Events Leading up to War

November

 

Nov 1 1941—Japanese naval code is profoundly changed, HY009 a new Imperial Fleet signal system instituted.

Nov 5—Secret Tokyo radio traffic increases like crazy. Ship call signs replaced with a more difficult branch of detection. Admiral Osami Nagano, Chief of the Japanese Naval Staff to CinC Combined Fleet issues the following secret message: 1. In view of the fact that it is feared war has become unavoidable with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands, and for the self preservation and future existence of the Empire, the various preparations for war operations will be completed by the first part of December. 2. The CinC Combined Fleet will effect the required preparations for war operations in accordance with Imperial Headquarters Order #1. 3. The CinC of the China Area Fleet will continue operations against China and at the same time effect required preparations for war operations.

Nov 6—Tojo reaffirms the determination of Japan to establish a “new order in Greater East Asia.” U.S. reaffirms the Declaration of Panama by capturing the German blockade-runner “Odenwald” disguised as a U.S. freighter off the Brazilian coast.

Nov 7—German bombers sink the Soviet hospital ship “Armenia.”

Nov 14—British aircraft carrier “Ark Royal” is sunk in the Mediterranean.

Nov 15—Gen. George Marshall holds a top secret press meeting in his office for 7 correspondents from Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press, International News Service, the New York Times, and New York Herald Tribune, letting it be known that the U.S. had broken Japanese codes. He predicted that the U.S. was on the brink of war, and expects everyone to be on the watch “the first 10 days of Dec” of 1941. It wasn’t made public.

Nov 17—Congress votes to amend U.S. Neutrality Act. American intelligence in Hawaii was receiving Purple again after being excluded practically for 3 months due to a leak. Japanese carriers “Hiryu” and “Soryu” depart bay of Saeki Wan, Kyushu. U. S. intelligence correctly ascertains Japanese carriers at either Kyushu or Kure or Sasebo. British commandos led by Maj. Geoffrey Keyes raid Rommel's Afrika Korps headquarters in an attempt to kill or capture the Desert Fox--Rommel is miles away inspecting the troops at the front.

Nov 19—“Defense Highway Act” appropriates $150,000,000 for the construction and improvements of access roads to military and naval reservations, defense industries and sources for raw materials. Two cruisers fight to the death off western Australia: Germany’s “Kormoran” and Australia’s “Sydney.”

Nov 21—Sixteen B-24s depart Bolling Field, Washington D.C. for the British at Cairo. Great fleet exercise conducted by U.S. warships in Hawaiian waters, including 120 aircraft.

Nov 22—Secret Japanese code deciphered by MAGIC: After the 29th, things will automatically begin to happen. (November 28th, U.S. time.) There was no sign in the intercepted Purple messages from the Japanese Foreign Office that an attack on Pearl Harbor was planned or in progress. 

Nov 24—The entire sea exercise off Hawaii is called off, around 3:30 pm based upon a warning from Washington DC Rear-Admiral Ingersoll. At 8:48 pm, Radioman Second Class Jack Kage monitored a radio alert from Yamamoto’s fleet. It was deciphered to be some kind of radio silence order for “the main force and its attached forces” with no specifications. According to the book Pearl Harbor by Vice-Adm. Homer K Wallin, Adm. Yamamoto issued instructions to “advance into Hawaiian waters” on this date.

Nov 25—The last day for official diplomatic negotiations with America is re-extended to Nov 27, and more negotiations take place between Nomura, Kurusu and Sec of State Hull in the hope of peace, meaning America had to back down. British battleship “Barham” sunk by U-331 in the Mediterranean; 868 men are drowned. Yamamoto’s carrier fleet (Nov 26 in Tokyo) led by the flagship “Akagi” secretly sails from Japan’s bleak northern port of Hitokappu Bay. Ahead of them are thirty fleet-type submarines. Decoded by the British (decoded by the Dutch Nov 17): “Task Force will move out of Hitokappu Bay on the morning of Nov 26 (Tokyo time) and advance to the standing-by position on the afternoon of 4 Dec … complete refueling,” issued by Yamamoto. (Pearl Harbor Hearings, Congressional Hearings, 1946 Congressional Report, vol 1 pg 180, transcript p437-38). Movement is detected by US intelligence in Dutch Harbor and Station H; Adm. Kimmel is notified; destination appears to be the Marshalls and SE Asia. But, there is no mention of carriers. A priority dispatch, known as Presidential monographs, in a leather pouch with gold letters “For THE PRESIDENT” is sent to Roosevelt who is having dinner with Princess Martha of Norway. The U.S. Navy orders all U.S. trans-Pacific shipping to take southerly routes (Pearl Harbor Hearings, 1946 Congressional Report, vol 12 pg 317.) 

Nov 26—Station H and Chief Radioman Robert Fox, traffic chief for Station King at Dutch Harbor, intercept Akagi 4963 kilocycle transmission; destination unknown. Sec of State Hull issues a diplomatic modus vivendi to Japan; Japan had to withdraw from China and Indochina. Pres. Franklin Roosevelt signs a bill establishing 4th Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. Sgt. Delmar Park, of Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Army observer with the British in Libya is killed in a German tank attack.

Nov 27—Japan again rejects the U.S. demand for their withdrawal from China. Entire Pacific fleet and U.S. Army placed on war alert: “This dispatch is to be considered a war warning” began a new dispatch from Washington DC to 15 Army and 4 Navy commands--from Manila to Panama to London and all points in between--including “an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days.” All American troops and bases put on red alert. Admiral Kimmel dispatches aircraft carrier “Enterprise” to Midway to deliver Marine air units, sailing at full speed all the way. Vicious fighting is waged in North Africa between British and Axis. New Zealand Brig. General James Hargest is taken prisoner by the Italians.

Nov 28—Tokyo Naval Radio sends a message in 5-Num to warships of Adm. Nagumo's Pearl Harbor strike force of a ferocious winter storm in their path. Sec. of State Hull secretly issues another warning to U.S. military of possible attack by Japan, but the United States must not make the first move. No single target is named. Nazi SS units are within 20 miles of the Kremlin; the temperature drops to minus 32˚c. U.S.S.R. merchant vessel “Uritski” departs San Francisco for Petropavlosk. FDR departs on his special railroad car, the Ferdinand Magellan, from Union Station for Warm Springs, Georgia.

Nov 29—President Roosevelt attends a special (delayed) Thanksgiving dinner with patients of the Polio Institute. Passenger steamship “Lurline” departs San Francisco bound for Long Beach and Honolulu. Germany secretly reaffirms to Japan to join her in war against the U.S.

Nov 30—Station H intercepts a specific movement report by an oil tanker, “Shiriya,” that it is proceeding 30-00 N, 14-20 E and will proceed along the 30-degree north latitude at 7 knots. Driven off course by typhoon-like storm, unknown to the world, Adm. Nagumo orders his flagship “Akagi” to break radio silence and beam radio signals on 4960 kilocycles at very low power to round up his ships scattered all over the sea, but a rare demonstration of the power of the Sun aids U.S. intercept stations who pick up radio chatter from the “Akagi.” The Sun?

Yes, the low power transmissions which were supposed to go only about 100 miles were fanned out due to solar hitting the ionosphere and carried all over the Pacific basin, as far as the West Coast. Far-north weather reports from Baffenland start guiding Lend-Lease pilots across the “North Atlantic highway in the sky” route.

December

Dec 1---F.D.R. is given four Purple intercepts, one from Nov. 28: “In a few days, US-Japan negotiations will be defacto ruptured. Do not wish you to give the impression that negotiations are broken off.” Japanese call signs are changed again. [First time a change of Japanese code occurred within a month; over 20,000 call signs, including 5-Num were changed.] One of two governing houses of Japan, the Cabinet, secretly presents to Emperor Hirohito the final decision to open hostilities against the U.S., Great Britain and Holland (Dec 2 in Tokyo). Four Japanese carriers are detected by main fleet intelligence officer of the Pacific Adm. E. Layton to be near Formosa (Taiwan) and in the Mandates. Station C has about 75 counterintelligence experts. Station H about 140. Station N in Washington DC about 300. Pago Pago, Samoa, Midway, Dutch Harbor (Alaska) has some 33 RDF specialists. A Purple dispatch is sent to Japanese attaches in Berlin warning Hitler and Ribbentrop that war may break between Anglo-Saxon nations and Japan “quicker than anyone dreams” however, negotiations in Washington DC are continuing. Station H averages about 42 messages/hour 24 hrs.

Dec 2---Climb Mt. Niitaka 1208 intercepted at Station C and Station H at 1:30 am, but it is unclear if Kimmel read this later. 2nd straight day, Leslie Grogan assistant radio operator on board the SS “Lurline” makes a log of bearings of strange wireless signals from northern Pacific, and broadcasts from shore stations in Japan beaming toward the Northeast Pacific. Some German units are about 12 miles from the Kremlin.

Dec 3---Japanese Foreign Ministry orders their Honolulu spies to destroy their code systems, extended to listening posts in North America except the embassy in Washington DC so that final instructions could be received. Station V on Pago Pago, 1500 miles east of Australia, picks up message of sub I-10 missing a scout plane. Station H intercepts 6 messages from Radio Tokyo to Japanese units in South China/Formosa area. The SS “Lurline” docks in Honolulu and Grogan presents a transcript of his broadcasts and RDF findings to naval Lieut. Commander George Pease; Pease died in a 1945 airplane crash. Note: the “Lurline” episode is built from Grogan's account, the only inconclusive facts in this chronology. According to public records, Roosevelt receives a final monograph, the last one before the attack.

Dec 4---According to Captain Duane Whitlock, who was posted at Station C, they had on this date succeeded in identifying Japan's new top-secret call signs of admirals Yamamoto and Nagumo and sent via TESTM, a super secret U.S. Navy code system, to Station H; only stations C, H and N had the ability to decode TESTM. Station C as of midnight discovers to their horror 5-Num version 8 was placed in effect; not even 3000 code groups had been assigned of the 50,000 values. From this date on, it is claimed F.D.R. is cut off from direct TESTM dispatches. As of this date, Nazi Germany has lost 85,000 troops on the Russian Front; it is so cold, mechanical vehicles on both sides cannot even move. American carrier “Lexington” steams from Hawaii with a shipment of aircraft for Midway.

Dec 5---Captain Homer Kisner at Station H delivers 10 messages to Joseph Rochefort about Yamamoto. [Those 10 are still hidden to historians.] Kisner claims the intercepts were from Radio Tokyo and Radio Ominato in north Japan along the frequency 12,330 kilocycles and 32 kilocycles, the former bounces off the ionosphere for long range and the latter is more a close ground-wave frequency, ideal for subs. Most Japanese shipping is in home port. Moscow-Radio announces counterattack around Moscow with Siberian reserves, Nazis retreat some 11 miles. After an unusual diversion to Astoria, Oregon, the “Uritski” resumes her journey east. 

Dec 6---U.S. military forces trace Japanese troop convoys in South China seas. Secret Agent Yoshikawa sends secret coded message via RCA teletype in PA code on the defenses of Hawaii & Panama; intercepted in San Francisco by Station Two, but the diplomatic message was not translated until after Dec 7 by NEGAT. Broadcasts from Yamamoto to fleet units via newly deciphered call signs of Yamamoto are delivered to Kimmel personally by Rochefort in the morning. They were sent from Station C contradicting the popular belief traffic from Yamamoto was observing radio silence. Noon Hawaii time, Rochefort so exhausted by decoding work, takes the rest of the weekend off; so does everybody else at HYPO, except 2. Secret report from radio translators Station H, Maynard Albertson, Radio Second Class, and Jesse Randle, Radio Third Class, are given to their boss Captain Homer L. Kisner who shortly after noon leaves his special analysis atop a stack of 900 intercepts, HYPO office of Rochefort. By 10 p.m., the 13 parts of Tojo's war plans were decrypt by the Army and Navy. That night Lieut. Cdr. Alvin Kramer of the Navy’s Cryptographic Department drives around Washington DC showing the message to various top commanders presuming the Japanese intend to break off negotiations completely. When the secret documents were sent to the President, he exclaimed to Harry Hopkins, “This means war.” But Part 14 still missing. No destination is announced. Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, and Rear Adm. Richmond K. Turner, Chief of War Plans, cannot be reached. That night no message was intercepted. Radio station KGMB is ordered to stay on the air after midnight to guide in a flight of 12 B-17 Flying Fortresses due in from the West Coast. A Purple dispatch is sent to Japanese attaches in Bangkok that “X Day” would be December the 8 Tokyo time, December 7 Hawaii time and was intercepted by Station C, however, it would not be translated until two days later.

Dec 7---At 5 mins mins past midnight Pacific time, Part 14 is sent via telegraph, known as Message 380 in history. At 1:37 a.m. Message 381 is picked up by telegraph. Message 381: VERY IMPORTANT. WILL THE

AMBASSADOR PLEASE SUBMIT TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT (IF POSSIBLE THE SECRETARY OF STATE) OUR REPLY TO THE UNITED STATES AT 1:OO PM ON THE 7TH YOUR TIME. It also stipulated to burn all codes. Both are dispatched secretly by teleprinter to Washington DC. At NEGAT, a Purple machine decrypted the message. It was then passed to SIS for translation. Army Colonel Rufus S. Bratton and Navy Lieut. Cdr. Kramer independently inspected the decrypts. It spelled out to deliver the message no later than 1 p.m. DC time and to destroy their cipher machines. As Bratton stated later, that “stunned me into frenzied activity because of its implications”, which were that the suspected Japanese attack would occur very soon after 1 p.m. local time. Both Bratton and Kramer tried to alert their superiors. 11 a.m. F.D.R read final 15th part; Sec. Knox read it at 11:15 a.m.; Chief of Staff Gen. Marshall not until 11:25 a.m. who was handed both the 14-part message and the subsequent deadline message. All Army Pacific commands were to be alerted. Bratton took Marshall's warning message, encoded it, and delivered it to the War Department Message Center. Hawaii did not receive it on time due to poor atmospheric conditions, so it was sent as a Western Union Telegram. Japan attacks Pearl Harbor International LINK to Dec 7 with over 300 aircraft and 5 mini-subs. The attack is filmed in b & w from the air by Japanese airmen. Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki becomes the first Japanese Prisoner of War after escaping from his mini-sub. Kept secret for decades from the general public, except for a magazine ad which I found, the attack was shot in color by motion picture cameramen in 8 and 16mm film by 6 different people; 4 were in the U.S. Navy, one rare film for the archives

is from navyman CWO4 Clyde Daughtry (above). At 8:06 am, a 1,760 pound bomb creates a giant inferno on battleship “Arizona” which sinks in 9 mins; 1,177 men died on board--the greatest death toll ever on a U.S. warship. Over 2400 Americans are killed at Pearl. Capt. Erik G. Hakansson was on board a most famous hospital ship, the U.S.S. SOLACE. known as the “Great White Ship”, and on that fateful December 7, the “Solace” set a noteworthy precedent for Naval Medicine by handling efficiently and expeditiously a large number of casualties from the stricken battleships. Merchantship SS “Cynthia Olsen” (2140 tons) is sunk 750 miles n.w. of Seattle, the first Japanese submarine kill of war; all 35 U.S. crew members lost. A Japanese pilot crashes on tiny Niihau (Hawaiian island) and is taken prisoner. Japanese airmen destroy radar station and shatter U.S.-Philippine air defenses in Luzon, Philippines. Japanese attack Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, Shanghai and advance on Singapore. Rumors spread that the Japanese invaded California and were advancing on Los Angeles. Air Raid sirens are rampant all along the Pacific Coast. All Japanese consulates in the U.S. are shut down. Pursuant to the Alien Enemy Act of 1789, FDR issues Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527 regarding enemy aliens. The words, “Remember Pearl Harbor” rallies LINK to history and galvanizes the American people like nothing Extra ! Extra ! Read all about it.

The twinkling lights of Honolulu flicker off. FBI take into custody 1,450 Doho, dual-citizen Japanese-Americans and enemy-aliens. LINK to Pearl Harbor. Some 4,500 Americans are killed or wounded by the time the day is over.

Dec 8---Bangkok, capital of Thailand, occupied by Japan. Congress declares war on Japan.

 

Dec 9---Flying Fortress bombs a Japanese battleship; pilot, Capt. Colin Kelly is the first hero; in reality the B-17 missed.

Dec 10---Japanese landings on the Philippines announced. Guam captured. British retreat from Tobruk. British evacuate Kowloon, mainland China. British battleship “Prince of Wales” (38,000 tons) and cruiser “Repulse” (32,000 tons) are sunk off Malaya by Japanese dive bombers. SS “Lurline” returns to San Francisco, and the official radio log of the “Lurline” is confiscated by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is never returned to Matson Shipping Lines, owner of the “Lurline.” [Radio log has since disappeared.] In FBI custody are 1,291 Japanese (367 in Hawaii), 857 Germans, and 147 Italians suspected to be disloyal. Japanese-American citizens educated in Japan, the Kibei, remain free.

Dec 11---Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. The U.S. declares war on Germany and Italy. Seven U.S. long-range PBY Catalina scout planes are shot down over the Philippines. U.S. garrison in Peking, China, (now called Beijing) are taken prisoner. The freighter SS “Lahinai” ventures too close to a Japanese sub on patrol and is sunk 700 miles northeast of Hawaii.

Dec 12---San Francisco blacked-out for 2 hours and 40 minutes. The U.S. declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania. Seventh (and last convoy of 1941) Allied Convoy reaches port of Archangel; a total of 800 fighters, 1400 vehicles, 750 tanks and over 100,000 tons of supplies and aid have been transported to the Soviet Union since midsummer.

Dec 13---Thailand Field Marshal Phibun Songkhram concludes a secret pact with the Japanese to help invade Burma. 

Dec 14---Captured pilot on Niihau is killed after recovering a pistol with aid from a disloyal American-born Japanese couple named Yoshio and Irene Harada, Yoshio later committed suicide.

Dec 15---Approaches to Chesapeake Bay announced screened by mines. Bill of Rights Day. British loose “Galatea” in Mediterranean.

Dec 17---Not far from Honolulu, SS “Manini” is sunk by a Japanese sub.

Dec 18---Japanese troops aided by Fifth Column invade Hong Kong Island with minimal opposition. Office of Defense Transportation created “to assure maximum utilization of the domestic transportation facilities of the nation for the successful prosecution of the war.” SS “Prusa” is sunk by Japanese sub near the big island Hawaii.

Dec 19---Office of Censorship, national agency that caused to be censored, communications between the United States and foreign countries, is created. Official communique acknowledges 7th Chinese Army cannot relief allies surrounded at Hong Kong. Twenty hospital staff at Salesian Mission are brutally tortured and executed in Shaukiwan, Hong Kong; two eyewitnesses survive to testify at post-war crime trials. MacArthur declares the island capital Manila an open city.

Dec 20---SS “Emidio” fired upon north of San Francisco by a Japanese submarine, it did not sink but a few days later ran aground off Crescent City, California. Oil tanker “Agwiworld” was shelled by a sub about 20 miles off Monterey Bay and 75 miles south of San Francisco, California. 

Dec 21---British escort carrier “Audacity” is sunk in the Atlantic, but after it is able to sink four attacking German U-boats.

Dec 22---Boston and Portland screened by mines.

Dec 23---Japanese troops land on Borneo. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are removed from Washington DC and taken to Ft Knox for safety. Rangoon (now called Yangon) is bombed by air. Wake Island falls. Less than 12 fighter aircraft hold on at Manila. Oil tanker “Montebello” never made it to Vancouver as she is sunk by Japanese sub I-21.

Dec 24---Last 2 remaining American destroyers evacuate Manila. Imperial Japanese massacre doctors and wounded soldiers in St. Stephen’s College Emergency Hospital in Hong Kong.

Dec 25---British in Hong Kong surrender, allies loose 12,000 troops including 1,689 Canadians. Secret convoy, “Orizaba,” “Mount Vernon,” “West Point,” “Dickman,” “Leonard Wood” and “Wakefield” transporting British troops to Far East arrives in Mombasa, Kenya. Japanese sub torpedoes freighter “Absoroka” near San Pedro, California; damaged she is towed to Fort MacArthur.

Dec 27---Prime Minister of Australia passes word in a published article in Melbourne Herald that Australia looks to the U.S. for help.

Dec 28---Famous phrase in American popular culture, “Sighted Sub, Sank same.” 

Dec 31---The first U-boat “periscope” is sighted off Maine. Leningrad, 395 miles from Moscow, holds on after three months of siege.  

A Special 75th Anniversary pdf on the Bataan era.

Worthwhile sites to visit: Maywood Bataan Organization mbdo 

and also a LINK to 1st Lt. Emmett Gibson, a survivor with actual accounts http://192nd.com, and the Bataan Commemorative Research Project (Provisio East High School) BataanProject

.

Highlights of WW II

 

1941​

January highlights

February highlights

March highlights

April highlights

May highlights

June highlights

July highlights

August highlights

September highlights

October highlights

 

Nov 1 1941—Japanese naval code is profoundly changed, HY009 a new Imperial Fleet signal system instituted.

Nov 5—Secret Tokyo radio traffic increases like crazy. Ship call signs replaced with a more difficult branch of detection. Admiral Osami Nagano, Chief of the Japanese Naval Staff to CinC Combined Fleet issues the following secret message: 1. In view of the fact that it is feared war has become unavoidable with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands, and for the self preservation and future existence of the Empire, the various preparations for war operations will be completed by the first part of December. 2. The CinC Combined Fleet will effect the required preparations for war operations in accordance with Imperial Headquarters Order #1. 3. The CinC of the China Area Fleet will continue operations against China and at the same time effect required preparations for war operations.

Nov 6—Tojo reaffirms the determination of Japan to establish a “new order in Greater East Asia.” U.S. reaffirms the Declaration of Panama by capturing the German blockade-runner “Odenwald” disguised as a U.S. freighter off the Brazilian coast.

Nov 7—German bombers sink the Soviet hospital ship “Armenia.”

Nov 14—British aircraft carrier “Ark Royal” is sunk in the Mediterranean.

Nov 15—Gen. George Marshall holds a top secret press meeting in his office for 7 correspondents from Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press, International News Service, the New York Times, and New York Herald Tribune, letting it be known that the U.S. had broken Japanese codes. He predicted that the U.S. was on the brink of war, and expects everyone to be on the watch “the first 10 days of Dec” of 1941. It wasn’t made public.

Nov 17—Congress votes to amend U.S. Neutrality Act. American intelligence in Hawaii was receiving Purple again after being excluded practically for 3 months due to a leak. Japanese carriers “Hiryu” and “Soryu” depart bay of Saeki Wan, Kyushu. U. S. intelligence correctly ascertains Japanese carriers at either Kyushu or Kure or Sasebo. British commandos led by Maj. Geoffrey Keyes raid Rommel's Afrika Korps headquarters in an attempt to kill or capture the Desert Fox--Rommel is miles away inspecting the troops at the front.

Nov 19—“Defense Highway Act” appropriates $150,000,000 for the construction and improvements of access roads to military and naval reservations, defense industries and sources for raw materials. Two cruisers fight to the death off western Australia: Germany’s “Kormoran” and Australia’s “Sydney.”

Nov 21—Sixteen B-24s depart Bolling Field, Washington D.C. for the British at Cairo. Great fleet exercise conducted by U.S. warships in Hawaiian waters, including 120 aircraft.

Nov 22—Secret Japanese code deciphered by MAGIC: After the 29th, things will automatically begin to happen. (November 28th, U.S. time.) There was no sign in the intercepted Purple messages from the Japanese Foreign Office that an attack on Pearl Harbor was planned or in progress. 

Nov 24—The entire sea exercise off Hawaii is called off, around 3:30 pm based upon a warning from Washington DC Rear-Admiral Ingersoll. At 8:48 pm, Radioman Second Class Jack Kage monitored a radio alert from Yamamoto’s fleet. It was deciphered to be some kind of radio silence order for “the main force and its attached forces” with no specifications. According to the book Pearl Harbor by Vice-Adm. Homer K Wallin, Adm. Yamamoto issued instructions to “advance into Hawaiian waters” on this date.

Nov 25—The last day for official diplomatic negotiations with America is re-extended to Nov 27, and more negotiations take place between Nomura, Kurusu and Sec of State Hull in the hope of peace, meaning America had to back down. British battleship “Barham” sunk by U-331 in the Mediterranean; 868 men are drowned. Yamamoto’s carrier fleet (Nov 26 in Tokyo) led by the flagship “Akagi” secretly sails from Japan’s bleak northern port of Hitokappu Bay. Ahead of them are thirty fleet-type submarines. Decoded by the British (decoded by the Dutch Nov 17): “Task Force will move out of Hitokappu Bay on the morning of Nov 26 (Tokyo time) and advance to the standing-by position on the afternoon of 4 Dec … complete refueling,” issued by Yamamoto. (Pearl Harbor Hearings, Congressional Hearings, 1946 Congressional Report, vol 1 pg 180, transcript p437-38). Movement is detected by US intelligence in Dutch Harbor and Station H; Adm. Kimmel is notified; destination appears to be the Marshalls and SE Asia. But, there is no mention of carriers. A priority dispatch, known as Presidential monographs, in a leather pouch with gold letters “For THE PRESIDENT” is sent to Roosevelt who is having dinner with Princess Martha of Norway. The U.S. Navy orders all U.S. trans-Pacific shipping to take southerly routes (Pearl Harbor Hearings, 1946 Congressional Report, vol 12 pg 317.) 

Nov 26—Station H and Chief Radioman Robert Fox, traffic chief for Station King at Dutch Harbor, intercept Akagi 4963 kilocycle transmission; destination unknown. Sec of State Hull issues a diplomatic modus vivendi to Japan; Japan had to withdraw from China and Indochina. Pres. Franklin Roosevelt signs a bill establishing 4th Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. Sgt. Delmar Park, of Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Army observer with the British in Libya is killed in a German tank attack.

Nov 27—Japan again rejects the U.S. demand for their withdrawal from China. Entire Pacific fleet and U.S. Army placed on war alert: “This dispatch is to be considered a war warning” began a new dispatch from Washington DC to 15 Army and 4 Navy commands--from Manila to Panama to London and all points in between--including “an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days.” All American troops and bases put on red alert. Admiral Kimmel dispatches aircraft carrier “Enterprise” to Midway to deliver Marine air units, sailing at full speed all the way. Vicious fighting is waged in North Africa between British and Axis. New Zealand Brig. General James Hargest is taken prisoner by the Italians.

Nov 28—Tokyo Naval Radio sends a message in 5-Num to warships of Adm. Nagumo's Pearl Harbor strike force of a ferocious winter storm in their path. Sec. of State Hull secretly issues another warning to U.S. military of possible attack by Japan, but the United States must not make the first move. No single target is named. Nazi SS units are within 20 miles of the Kremlin; the temperature drops to minus 32˚c. U.S.S.R. merchant vessel “Uritski” departs San Francisco for Petropavlosk. FDR departs on his special railroad car, the Ferdinand Magellan, from Union Station for Warm Springs, Georgia.

Nov 29—President Roosevelt attends a special (delayed) Thanksgiving dinner with patients of the Polio Institute. Passenger steamship “Lurline” departs San Francisco bound for Long Beach and Honolulu. Germany secretly reaffirms to Japan to join her in war against the U.S.

Nov 30—Station H intercepts a specific movement report by an oil tanker, “Shiriya,” that it is proceeding 30-00 N, 14-20 E and will proceed along the 30-degree north latitude at 7 knots. Driven off course by typhoon-like storm, unknown to the world, Adm. Nagumo orders his flagship “Akagi” to break radio silence and beam radio signals on 4960 kilocycles at very low power to round up his ships scattered all over the sea, but a rare demonstration of the power of the Sun aids U.S. intercept stations who pick up radio chatter from the “Akagi.” The Sun?

Yes, the low power transmissions which were supposed to go only about 100 miles were fanned out due to solar hitting the ionosphere and carried all over the Pacific basin, as far as the West Coast. Far-north weather reports from Baffenland start guiding Lend-Lease pilots across the “North Atlantic highway in the sky” route.

November

and gold major’s leaves.  Major Capra began work in Washington D.C., on February 15, 1942.   He became the commanding officer of the Film Production Section of the Information Division of Special Services, under Brig-Gen. Osborn, and by June, Capra had 8 officers and 35 enlisted men.  They then formed the 834th Signal Services Photographic Department, Special Services Division Film Production Section, with the job of explaining to the troops why we were fighting in the war.

   Capra told Marshal he had never done any documentaries before.  Marshall told him he had never been Chief of Staff before and that also thousands of young men had never had their legs shot off before.  And, that Americans are commanding ships today, who a year ago had never seen the ocean before.   One thing about General Marshall, he was very pragmatic.  And, Capra knew the score.  His World War II films were not made in color, and were made to persuade, and to be shown to an audience –a one-time large civilian audience–why we were there.  Later, they were permitted to be seen by the public at large.  Frank Capra below on the right.

November

 

Nov 1 1941—Japanese naval code is profoundly changed, HY009 a new Imperial Fleet signal system instituted.

Nov 5—Secret Tokyo radio traffic increases like crazy. Ship call signs replaced with a more difficult branch of detection. Admiral Osami Nagano, Chief of the Japanese Naval Staff to CinC Combined Fleet issues the following secret message: 1. In view of the fact that it is feared war has become unavoidable with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands, and for the self preservation and future existence of the Empire, the various preparations for war operations will be completed by the first part of December. 2. The CinC Combined Fleet will effect the required preparations for war operations in accordance with Imperial Headquarters Order #1. 3. The CinC of the China Area Fleet will continue operations against China and at the same time effect required preparations for war operations.

Nov 6—Tojo reaffirms the determination of Japan to establish a “new order in Greater East Asia.” U.S. reaffirms the Declaration of Panama by capturing the German blockade-runner “Odenwald” disguised as a U.S. freighter off the Brazilian coast.

Nov 7—German bombers sink the Soviet hospital ship “Armenia.”

Nov 14—British aircraft carrier “Ark Royal” is sunk in the Mediterranean.

Nov 15—Gen. George Marshall holds a top secret press meeting in his office for 7 correspondents from Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press, International News Service, the New York Times, and New York Herald Tribune, letting it be known that the U.S. had broken Japanese codes. He predicted that the U.S. was on the brink of war, and expects everyone to be on the watch “the first 10 days of Dec” of 1941. It wasn’t made public.

Nov 17—Congress votes to amend U.S. Neutrality Act. American intelligence in Hawaii was receiving Purple again after being excluded practically for 3 months due to a leak. Japanese carriers “Hiryu” and “Soryu” depart bay of Saeki Wan, Kyushu. U. S. intelligence correctly ascertains Japanese carriers at either Kyushu or Kure or Sasebo. British commandos led by Maj. Geoffrey Keyes raid Rommel's Afrika Korps headquarters in an attempt to kill or capture the Desert Fox--Rommel is miles away inspecting the troops at the front.

Nov 19—“Defense Highway Act” appropriates $150,000,000 for the construction and improvements of access roads to military and naval reservations, defense industries and sources for raw materials. Two cruisers fight to the death off western Australia: Germany’s “Kormoran” and Australia’s “Sydney.”

Nov 21—Sixteen B-24s depart Bolling Field, Washington D.C. for the British at Cairo. Great fleet exercise conducted by U.S. warships in Hawaiian waters, including 120 aircraft.

Nov 22—Secret Japanese code deciphered by MAGIC: After the 29th, things will automatically begin to happen. (November 28th, U.S. time.) There was no sign in the intercepted Purple messages from the Japanese Foreign Office that an attack on Pearl Harbor was planned or in progress. 

Nov 24—The entire sea exercise off Hawaii is called off, around 3:30 pm based upon a warning from Washington DC Rear-Admiral Ingersoll. At 8:48 pm, Radioman Second Class Jack Kage monitored a radio alert from Yamamoto’s fleet. It was deciphered to be some kind of radio silence order for “the main force and its attached forces” with no specifications. According to the book Pearl Harbor by Vice-Adm. Homer K Wallin, Adm. Yamamoto issued instructions to “advance into Hawaiian waters” on this date.

Nov 25—The last day for official diplomatic negotiations with America is re-extended to Nov 27, and more negotiations take place between Nomura, Kurusu and Sec of State Hull in the hope of peace, meaning America had to back down. British battleship “Barham” sunk by U-331 in the Mediterranean; 868 men are drowned. Yamamoto’s carrier fleet (Nov 26 in Tokyo) led by the flagship “Akagi” secretly sails from Japan’s bleak northern port of Hitokappu Bay. Ahead of them are thirty fleet-type submarines. Decoded by the British (decoded by the Dutch Nov 17): “Task Force will move out of Hitokappu Bay on the morning of Nov 26 (Tokyo time) and advance to the standing-by position on the afternoon of 4 Dec … complete refueling,” issued by Yamamoto. (Pearl Harbor Hearings, Congressional Hearings, 1946 Congressional Report, vol 1 pg 180, transcript p437-38). Movement is detected by US intelligence in Dutch Harbor and Station H; Adm. Kimmel is notified; destination appears to be the Marshalls and SE Asia. But, there is no mention of carriers. A priority dispatch, known as Presidential monographs, in a leather pouch with gold letters “For THE PRESIDENT” is sent to Roosevelt who is having dinner with Princess Martha of Norway. The U.S. Navy orders all U.S. trans-Pacific shipping to take southerly routes (Pearl Harbor Hearings, 1946 Congressional Report, vol 12 pg 317.) 

Nov 26—Station H and Chief Radioman Robert Fox, traffic chief for Station King at Dutch Harbor, intercept Akagi 4963 kilocycle transmission; destination unknown. Sec of State Hull issues a diplomatic modus vivendi to Japan; Japan had to withdraw from China and Indochina. Pres. Franklin Roosevelt signs a bill establishing 4th Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. Sgt. Delmar Park, of Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Army observer with the British in Libya is killed in a German tank attack.

Nov 27—Japan again rejects the U.S. demand for their withdrawal from China. Entire Pacific fleet and U.S. Army placed on war alert: “This dispatch is to be considered a war warning” began a new dispatch from Washington DC to 15 Army and 4 Navy commands--from Manila to Panama to London and all points in between--including “an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days.” All American troops and bases put on red alert. Admiral Kimmel dispatches aircraft carrier “Enterprise” to Midway to deliver Marine air units, sailing at full speed all the way. Vicious fighting is waged in North Africa between British and Axis. New Zealand Brig. General James Hargest is taken prisoner by the Italians.

Nov 28—Tokyo Naval Radio sends a message in 5-Num to warships of Adm. Nagumo's Pearl Harbor strike force of a ferocious winter storm in their path. Sec. of State Hull secretly issues another warning to U.S. military of possible attack by Japan, but the United States must not make the first move. No single target is named. Nazi SS units are within 20 miles of the Kremlin; the temperature drops to minus 32˚c. U.S.S.R. merchant vessel “Uritski” departs San Francisco for Petropavlosk. FDR departs on his special railroad car, the Ferdinand Magellan, from Union Station for Warm Springs, Georgia.

Nov 29—President Roosevelt attends a special (delayed) Thanksgiving dinner with patients of the Polio Institute. Passenger steamship “Lurline” departs San Francisco bound for Long Beach and Honolulu. Germany secretly reaffirms to Japan to join her in war against the U.S.

Nov 30—Station H intercepts a specific movement report by an oil tanker, “Shiriya,” that it is proceeding 30-00 N, 14-20 E and will proceed along the 30-degree north latitude at 7 knots. Driven off course by typhoon-like storm, unknown to the world, Adm. Nagumo orders his flagship “Akagi” to break radio silence and beam radio signals on 4960 kilocycles at very low power to round up his ships scattered all over the sea, but a rare demonstration of the power of the Sun aids U.S. intercept stations who pick up radio chatter from the “Akagi.” The Sun?

Yes, the low power transmissions which were supposed to go only about 100 miles were fanned out due to solar hitting the ionosphere and carried all over the Pacific basin, as far as the West Coast. Far-north weather reports from Baffenland start guiding Lend-Lease pilots across the “North Atlantic highway in the sky” route.

and gold major’s leaves.  Major Capra began work in Washington D.C., on February 15, 1942.   He became the commanding officer of the Film Production Section of the Information Division of Special Services, under Brig-Gen. Osborn, and by June, Capra had 8 officers and 35 enlisted men.  They then formed the 834th Signal Services Photographic Department, Special Services Division Film Production Section, with the job of explaining to the troops why we were fighting in the war.

   Capra told Marshal he had never done any documentaries before.  Marshall told him he had never been Chief of Staff before and that also thousands of young men had never had their legs shot off before.  And, that Americans are commanding ships today, who a year ago had never seen the ocean before.   One thing about General Marshall, he was very pragmatic.  And, Capra knew the score.  His World War II films were not made in color, and were made to persuade, and to be shown to an audience –a one-time large civilian audience–why we were there.  Later, they were permitted to be seen by the public at large.  Frank Capra below on the right.

P-40s in color
Stukas 72
Mrs FDR Radio72dpi
3-silver-P-47s72dpi
NewspaperDec7
car-and-P-47--