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Did U.S. leaders know that war was coming? (part 2)

continued from part 1

3. The "Winds" Message.

Colonel Sadtler said that about November 20, a message was intercepted by the Federal Communications Commission, to the effect that the Japanese were notifying nationals of possible war with the United States. The "winds" message was indicated in these instructions, which would indicate whether the war would be with the United States, Russia, or Great Britain, or any combination of them. The Federal Communications Commission was asked to listen for such information.

On the morning of December 5, 1941, Admiral Noyes, Chief of Naval Communications, called Colonel Sadtler at 9:30 saying, "Sadtler, the message is in!" He did not know whether the particular message was the one that meant war with the United States, but it meant war with either the United States, Russia, or Great Britain. He immediately advised General Miles and Colonel Bratton.

Sadtler was instructed to go back to Admiral Noyes to get the precise wording used, but Admiral Noyes said that he was too busy with a conference and he would have to attend to it later. Colonel Sadtler protested that that would be too late. He reported back to General Miles. He then went to see General Gerow, Head of the War Plans Division, and suggested a message be sent to Hawaii. General Gerow said, "No, that they had plenty of information in Hawaii." He then went to the Secretary of the General Staff, Colonel Smith, and made the same suggestion. When Smith learned that G-2 and the War Plans Division had been talked to, he declined to discuss it further. It was about the 5th or 6th of December that Tokyo notified the Japanese Embassy at Washington to destroy their remaining codes. It was on December 5 that Sadtler discussed this matter with General Gerow and Colonel Smith, because as Sadtler said, "I was sure war was coming, and coming very quickly."

Colonel Bratton arranged on behalf of G-2 for monitoring of Japanese weather broadcasts with the Federal Communications Commission. These arrangements were made through Colonel Sadtler. Colonel Bratton testified that no information reached him as to the break in relations shown by the "winds" message prior to the Pearl Harbor disaster, December 7, 1941, and he does not believe anybody else in G-2 received any such information.

He conferred with Kramer and McCullom of the Navy. The message sent to him by the Federal Communications Commission was not the message he was looking for. Later he learned from the Navy about their monitoring efforts in Hawaii and the Far East, and the fact that they would probably secure the "winds" message sooner than he would in Washington. That is the reason why he sent the message of December 5, to Fielder, G- 2, in Hawaii, to make contact with Commander Rochefort, to secure orally information of this sort. A copy of this message has been produced in the record showing that it was sent. Colonel Bratton and Colonel Sadtler testified to the fact that their records showed that it was sent. But Colonel Fielder said he got no such message. The Navy now admits having received this "winds" activating message about December 6, but the War Department files show no copy of such message.

From the naval point of view Captain Safford recites the story of the "winds" message saying that Japan announced about the 26th of November 1941 that she would state her intentions in regard to war with Russia, England, the Dutch, and the United States, by the "winds" message. On November 28, 1941, the "winds" code was given. On December 3, 1941, the Naval Attache at Batavia gave another version of the "winds" code. All three of these messages indicated the probability of the breaking off of relations and offensive warfare by Japan against the United States or the other nations mentioned.

On December 4, 1941, information was received through the Navy Department which was sent to Captain Safford which contained the Japanese "winds" message, "War with England, War with America, Peace with Russia."

This original message has now disappeared from the Navy files and cannot be found. It was in existence just after Pearl Harbor and was collected with other messages for submission to the Roberts Commission. Copies were in existence in various places but they have all disappeared.

Captain Safford testified [before the Army Board]:

"General RUSSELL. Have you helped or been active at all in this search which has been made in the Naval Department to discover this original message?

"Captain SAFFORD. I have. As a last resort I requested copies of the message repeatedly from 20G, and on the last occasion I asked the officer in charge, who was Captain Stone, to stir his people up a little harder and see if they couldn't make one more search and discover it. And when Captain Stone discovered it couldn't be found, he called for required written statements [from] anybody who might have any notice of that; and though the written statements disclosed a lot of destruction of other messages and things not messages, but the intercepts; not the translations nothing ever came to light on that message, either the carbon copy of the original incoming message, which should have been filed with the work sheet, or of the translation. And one copy of the translation should have been filed under the JD number, which I think is 7001, because that number is missing and unaccounted for, and that falls very close to the proper date. It actually comes in with the 3rd, but things sometimes got a little bit out as far as putting those numbers on was concerned. And the other should be filed under the date and with the translation. We had a double file.

"The last time I saw that message after the attack on Pearl Harbor about the 15th of December, Admiral Noyes called for the assembling of all important messages into one file, to show as evidence to the Roberts Commission; and Kramer assembled them, and I checked them over for completeness and to see that we strained out the unimportant ones; and that "Winds" translation, the "Winds execute," was included in those. I do not recall whether that ever came back or not. So far as I know, it may even be with the original papers of the Roberts Commission. It never came back that I know of, and we have never seen it since, and that is the last I have seen of it.

"We also asked the people in the Army on several occasions if they could run it down and give us a copy. We were trying to find out the exact date of it and the exact wording of the message, to run this thing down and not make the thing a question depending upon my memory or the memory of Kramer or the memory of Murray, who do distinctly recall it."

* * * * * * * * *

"General RUSSELL. I want to know if over there in 20G you had a place where you had 20G files of messages, and then over here some other place you had a JD file which was separate and distinct from the one I have just discussed.

"Captain SAFFORD. Yes, sir.

"General RUSSELL. But you had messages over there in the JD file?

"Captain SAFFORD. We had. Yes, sir; that is correct.

"General RUSSELL. And they were the same as the ones in the 20G file?

"Captain SAFFORD. Yes, sir, but they were in a different order.

"General RUSSELL. All right. Now, this message of December 4th, when it went to the JD file, was given the number, according to your testimony, of 7001?

"Captain SAFFORD. It probably was.

"General RUSSELL. You don't know that?

"Captain SAFFORD. Not to know; only circumstantial evidence.

"General RUSSELL. Well, is JD 7000 in that file now?

"Captain SAFFORD. JD 7000 is there, and 7002.

"General RUSSELL. But 7001 just isn't there?

"Captain SAFFORD. The whole file for the month of December 1941 is present or accounted for except 7001.

"General RUSSELL. Now let us talk about 20G, which is some other place in this office. Is this December 4th message the only one that is out of those files?

"Captain SAFFORD. That is the only one that we looked for that we couldn't find. It is possible that there will be others missing which we haven't looked for, but we couldn't find that serial number. We looked all through the month to make certain. That is the only one that is missing or unaccounted for."

The radio station logs, showing the reception of the message, have been destroyed, within the last year. Captain Safford testified that this message, and everything else they got from November 12 on, was sent to the White House by the Navy. It was a circulated copy that circulated to the White House and to the Admirals of the Navy.

It is this message which the Army witnesses testified was never received by the Army. It was a clear indication to the United States as early as December 4. The vital nature of this message can be realized.

continued in part 3