimmel and his counsel; that  Admiral Kimmel be informed that he is free to make public anything  contained in this record and in prior records as soon as that may be  done without prejudice to the public interests; and that if Admiral Kimmel insists, a general court martial should be convened to try him for any alleged offenses he may have committed on or before 7 December  1941.

10. In the Third Endorsement to Admiral Hewitt's report, dated 13 August  1945, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, concurred generally in the remarks and recommendations of the Judge Advocate General and expressed the opinion that the evidence was not sufficient to warrant trial by  court martial of any person in the Naval service in that it would not sustain the charges required by the Articles for the Government of the  Navy; that with regard to the sufficiency of the evidence to warrant other proceedings, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet was still of the  opinion that Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel, although not culpable to  a degree warranting formal disciplinary action, nevertheless lacked the  superior judgment necessary for exercising command commensurate with  their duties, and that appropriate action, consisting of the relegation  of these officers to positions in which lack of superior judgment might  not result in future errors, had been taken as to Admiral Stark and  Admiral Kimmel, and stated that no further action was recommended. The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, also advised, in the Third Endorsement,  that in any event he considered it impracticable to bring Admiral Stark  or Admiral Kimmel to trial prior to the termination of hostilities with Japan because such proceedings would almost certainly involve disclosure  of information which would be detrimental to current military operations  and to [4] national security measures. He

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concurred in the opinion of the Judge Advocate General that the Navy  Department is morally obligated to order Admiral Kimmel to trial before a general court martial should Admiral Kimmel so insist, but stated that this action should not be taken until after the completion of  hostilities with Japan. He concurred in the further suggestions of the  Judge Advocate General that Admiral Hewitt's investigation be made available to Admiral Kimmel and his counsel and that Admiral Kimmel be informed that he is free to make public anything contained in this  record and in prior records as soon as that may be done without prejudice to national security.

11. The comments of the Judge Advocate General and of the Commander in  Chief, U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, in their endorsements  to the Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry record, and in their endorsements  to the report by Admiral Hewitt, are approved subject to the following  remarks:

(a) Court of Inquiry Finding II.—This finding states, in substance, that  the presence in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 of Task Force One and  the battleships of Task Force Two was necessary.

The essential point here rests in Admiral Kimmel's statement to the  effect that he would not have had the Fleet in Pearl Harbor had he  anticipated an air attack. The Second Endorsement indicates that the  Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, does not entirely "go along" with the  opinion of the Court that the information available to Admiral Kimmel  did not require any departure from his operation and maintenance  schedules. The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, states further in this  connection that Admiral Kimmel could have rotated the "in port" periods  of his vessels in less routine manner, so as to have made it impossible  for the Japanese to have predicted when there would be any vessels in  port, and that this would have made the Japanese task less easy. I  concur in the comments of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, as to this  finding.

(b) Court of Inquiry Finding III.—This finding states that,  "Constitutional requirements that war be declared by Congress . . ."  make it difficult to prevent an attack and precluded offensive action as  a means of defense, and that Admiral Kimmel had the responsibility of  avoiding overt acts.

The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, comments that this gives an  unscrupulous enemy a great advantage, and that the Constitutional  requirement preventing offensive action as a means of defense was a  definite handicap. It does not appear that there was any proximate  causal relationship between the Constitutional requirement and the  instant disaster. The Constitutional inhibition and the injunction as to  overt acts did not preclude either long [5] distance reconnaissance or a  sortie by the Fleet. Further, it appears that prior to 7 December 1941,  Admiral Kimmel did not regard this Constitutional provision or his  responsibility to avoid overt acts as sufficient to prevent the issuance  of orders to bomb unidentified submarines found in operating areas.

(c) Court of Inquiry Finding IV.—This states that Admiral Bloch was subordinate to Admiral Kimmel, and was charged with the task of  assisting the Army in the defense of Pearl Harbor and, consequently, Admiral Bloch had a responsibility for naval measures concerned with local defense.

It should be noted in this connection that Admiral Hewitt found:

"75. No patrol planes were under the command of Admiral Bloch. The only Navy planes suitable for long distance reconnaissance were the Pacific  Fleet patrol planes.

"76. The Pacific Fleet patrol planes were under the control of Admiral  Kimmel, and he had the responsibility for their utilization. They were  operated after 22 November 1941 in accordance with schedules approved by him at that time, which were not revised prior to the attack. The schedules stressed training operations. They did not provide for distant reconnaissance from Oahu."

(d) Court of Inquiry Finding V.—The court here finds that relations  between Admiral Kimmel and General Short were friendly, cordial and cooperative; that they invariably conferred when important messages were received, and that each was sufficiently cognizant of the measures being  taken by the other.

In this connection the following conclusions by Admiral Hewitt are approved:

"1. The basic war plans and the local defense plans were sound and were designed to meet, with the available means, various types of attack,  including an attack such as the one which was delivered. The basic war plans and the local air defense plans were not operative in time to meet that attack. The Rainbow Five war plans presupposed the existence of a  state of war. The local air defense plans presupposed agreement between  the local com-

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manders that an attack was imminent. Neither of these was the case prior to the attack.

"2. The system of command in effect in the Hawaiian area was that of  mutual cooperation and not unity of command. Cooperation between the local Army and Navy commanders required agreement as to the imminence of  attack, which presupposed the possession and exchange of information  concerning Japanese intentions and movements of Japanese naval forces.

"3. A full exchange of information is necessary to the effective exercise of Joint Command. While there was a considerable exchange of information between various Army and Navy intelligence agencies there  was no organized system to ensure such exchange."

The evidence obtained by Admiral Hewitt indicates that there were  informal arrangements for the exchange of intelligence by the Army and Navy at Hawaii, which included the transmission to the Army of some  information concerning Japanese ship movements. The evidence obtained both by Admiral Hewitt and by the Naval Court of Inquiry indicates, however, that neither Admiral Kimmel nor General Short was sufficiently informed of the degree of readiness put into effect by the other. It  appears that after receipt of the "war warning" and prior to 7 December  1941, Admiral Kimmel and General Short conferred on several occasions.  They discussed the reinforcement of Midway and Wake. It does not appear  that they discussed the conditions of readiness placed in effect or to  be placed in effect, or the question or advisability of placing in  effect air reconnaissance. General Short testified before the Naval Court that after a conference with Admiral Kimmel, he placed in effect  Army Alert No. 1 (the anti-sabotage alert). Admiral Kimmel testified  that he did not know what alert the Army had in effect, and that he made no specific inquiry of General Short in this connection.

That there was not full mutual exchange of intelligence also appears  from the evidence. Admiral Kimmel received dispatches after 27 November 1941 relating to Japanese destruction of codes and instructions to United States outlying islands to destroy classified material. He  testified before the Naval Court that he did not direct that these be furnished to General Short, and that he did not know whether or not they  were furnished to him. General Short testified that he had not seen  these dispatches. 

In view of these facts, I cannot agree with the above finding by the  Court of Inquiry. The system of mutual cooperation, of joint command, was not working effectively—it failed. In this connection the following  conclusion of Admiral Hewitt is approved:

"War experience has shown that: The responsibility for final major  decisions must devolve on one person; that is, there must be unity of command."

However, in respect of the above conclusion of Admiral Hewitt, it is  important to point out that the experience of this war has conclusively  demonstrated that there is no inconsistency between the existence of two or [7] more separate military or naval organizations as the functioning  forces and an effective exercise of unity of command in a theater or in an operation. Practically all of the major operations of this war have  been accomplished by two or more distinct military organizations, some even belonging to diverse nations, but all acting under a unified command. In such an operation, the commanders of the several forces and  their staffs must function in close physical proximity, usually in the  higher echelons sharing a common headquarters or command post.

I do not find, however, that Admiral Kimmel is open to criticism for  having failed to advise the Army at Pearl Harbor that a submarine  contact had been made on the morning of 7 December 1941, shortly prior  to the air attack. The evidence obtained by Admiral Hewitt supports the following conclusion by him, which is approved:

"26. The attempt to obtain confirmation of the reported submarine attack  on Pearl Harbor was proper, although it should have been effected in  plain language. Adequate naval action was taken in sending out the ready destroyer. This information was of no immediate interest to the Army  unless it in fact indicated imminency of an air attack, an assumption  which was not necessarily logical. In any event, confirmation was not received until the air attack had commenced."

(e) Court of Inquiry Finding VI.—This states in substance that  unavoidable deficiencies in personnel and material had a bearing on the  effectiveness of the local defense of Pearl Harbor.

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The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, points out, however, that the pertinent question is whether Admiral Kimmel used the means available to the best advantage. I concur in this comment of the Commander in Chief,  U.S. Fleet.

(f) Court of Inquiry Finding VII.—The Court finds that Japan had an  initial advantage because of the Japanese Fleet's numerical superiority, and the superiority of Japanese espionage.

The comment in the Second Endorsement on this point is confined to the general statement that factors such as those referred to by the Court will always place this nation at a disadvantage during a period of  strained relations. This finding, of course, in general was correct.  Nevertheless, as applied to the specific issues here presented, it overlooks the fact that:

(1) The numerical superiority of the Japanese Fleet was well known to Admiral Stark and to Admiral Kimmel, and this fact was taken into account in the war plans;

(2) Although unquestionably the United States was placed at a  disadvantage in restraining Japanese espionage activities, the Navy and  War Departments were nevertheless not without important Intelligence  advantages of their own which were not availed of to the fullest extent.

(g) Court of Inquiry Finding VIII.—This states that it was the direct responsibility of the Army to defend Pearl Harbor Naval Base, and that the Navy was to assist only with the means provided the Naval District.

[8] The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, is in agreement with "the  fundamental concept of naval warfare" discussed by the Court, but takes a more realistic view on this point. He points out that Admiral Kimmel  was fully aware that in view of the weakness of local defense, the Fleet had to be employed to protect Pearl Harbor. With this I concur. It is to be noted, moreover, that under the defense plan the Navy was responsible for the maintenance of distant reconnaissance.

(h) Court of Inquiry Finding IX.—The Court finds that the air defense  plans were defective because of the necessity for reliance upon Fleet  aircraft which could not be made permanently available for local  defense.

The Second Endorsement states that the Court has over-stressed the fact  that the only patrol planes in the area were Fleet planes, that it was  sound policy to place all such aircraft at Admiral Kimmel's disposal,  that it was his responsibility to allocate the planes as best he could, that the available aircraft had to be employed in the manner best suited  to the danger that threatened; that it is doubtful whether with the  available forces it would have been possible to destroy the carriers before they launched their planes, except by a lucky chance; that  Admiral Kimmel was not sufficiently alive to the situation, not entirely due to his own fault; and that this had a bearing on the amount of damage resulting from the attack. I concur in the comments of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, with respect to this  finding.

(i) Court of Inquiry Findings IV, VIII, IX.—Based on these findings the conclusion of the Court is that Admiral Bloch satisfactorily performed  his duties.

The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, concurs. This conclusion is  approved.

(j) Court of Inquiry Finding X.—This holds adequate and effective  Admiral Kimmel's provisions for the security of the Fleet at sea.  The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, concurs. This finding is approved.

(k) Court of Inquiry Finding XI.—The substance of this finding is that Admiral Kimmel was maintaining the highest condition of readiness called  for by the information available to him, and that a higher condition of readiness would have added little to the defense. 

In the Second Endorsement it is pointed out that in fact the condition  of readiness being maintained at the time of the attack was only that condition which is normally maintained when in port. This is maintained on the assumption that the shore defenses are adequate to protect the Fleet. Such was not the case at Pearl Harbor, as Admiral Kimmel knew.

The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, further states that he does not  agree with the conclusion of the Court that a higher condition of  readiness would have added little to the defense, and is of the view that the information available to Admiral Kimmel called for a tightening up of the defense precautions as 7 December approached. With the comments of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, I concur.

(l) Court of Inquiry Finding XII.—The Court here finds that there was no information indicating that Japanese carriers were on their way to

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attack Pearl Harbor, and that it was not possible to prevent or to predict that attack.

The Second Endorsement to the Naval Court record states on this point: "There was information that might logically have been interpreted as indicating that an attack on Hawaii was not unlikely, and that the time could be predicted within fairly narrow limits." 

It is to be noted that one of the principal matters covered in Admiral  Hewitt's investigation was the information available to Admiral Kimmel,  particularly during the critical period from 27 November to 7 December  1941, concerning the location and movements of Japanese naval forces. This information, which consisted principally of daily radio  intelligence summaries setting forth the results of monitoring Japanese  naval communications and estimates by the Fleet Intelligence Officer, is  set forth in some detail at pages 112-114, inclusive, of Admiral  Hewitt's report. It there appears that there was an unusual change in  Japanese naval radio calls on 1 December 1941; that this was regarded as  indicating an additional progressive step in preparing for active  operations on a large scale; that on 2 December 1941 Admiral Kimmel  conferred with his Fleet Intelligence Officer as to the whereabouts of  Japanese fleet units, and that during that conference Admiral Kimmel  noticed and commented on the absence of information in the Fleet  Intelligence Officer's written estimate as to Japanese Carrier Divisions  1 and 2, which consisted of four carriers. (It has since been learned  that those four carriers were among the six carriers which in fact were  then on the high seas heading toward Pearl Harbor.) The other Japanese carriers were located by the Fleet Intelligence Officer [10] in his  written estimate, in Japanese home waters, with the exception of possibly one carrier in the Marshalls. In his testimony before Admiral  Hewitt, the Fleet Intelligence Officer described his conversation with  Admiral Kimmel on 2 December 1941 as follows:

"Mr. SONNETT. Will you state the substance of what he said and what you  said, as best you recall it?

"Captain LAYTON. As best I recall it, Admiral Kimmel said, "What! You  don't know where Carrier Division 1 and Carrier Division 2 are?" and I  replied, "No, sir, I do not. I think they are in home waters, but I do  not know where they are. The rest of these units, I feel pretty confident of their location." Then Admiral Kimmel looked at me, as  sometimes he would, with somewhat a stern countenance and yet partially  with a twinkle in his eye and said, "Do you mean to say that they could  be rounding Diamond Head and you wouldn't know it?" or words to that  effect. My reply was that, "I hope they would be sighted before now" or  words to that effect....

"Mr. SONNETT. Your testimony, Captain, was not quite clear to me, arising out of your description of Admiral Kimmel's twinkle in his eye  when he spoke. What I am trying to get at is this: Was the discussion  about the absence of information concerning Cardivs 1 and 2 a serious or  a jocular one?

"Captain LAYTON. His question was absolutely serious, but when he said  "Where are Cardivs 1 and 2?" and I said, "I do not know precisely, but  if I must estimate, I would say that they are probably in the Kure area  since we haven't heard from them in a long time and they may be  refitting as they finished operations only a month and a half ago," and  it was then when he, with a twinkle in his eye, said "Do you mean to say  they could be rounding Diamond Head?" or words to that effect. In other  words, he was impressing me on my complete ignorance as to their exact  location.

"Mr. SONNETT. He was conscious, therefore, of your lack of information  about those carriers?

"Captain LAYTON. This incident has been impressed on my mind. I do not  say that I quote him exactly, but I do know that he made such a statement to me in a way to point out to me that I should know where they are but hadn't so indicated their location."

It is to be noted further that, as set forth in Admiral Hewitt's report,  the daily communication intelligence summaries received by Admiral  Kimmel stated, on December 3rd, that: "Almost a complete blank of  information on the carriers today. Lack of identifications has somewhat  promoted this lack of information. However, since over 200 service calls  have been partially identified since the change on the first of December and not one carrier call has been recovered, it is evident that carrier  traffic is at a low ebb," and that the daily summaries delivered to Admiral Kimmel thereafter, and prior to the attack, indicated that there  was no information as [11] to Japanese carriers.

In view of the foregoing, I do not approve the above finding by the  Naval Court of Inquiry. I concur entirely in the comment of the  Commander in Chief, 

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U.S. Fleet, concerning this finding. I am of the view that the  information as to the location and movements of the Japanese naval  forces which was received by Admiral Kimmel during the week preceding  the attack, coupled with all the other information which he had  received, including the "war warning" and other messages from the Chief  of Naval Operations, should have been interpreted as indicating that an  attack on Hawaii was not unlikely and that the time of such an attack  could be predicted within fairly narrow limits.

(m) Court of Inquiry Finding XIII.—It is here stated that Admiral  Kimmel's decision not to conduct daily long-range reconnaissance was  sound; that there were insufficient planes for this purpose; and that  such use of available planes was not justified.

The Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, in his endorsement to the Naval  Court record points out that Admiral Kimmel had a difficult decision to  make in this matter of reconnaissance, and that there were many factors to be considered. He states further, however, that after considering all  of the information that was at Admiral Kimmel's disposal, it appears  that Admiral Kimmel was not on entirely sound ground in making no  attempt at long-range reconnaissance, particularly as the situation became more and more tense in the few days immediately preceding the  Japanese attacks. This comment adds that it is obvious that the means  available did not permit an all- round daily reconnaissance to a  distance necessary to detect the approach of carriers before planes could be launched, but that there were, however, certain sectors more  dangerous than others which could have been covered to some extent, and  that such particular cover would have been logical in the circumstances  known to Admiral Kimmel in late November and early December. Attention  is called to the fact that Admiral Richardson had maintained distance reconnaissance, using the few patrol planes at his disposal, to cover  the most dangerous sectors in rotation, and that these patrols were discontinued when or shortly before Admiral Kimmel relieved Admiral  Richardson.

In addition to these comments, with which I concur, it may be noted that  Admiral Kimmel himself had maintained a partial long range patrol in the  summer of 1941 on the basis of Intelligence received and reported by  Admiral Bloch at that time.

[12] The following findings by Admiral Hewitt in connection with the question of air reconnaissance are approved:

"77. Admiral Kimmel testified before the Naval Court of Inquiry that he  decided on November 27th that there should be no distant reconnaissance.

"78. There is no evidence of any specific discussion between Admiral  Kimmel and members of his staff on or after the receipt of the "war warning," as to the advisability or practicability of long range reconnaissance from Oahu. The War Plans Officer thought that the subject  must have been discussed, but could recall no specific discussion. The Commander of the Fleet patrol planes, who had not been informed of any  of the significant warning messages, testified that Admiral Kimmel had  no such discussion with him.

"87. The Fleet patrol planes available at Oahu in the week preceding the attack were not sufficient to have conducted 360 degree reconnaissance  daily for more than a few days. 

"89. There were sufficient Fleet patrol planes and crews in fact  available at Oahu during the week preceding the attack to have flown,  for at least several weeks, a daily reconnaissance covering 120 degrees  to a distance of about 700 miles.

"90. The sectors north of Oahu were generally recognized as being the  most likely sectors from which a Japanese attack would come, if the Japanese were to attack Pearl Harbor.

"91. If a daily distant reconnaissance had been flown from Oahu after 27  November 1941, with the available patrol planes, the northern sectors  probably would have been searched.

"101. The Japanese carriers launched their planes from a position 200  miles due north of Oahu."

(n) Court of Inquiry Finding XIV.—This states in substance that the Army radar detection system was ineffective.

The evidence supports the substance of the comment on this finding,  which is made in the Second Endorsement; that is, that although the radar detection system in operation at Pearl Harbor was in an embryonic state, nevertheless, even in its then condition it could have and should  have served to give at least

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an hour's warning of the attack. I concur in this comment and also  approve the following conclusion by Admiral Hewitt:

"15. The aircraft warning system was being operated by the Army during  [13] certain periods of the day primarily for training purposes, and, although not fully developed, could have served to give some warning of the approach of Japanese aircraft."

(o) Court of Inquiry Finding XV.—This states that the best professional  opinion in the United States and Great Britain, prior to 7 December  1941, was that an aircraft torpedo attack under conditions of shoal water and limited approach such as those which obtained at Pearl Harbor, was not practicable, and that the Japanese attack was successful  principally because of the employment of a specially designed torpedo,  which was a secret weapon.

The only comment in the Second Endorsement on this finding is that: "It  is evident in retrospect that the capabilities of Japanese aircraft  torpedoes were seriously underestimated." The principal point upon which  the Court of Inquiry seems to rest its finding is the further finding  that it was not believed by American and British naval authorities at  that time that torpedoes could be successfully launched from aircraft in  waters as shallow as those at Pearl Harbor. As a basis for this view the  Court relies upon a letter by the Chief of Naval Operations early in 1941 in which he indicated that torpedoes could not be successfully  launched from airplanes in water under a minimum depth of 75 feet (water  at Pearl Harbor being approximately 45 feet). It is noted that the Court also refers to a subsequent letter put out for the Chief of Naval  Operations in June, 1941, by Admiral Ingersoll, which is in conflict  with the Court's finding. This letter stated, among other things, that:  "It cannot be assumed that any capital or other valuable vessel is safe  when at anchor from this type of attack if surrounded by water at a  sufficient distance to permit an attack to be developed and a sufficient  run to arm the torpedo." This letter also advised that torpedoes  launched by the British at Taranto were, in general, in 13-15 fathoms of  water, although several may have been launched in 11-12.

The records of the Navy Department indicate that in April, 1941, there  was circulated in the Department an intelligence report which described  the demonstration of an aerial torpedo in England. It appears from this  report that the torpedo described was equipped with special wings, and  that it required no greater depth of water for its successful launching  than the depth at which it made its normal run. 

It further appears from the records of the Navy Department that the  British reported aircraft torpedo attacks during the year 1940 in which  torpedoes were successfully launched in 42 feet of water. 

Finally, there is evidence in the record to indicate that nearly a year  prior to the actual attack, the feasibility and even the probability of  an airplane torpedo attack upon Pearl Harbor was contemplated. Secretary  Knox's letter of January, 1941, listed an air torpedo attack as second  only to air bombing in order of probability in a list of [14] the types  of attack upon Pearl Harbor which he considered likely. His letter had  been previously cleared with Admiral Stark, and was received in February   by Admiral Kimmel.

In view of the foregoing, the finding of the Court of Inquiry is not approved.

(p) Court of Inquiry Finding XVI.—The Court here finds that Admiral  Kimmel's decision to continue preparation of the Fleet for war, made  after receiving the 24 November dispatch, was sound in light (a) of the approval of the steps which he had taken after the dispatch of 16 October which advised that hostilities were possible, and (b) the information then available to him including Admiral Stark's letter of 17 October 1941 and the dispatch of 24 November, 1941, which stated that a  surprise aggressive movement in any direction, including attack on the  Philippines or Guam, was a possibility.

The Second Endorsement summarizes the Court's finding and underscores  that portion of the 24 November dispatch which indicated that: "A  surprise aggressive movement in any direction, including attack on the  Philippines or Guam is a possibility . . ."

It should be further noted that Admiral Kimmel testified that the words  "A surprise aggressive movement in any direction, including attack on  the Philippines or Guam," meant to him that any attack other than on  those two places would be on foreign territory, but that the words also  included the possibility of a submarine attack on the Hawaiian Islands. 

The Court refers in its finding to a part of a personal letter sent by  Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel on 17 October, in which Admiral Stark stated: "Personally, I do not believe the Japs are going to sail into us  and the message
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

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Page 363

I sent you merely stated the possibility; in fact, I tempered the  message handed me considerably." However, the letter also continued:  "Perhaps I am wrong, but I hope not. In any case, after long pow-wows in  the White House, it was felt that we should be on guard, at least until  something indicates the trend." To the letter was annexed a postscript,  stating in part: "General Marshall just called up and was anxious that  we make some sort of reconnaissance so that he could feel assured that on arrival at Wake, a Japanese raider attack may not be in order on his  bombers. I told him that we could not assure against any such  contingency, but that I felt it extremely improbable and that, while we  keep track of Japanese ships so far as we can, a carefully planned raid on any of these island carriers in the Pacific might be difficult to detect. However, we are on guard to the best of our ability, and my  advice to him was not to worry."

It is noted that the Court does not specifically deal [15] with the  question of the soundness of Admiral Kimmel's decision to continue  preparation of the Fleet, in the light of the highly important information which he received from the Chief of Naval Operations and  otherwise during the critical period after the "war warning" of November  27th.

(q) Court of Inquiry Finding XVII.—The Court here finds that there were good grounds for believing that the Japanese would attack in the Far  East.

In respect of this finding, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, points  out that the Far East was the most probable scene for the initiation of  Japanese operations, and that they were in fact initiated there. He  notes further that all concerned recognized the possibility that such a commencement of hostilities would be accompanied by an attack upon Pearl  Harbor. He adds that this latter possibility was considerably strengthened by information available at Washington, all of which was  not available to Admiral Kimmel.

It appears from the evidence obtained in Admiral Hewitt's investigation  that the possibility that the commencement of hostilities by Japan would  include an attack upon Pearl Harbor was also strengthened by information  received by Admiral Kimmel on and after the war warning of November  27th. The estimates that had been made in the War Plans, which had been  approved by Admiral Kimmel, of course contemplated that in the event of  war with the Japanese a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was distinctly  possible. The information received by Admiral Kimmel as to the location  and movement of Japanese naval forces was, at the least, consistent with  these estimates. The following conclusion of Admiral Hewitt in this  connection is approved:

"23. The information as to Japanese naval forces which was available to  the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, emphasizing the movement of  forces to the southward, tended to concentrate his attention on the  probability of Japanese attacks on the Philippines and Malaysia. The  information which was received by Admiral Kimmel during the first week  of December 1941 indicated, however, that on December 1st there was an  unusual change in Japanese radio call signs, that, on the basis of all  information up to December 2nd, no reliable estimate could be made of  the whereabouts of four of Japan's ten carriers, and that there was no  information as to any of the carriers thereafter. The absence of  positive information as to the location of the Japanese carriers, a  study of the movement which was possible to them, under radio silence,  through the unguarded areas of the Pacific, and a due appreciation of  the possible effects of an air attack should have induced Admiral Kimmel  to take all practicable precautions to reduce the effectiveness of such  an attack...."

[16] (r) Court of Inquiry Findings XVIII and XIX.—These state in  substance that Admiral Stark's failure from 26 November to 7 December  1941 to transmit to Admiral Kimmel important information in his possession, obtained from intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages, and  summarized in the addendum to the Court's findings of facts, constitutes a military error.

The comment of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, as to this finding  was to the effect that Admiral Stark was at fault in failing to give Admiral Kimmel an adequate summary of information available in  Washington.

The endorsement of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, on the Naval  Court of Inquiry Record, further pointed out that Rear Admiral  Wilkinson, former Director of Naval Intelligence, was not available to  the Court as a witness. It was noted that these findings, and the  conclusions of the Court based thereon, were concerned principally with  the handling of enemy information in the Navy

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Department, and that consequently, it would seem essential to a thorough  exploration of the facts to have the testimony of the Director of Naval Intelligence, who was largely responsible for handling this information.  It was concluded that the failure to obtain this testimony was  unfortunate.

With this comment by the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, I concurred. It  further appeared to me that the testimony of Captain McCollum, who was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence, and who, according to  other testimony in the record, had important duties in connection with  the handling of such intercepted enemy information, would be most  helpful. Captain McCollum was also unavailable as a witness to the Court. I ascertained that at the time both Rear Admiral Wilkinson and  Captain McCollum were actively engaged in combat operations against the enemy, and would be so engaged until some date in the future. From the  nature of the duties which these officers were performing in their  assignments, I determined that in view of the paramount present needs of the war effort, their testimony in this matter could not then feasibly  be obtained.

During his later investigation, Admiral Hewitt was able to obtain the  testimony of Admiral Wilkinson and of Captain McCollum, as well as other  testimony bearing upon this finding of the Court of Inquiry. The  following conclusions of Admiral Hewitt in this connection are approved:

"5. Information was promptly and efficiently obtained by the United  States Navy and Army intelligence organizations in Washington,  concerning the Japanese Government's actual views as to the diplomatic  negotiations and its intention to wage war, by means of interception,  decryption, and translation of Japanese diplomatic messages.

[17] "6. The information which was obtained in Washington by the War and  Navy Departments from Japanese diplomatic messages was fully exchanged.  The information which was obtained by the Navy Department as to Japanese naval movements was available to intelligence officers of the War Department in Washington. The War Department had information which led  that Department to believe that Japanese naval forces were in the Marshalls in November, 1941. This appears from a War Department dispatch  of 26 November 1941 to General Short, information to Admiral Kimmel, concerning a special photographic reconnaissance to be flown over Truk  and Jaluit, in order to obtain information, among other things, as to the number and location of naval vessels. The reconnaissance was not  flown because the special Army planes were not made ready.... 

"8. The information obtained by the Navy Department from intercepted  Japanese diplomatic messages was adequately disseminated within the Navy Department.

"9. Although Admiral Kimmel some months before had made requests that he  be kept fully informed on subjects of interest to the Fleet and as to all important developments, the Chief of Naval Operations did not  communicate to him important information which would have aided him  materially in fully evaluating the seriousness of the situation. In  particular, the failure to transmit the State Department message of November 26th and to send, by telephone or other expeditious means,  information of the "1 p.m." message and its possible import, were  unfortunate.

"10. Admiral Kimmel, nevertheless, did have sufficient information in  his possession to indicate that the situation was unusually serious, and that important developments with respect to the outbreak of war were  imminent. This included the "war warning" message and similar important  messages which were sent by the Chief of Naval Operations.

"11. The available information in the possession of the Commander-in- Chief, Pacific Fleet, as to the existing situation, particularly the  "war warning" message, was not disseminated to all of his important subordinate commanders whose cognizance thereof was desirable. Thus Admiral Bellinger, who commanded the patrol planes, and Admiral Newton, who was at sea with a carrier and other units, were not informed of this  and other important messages."

[18] 12. The following conclusions by Admiral Hewitt concerning the  intelligence secured by tapping the wires of the Japanese Consulate General at Hawaii and by intercepting cable messages of the Japanese  Consulate General are approved. 

"Conclusion 12: Despite the fact that prior to the attack the telephone lines of the Japanese Consul General at Honolulu were tapped and that various of his cable messages were secured at Honolulu, no information  was

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obtained prior to December 7th which indicated the likelihood of a Japanese attack. The legal restrictions which denied access to such  cable messages were a definite handicap to the intelligence agencies in the Hawaiian area. 

"Conclusion 13: Although various messages of the Japanese Consul General  at Honolulu, which indicated Japanese interest in specific locations of  ships in Pearl Harbor, were intercepted by radio intercept stations of  the Army and Navy and decrypted prior to the attack, this information  was not transmitted by the Navy Department to Admiral Kimmel. Certain  other messages which were intercepted by the Army prior to 7 December  1941, indicated the likelihood of attack on Pearl Harbor but were not  decrypted or brought to the attention of the Navy prior to the attack,  apparently because the Army did not have sufficient personnel for such  work."

13. In its final opinion and recommendation, the Court of Inquiry finds  that no offenses have been committed or serious blame incurred on the  part of any person or persons in the Naval service, and recommends that  no further proceedings be had in the matter.

With respect to this opinion and recommendation of the Court of Inquiry, I concur in the comment expressed in paragraph 5 of the Second Endorsement that the Navy cannot avoid a share of responsibility for the  Pearl Harbor incident, and that the disaster cannot be regarded as an  "act of God" beyond human power to prevent or mitigate. Whether or not  it is true, as stated in the Second Endorsement, that the Country as a whole is basically responsible in that the people were unwilling to take  adequate measures for defense until it was too late to repair the consequences of their failure so to do, it appears that the Navy as a whole, although its ranking officers were fully informed of the most recent developments in the science of warfare, failed to appreciate the true significance of those developments until their impact had been felt by a blow struck at a substantial portion of the Fleet. By the same  token, although the imminence of hostile action by the Japanese was  known, and the capabilities of the Japanese Fleet and Air Arm were  recognized in war plans made to meet just such hostile action, these  factors did not reach the stage of conviction in the minds of the responsible officers of the Navy to an extent sufficient to impel them  to bring about that implementation [19] of the plans that was necessary  if the initial hostile attack was to be repelled or at least mitigated.

That this is so is manifested in the case of the instant disaster in  several important respects.

(a) The destructive potentiality of air attack was not properly  evaluated, although there was ample information available on this  subject in the reports of action by and against the British. That this  information was recognized is shown by the inclusion in war and defense  plans of appropriate provisions for defense against this type of attack, but that it was not fully appreciated is shown by the fact that these  selfsame provisions were not put into effect until the initial attack  had been successful.

(b) In respect of unity of command, again all of the plans made adequate  provision for joint action, mutual interchange of intelligence, and the  fullest utilization of all of the available resources of both the Army  and Navy; in practice, none of these measures came into being to any  appreciable extent prior to the attack.

(c) Within the Navy itself, the organization was such as to submerge the  Chief of Naval Operations in a multiplicity of detail pertaining to the  procurement and material programs incidental to the rapid expansion of  the Navy. This precluded him from giving to war plans and operations the undivided and continuing attention which experience has shown they  require, and tended to dull his perception of the critical significance  of events.

In making these observations, I am not unmindful of the usual advantage  of hindsight, nor do I overlook the fact that this war has proved that  any carrier strike, when pressed home with resolution, is almost  impossible to deflect. After giving due consideration, however to all  these factors, I am of the opinion that there were, nevertheless, areas  in which sound military judgment dictated the taking of action which, though it might not have prevented or defeated the attack would have  tended materially to reduce the damage which the attack was able to  inflict. Such action was not taken, and the responsibility must center upon the officers who had it in their power, each within his respective  sphere, to take appropriate action.

14. I concur, therefore, with the opinion expressed in paragraph 5 of  the Second Endorsement to the Court of Inquiry record that it is  pertinent to examine the possible courses of action which Admiral Stark  and Admiral Kimmel, as the 

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responsible officers, might have taken to lessen the success of the  initial Japanese blow.

[20] (a) In paragraph 5 of the Second Endorsement, it is pointed out that Admiral Stark failed to give Admiral Kimmel an adequate summary of  information available in Washington, particularly in respect of:

(1) The State Department reply of 26 November 1941 to the Japanese, which was regarded by the Japanese as an ultimatum;

(2) The intercepted Japanese message inquiring as to the disposition of ships within Pearl Harbor;

(3) The implementation of the "winds" message;

(4) In failing to appreciate the significance of the "one p.m. message" it to Admiral Kimmel by the quickest means available. [sic]

(5) Finally, it is pointed out in this section of the Second Endorsement that there is a certain sameness of tenor in the communications sent by  Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel which failed to convey the sense of intensification of critical relations between Japan and the United  States.

I concur generally with these comments except as to (3) and (5). In  connection with the failure of Admiral Stark to advise Admiral Kimmel of  the implementation of the "winds" message, the following conclusion by  Admiral Hewitt is approved: 

"7. Although the Japanese Government established in their diplomatic  messages a code, known as the "winds" code, to be used in radio  broadcasts in order to convey information to its representatives as to  the status of relations between Japan and other countries, no message  was intercepted prior to the attack which used the code words relating  to the United States."

Although there may be some basis for the comment that prior to 27  November 1941 there was a certain sameness of tone in the communications sent by Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel, it should be noted that the message of November 27 was stronger than any message which Admiral Stark sent previously to Admiral Kimmel. That message read as follows:

"This dispatch 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 indicate an amphibious expedition against either  the Philippines (printed in ink, "Thai") or Kra Peninsula or possibly  Borneo X Execute an appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to  carrying out the tasks assigned in WPL 46 X Inform district and Army  authorities X A similar warning is being sent by War Department X Appropriate measures against sabotage."

[21] Concerning the other comments by the Commander in Chief, U.S.  Fleet, it might be added that Admiral Stark's omission consisted not  only in the failure to transmit fully to Admiral Kimmel certain of the  available information, but also in the failure properly and speedily to  evaluate that information, particularly on 7 December 1941.

The evidence shows that the State Department reply to the Japanese of 26  November 1941 was in fact regarded by them as an ultimatum that it wa  known in the Navy Department before 1 December 1941 that the Japanese  regarded the reply as unacceptable; that it was known, as early as 1  December 1941, that the Japanese proposed to strike without warning. It  was further known that subsequent to their receipt of the State Department's note the Japanese were directing their emissaries in the  United States to do everything in their power to allay any suspicion of  a hostile Japanese move. Against this background, there was received on 6 December 1941, in the Navy Department, an intercepted Japanese message to their emissaries here, which stated that a 14-part reply to the State  Department's note of 26 November 1941 was being transmitted, and further  that a specific time for delivery of this reply would be transmitted  from Tokyo by a separate message. This message, together with the first  thirteen parts of the Japanese reply were all available at the Navy  Department by 2100 hours of 6 December 1941. The language of the  thirteen parts of the Japanese reply then available indicated that the  reply constituted a final breaking off of relations. All this pointed to  the conclusion that a surprise attack was to be simultaneous with the delivery of the Japanese message. Thus, while it was not known on 6 December precisely when the attack was to be delivered, there was ample evidence to base the conclusion that a surprise move was due within  narrow limits of time. 

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On the morning of December 7th, by 10:30, Admiral Stark had all fourteen  parts of the Japanese reply, which in its entirety made explicit the breaking off of relations. He had as well the direction for the delivery of that reply at one p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and there was information available to him that this time corresponded to dawn at Oahu and the middle of the night in the Far East. Although, as found by  Admiral Hewitt, no one stated that this indicated an air attack at Pearl Harbor, yet all of these factors pointed to the possibility of such an  attack. An acute sensitivity to the tautness of the situation would have dictated at least a plain language telephone communication to Admiral Kimmel, which might have provided a warning sufficient to bring about  some material reduction in damage inflicted by the Japanese attack.

(b) I concur with the comments set forth in paragraph 5(b) of the Second  Endorsement to the Naval Court of Inquiry record. It is there stated  that Admiral Kimmel, despite the failure of Admiral Stark to keep him  fully informed, did have indications of the increasing tenseness of  relations with Japan. In particular, it is pointed out that he had the  "war warning" message on 27 November, the "hostile action possible at  any moment" message on 28 November, the 3 December message that the Japanese had ordered destruction of codes, and the messages of 4 and 6 December concerning destruction of United States secret and confidential  matter at outlying Pacific Islands.

[22] In addition, it might be pointed out that Admiral Kimmel in his  personal letters, which are a part of the record before the Court, and  as well in the war plans approved by him, explicitly recognized the  possibility of attack upon Pearl Harbor by air; and, that the  information received by Admiral Kimmel concerning the location and  movement of Japanese naval forces after 27 November 1941 should have  been evaluated, as previously pointed out, as indicating the continued  and increasing possibility of such an attack. It is to be especially  noted that while Admiral Kimmel was directed in the war warning message  of 27 November 1941, and again on 28 November when the Army message was  relayed to him, to execute an appropriate defensive deployment  preparatory to carrying out the tasks assigned in the Navy Basic War  Plan, the chief action taken by him was carrying forward the  arrangements for the reinforcing of and continuing the limited air  patrols from the outlying islands, ordering on 28 November, the depth  bombing of submarine contacts in the Oahu operating area, and engaging  in unproductive conferences with General Short. He continued in effect  the primary fleet activity of training and the lowest condition of  readiness (Condition III) of the fleet in port. He neither ordered long- range air reconnaissance from Oahu to any extent nor advised his fleet  air wing commander of the receipt of the war warning message. His  failure to take other and more effective action is neither explainable  nor excusable by any ambiguity in the meaning of or disagreement as to what would constitute an "appropriate defensive deployment." Admiral  Kimmel could have referred to the initial tasks stated in the war plan of maintaining fleet security at bases and guarding against submarine  attack by Japan, and if he did not know what was meant by the phrase "appropriate defensive deployment," he should have asked the Chief of  Naval Operations for an explanation.

The Second Endorsement to the Naval Court states that Admiral Kimmel  could and should have judged more accurately the gravity of the danger to which the Hawaiian Islands were exposed, and that certain courses of  action were open to him, viz.:

(1) He could have used the patrol aircraft available to him to conduct  long-range reconnaissance in the more dangerous sectors, and thus made  the Japanese task more difficult, whether or not this would have  resulted in the detection of the approach of the Japanese carriers;

(2) He could have rotated the "in port" periods of his vessels in a less  routine manner, and thus made it more difficult for the Japanese to have predicted when there would be any vessels in port;

(3) He could have maintained a higher condition of readiness under which Naval planes would have been in the air during the early morning period ships' batteries would have been fully manned, and damage control  organizations fully operational.

Admiral Hewitt's report concludes in part:

"The absence of positive information as to the location of the Japanese  carriers, a study of the movement which was possible to them, under  radio silence, through the unguarded areas of the Pacific, and a due appreciation of the possible effects of an air attack should have induced Admiral Kimmel to take all practicable pre-

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cautions to reduce the effectiveness of such an attack. The measures which reasonably were open to him were: 

"(a) Establishment of long distance air reconnaissance, covering the most probable approach sectors to the extent possible, on a reasonably permanent basis, with available planes and crews.

[23] "(b) Establishment of a higher condition of anti-aircraft  readiness, at least during the dangerous dawn hours.

"(c) Establishment of a higher degree of damage control readiness by ships in port, particularly during the dangerous dawn hours.

"(d) Installation of anti-torpedo nets to protect the larger vessels in port.

"(e) Maintenance of a striking force at sea in readiness to intercept  possible attack forces.

"(f) Maintenance of the maximum force of the Fleet at sea, with entry  into port at irregular intervals.

"(g) Checking with Army as to readiness of anti-aircraft defense and  aircraft warning installations."

I concur with these comments as to the various courses of action which  Admiral Kimmel could and should have taken. The evidence indicates clearly, however, that his most grievous failure was his failure to  conduct long-range air reconnaissance in the more dangerous sectors from Oahu during the week preceding the attack. That this is so is manifest  from the evidence obtained by Admiral Hewitt and from his following  conclusion, which is hereby approved.

"Conclusion 14. The only practicable sources from which Admiral Kimmel  could have secured information, after the receipt of the "war warning,"  as to the approach of the attacking force, were the aircraft warning  service, traffic analyses of Japanese naval communications, and distant  air reconnaissance from Oahu."

During the critical period after November 27 the limitations of the  aircraft warning service and of radio intelligence were evident; the  only remaining practicable source upon which Admiral Kimmel was entitled  to rely for information as to the Japanese naval movements was distant air reconnaissance which, covering the most probable approach bearings,  would as Admiral Hewitt concluded have had a reasonable chance of success. The failure to detect the approach of the Japanese task force  contributed more to the success of the Japanese attack than did any  other single factor.

In addition to the courses of action referred to by the Commander in  Chief, U.S. Fleet and by Admiral Hewitt, it was of course always open to Admiral Kimmel also to take steps to increase cooperation between his  organization and the Army command, and to attempt to achieve effective  joint command. That conditions were ideal for his accomplishing such an objective is indicated by the evidence in the record and the finding of  the Court that the social relationship between him and General Short was excellent. The need for Admiral Kimmel taking such measures existed from the time he took command of the Pacific Fleet. It increased in urgency  as the 7th of December, 1941, approached.

[24] 15. The Second Endorsement of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet,  to the Naval Court record concludes that:

"6. The derelictions on the part of Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel were faults of omission rather than faults of commission. In the case in question, they indicate lack of the superior judgment necessary for exercising command commensurate with their rank and their assigned duties, rather than culpable inefficiency.

"7. Since trial by general court martial is not warranted by the  evidence adduced, appropriate administrative action would appear to be  the relegation of both of these officers to positions in which lack of  superior judgment may not result in future errors."

16. In his endorsement to Admiral Hewitt's report the Commander-in- Chief, U.S. Fleet, states in part:

"I concur in general in the remarks and recommendations of the Judge  Advocate General as expressed in the second endorsement. In answer to the specific questions asked in the first endorsement, the following  opinions are submitted:

"(a) I am of the opinion that the evidence is not sufficient to warrant trial by court martial of any person in the Naval Service, in that

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the  evidence will not sustain the charges required by the Articles for the Government of the Navy.

"(b) With regard to the sufficiency of the evidence to warrant other  proceedings, I am still of the opinion, which I have previously  expressed, that Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel, though not culpable to a degree warranting formal disciplinary action, were nevertheless  inadequate in emergency, due to the lack of the superior judgment  necessary for exercising command commensurate with their duties. 

"(c) Appropriate action appears to me to be the relegation of both of  these officers to positions in which lack of superior strategic judgment  may not result in future errors. The action has been taken in the case of both Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel. No further action is recommended.

"(d) For the reasons stated by the Judge Advocate General, I consider it  impracticable to bring Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel, or either one of them, to trial prior to the termination of hostilities with Japan,  nor are court [25] martial or other proceedings (prior to the  termination of hostilities with Japan) advisable because such  proceedings would almost certainly involve disclosure of information  which would be detrimental to current military operations and to  national security measures."

17. The Judge Advocate General in making his endorsement to Admiral Hewitt's report states in part:

"1. Subject report clarifies obscure points and supplies omissions in  the earlier investigations. It is considered that this and former  investigations, taken together, present as clear a picture of the  pertinent facts as will ever be adduced. With this report, therefore, I  believe the investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack should be  considered completed.

"2. Admiral Hewitt's report brings out and confirms a distinction which  impressed me at the time of studying the earlier investigations, a  distinction which does much to clarify thinking on the question of  placing responsibility for the Pearl Harbor disaster. It appears that  there was no lack of appreciation on the part of any of the responsible  officers that war was coming, and coming quickly, during the critical  period immediately preceding 7 December 1941. The point on which those  officers failed to exercise the discernment and judgment to be expected  from officers occupying their positions, was their failure to appreciate, from the information available to them, that Pearl Harbor  was a likely target for aerial attack and their failure to take the  necessary steps to prevent or minimize such a surprise attack. Each of  these officers, in estimating the critical situation, demonstrated a poor quality of strategical planning, in that he largely ruled out all  possible courses of action by which the Japanese might begin the war except through an attack in the Western Pacific.

"3. I do not believe that the lack of more complete understanding and co-operation between Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short had any  great effect on the ultimate result; for it is abundantly shown that they each entertained the same fallacious views, and closer understanding would most likely merely have strengthened those views.  Likewise, I submit that the importance of information from Japanese  sources has been overemphasized; for had more basically sound principle  been observed, the Pearl Harbor disaster would not have occurred. The  security of Pearl Harbor was the very core of our Pacific strategy, a fact which did not receive sufficient consideration in the strategic  concept of responsible officers.

[26] "4. In answer to the specific questions asked in the first endorsement, the following opinions are submitted: 

"(a) As is more fully developed in the answer to question (b), it is not believed that there is sufficient evidence to warrant conviction of any of the officers concerned of any offense known to naval law.

"(b) Under the facts of this case, there are only two offenses which are worthy of consideration: (1) Neglect of Duty and (2) Culpable  Inefficiency in the Performance of Duty. Under either charge it would be necessary to define the duty of the officer concerned, and to show that  it was his duty to follow a course of action other than the one he did.  In my opinion this would be impossible, as the acts of omission of these  officers do not rise above the status of errors of judgment. No clearly  defined duty can be established which was neglected or improperly performed. As stated

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by Fleet Admiral King, in his endorsement on the findings of the Court of Inquiry, the evidence in the case boils down to the fact that the  acts of the officers in question "indicate lack of superior judgment  necessary for exercising command commensurate with their rank and their  assigned duties, rather than culpable inefficiency." "Lack of Superior  Judgment" is not an offense triable by general court- martial.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

"(d) The requirements of 39th Article for the Government of the Navy and Section 346 of Naval Courts and Boards pertaining to the rank of members  of a general court-martial will make it most difficult to constitute a  court for the trial of the officers here concerned during war time or  during a period of six months after the cessation of hostilities. Many  of the officers of appropriate rank, both on the active and the retired  lists, would be disqualified because of interest in the subject matter,  the probability of being called as a witness, or by virtue of having  been connected with one of the investigations into the matter. If more  than one of the officers in question are brought to trial, an entirely  new court would be necessary in each case, as members who had tried a  former case arising out of the Pearl Harbor attack would be subject to  challenge. The summoning of the necessary witnesses would result in  temporarily removing from their duty stations many of the key officers  in the naval organization. For the foregoing reasons, I am of the  opinion that any such court martial proceedings prior to the end of  hostilities with Japan is highly impractical and would be detrimental to  the war effort, and further, that any such proceedings during the six  months immediately following the end of hostilities would seriously  impair the efficiency of the naval service."

18. On the basis of the record, findings, opinion, and recommendation of the Court of Inquiry, the First Endorsement of the Judge Advocate  General thereto, and the Second Endorsement of the Commander in Chief,  U.S. Fleet, thereto; the record, findings, and conclusions of Admiral  Hewitt, and the Second and Third Endorsements thereto; and on the basis  of the foregoing comments, I conclude that:

(a) Then Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch discharged his duties adequately.

(b) Then Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Admiral Harold R. Stark, particularly during the period from 27 November to 7 December 1941,  failed to demonstrate the superior judgment necessary for exercising command commensurate with their rank and their assigned duties.

(c) Both of these officers having been retired, appropriate action should be taken to insure that neither of them will be recalled to  active duty in the future for any position in which the exercise of superior judgment may be necessary.

(d) The appropriate committees of Congress should be fully acquainted with the Navy's investigations into this matter, and public disclosure  of the facts concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, obtained in  these investigations, should be made as soon as such action can be taken  without injuring current military operations or the national security.

19. Accordingly, I direct:

(a) Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, USN (Retired), shall not hold any position in the United States Navy which requires the exercise of  superior judgment.

(b) Admiral Harold R. Stark, USN (Retired), shall not hold any position in the United States Navy which requires the exercise of superior  judgment. 

(c) The appropriate committees of Congress will be fully acquainted with the Navy's investigations into this matter, and public disclosure of the facts concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, obtained in these  investigations, will be made as soon as such action can be taken without  injuring current military operations or the national security.

JAMES FORRESTAL,
Secretary of the Navy.

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NOTE

This endorsement released by President Truman 29 August 1945-thereby changing classification.

[1]

13 AUGUST 1945.

FOURTH ENDORSEMENT TO RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS OF PEARL HARBOR COURT OF  INQUIRY

Subject: Court of Inquiry to inquire into the attack made by Japanese armed forces on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941,  ordered by the Secretary of the Navy on 13 July 1944, and further  investigation by Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, U. S. N., ordered by the  Secretary of the Navy on 2 May 1945.

1. Pursuant to Executive order dated 18 December 1941, a commission headed by Mr. Justice Owen J. Roberts conducted an investigation into the facts surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The  commission reported its findings on 23 January 1942. The commission concluded in part that:

"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 himself 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."

2. Pursuant to precept of the Secretary of the Navy dated 12 February 1944 Admiral Thomas C. Hart, USN (Retired), conducted an examination of  witnesses likely to have knowledge of facts in connection with the  Japanese attack. Admiral Hart completed his examination on 15 June 1944.

3. Public Law No. 339, 78th Congress, approved 13 June 1944, directed the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, severally, to  proceed forthwith with an investigation into the facts surrounding the  Pearl Harbor catastrophe and to commence such proceedings against such  persons as the facts might justify.

[2] 4. A Court of Inquiry, consisting of Admiral Orin G. Murfin, USN Retired), Admiral Edward C. Kalbfus, USN (Retired), and Vice Admiral  Adolphus Andrews, USN (Retired), with Commander Harold Biesemeier, USN  as Judge Advocate, was appointed on 13 July 1944. The Court was directed  to convene on 17 July 1944, or as soon thereafter as practicable, for  the purpose of inquiring into all circumstances connected with the  attack made by Japanese forces on Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on  7 December 1941; to inquire thoroughly into the matter, and to include  in its findings a full statement of the facts it might deem to be  established. The Court was further directed to state its opinion as to  whether any offenses were committed or serious blame incurred on the  part of any person or persons in the Naval service, and, in case its  opinion was that offenses had been committed or serious blame incurred,  to recommend specifically what further proceedings should be had.

5. The Court of Inquiry commenced its proceedings on 31 July 1944, and submitted the record of its proceedings on 20 October 1944. Certain  portions of the record of proceedings before the Court, including the  findings and opinion of the Court, have been classified "TOP SECRET" in  the interest of national security, and the balance "SECRET."

The material which was classified "TOP SECRET" was so classified by the Court of Inquiry and retained in that classification upon the  recommendation of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet and Chief of Naval  Operations because of the extreme care which has been necessary to  safeguard information in the hands of the Navy Department and especially  the sources of that information. These sources were many, including the  Intelligence Divisions of the Army and Navy, the Office of Strategic  Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and others.

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations now informs me that it is still in the public interest that the sources of  this infor-

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mation be safeguarded. Accordingly, I have directed that all of the report of the Court of Inquiry be made public except that part,  publication of which in the opinion of the Commander in Chef, U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations would necessarily disclose the sources of secret information. To the same end in the discussion of the report of the Court of Inquiry the evidence before the Court and the additional evidence discovered by Admiral Hewitt's investigation herein I have avoided any reference which would disclose the sources of secret information.

6. The net result of the findings of fact and opinion of the Pearl Harbor Naval Court of Inquiry, as reviewed by Judge Advocate General of  the Navy, and the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet and Chief of Naval  Operations, and by me was that the evidence secured by the Court did not  warrant and would not support the trial by general court martial of any  person or persons in the Naval Service.

7. In my Third Endorsement to the Record of Proceedings of the Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry, dated 1 December 1944, I found that the  evidence obtained indicated that there were errors of judgment on the  part of Admiral Kimmel and Admiral Stark, but that the inquiry had not  gone to the point of exhaustion of all possible evidence. Accordingly, I  directed that further investigation would be conducted by an  investigating officer and that pending [3] the completion of the  necessary further investigation I would withhold decision as to the  institution of any proceeding against any naval officer involved.

8. In order to insure that the further investigation would cover every material question, I directed that a thorough review be made of the  prior investigations upon the completion of this review of prior  investigations and after examination of the report of the Army Pearl  Harbor Board, dated 3 December 1944, I appointed Admiral H. Kent Hewitt,  USN, as investigating officer, to examine such witnesses and obtain such  other evidence as might be necessary in order fully to develop and  clarify the facts in connection with the Japanese attack on Pearl  Harbor. The further investigation was completed on 12 July 1945.

9. The comments of the Judge Advocate General and of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, in their endorsements  to the Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry record are approved subject to the  following remarks:

(a) Court of Inquiry Finding II.—This finding states, in substance, that the presence in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 of Task Force One and  the battleships of Task Force Two was necessary.

The essential point here rests in Admiral Kimmel's statement to the effect that he would not have had the Fleet in Pearl Harbor had he  anticipated an air attack. The Second Endorsement indicates that the  Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, does not entirely "go along" with the  opinion of the Court that the information available to Admiral Kimmel  did not require any departure from his operation and maintenance  schedules. The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet states further in this  connection that Admiral Kimmel could have rotated the "in port" periods  of his vessels in less routine manner, so as to have made it impossible  for the Japanese to have predicted when there would be any vessels in  port, and that this would have made the Japanese task less easy. I  concur in the comments of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, as to this finding.

(b) Court Of Inquiry Finding III.—This finding states that, "Constitutional requirements that war be declared by Congress . . . "  make it difficult to prevent an attack and precluded offensive action as  a means of defense, and that Admiral Kimmel had the responsibility of  avoiding overt acts.

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, comments that this gives an unscrupulous enemy a great advantage, and that the Constitutional  requirement preventing offensive action as a means of defense was a  definite handicap. Though, in contrast with our Constitutional  principles, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was but a repetition of  the historically treacherous Japanese method of inaugurating hostilities  and commencing a war, yet it does not appear that there was any  proximate casual relationship between the Constitutional requirement and  the instant disaster. The Constitutional inhibition and the injunction  as to overt acts did not preclude either long distance reconnaissance or  a sortie by the Fleet. Further, it [4] appears that prior to 7 December  1941, Admiral Kimmel did not regard this Constitutional provision or his  responsibility to avoid overt acts as sufficient to prevent the issuance  of orders to bomb unidentified submarines found in operating areas.

(c) Court of Inquiry Finding IV.—This states that Admiral Bloch was subordinate to Admiral Kimmel, and was charged with the task of  assisting the Army in the defense of Pearl Harbor and, consequently,  Admiral Bloch had a responsibility for naval measures concerned with  local defense.
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

Postby admin » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:33 am

Page 373

Upon the basis of all the evidence including Admiral Hewitt's investigation, it appears that:

(1) No patrol planes were under the command of Admiral Bloch. The only Navy planes suitable for long distance reconnaissance were the Pacific  Fleet patrol planes.

(2) The Pacific Fleet patrol planes were under the control of Admiral Kimmel and he had the responsibility for their utilization. They were  operated after 22 November 1941 in accordance with schedules approved by  him at that time which were not revised prior to the attack. The  schedules stressed training operations. They did not provide for distant  reconnaissance from Oahu.

(d) Court of Inquiry Finding V. The Court here finds that relations between Admiral Kimmel and General Short were friendly cordial and  cooperative; that they invariably conferred when important messages were received and that each was sufficiently cognizant of the measures being  taken by the other.

In this connection upon all the evidence it appears:

(1) The basic war plans and the local defense plans were sound and were designed to meet with the available means various types of attack  including an attack such as the one which was delivered. The basic war  plans and the local air defense plans were not operative in time to meet  that attack. The Rainbow Five war plans presupposed the existence of a  state of war. The local air defense plans presupposed agreement between  the local commanders that an attack was imminent. Neither of these was  the ease prior to the attack.

(2) The system of command in effect in the Hawaiian area was that of mutual cooperation and not unity of command. Cooperation between the  local Army and Navy commanders required agreement as to the imminence of  attack which presupposed the possession and exchange of information  concerning Japanese intentions and movements of Japanese naval forces.

[5] (3) A full exchange of information is necessary to the effective exercise of Joint Command. While there was a considerable exchange of  information between various Army and Navy intelligence agencies there  was no organized system to ensure such exchange.

The evidence obtained by Admiral Hewitt indicates that there were informal arrangements for the exchange of intelligence by the Army and  Navy at Hawaii which included the transmission to the Army of some  information concerning Japanese ship movements. The evidence obtained  both by Admiral Hewitt and by the Naval Court of Inquiry indicates  however that neither Admiral Kimmel nor General Short was sufficiently informed of the degree of readiness put into effect by the other. It  appears that after receipt of the "war warning" and prior to 7 December 1941 Admiral Kimmel and General Short conferred on several occasions.  They discussed the reinforcement of Midway and Wake. It does not appear  that they discussed the conditions of readiness placed in effect or to  be placed in effect or the question or advisability of placing in effect  air reconnaissance. General Short testified before the Naval Court that after a conference with Admiral Kimmel he placed in effect Army Alert  No. 1 (the anti-sabotage alert). Admiral Kimmel testified that he did  not know which degree of alert the Army had in effect and that he made  no specific inquiry of General Short in this connection. 

That there was not full mutual exchange of intelligence also appears from the evidence. Admiral Kimmel received dispatches after 27 November  1941 relating to Japanese destruction of codes and instructions to  United States outlying islands to destroy classified material. He  testified before the Naval Court that he did not direct that these be  furnished to General Short and that he did not know whether or not they  were furnished to him. General Short testified that he had not seen  these dispatches.

In view of these facts I cannot agree with the above finding by the Naval Court of Inquiry. The system of mutual cooperation of joint  command was of working effectively—it failed. 

War experience has shown that: The responsibility for final major decisions must devolve on one person; that is there must be unity of  command. However it is important to point out that the experience of  this war has conclusively demonstrated that there is no inconsistency  between the existence of two or more separate military or naval  organizations as the functioning forces and an effective exercise of  unity of command in a theater or in an operation. Practically all of the  major operations of this war have been accomplished by two or more  distinct military organizations, some even belonging to diverse nations  but all

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acting under a unified command. In such an operation, the commanders of the several forces and their staffs must function in close physical  proximity, usually in the higher echelons sharing a common headquarters  or command post.

[6] I do not find, however, that Admiral Kimmel is open to criticism for having failed to advise the Army at Pearl Harbor that a submarine  contact had been made on the morning of 7 December 1941, shortly prior  to the air attack. The evidence supports the conclusion that the attempt to obtain confirmation of the reported submarine attack off Pearl Harbor was proper, although it should have been effected in plain language.  Adequate naval action was taken in sending out the ready destroyer.

(e) Court of Inquiry Finding VI.—This states in substance that unavoidable deficiencies in personnel and material had a bearing on the  effectiveness of the local defense of Pearl Harbor. 

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, points out, however, that the pertinent question is whether Admiral Kimmel used the means available to  the best advantage. I concur in this comment of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet.

(f) Court of Inquiry Finding VII.—The Court finds that Japan had an initial advantage because of the Japanese Fleet's numerical superiority,  and the superiority of Japanese espionage.

The comment in the Second Endorsement on this point is confined to the general statement that factors such as those referred to by the Court will always place this nation at a disadvantage during a period of  strained relations. This finding, of course, in general was correct.  Nevertheless, as applied to the specific issues here presented, it  overlooks the fact that:

(1) The numerical superiority of the Japanese Fleet was well known to Admiral Stark and to Admiral Kimmel, and this fact was taken into  account in the war plans;

(2) Although unquestionably the United States was placed at a disadvantage in restraining Japanese espionage activities, the Navy and  War Departments were nevertheless not without important Intelligence  advantages of their own which were not availed of to the fullest extent.

(g) Court of Inquiry Finding VIII.—This states that it was the direct responsibility of the Army to defend Pearl Harbor Naval Base, and that  the Navy was to assist only with the means provided the Naval District.

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, is in agreement with "the fundamental concept of naval warfare" discussed by the Court, but takes  a more realistic view on this point. He points out that Admiral Kimmel  was fully aware that in view of the weakness of local defense, the ships  of the Fleet in port had to be employed to protect Pearl Harbor. With  this I concur. It is to be noted moreover, that under the defense plan  the Navy was responsible for the maintenance of distant reconnaissance.

[7] (h) Court of Inquiry Finding IX.—The Court finds that the air defense plans were defective because of the necessity for reliance upon  Fleet aircraft which could not be made permanently available for local  defense.

The Second Endorsement states that the Court has over-stressed the fact that the only patrol planes in the area were Fleet planes, that it was  sound policy to place all such aircraft at Admiral Kimmel's disposal;  that it was his responsibility to allocate the planes as best he could;  that the available aircraft had to be employed in the manner best suited  to the danger that threatened that it is doubtful whether with the  available forces it would have been possible to destroy the carriers  before they launched their planes, except by a lucky chance that Admiral  Kimmel was not sufficiently alive to the situation, not entirely due to  his own fault; and that this had a bearing on the amount of damage  resulting from the attack. I concur in the comments of the Commander in  Chief, U. S. Fleet, with respect to this finding.

(i) Court of Inquiry Findings IV, VIII, IX.—Based on these findings the conclusion of the Court is that Admiral Bloch satisfactorily performed  his duties.

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, concurs. This conclusion is approved.

(j) Court of Inquiry Finding X.—This holds adequate and effective Admiral Kimmel's provisions for the security of the Fleet at sea.

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, concurs. This finding is approved.

(k) Court of Inquiry Finding XI.—The substance of this finding is that Admiral Kimmel was maintaining the highest condition of readiness called  for by the information available to him, and that a higher condition of  readiness would have added little to the defense.

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In the Second Endorsement it is pointed out that in fact the condition of readiness being maintained at the time of the attack was only that  condition which is normally maintained when in port. This is maintained on the assumption that the shore defenses are adequate to protect the  Fleet. Such was not the case at Pearl Harbor, as Admiral Kimmel knew.

[8] The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, further states that he does not agree with the conclusion of the Court that a higher condition of  readiness would have added little to the defense, and is of the view  that the information available to Admiral Kimmel called for a tightening  up of the defense precautions as 7 December approached. With the  comments of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, I concur.

(1) Court of Inquiry Finding XII.—The Court here finds that there was no information indicating that Japanese carriers were on their way to  attack Pearl Harbor, and that it was not possible to prevent or to  predict that attack.

The Second Endorsement to the Naval Court record states on this point: "There was information that might logically have been interpreted as  indicating that an attack on Hawaii was not unlikely, and that the time  could be predicted within fairly narrow limits."

It is to be noted that one of the principal matters covered in Admiral Hewitt's investigation was the information available to Admiral Kimmel,  particularly during the critical period from 27 November to 7 December  1941, concerning the location and movements of Japanese naval forces.  This information consisted principally of daily radio intelligence  summaries setting forth the results of monitoring Japanese naval  communications and estimates by the Fleet Intelligence Officer. It  appears that there was an unusual change in Japanese naval radio calls  on 1 December 1941; that this was regarded as indicating an additional  progressive step in preparing for active operations on a large scale;  that on 2 December 1941 Admiral Kimmel conferred with his Fleet  Intelligence Officer as to the whereabouts of Japanese fleet units, and  that during that conference Admiral Kimmel noticed and commented on the  absence of information in the Fleet Intelligence Officer's written  estimate as to Japanese Carrier Divisions 1 and 2, which consisted of  four carriers. (It has since been learned that these four carriers were  among the six carriers which in fact were then on the high seas heading  toward Pearl Harbor.) The other Japanese carriers were located by the  Fleet Intelligence Officer in his written estimate, in Japanese home  waters, with the exception of possibly one carrier in the Marshalls. In  his testimony before Admiral Hewitt, the Fleet Intelligence Officer,  Captain Edwin T. Layton, U. S. N., described his conversation with  Admiral Kimmel on 2 December 1941 as follows:

"Q. Will you state the substance of what he said and what you said, as best you recall it?

"A. As best I recall it, Admiral Kimmel said, 'What! You don't know where Carrier Division 1 and Carrier Division 2 are?' and I replied,  'No, sir, I do not. I think they are [9] in home waters, but I do not  know where they are. The rest of these units, I feel pretty confident of  their location.' Then Admiral Kimmel looked at me, as sometimes he would, with somewhat a stern countenance and yet partially with a  twinkle in his eye and said, 'Do you mean to say that they could be rounding Diamond Head and you wouldn't know it?' or words to that  effect. My reply was that, 'I hope they would be sighted before now,' or words to that effect." . . .

"Q. Your testimony Captain, was not quite clear to me, arising out of your description of Admiral Kimmel's twinkle in his eye when he spoke.  What I am trying to get at is this: Was the discussion about the absence  of information concerning Cardivs 1 and 2 a serious or jocular one?

"A. His question was absolutely serious, but when he said 'Where are Cardivs 1 and 2?' and I said, 'I do not know precisely, but if I must  estimate, I would say that they are probably in the Kure area since we  haven't heard from them in a long time and they may be refitting as they  finished operations only a month and a half ago,' and it was then when  he, with a twinkle in his eye, said, 'Do you mean to say that they could  be rounding Diamond Head?' or words to that effect. In other words, he  was impressing me on my complete ignorance as to their exact location.

"Q. He was conscious, therefore, of your lack of information about those carriers?

"A This incident has been impressed on my mind. I do not say that I quote him exactly, but I do know that he made such a statement to me in  the way to

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point out to me that I should know where they are but hadn't so indicated their location."

It is to be noted further that the daily communication intelligence summaries received by Admiral Kimmel stated, on December 3rd, that:  "Almost a complete blank of information on the carriers today. Lack of identifications has somewhat promoted this lack of information. However,  since over 200 service calls have been partially identified since the  change on the first of December and not one carrier call has been  recovered, it is evident that carrier traffic is at a low ebb" and that  the daily summaries delivered to Admiral Kimmel thereafter, and prior to  the attack, indicated that there was no information as to Japanese carriers.

[10] In view of the foregoing, I do not approve the above finding by the Naval Court of Inquiry. I concur entirely in the comment of the  Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, concerning this finding. I am of the  view that the information as to the location and movements of the  Japanese naval forces which was received by Admiral Kimmel during the  week preceding the attack, coupled with all the other information which  he had received, including the "war warning" and other messages from the  Chief of Naval Operations, should have been interpreted as indicating  that an attack on Hawaii was not unlikely and that the time of such an  attack could be predicted within fairly narrow limits.

(m) Court of Inquiry Finding XIII.—It is here stated that Admiral Kimmel's decision not to conduct daily long range reconnaissance was  sound; that there were insufficient planes for this purpose; and that  such use of the available planes was not justified.

The Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, in his endorsement to the Naval Court record points out that Admiral Kimmel had a difficult decision to  make in this matter of reconnaissance, and that there were many factors  to be considered. He states further, however, that after considering all  of the information that was at Admiral Kimmel's disposal, it appears  that Admiral Kimmel was not on entirely sound ground in making no  attempt at long range reconnaissance, particularly as the situation  became more and more tense in the few days immediately preceding the  Japanese attacks. This comment adds that it is obvious that the means  available did not permit an all- ound daily reconnaissance to a distance  necessary to detect the approach of carriers before planes could be  launched, but that there were, however, certain sectors more dangerous  than others which could have been covered to some extent, and that such  particular cover would have been logical in the circumstances known to  Admiral Kimmel in late November and early December.

In addition to these comments, with which I concur, the following points may be noted:

(1) Admiral Kimmel himself had maintained a partial long range patrol in the summer of 1941 on the basis of Intelligence received and reported by  Admiral Bloch at that time.

(2) Admiral Kimmel testified before the Naval Court of Inquiry that he decided on November 27th that there should be no distant reconnaissance.

[11]  (3) There is no evidence of any specific discussion between Admiral Kimmel and members of his staff on or after the receipt of the "war warning " as to the advisability or practicability of long range  reconnaissance from Oahu. The War Plans Officer thought that the subject  must have been discussed, but could recall no specific discussion. The  Commander of the Fleet patrol planes, who had not been informed of any  of the significant warning messages, testified that Admiral Kimmel had no such discussion with him.

(4) The Fleet patrol planes available at Oahu in the week preceding the attack were not sufficient to have conducted 360 degree reconnaissance  daily for more than a few days.

(5) There were sufficient Fleet patrol planes and crews in fact available at Oahu during the week preceding the attack to have flown,  for at least several weeks, a daily reconnaissance covering 128 degrees  to a distance of about 700 miles.

(6) The sectors north of Oahu were generally recognized as being the most likely sectors from which a Japanese attack would come, if the  Japanese were to attack Pearl Harbor.

(7) If a daily distant reconnaissance had been flown from Oahu after 27 November 1941, with the available patrol planes, the northern sectors  probably would have been searched.

(8) The Japanese carriers launched their planes from a position 200 miles due north of Oahu.

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(n) Court of Inquiry Finding XIV.—This states in substance that the Army radar detection system was ineffective.

The evidence supports the substance of the comment on this finding, which is made in the Second Endorsement; that is, that although the  radar detection system in operation at Pearl Harbor was in an embryonic  state, nevertheless even in its then condition it could have and should  have served to give at least all hour's warning of the attack.

(o) Court of Inquiry Finding XV.—This states that the best professional opinion in the United States and Great Britain, prior to 7 December  1941, was that an aircraft torpedo attack under conditions [12] of shoal water and limited approach such as those which obtained at Pearl Harbor,  was not practicable, and that the Japanese attack was successful  principally because of the employment of a specially designed torpedo,  which was a secret weapon.

The only comment in the Second Endorsement on this finding is that: "It is evident in retrospect that the capabilities of Japanese aircraft  torpedoes were seriously underestimated." The principal point upon which  the Court of Inquiry seems to rest its finding is the further finding  that it was not believed by American and British naval authorities at  that time that torpedoes could be successfully launched from aircraft in  waters as shallows as those at Pearl Harbor. As a basis for this view  the Court relies upon a letter by the Chief of Naval Operations early in  1941 in which he indicated that torpedoes could not be successfully  launched from airplanes in water under a minimum depth of 75 feet (water  at Pearl Harbor being approximately 45 feet). It is noted that the Court  also refers to a subsequent letter put out for the Chief of Naval  Operations in June, 1941, by Admiral Ingersoll, which is in conflict  with the Court's finding. This letter stated, among other things, that:  "It cannot be assumed that any capital or other valuable vessel is safe  when at anchor from this type of attack if surrounded by water at a sufficient distance to permit an attack to be developed and a sufficient  run to arm the torpedo." This letter also advised that torpedoes  launched by the British at Taranto were, in general, in 13-15 fathoms of  water, although several may have been launched in 11-12.

The records of the Navy Department indicate that in April, 1941, there was circulated in the Department an Intelligence report which described  the demonstration of an aerial torpedo in England. It appears from this  report that the torpedo described was equipped with special wings, and  that it required no greater depth of water for its successful launching than the depth at which it made its normal run.

It further appears from the records of the Navy Department that the British reported aircraft torpedo attacks during the year 1940 in which  torpedoes were successfully launched in 42 feet of water.

Finally, there is evidence in the record to indicate that nearly a year prior to the actual attack, the feasibility and even the probability of  an airplane torpedo attack upon Pearl Harbor was contemplated. Secretary  Knox's letter of January, 1941, listed an air torpedo attack as second  only to air bombing in order of probability in a list of the types of  attack upon Pearl Harbor which [13] he considered likely. His letter had  been previously cleared with Admiral Stark, and was received in February  by Admiral Kimmel.

In view of the foregoing, the finding of the Court of Inquiry is not approved.

(P) Court of Inquiry Finding XVI.—The Court here finds that Admiral Kimmel's decision to continue preparation of the Fleet for war, made  after receiving the 24 November dispatch, was sound in light (a) of the  approval of the steps which he had taken after the dispatch of 16  October which advised that hostilities were possible, and (b) the  information then available to him including Admiral Stark's letter of 17  October 1941 and the dispatch of 24 November 1941, which stated that a  surprise aggressive movement in any direction, including attack on the  Philippines or Guam, was a possibility.

The Second Endorsement summarizes the Court's finding and underscores that portion of the 24 November dispatch which indicated that: "*A  surprise aggressive movement in any direction*, including attack on the  Philippines or Guam is a possibility...."

It should be further noted that Admiral Kimmel testified that the words, "A surprise aggressive movement in any direction, including attack on  the Philippines or Guam," meant to him that any attack other than on  those two places would be on foreign territory but that the words also  included the possibility of a submarine attack on the Hawaiian Islands.

The Court refers in its finding to a part personal letter sent by Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel on 17 October, in which Admiral Stark

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stated: "Personally, I do not believe the Japs are going to sail into us and the message I sent you merely stated the possibility; in fact, I  tempered the message handed me considerably." However, the letter also  continued: "perhaps I am wrong, but I hope not. In any case, after long  pow-wows in the White House, it was felt that we should be on guard, at least until something indicates the trend." To the letter was annexed a  postscript stating in part: "General Marshall just called up and was anxious that we make some sort of reconnaissance so that he could feel  assured that on arrival at Wake, a Japanese raider attack may not be in  order on his bombers. I told him that we could not assure against any  such contingency, but that I felt it extremely improbable and that,  while we keep track of Japanese ships as far as we can, a carefully  planned raid on any of these island carriers in the Pacific might be  difficult to detect. However. We are on guard to the best of our  ability, and my advice to him was not to worry."

It is noted that the Court does not specifically deal with the question of the soundness of Admiral Kimmel's decision to continue preparation of  the Fleet, in the light of the highly important information which he received from the Chief of Naval Operations and otherwise during the  critical period after the "war warning" of November 27th.

[14] (q) Court of Inquiry Finding XVII.—The Court here finds that there were good grounds for believing that the Japanese would attack in the  Far East.

In respect of this finding, the Commander in Chief. U. S. Fleet, points out that the Far East was the most probable scene for the initiation of  Japanese operations, and that they were in fact initiated there. He  notes further that all concerned recognized the possibility that such a  commencement of hostilities would be accompanied by an attack upon Pearl  Harbor. He adds that this latter possibility was considerably  strengthened by information available at Washington, not all of which  vas available to Admiral Kimmel. 

It appears from the evidence obtained in Admiral Hewitt's investigation that the possibility that the commencement of hostilities by Japan would  include an attack upon Pearl Harbor was also strengthened by information  received by Admiral Kimmel on and after the war warning of November 27th. The estimates that had been made in the War Plans, which had been  approved by Admiral Kimmel, of course contemplated that in the event of  war with the Japanese a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was distinctly  possible. The information received by Admiral Kimmel as to the location  and movement of Japanese naval forces was, at the least, consistent with  these estimates.

The information as to Japanese naval forces which was available to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, emphasizing the movement of forces to  the southward, tended to concentrate his attention on the probability of  Japanese attacks on the Philippines and Malaysia. The information which  was received by Admiral Kimmel during the first week of December, 1941,  indicated, however, that on December 1st there was an unusual change in  Japanese radio call signs; that, on the basis of all information up to  December 2nd, no reliable estimate could be made of the whereabouts of  four of Japan's ten carriers, and that there was no information as to  any of the carriers thereafter. The absence of positive information as  to the location of the Japanese carriers, a study of the movement which  was possible to them, under radio silence. Through the unguarded areas  of the Pacific, and a due appreciation of the possible effects of an air  attack should have induced Admiral Kimmel to take all practicable  precautions to reduce the effectiveness of such an attack.

(r) Court of Inquiry Findings XVIII and XIX.—These state in substance that Admiral Stark's failure from 26 November to 7 December 1911 to  transmit to Admiral Kimmel important information [15] in his possession constitutes a military error.

The comment of the Commander in Chief. U. S. Fleet, as to this finding was to the effect that Admiral Stark was at fault in failing to give  Admiral Kimmel an adequate summary of information available in  Washington.

The endorsement of the Commander in Chief. U. S. Fleet, on the Naval Court of Inquiry Record, further pointed out that Rear Admiral  Wilkinson, former Director of Naval Intelligence, was not available to  the Court as a witness. It was noted that these findings, and the  conclusions of the Court based thereon were concerned principally with  the handling of enemy information in the Navy Department, and that consequently, it would seem essential to a thorough exploration of the  facts to have the testimony of the Director of Naval Intelligence who  was largely responsible for handling this information. It was concluded  that the failure to obtain this testimony was unfortunate.

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With this comment by the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, I concurred. It further appeared to me that the testimony of Captain McCollum, who  was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence, and who according to  other testimony in the record, had important duties in connection with  the handling of such information, would be most helpful. Captain  McCollum was also available as a witness to the Court. I ascertaine  that at the time both Rear Admiral Wilkinson and Captain McCollum were  actively engaged in combat operations against the enemy, and would be so  engaged until some date in the future. From the nature of the duties  which these officers were performing in their assignments, I determined  that in view of the paramount present needs of the war effort, their  testimony in this matter could not then feasibly be obtained.

During his later investigation, Admiral Hewitt was able to obtain the testimony of Admiral Wilkinson and of Captain McCollum, as well as other  testimony bearing upon this finding of the Court of Inquiry. From this  evidence the following conclusions appear:

(1) Information was promptly and efficiently obtained by the United States Navy and Army intelligence organizations in Washington,  concerning the Japanese Government's actual views as to the diplomatic  negotiations and its intention to wage war. 

[16] (2) The information which was obtained in Washington by the War and Navy Departments was fully exchanged. The information which was obtained  by the Navy Department as to Japanese naval movements was available to  intelligence officers of the War Department in Washington. The War  Department had information which led that Department to believe that  Japanese naval forces were in the Marshalls in November, 1941. This appears from a War Department dispatch of 26 November 1941 to General  Short, information to Admiral Kimmel, concerning a special photographic  reconnaissance to be flown over Truk and Jaluit, in order to obtain  information, among other things, as to the number and location of naval  vessels. The reconnaissance was not flown because the special Army  planes were not made ready.

(3) The information obtained by the Navy Department was adequately disseminated within the Navy Department.

(4) Although Admiral Kimmel some months before had made requests that he be kept fully informed on subjects of interest to the Fleet and as to  all important developments, the Chief of Naval Operations did not  communicate to him important information which would have aided him  materially in fully evaluating the seriousness of the situation. In  particular, the failure to transmit the State Department message of  November 26th and to send, by telephone or other expeditious means  certain information indicating the imminence of an attack by the  Japanese that was available at Washington on the morning of December  7th, were unfortunate.

(5) Admiral Kimmel, nevertheless, did have sufficient information in his possession to indicate that the situation was unusually serious, and  that important developments with respect to the outbreak of war were  imminent. This included the "war warning" message and similar important  messages which were sent by the Chief of Naval Operations.

(6) The available information in the possession of the Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, as to the existing situation, particularly the "war  warning" message, was not disseminated to all of his important  subordinate commanders whose cognizance thereof was desirable. Thus  Admiral Bellinger, who commanded the patrol planes, and Admiral Newton,  who was at sea with a carrier and other units, were not informed of this  and other important messages.

[17]  10. From the evidence obtained by Admiral Hewitt it appears that prior to the attack the telephone lines of the Japanese Consul General  at Honolulu were tapped and that various of his cable messages were  secured at Honolulu but no information was obtained prior to December  7th which indicated the likelihood of a Japanese attack. The legal  restrictions which denied access to such cable messages were a definite  handicap to the intelligence agencies in the Hawaiian area.

11. In its final opinion and recommendation, the Court of Inquiry finds that no offenses have been committed or serious blame incurred on the  part of any person or persons in the Naval service, and recommends that  no further proceedings be had in the matter.

With respect to this opinion and recommendation of the Court of Inquiry, I concur in the comment expressed in paragraph 5 of the Second  Endorsement that the Navy cannot avoid a share of responsibility for the Pearl Harbor incident, and that that disaster cannot be regarded as an "act of God" beyond human power 

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to prevent or mitigate. Whether or not it is true, as stated in the Second Endorsement, that the Country as a whole is basically responsible in that the people were unwilling to take adequate measures for defense  until it was too late to repair the consequences of their failure so to  do, it appears that the Navy, although its ranking officers were fully informed of the most recent developments in the science of warfare, failed to appreciate the true significance of those developments until their impact had been felt by a blow struck at a substantial portion of  the Fleet. By the same token, although the imminence of hostile action by the Japanese was known, and the capabilities of the Japanese Fleet  and Air Arm were recognized in war plans made to meet just such hostile action, these factors did not reach the stage of conviction in the minds of the responsible officers of the Navy to an extent sufficient to impel them to bring about that implementation [18] of the plans that was necessary if the initial hostile attack was to be repelled or at least mitigated.

That this is so is manifested in the case of the instant disaster in several important respects.

(a) The destructive potentiality of air torpedo attack was not properly evaluated, although there was ample information available on this  subject in the reports of action by and against the British. That this  information was recognized is shown by the inclusion in war and defense  plans of appropriate provisions for defense against this type of attack, but that it was not fully appreciated is shown by the fact that these  selfsame provisions were not put into effect until the initial attack  had been successful.

(b) In respect of unity of command, again all of the plans made adequate provision for joint action, mutual interchange of intelligence, and the  fullest utilization of all of the available resources of both the Army  and the Navy, in practice, none of these measures came into being to any  appreciable extent prior to the attack.

(c) Within the Navy itself, conduct of the organization was such as to submerge the Chief of Naval Operations in a multiplicity of detail  pertaining to the procurement and materiel programs incidental to the rapid expansion of the Navy. This precluded him from giving to war plans  and operations the undivided and continuing attention which experience  has shown they require, and tended to dull his perception of the  critical significance of events.

In making these observations, I am not unmindful of the usual advantage of hindsight nor do I overlook the fact that this war has proved that any carrier strike, when pressed home with resolution, is almost  impossible to deflect. After giving due consideration, however, to all  these factors, I am of the opinion that there were, nevertheless, areas  in which sound military judgment dictated the taking of action which,  though it might not have prevented or defeated the attack would have  tended materially to reduce the damage which the attack was able to  inflict. Such action was not taken, and the responsibility must center upon the officers who had it in their power, each within his respective  sphere, to take appropriate action.

12. I concur, therefore, with the opinion expressed in paragraph 5 of the Second Endorsement to the Court of Inquiry record that it is  pertinent to examine the possible courses of action which Admiral Stark  and Admiral Kimmel, as the responsible officers, might have taken to  lessen the success of the initial Japanese blow.

[19] (a) In paragraph 5 of the Second Endorsement on the Report of the Naval Court of Inquiry, it is pointed out that Admiral Stark failed to  give Admiral Kimmel an adequate summary of information available in  Washington, particularly in respect of:

(1) The State Department reply of 26 November 1941 to the Japanese, which was a definite step toward breaking relations.

(2) Certain information indicating Japanese interest as to the disposition of the ships within Pearl Harbor;

(3) In failing to appreciate the significance of the information which he received on the morning of 7 December indicating that a message was  to be given to the Secretary of State at 1 p. m. and in failing to  transmit it to Admiral Kimmel by the quickest means available;

(4) Finally, it is pointed out in this section of the Second Endorsement that there is a certain sameness of tenor in the communications sent by Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel which failed to convey the sense of mounting intensification of critical relations between Japan and the  United States.

I concur generally with these.

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Concerning the other comments by the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, it might be added that Admiral Stark's omission consisted not only in the  failure to transmit fully to Admiral Kimmel certain of the available  information, but also in the failure properly and speedily to evaluate  that information, particularly on 7 December 1941. Although it was not  known on 6 December precisely when or where the attack was to be  delivered, there was ample evidence to base the conclusion that a  surprise move was due within narrow limits of time. On the morning of December 7 by 10:30 Admiral Stark had information indicating that a  message was to be given to the Secretary of State at 1 p. m. Eastern  Standard Time, and there was information available to him that this time  corresponded to dawn at Oahu and the middle of the night in the Far  East. Although no one stated that this indicated an air attack at Pearl  Harbor, yet all of these factors pointed to the possibility of such an  attack. An acute sensitivity to the tautness of the situation would have  dictated at least a plain language telephone communication to Admiral  Kimmel, which might have provided a warning sufficient to bring bout  some material reduction in damage inflicted by the Japanese attack.

[20] (b) I concur with the comments set forth in paragraph 5 (b) of the Second Endorsement to the Naval Court of Inquiry record. It is there stated that Admiral Kimmel, despite the failure of Admiral Stark to keep him fully formed, did have indications of the increasing tenseness of  relations with Japan. In particular, it is pointed out that he had the "war warning" message on 27 November, the "hostile action possible at  any moment" message on 28 November, the 3 December message that the  Japanese had ordered destruction of codes, and the messages of 4 and 6  December concerning destruction of United States secret and confidential  matter at outlying Pacific islands.

In addition, it might be pointed out that Admiral Kimmel in his personal letters which are a part of the record before the Court, and as well in  the war plans approved by him, explicitly recognized the possibility of  attack upon Pearl Harbor by air; and, that the information received by  Admiral Kimmel concerning the location and movement of Japanese naval  forces after 27 November 1941 should be been evaluated, as previously  pointed out, as indicating the continued and increasing possibility of  such an attack. It is to be especially noted that while Admiral Kimmel  was directed in the war warning message of 27 November 1941 and again on  28 November when the Army message was relayed to him, to execute  appropriate defensive deployment preparatory to carrying out the tasks  assigned in the Navy Basic War Plan, the chief action taken by him was  carrying forward the arrangements for the reenforcing of and continuing  the limited air patrols from the outlying islands, ordering on 28  November, the depth bombing of submarine contacts in the Oahu operating  area, and engaging in unproductive conferences with General Short. He  continued in effect the primary fleet activity of training and the  lowest condition of readiness (Condition III) of the fleet in port. He  neither ordered long-range air reconnaissance from Oahu to any extent  nor advised his fleet air wing and other commanders of the receipt of  the war warning message. His failure to take other and more effective action is neither explainable nor excusable by any ambiguity in the  meaning of or disagreement to what would constitute an "appropriate  defensive deployment." Admiral Kimmel could have referred to the initial  tasks stated in the war plan of maintaining fleet security at bases and  guarding against surprise attack by Japan, and if he did not know what  was meant by the phrase "appropriate defensive deployment," he should  have asked the Chief of Naval Operations for an explanation. The Second Endorsement to the Naval Court record states that Admiral Kimmel could  and should have judged more accurately the gravity of the danger which  the Hawaiian Islands were exposed, and that certain courses of action  were open to him, viz.:

(1) He could have used the patrol aircraft available to him to conduct long-range reconnaissance in the more dangerous sectors, and thus made  the Japanese task more difficult, whether or not this would have  resulted in the detection of the approach of the Japanese carriers;

(2) He could have rotated the "in port" periods of his vessels in a less routine manner, and thus made it more difficult for the Japanese to have  predicted when there would be any vessels in port;

(3) He could have maintained a higher condition of readiness under which Naval planes would have been in the air during the early morning period,  ships' batteries would have been fully manned, and damage control  organizations fully operational.

[21] The absence of positive information as to the location of the Japanese carriers, a study of the movement which was possible to them.  Under radio

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silence, through the unguarded areas of the Pacific, and a due appreciation of the possible effects of an air attack should have  induced Admiral Kimmel to take all practicable precautions to reduce the  effectiveness of such an attack. The measures which reasonably were open to him were:

(a) Establishment of long distance air reconnaissance, covering the most probably approach sectors to the extent possible, on a reasonably  permanent basis, with available planes and crews.

(b) Establishment of a higher condition of anti-aircraft readiness, at least during the dangerous dawn hours.

(c) Establishment of a higher degree of damage control readiness by ships in port particularly, during the dangerous dawn hours.

(d) Installation of anti-torpedo nets to protect the larger vessels in port.

(e) Maintenance of a striking force at sea in readiness to intercept possible attack forces.

(f) Maintenance of the maximum force of the Fleet at sea, with entry into port at irregular intervals.

(g) Checking with Army as to readiness of anti-aircraft defense and aircraft warning installations.

The evidence indicates clearly, however, that Admiral Kimmel's most serious omission was his failure to conduct long range air and/or sea  reconnaissance in the more dangerous sectors from Oahu during the week  preceding the attack. That this is so is manifest from the evidence  obtained by Admiral Hewitt.

The only practicable sources from which Admiral Kimmel could have secured information, after the receipt of the "war warning," as to the approach of the attacking force, were the aircraft warning service, traffic analyses of Japanese naval communications, and distant air reconnaissance from Oahu.

During the critical period after November 27th, the limitations of the aircraft warning service and of radio intelligence were evident; the  only remaining practicable source upon which Admiral Kimmel was entitled  to rely for information as to the Japanese naval movements was distant  air and/or sea reconnaissance which, covering the most probable approach  bearings, would have had a reasonable chance of success. The failure to  detect the approach of the Japanese task force contributed more to the  success of the Japanese attack than did any other single factor.

[22] In addition to the courses of action referred to by the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, it was, of course, always open to Admiral Kimmel  also to take steps to increase cooperation between his organization and the Army command, and to attempt to achieve effective joint command.  That conditions were ideal for his accomplishing such an objective is indicated by the evidence in the record and the finding of the Court  that the social relationship between him and General Short was excellent. The need for Admiral King taking such measures existed from  the time he took command of the Pacific Fleet. It increased in urgency as the 7th of December, 1941, approached.

13. The Second Endorsement of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, to the Naval Court record concludes that:

"6. The derelictions on the part of Admiral Stark and Admiral Kimmel were faults of omission rather than faults of commission. In the case in  question, they indicate lack of the superior judgment necessary for  exercising command commensurate with their rank and their assigned  duties, rather than culpable inefficiency.

"7. Since trial by general court martial is not warranted by the evidence adduced, appropriate administrative action would appear to be  the relegation of both of these officers to positions in which lack of  superior judgment may not result in future errors." 

The first endorsement of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy states his conclusion and recommendation that trial by general court martial is  not warranted by the evidence produced.

14. On the basis of the record, findings, opinion, and recommendation of the Court of Inquiry, the First Endorsement of the Judge Advocate General thereto and the Second Endorsement of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, thereto, and the evidence obtained by Admiral Hewitt, and on  the basis of the foregoing comments, I conclude that:

(a) Then Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch discharged his duties adequately.

(b) Then Admiral Husband E Kimmel and Admiral Harold B Stark, particularly during the period from 27 November to 7 December, 1941,  failed

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to demonstrate the superior judgment necessary for exercising command commensurate with their rank and their assigned duties.

(c) Both of these officers having been retired, appropriate action should be taken to insure that neither of them will be recalled to active duty in the future for any position in which the exercise of  superior judgment may be necessary.

[23] (d) The appropriate committees of Congress should be fully acquainted with the Navy's investigations into this matter, and public  disclosure of the facts concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, obtained in these investigations, should be made to the extent that such  action can be taken without injuring current military operations or the  national security.

15. Accordingly I direct:

(a) Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, USN (Retired), shall not hold any position in the United States Navy which requires the exercise of  superior judgment.

(b) Admiral Harold R. Stark, USN (Retired), shall not hold any position in the United States Navy which requires the exercise of superior  judgment.

(c) The appropriate committees of Congress will be fully acquainted with the Navy's investigations into this matter, and public disclosure of the facts concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, obtained in these  investigations, will be made to the extent that such action can be take  without injuring current military operations or the national security.

(Signed) JAMES FORRESTAL
Secretary of the Navy.

[1] SECRET

                           UNITED STATES FLEET
                  Headquarters of the Commander in Chief
                              NAVY DEPARTMENT
                            Washington 25, D. C.

[Copy]

3 Dec. 1944.

FF1/A17.
Serial: 003489.
SECRET.
From: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval
Operations.
To: The Secretary of the Navy.
Subject: Report of Army Pearl Harbor Board-Comments concerning.

1. The following comments on the Report of the Army Pearl Harbor Board are submitted.

2. The Army findings as to the basic cause of the surprise are not at variance with the findings of the Navy Court. In brief, they are that no  one in authority appreciated the danger to which Pearl Harbor was  exposed and consequently the Army and Navy Commanders in Hawaii were  preoccupied with training activities to the exclusion of adequate  alertness against attack.

3. There was general agreement between the Army Board and the Navy Court the following particulars as to lack of awareness of danger:

a. It was impossible for United States agents to get information in Japan while Japanese agents were given free rein in Hawaii and  encountered little difficulty in transmitting intelligence by cable. 

b. The information that did reach Washington was not correctly evaluated, and vital parts of it either never were sent to Hawaii or  else got there too late.

c. Estimates of Japanese intentions were based predominately on what the Japanese were likely to do, rather than upon what they could do. All  basic plans contain the assumption that hostilities might be opened by  an air attack on Oahu, but this assumption was generally ignored during  the period preceding the attack. Is of interest to note in this  connection that AA batteries of ships in port were ready to open fire  when the Japanese planes came in. This is evidence that Admiral Kimmel  was less blind to the potential danger than was the Army command. [2]  The Army forces had no ammunition at mobile guns and
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Report of Navy Court of Inquiry, Pearl Harbor Attack

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Page 384

it was a matter of hours before it could be distributed from the magazines to the anti-aircraft batteries.

d. The Army was in readiness against sabotage. The Navy condition of readiness, though far from fully effective, was designed to meet air  attack. In this connection, the Army Board (Page 229 of the Record)  observes that there was conflict in the nature of the information sent  to Hawaii, in that Navy Department messages were predominate with  warning of conflict while War Department messages were predominate with  the idea of avoiding conflict and taking precautions against sabotage  and espionage.

e. The Army air warning system was usable, but was being used for training—not for warning-when the Jap planes came in.

4. The Army Board finds that General Short established cordial relations with the Navy, but did not accomplish fully the detailed working  relationship necessary for his full information in the performance of  his mission. For example, the Board points out that General Short was  under the impression that distant reconnaissance was being adequately  provided by naval task forces in connection with exercises (he  apparently knew that no such exercises were in progress on 7 December),  that Admiral Kimmel failed to acquaint him with certain messages he  received from the Navy Department (there is conflict of testimony as to  some of these), that General Short hesitated to inquire as to the  details of naval arrangements, and that he was not informed of the fact  that a Japanese submarine had been attacked off Pearl Harbor in the  early morning of 7 December (the Naval Court explains that Admirals  Kimmel and Bloch withheld report of this attack until the contact could  be verified, in view of many false contacts that had occurred; the air  attack began before verification was obtained). This finding of the Army  Board is in conflict with the Navy finding that relations—official as  well as personal—were not only cordial but adequate. I am inclined to  agree with the Army Board for reasons discussed in the next paragraph.

[3] 5. The Army Board criticizes the command arrangements in Hawaii. There was no unity of command, and no integrated staff to evaluate  information and to attend to the details of coordinating defense  measures. Certain joint plans had been prepared which were sound in  concept, but defective in that neither Service had the means to carry  them out. Furthermore, for the most part, these plans did not become  effective until an emergency arose, and the emergency came too suddenly  to permit effective implementation. Unity of Command could have been put  into effect (but was not put into effect before the 7th of December) by  the President, or by agreement between the Departments or by local  arrangement. My comment on this is as follows:

a. Coordination by mutual cooperation, which was the system in effect in Hawaii until after the attack, is a well recognized system of Command.  Personally, I consider it inferior to unity of Command in circumstances  such as existed in Hawaii, but it is a fact that this system has worked effectively elsewhere during the current war. I think Kimmel and Short  were at fault in not making the system work better than it did.

b. The lack of coordination in Hawaii was not in itself a disease, but a symptom of the deeper ill—lack of awareness of danger. As stated by the  Army Board, local Commanders were unwilling to put war measures into  effect because they would interfere with training.

6. The Army Board finds it difficult to understand the relations between the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, the Commander Hawaiian Sea  Frontier, the Commandant, FOURTEENTH Naval District, and the local Air  Commander (Rear Admiral Bellinger). The Board makes the comment "The  Army had a difficult time in determining under which of the three shells  (Kimmel, Bloch, or Bellinger) rested the pea of performance and  responsibility." My comment as to this is that there are some  unavoidable complexities in the Command relation ships between a fleet,  a frontier, and a fleet base in the frontier. [4] However, in this case,  there was no possibility of misunderstanding the fact that all naval  forces were under Admiral Kimmel. He and General Short should have been  able to work out better arrangements for cooperation than they did. The  reasons why they did not have been discussed in paragraphs 4 and 5 above.

7. The Army Board stresses the point that General Short was dependent upon the U. S. Navy for information as to what the Japanese Navy was  doing and for estimates of what the Japanese Navy could do. This view is obviously sound. It was a naval responsibility to keep not only General  Short but also the War Department fully acquainted with the estimate of  the Japanese naval situation.

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There was some failure to pass on to General Short and the War Department information which should have been given to them by the Navy,  but the basic trouble was that the Navy failed to appreciate what the  Japanese Navy could, and did, do. 

8. The Army Board reports on three matters which should be further investigated by the Navy. These are:

a. It was stated that the War Department received information from some naval agency that on or about 25 November radio intercepts had located a  Japanese task force, including carriers, in the Marshall Islands. About  1 December it was reported that this force assumed radio silence. It is  noted in the Record that this information never got to General Short.  There is some reference to this incident in the Record of the Naval  Court, but it was not followed up, presumably because the officer who  was Director of Naval Intelligence at the time was not called as a  witness. The matter is probably not of importance, since even if there  actually was a Japanese force in the Marshalls it apparently had nothing  to do with the attack on Pearl Harbor. However, for the sake of  completing the naval Record, this matter should be pursued further.

b. The Army Board is of the Opinion that Japanese midget submarines operated freely inside of Pearl Harbor for several days prior to the 7th of December, for the [5] purpose of obtaining information. This opinion  is based on the testimony of an official of the Federal Bureau of  Investigation, who apparently reached his conclusions by a study of certain captured Japanese charts which were made available to F. B. I.  By Naval Intelligence. So far as is known, there is no real ground for  the supposition that Japanese submarines were able to roam around Pearl  Harbor at will, but since the allegation is made in the Army Record, it  is advisable to clear up any doubt that may exist by further naval investigation.

c. There is reference to the fact that information was obtained from naval and F. B. I. espionage over telephones and cables in Hawaii, but  no record of what this information was. This should be cleared up.

9. The Army Board finds that the Chief of Staff of the Army was at fault in that he failed to keep General Short informed of the international  situation and that he delayed in getting critical information to General Short. In these respects, the Army Report parallels the Naval Court  findings as to the Chief of Naval Operations. The Army Board further  Finds that General Marshall was at fault and that he failed to keep his  Deputies informed of what was going on, so that they could act  intelligently in his absence; in that he did not take action on General  Short's report on 28 November that he had established "Alert No. 1"; and  in that he lacked knowledge of conditions of readiness in the Hawaiian  Command.

10. The Army Board finds that General Short was at fault in that he failed to place his Command in an adequate state of readiness (the  information which he had was incomplete and confusing, but it was sufficient to warn him of tense relations), in that he failed to reach  an agreement with local naval officials for implementing joint Army and  Navy plans and agreements for joint action, in that he failed to inform himself of the effectiveness of the long-distance reconnaissance being  conducted by the Navy, and in that he failed to replace inefficient  staff officers.

11. I find nothing in the Record of the Army Board to cause me to modify the opinions expressed in my endorsement on the [6] Record of the Naval  Court of Inquiry, except in relation to the cooperation between Admiral  Kimmel and General Short. In view of the extensive and explicit  discussion of this phase of the matter by the Army Board, I am no longer  of the opinion that cooperation between these two officers was adequate  in all respects. The cordial, but informal, contact which they  maintained evidently was not sufficient to coordinate the means at their disposal to the best advantage. However, as already pointed out, this fault was part and parcel of the general blindness to Japanese potentialities in the Central Pacific which was the basic cause of the  Pearl Harbor disaster. The many details discussed by the Army Board and  the Naval Court are useful in showing how this blindness redounded to  our disadvantage, but they do not, in my opinion, prove anything more  than that the two naval officers in the high commands concerned—Admiral  Stark and Admiral Kimmel—failed to display the superior judgment they  should have brought to bear in analyzing and making use of the  information that became available to them. 

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12. I recommend that the Secretary of the Navy cause further investigation to be made in the matters referred to in paragraph 8  above; namely, the alleged radio contact with a Japanese force in the  Marshall Islands, the alleged presence of Japanese midget submarines  inside Pearl Harbor prior to 7 December, and the substance of  information obtained by naval and F.B.I. telephone and cable intercepts. I do not think it necessary to reconvene the Court for this  purpose. The proposed investigation could be made by another Court, or  by an investigating officer, for attachment to the Record of the original Court of Inquiry.

13. I find no reason to modify the recommendations I made in my endorsement on the Record of the Naval Pearl Harbor Court of Inquiry.

/S/ E. J. King
    E. J. KING.
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