Observation Patrols and Raid Detectors Not Operated,
Says Report; Officers and Men Were in Full Readiness
By Joseph L. Myler
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24.—(UP)—Admiral Husband E, Kimmel and Lieut. Gen. Walter C. Short are charged by the Pearl Harbor Board of Inquiry with "dereliction of duty" and errors of judgment that "were the effective causes of the success" of Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7.
The report was made public by the White House after its submission by Associate Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts, board chairman. The White House announced that action to be taken on the basis of the report is "under study." The charges may lead to courts martial for both officers.
Other officers apparently were exonerated of responsibility for Hawaii's unpreparedness when Japan struck. But the report revealed that an unnamed and "inexperienced" Army lieutenant was notified nearly an hour before the air attack that unidentified airplanes had been heard on sound detection devices. He thought they were our own Navy's planes.
In spite of the 13,000 page report, subsequent thorough investigations and reports, have convinced E.T. that Admiral Kimmel and General Short should have their Rank (posthumously) reinstated and be fully exonerated from any blame for the tragedy on December 7, 1941.
Below, E.T. presents an excerpt from “The Two Ocean War” by Samuel Elliot Morison, (U. S. Naval historian) published in 1963.
“Admiral Stark and Rear Admiral Turner, the Navy War Plans chief, were in Stark’s office at 0915 Sunday, 7 December when Captain Wilkinson chief of Naval Intelligence and Commander McCollum head of his Far East Section brought in the translation of Tokyo’s Part 14, the “snapper” which broke off diplomatic relations. But even Part 14 did not declare war or threaten immediate attack. About an hour later, Commander McCollum brought in the “time of delivery” message, an order from Tokyo to it’s ambassadors to destroy all coding machines after presenting the fourteen-part note to Secretary Hull at 01300. Sunday was an odd day and one P.M. a strange hour, for presenting a diplomatic note. What could it mean?
McCollum and his assistant, Lieutenant Commander A. D. Kramer, and Colonel Rufus S. Bratton of Army Intelligence, guessed the answer by consulting a time chart on the wall. One P.M. in Washington was 0730 at Pearl Harbor. That might be only a coincidence, but it might also mean an attack there --- for one P.M. in Washington is nighttime at Manila and Guam. Wilkinson suggested that Admiral Stark at once call Admiral Kimmel on the telephone. Stark demurred, feeling that since the Army was responsible for the defense of Hawaii, General Marshall should do it. Marshall, contacted on returning from his Sunday morning horseback ride came into Stark’s office at about 1115. In tense silence he read all fourteen parts, agreed that they meant immediate war, and that Pearl Harbor and Manila should be alerted at once. Marshall’s communicator said he would get the word to Pearl in twenty minutes. Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, Director of Naval Communications, offered to send it through Navy channels. Stark declined (again Navy-Army punctilio), and the message---Just WHAT SIGNICANCE THE HOUR SET MAY HAVE WE DO NOT KNOW, BUT BE ON THE ALERT ACCORDINGLY ---- WAS FILED AT NOON 0630 in Hawaii. General Marshall called Army communication center thrice to make sure that the message had been filed and sent, and was assured that it had --- but by Western Union! There was a foul up that morning and the officer in charge intrusted the message to commercial channels. A boy on a bicycle delivered it to General Short some hours after the attack was over.”