Topic: Rumors - Part 1A
started by: Ken Hackler
Posted by Ken Hackler on Aug. 12 2002,12:33CONFUSION OVER THE CHARTS
Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) A. J. Stewart wrote an article for the United States Naval Institute Proceedings magazine that was published in 1974. In that article, entitled “Those Mysterious Midgets,” Stewart discusses the charts found in Kazuo Sakamaki’s midget submarine when it was captured on the morning of December 8, 1941. The two charts were a large-scale chart showing the island of Oahu out to a distance of about 10 nautical miles, and a small-scale chart showing Pearl Harbor and its immediate surroundings. Stewart refers to the “charts that confused the experts,” as evidenced by testimony of certain Army officers, an FBI agent, and a few books written by non-Navy authors.
The truth is that the experts (i.e., the Naval officers who examined the charts) were never confused. Only the Army, the FBI, and a few authors were confused. That’s because none of them were experienced with shiphandling or navigation. The Army Pearl Harbor Board went out of its way to prove how silly they were in this regard, by ignoring the obvious facts and taking the testimony of an FBI agent (Robert Shivers) and an incompetant Army Lieutenant Colonel (LCOL Kendal Fielder) over the testimony of an experienced Naval officer (LCDR Edwin Layton).
So where did the charts come from in the first place? They were commercially available nautical charts and maps, easily obtained anywhere before the war. The Japanese Consulate could, on any day of the week, have bought a dozen in downtown Honolulu. The Japanese fishermen who worked the Hawaiian Islands could also have purchased them. And, of course, visiting Japanese naval officers could have bought as many as they wanted.
There is an interesting document in the Clausen Investigation that addresses at least one way the Japanese aquired the charts and maps. Clausen’s report is contained in the Joint Congressional Committee’s (JCC) Pearl Harbor Attack Hearings (PHAH). Pages 543 through 576 of Clausen’s report (page numbers refer to the JCC) is a document titled “AN ANALYSIS OF THE JAPANESE ESPIONAGE PROBLEM IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS,” prepared by the 14th Naval Distict’s Intelligence Office, and dated April 20, 1943.
In that analysis, Section IV (B) talks about personnel. Paragraphs 91 and 94 are reproduced below:
“91. Much information of value to Japan is believed to have been gathered by Japanese espionage agents who came to Hawaii for relatively short periods of time, as non-quota immigrants or in the guise of visitors - in either case, seemingly having no connection with the local Consulate. One case is known of a Japanese agent who, around 1932, stayed in Hawaii for about four months, evidently to perform a specific mission. With the help of a Japanese bookstore owner (who had been naturalized as a United States citizen following his service in the United States Army in World War I), the visiting agent conducted considerable observation of the island of Oahu and its points of naval and military interest. (#)”
“94. In an effort to “make face” with Japan’s officialdom, several local Japanese residents (aliens and citizens) have gratuitously, and in some instances voluntarilly, engaged in espionage or propaganda activities beneficial to Japan. The Japanese bookstore owner previously refered to was found to have gathered extensive military information (of dubious value, however). He also willingly obliged a visiting Japanese, since found to have been an espionage agent, by driving the latter to points of military importance on the island of Oahu. On other occasions (1936-1941), in response to requests received while visiting Japan, he sent to Japan large quantities of maps, charts, and hydrographic publications on sale in Honolulu. The full volume of what he transmitted is not known, but his effects show that he sent at least 43 ocean charts, 6 air charts, and 51 maps, as well as several publications. (#) Many other local Japanese residents, over a period of 20 years, voluntarilly (and in most cases, proudly) volunteered to drive visiting Japanese naval personnel to points of interest on the various islands at which such personnel called. One Japanese alien residing on Aiea Heights, whose home has an unsurpassed view of Pearl Harbor, is known to have been visited on occasions by officers of Japanese naval vessels which called at Honolulu prior to the war (#).”
The (#) in the paragraphs above refer to notes at the end of the document in Appendix A, which state:
“REFERENCES: (k) 14ND Investigation Report, dated February 1, 1942, subject: Ernest Shigeru MATSUSAKA”
“DOCUMENTATION BY PARAGRAPHS: Par. 91 -- Japanese agent who was in Hawaii in 1932 was Rinzo SHIMURA, mentioned in references (k) and (l), and Japanese bookstore owner was Ernest Shigeru MATSUSAKA, subject of those reports.”
“DOCUMENTATION BY PARAGRAPHS: Par. 94 -- For a detailed description of the information gathered by MATSUSAKA and transmitted to Japan, see enclosures to reference (k).”
As you can see, there were unlimited opportunities for the Imperial Japanese Navy to obtain all the charts they wanted, by a number of methods. And, all were perfectly legal. By the time they decided to attack Oahu, the Japanese had years to duplicate the charts and even update them, using information continually sent back to Japan by the Consulate or visiting Naval officers.
That’s where Sakamaki’s chart came from, and all the others used by the Japanese. They were collected in the years before the war, and the IJN had thousands of copies to hand out to the ships and aircrews that participated in the attack.
When Kazuo Sakamaki’s midget submarine, the HA-19, was captured on the morning of December 8 near Bellows Field, the two charts previously mentioned were found in the bilges, where they’d been soaked with oil and seawater. LCDR Layton, the Fleet Intelligence Officer at CINCPAC, made copies of these two charts for the 14ND District Intelligence Office (CAPT I. H.Mayfield), the Fleet Radio Unit (LCDR J. J. Rochefort), and the Army. Shortly after that, Layton or the DIO also made copies for FBI Agent Robert Shivers.
That’s when things get confusing. A Japanese fighter shot down over Hickam crashed on Ft Kamehameha. In that fighter was found a chart of the local area, as is to be expected. One author described that chart as being a “crude, hand drawn chart,” which goes along with other charts found on other crashed aircraft. I have never seen that chart, so I can only guess at what it may have looked like. However, it was taken to Lieutenant Colonel (LCOL) Kendal Fielder, the Army G-2 (Intelligence).
As far as the Sakamaki charts, also known as the “Midget C” charts, they were reproduced by the Navy and given to just about everyone in the intelligence business. The FBI agent in Honolulu, Robert Shivers, says that they were given to him by Navy Intelligence, but he doesn’t say which offce. However, in his testimony before the APHB, he says that the Army was aware of the two charts. Fielder and Bicknell (Fielder’s assistant) are both mentioned as having seen the charts, and Fielder discussed the small-scale chart when he testified before the APHB. The problem is that Fielder got confused when discussing the charts, and was in reality discussing two copies of the same chart (taken from Midget C, not the crashed fighter plane).
To further compound the problem, the APHB clerk was directed to include a copy of what Fielder (mistakenly) identified as the aviator’s chart into the official record. The clerk accidentally copied the Midget C chart instead, which had also been discussed by Fielder. How do we know that this accident happened? Simple, because what the APHB included as Exhibit 22 is an exact copy of the chart found in Midget C. Too exact. It has the same wrinkles, tears, and water stains as Sakamaki’s charts. Had it simply been a copy of the same chart given to both pilots and submarine crews, it would not have had the exact same damage. Fielder was either using a copy of Sakamaki’s chart when talking about the “aviator’s chart”, which is what I think, or the clerk made a mistake when copying the chart for the APHB records.
I think Fielder was actually talking about a copy of Sakamaki’s chart when he was testifying for the APHB, because he said “...there are modern entries apparently made by the aviator himself. He has got certain magnetic bearings to certain targets in Pearl Harbor.” The reason this strikes me as wrong is that (1) the plane that the chart was ostensibly taken from was a first-wave fighter from the Akagi, and as such, was assigned to target aircraft on the ground or in the air (Japanese Monograph 97). It did not have a “target” inside Pearl Harbor, and (2) a pilot would not have used magnetic bearings on a chart to indicate a line of attack since pilots have the considerable advantage of height. In other words, they can see what they are attacking from a great distance, unlike a submarine, and therefore simply line up on their target by visual sighting. Fielder displayed his complete lack of knowledge of both aerial and marine navigation by making the statements he did. The FBI agent Shivers was worse, although he did have an excuse for his ignorance.
Robert Shivers testified before the APHB about both charts from Midget C, copies of which were given to him by the Navy shortly after the attack. Shivers, with no previous experience in navigation of any sort, believed the tracks laid out by Sakamaki were his actual tracks from an excursion inside Pearl Harbor, rather than an intended track. Shivers did not know that it was a common practice to lay out courses for ships and submarines in advance. Further, he misunderstood the times used by Sakamaki. The IJN always used Tokyo time, in the same way that the U.S. Navy used Greenwich time. That way all times given in messages have a constant point of reference without having to worry about converting for local time when one moves across several time zones. To his credit, Shivers told the APHB that all conclusions were strictly his own, and were not an official interpretation, something the APHB failed to consider. They had previous testimony from LCDR Edwin Layton that the tracks laid out on the chart were simply intended (he said “predicted”) tracks, yet the APHB took the word of an FBI agent instead when they concluded that Midget C had in fact entered Pearl Harbor.
The findings of the APHB were incorrect, yet they caused enough of a stir in Washington that ADM King, then Chief of Naval Operations, assigned ADM Hewitt to further investigate the claims of a “second” submarine having entered Pearl Harbor, in advance of the actual air attack. A discussion of Hewitt’s findings is contained in the next topic.
Posted by David Aiken on Aug. 12 2002,2:04Aloha Ken,
You noted. "That’s when things get confusing. A Japanese fighter shot down over Hickam crashed on Ft Kamehameha. In that fighter was found a chart of the local area, as is to be expected. One author described that chart as being a 'crude, hand drawn chart,' which goes along with other charts found on other crashed aircraft. I have never seen that chart, so I can only guess at what it may have looked like. However, it was taken to Lieutenant Colonel (LCOL) Kendal Fielder, the Army G-2 (Intelligence)."
There were two occasions where maps were found in AI-154. The first was a map found in the initial investigation at Ft Kam by a Coast Artillery officer. The second was several days later during the exam made at the Hawaiian Air Depot. The first map was of the Hawaiian Island chain and used for a B-17 mission seeking the Kido Butai. The second occasion included a map of his target [Hickam Field] -that looked like Sakamaki's chart- which has since been lost [as has the original Sakamaki chart]. None of the maps were "crude, hand drawn".
You cited, "To further compound the problem, the APHB clerk was directed to include a copy of what Fielder (mistakenly) identified as the aviator’s chart into the official record. The clerk accidentally copied the Midget C chart instead, which had also been discussed by Fielder. How do we know that this accident happened? Simple, because what the APHB included as Exhibit 22 is an exact copy of the chart found in Midget C. Too exact. It has the same wrinkles, tears, and water stains as Sakamaki’s charts. Had it simply been a copy of the same chart given to both pilots and submarine crews, it would not have had the exact same damage. Fielder was either using a copy of Sakamaki’s chart when talking about the "aviator’s chart", which is what I think, or the clerk made a mistake when copying the chart for the APHB records."
Despite the rosy picture painted of him, Lt. Colonel Fielder, the head of G-2 for General Short, was just as good as his USN equal, Captain Layton for Kimmel. Fielder identified the map posted across from him as the AI-154 chart. He had viewed the map sent to him from the Hawaiian Air Depot. From the distance from his witness chair to the chart, it had the appearance of the AI-154 chart. If a mistake was made posting Sakamaki's chart instead of the AI-154 chart, it was made by whoever posted the identical chart across the room. or If the Sakamaki chart was printed twice, that may be a fault by the compiler of the JCC, not in Fielder's eyes as the maps are identical from across a room.
Posted by Ken Hackler on Aug. 12 2002,3:28David,
Your point is valid, I was overly critical of Fielder for what was more than likely an error made by someone else. As you say, from across a room, it may have been very easy to mistake two maps that looked very similar.
However, that does not explain why Fielder pointed to "magnetic bearings to targets in Pearl Harbor". A fighter pilot would not have had those, nor would there have been a need. His targets were targets of opportunity on the ground (i.e., aircraft or a runway), or in the air (i.e., U.S. planes).
I do not retract what I said about the Army Pearl Harbor Board, however. They had a great many people testifying and facts to the contrary, yet they still believed that Midget C actually made it into the harbor based on the chart. That does not speak well of them, nor does it say much about their investigative skills.
Posted by Tracy White on Aug. 12 2002,4:22to clarify and muddy the waters a bit, pilots do have magnetic compasses. They also have gyros that are not susceptable to magnetic variations as compasses are (although they will precess). However, gyros at this time were susceptible to "tumbling" past certain attitudes and angles and had to be caged, or locked into place, before a dogfight. I do not know for sure if the Zero had gyros but I would tend to believe so as they are a huge aid to navigation.
That said, if memory serves, only the high level bombers came up from the south, I think the fighters came in mostly from the North and East, so wouldn't looking at that magnetic heading also conclusively show whether or not Fielder was in error?
Posted by Ken Hackler on Aug. 12 2002,4:50Tracy,
Aircraft most certainly had compasses, and used them to navigate. That is how the Japanese aircrews knew how to get back to their carriers, for example.
The point I am trying to make (very poorly apparently) is that a fighter assigned to attack targets of opportunity at Hickam, such as parked aircraft on a runway or U.S. planes in the sky, would not have a need for any lines drawn on a map showing magnetic bearings to targets in Pearl Harbor. The pilot could have seen any target he wished to attack, and would have made his attack runs visually.
Ships and submarines, though, needed to lay out tracks in advance with bearings to visual reference points, to make sure they knew when and where to turn when navigating in restricted waters. They did not have the advantage of altitude so their range and field of vision were both restricted. That means that they had to plan every move much more carefully.
Fielder should have known this as he was testifying, since he discussed those very lines when talking about the aviator's chart. That should have tipped him off that he was looking at a marine navigation chart rather one from a plane. He should have known as he was discussing it that someone had set out the wrong map.
That was the point I was trying to make.
Perhaps I need to go back to the drawing board to learn how to better express myself. I'm not so sure that I haven't caused as much confusion here as that which I am trying to clear up!
Posted by Tracy White on Sep. 13 2002,6:57You were relating your information well, I was trying to add some more weight to your arguement and was myself unclear. I need to check myself more often and learn when to shut my trap.
And any airplane that had a gyro back then would have also had a compass. Gyros will precess, or slowly become inaccurate. Every 15 minutes or so they are compared to the magnetic compass (which itself is tested for deviation and a chart drawn up for each aircraft) and synchronized. Gyros are just more accurate as they don't have the lead and lag in a turn that standard mag compasses do.