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Station Point Grey and Special Intelligence: Part 3 

By Patrick Bruskiewich 

This public document draws from declassified sources and materials freely 
available in the public domain as of 1 st January 2013. All this documentation is 
available through UBC Library. This article is the third in a series of four. 

1.0 Why Hiroshima - why not Kure? 

It is said that nations do not have friends or enemies, just national interest. The war in the 
Pacific did not begin on December 7 th , 1941. That is when it began for the United States, 
UK, Canada and a number of other English Speaking countries. 

For instance, for the Russians, the war in the Pacific began even earlier, as far back as 
1904-05 when Japan went to war on land and at sea with Russia, and the Russian Navy 
suffered its defeat at the battle of Tsushima. They fought again in 1939, and in 1945. 

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Fig. 1: Soviet Map of the Battle of Khalkin Gol, August, 1939 

Prior to December, 1941 there were border incidences during the winter of 1935-36 as 
the Japanese expanded their empire northwards, and would see the Russians and Japan 
tumble into an undeclared border conflict in May, June and July 1939. In August 1939 
Russian General Zhukov would unleash his armies against the Japanese and soundly 
defeat them at the Battle of Khalkin Gol (refer to Fig. 1 : Soviet Map of the Battle of 
Khalkin Gol, August, 1939) 

Forced to decide between further conflict and expansion northward or a modus vivendi, 
the Japanese signed a Neutrality Treaty in April, 1941 with Russia (refer to Fig. 2: 
Japanese FM Matsuoka signing the Neutrality Treaty in Moscow, April, 13 l , 1941). 

Fig. 2: Japanese FM Matsuoka signing the Neutrality Treaty in Moscow, April, 13 1 , 1941 

For part of the war in the Pacific the Russians would provide Japan with much needed 
raw materials as they prepared to push southwards and eastward in their quest for 
Empire, as well as allow a direct rail link with Japan's German and Italian Axis partners 
until this link was severed in July, 1941 when Germany went to war with Russia. 

For the Chinese and the Europeans, the war in the Pacific began back in at least 1919, in 
the aftermath of the Great War of 1914-1918 when Japan occupied parts of China, and 
took over former German territories in the Pacific - "the Japanese Administration of the 
League of Nations Mandates in the South Pacific". The European Powers encouraged 
that Japan seek expanded trade as a mean to provide for the needs of a growing 
population. The Mandates were met to provide Japan with such means. 

As the historian W.C. Langsam noted of the Versaille Treaty and the Pacific: 

"Sino-Japanese difficulties developed at the [Versaille] conference as 
soon as Japan presented her claims to all former German rights and 
concessions in Shantung. To this the Chinese delegation offered strenuous 
objections. At one stage the Japanese declared that since the region had been 
conquered from Germany, it would be necessary to obtain the right of free 
disposal from that country before Shantung could be returned to China! 
President Wilson for a time upheld the Chinese view but Lloyd George and 
Clemenceau insisted that they be bound by the secret treaties to back Japan. 
Besides, the Japanese delegates announced their intention to abstain from 
signing the peace treaty unless their wishes were met. Eventually the 
Japanese had their way, acquiring Shantung and mandatory rights over all 
former German colonies north of the equator. Thereupon China withheld her 
signature from the Versaille Treaty, later concluding a separet peace with 
germany. China became a member of the League of Nations by virtue of her 
adherence, against the wishes of Japan ..." [Langsam, p. 654] 

What came during the twenty years prior to Pearl Harbour has a bearing on what came 
afterwards. War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means. From the 1930's 
onwards, Emperor Hirohito and successive Imperial Japanese Governments prepared and 
implemented a sophisticated plan to expand Japanese influence in the region by 
diplomatic and military means, under a belief of the Bushido Code and Manifest Destiny. 

As historian Langsam notes, 

"Japan did not specifically enunciate the doctrine of a "new order" in 
eastern Asia until 1938, but the trend in this direction was foreshadowed in a 
declaration of 1934 made by Eiji Amau, spokesman of the Tokyo Foreign 
Office. Having, in a sense, broken with the West by her withdrawal from the 
League, having repeatedly declared herself to be "the principal protector" of 
stability in the Far East, and desirous of finding work and food for her rapidly 
increasing population, Nippon announced that she would continue to foster 
Sino-Japanese 'friendship" while opposing "any attempt on the part of China 
to avail herself of the influence [even financial influence] of any other 
country in order to resist Japan." And then Tokyo proceeded to promote 
"friendship" with her neighbour by encouraging separatist in northern China 
to set up an autonomous Hopei-Chahar state under Japanese tutelage (1935) 
and by disarming the customs guards along the Great Wall so that Japanese 
goods might readily be smuggled into China (1936)." [Langsam, p. 674] 

In over two decades of unabashed expansion and aggression beginning in 1919, by 1937 
the Imperial Japanese Army pursued conquests in China, Manchuria and Korea, which 
had been annexed in 1910. Key to such an expansive and aggressive national policy was 
not only a large army, set loose on the Chinese mainland, but a great navy. Great Navies 
take decades to build. The foundations of the Imperial Japanese Navy fleet that attacked 
Pearl Harbour in December 1941 were already beginning to be planned and built by the 
early 1920's. 

The writing being already on the political wall, representatives of the Great Navies in the 
Pacific met on a number of occasions to attempt to forge a political understanding. In 
declaring war on the US, the UK and its allies in 1941, Japan was attempting to greatly 
expand and consolidate a "Sphere on Influence" at the expense of other nation states. 

1.1 The Black Chamber ... and Cryptography 

The 1921 Washington Naval Conference was a breaking point as far as regional 
diplomacy in the Pacific was concerned. At this juncture, Japanese, British and 
American interests started to diverge markedly. The naval build culminating in the attack 
on Pearl Harbour began in earnest with a secret naval development plan approved by 
Emperor Hirohito and the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1922 in the wake of the Washington 

The subsequent revelation that the cryptanalyst Herbert Yardley and the "Black 
Chamber" had been reading Japanese diplomatic messages in the lead up to and during 
the Washington Naval conference would precipitate the toppling of a moderate Japanese 
Government and its replacement with a militant one. [Yardley] 

The "Black Chamber" revelation may have been the straw that bent in the on rushing 
wave of Japanese Militarism and declared Manifest Destiny of the "Divine Land\ 

By the mid-1930's, cryptanalysis and special intelligence work were well underway in 
the Office of Naval Intelligence (USN). The breaking of the WE WE code in 1936 
confirmed that the Imperial Japanese Navy was secretly violating their obligations to the 
League of Nations in their Mandate. 

As recognized by then Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet Admiral James O. 
Richardson, the work of the intercept stations on Guam and Cavite, and the cryptanalysts 
in Hawaii and Washington showed as early as 1936 that the Japanese were preparing 
naval and air bases for a war with the United States: 

"Now we knew ... that the Jap[anese] are secretly violating their 
mandate for administering those islands. We have been trying to find out 
what's going on there for twenty years, and we here you've done it in twenty 
days." [Layton, p. 53] 

By 1940 the ever growing capabilities of the intercept stations and cryptanalysts in both 
the US and the UK would result in both Ultra and MAGIC and the eventual reading of 
much but not all of the Japanese Diplomatic and Naval traffic. 

An example of the unique importance of the MAGIC decrypt are messages from the 
period July 1941, when Japan invaded Indochina to September 1941 when the decision 
was made to go to war with the US, UK and their allies to establish a Greater East Asia 
Co-Prosperity Sphere: 

"Emperor Hirohito heard how his military planned to achieve Japan's 
national objectives and that they were preparing for 'war with the United 
States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands to expel their influence from east 
Asia, to establish a sphere for self-defence and self-preservation of our 
empire, and to build a new order in Greater East Asia.'" [Layton, pi 52] 

Herbert Yardley and his wife Edna Ramsaier both worked for a brief time for the 
fledgling Examination Unit in Ottawa, helping to set the EU up, until the US Signal 
Intelligence Service threatened to cut ties with their Canadian counterpart due to 
Yardley' s presence in Canada and his past transgression in revealing the secrets of the 
"Black Chamber" to the world. 

As historian John Bryden notes in reviewing the work of Station Point Grey: 

"War between Japan and the United States meant a chance at the big 
time for Canada's fledgling wireless intelligence services. The Examination 
Unit prepared to receive Yardley's replacement. Yardley was given a golden 
handshake of two-and-a-half-month salary and a glowing letter of thanks 
from Norman Robertson. . . . 

Just when Yardley was banished from cryptanalysis forever - he and 
Edna opened a small restaurant together - the war in the Pacific charged the 

airwaves with thousand of new signals, and both the Canadian Army and 
Navy wanted to meet the challenge. Work was urgently pushed forward on a 
new Special Wireless Service being built by the Army at Victoria, while the 
Department of Transport intercept station at Point Grey near Vancouver 
added three more receivers." [Bryden, p. 99] 

The offices of Canada's wartime cryptographic service, the Examination Unit, were in 

"in a new building in downtown Ottawa, a large Victorian house on Laurier 
Avenue next door to the Prime Minister's residence. For the rest of the war, 
the dumpy figure of Mackenzie King ambling up his front walk at the end of 
the day was a familiar site to those labouring over the codes and ciphers of 
Canada's enemies." [Bryden., p. 135] 

During the Second World War, Canada's army, air and naval forces, although lead by 
Canadians, were seconded to allied military commands, which were in turn lead by either 
US or UK commanders. It was left to the US and the UK to directly work on enemy 
military signals. 

The primary function from its inception for the wartime work of the Examination Unit 
and Canadian cryptanalysis in general was in the diplomatic realm and not the military 
one, although it did include the signals from Japanese Military attaches. 

The head of the Japanese Diplomatic section of the Examination Unit in 1945 was 
Lieutenant Commander Earl Hope (RCN). He and his colleagues would be merged into 
an expanded Canadian cryptanalysis group known as the Discrimination Unit in the 
summer of 1945. Lt Cdr Hope and his colleagues would be intimately involved in the 
interception of the Japanese messages involved in the diplomatic endgame in the Pacific. 

The diplomatic focus is reflected in the Examination Unit's chain of authority: Norman 
Robertson reported to Lester B. Pearson in External Affairs, who in turn reported to his 
Minister, as well as, from time to time, to the Prime Minister directly. 

From the middle of the Pacific war onwards, the intercepts collected at Station Point 
Grey were shared in their entirety with the US and the UK: 

"This lead to the creation in Washington of the . . . Joint Intelligence Center 
for the Pacific War, which took charge of the processing and distribution of 
all Japanese military and diplomatic traffic regardless of source." [Bryden, p. 

By 1942 this special intelligence work would be in a position to help guide Allied 
Strategy in the PTO from 1942 and clear through to the defeat of Japan. 

Unsure whether they would be able to defeat the US, Emperor Hirohito and his 
Government had from the onset of the War in the Pacific a specific strategy in mind: 

"The best they could hope for was that a lightening conquest of 
Southeast Asia, and a defensive perimeter of Pacific Island bases, could 
secure an invincible position for Japan, thereby permitting her diplomats to 
negotiate from a position of strength to bring the war to an end." [Layton, 

From January 1942 to August, 1945 the war in the Pacific Theatre of Operation (PTO) 
for the US and its Allies became primarily a naval campaign, with a handful of landings 
and land battles on far flung islands, or island hopping as in the case of Formosa, and 
other island groups. 

Island hopping meant that instead of doing battle with the Japanese, the Japanese army 
garrisons on these islands were left to wither on the vine or succumb by attrition. 

1.2 The Diplomatic Circuits Monitored by Station Point Grey, Summer 1945 

With the surrender of the last axis combatants in the European Theatre of Operation 
(ETO) on May 8th, 1945, the Pacific became the main focus of Allied efforts, with relief 
and reconstruction within Europe of secondary importance. 

The Special Intelligence work being undertaken by Station-Point Grey did not end with 
the defeat of German and the closing of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin and the surrender 
of Ambassador Oshima to the Americans (refer to Part 1 and 2 of this series). 

In and above the Berlin-Tokyo circuits, from 1943 onwards, was also intercepting secret 
coded Japanese diplomatic and commercial messages on the Stockholm-Tokyo, Berne- 
Tokyo, and most importantly on the Moscow-Tokyo circuit, as well as a number of lesser 
European circuits in Lisbon, at the Vatican and Madrid (refer to Fig. 3: The Main Radio 
Circuits Monitored by Station Point Grey, Summer 1945). The messages intercepted by 
Station Point Grey were primarily diplomatic in nature and reflected for the most part the 
priorities set out in the 1943 Little-Denniston Agreement. 

Tokyo - Prime Minister Suzuki 
Moscow - Naotake Sato 

Stockholm - Sucmaia Okamoto 

Berne - Shunichi Kase 

Fig. 3: The Main Radio Circuits Monitored by Station Point Grey, Summer 1945 

A typical diplomatic message Station Point Grey intercept is that of a message sent out 
by the Foreign Ministry to its Embassies in Stockholm and Sweden after a May 25 l , 
1945 raid on Tokyo: 

"From Tokyo: 

Between 10:00 pm and 1:00 pm on May 25 th 300 B-29s concentrated 
their attack on the centre of the capital with incendiary and high explosive 
bombs, and as a result it is estimated that within the area bounded by 
KOJIMACHI, AKASAKA and AZABU wards, 130,000 houses were burnt 
to the ground and 510,000 people were affected. 

With parts of the Imperial Palace, the OMIYA Palace, the Palaces of 
the Prince CHICHIBU and Prince KAN 'IN heading the lists of 
establishments completely destroyed by fire, the Foreign, Navy and War 
Ministries were also razed." [Bryden, p. 255] 

1.3 The Bushido Code - Banzai, Kamikaze, Kaiten and Ketsu 

As the conflict grew closer and closer to Japan, the defence of their Main islands became 
the primary war policy of the Imperial Japanese Government. With its navy and air force 
all but decimated, as the US Navy drove further into Japanese home waters they came 
under attack by air by the Kamikaze and by Kaiten suicide torpedoes. 

The Banzai attacks, the Kamikaze and the Kaiten, as well as the General Order "Ketsu 
Sakusen''' (the final operation, a Fight to the Death), reflected a desperate and suicidal 
tactic that was a clear and present danger to the Allies and a direct manifestation of the 
Bushido Code of the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the armed forces of Imperial Japan, 
as well as preparations by civilians, some as young as teenage girls and boys (Fig. 4: A 
Manifestation of the Bushido Code - Ketsu Sakusen). 

In its most explicit nature this Bushido Code was expressed in Article 8 of the Army 
Field Code: 

"Never be taken alive, never accept the humiliation of becoming a prisoner." 

Petty Officer Yokota, aKaiten described Bushido and the indoctrination of the Japanese: 

"And dozen of times each week we heard the words of Meiji, grandfather of 
the Emperor, repeated with vengeance, 'Death has only the weight of a 
feather, but duty is as heavy as a mountain." [Yokota, p. 15] 

The battles for Tarawa, Iowa Jim and Okinawa would prove particularly bloody and 
costly in human lives, of combatant and non-combatant alike. The Bushido Code and 
the brutality of the Banzai spirit meant that some 12,000 Americans were killed and 
38,000 Americans were injured and 110,000 Japanese were killed and only Japanese 
7,000 surrendered during the battle for Okinawa. 

Over 1,900 Kamikaze missions were flown against the US fleet off Okinawa and 38 ships 
sunk, and twice as many ships damaged. Several hundred sailors lost their lives. 
[Keegan, p. 568] 

Army- Banzai Charges 
Air Force - Kamikaze 

Ketsu Sakusen - Suicide Mission 

Navy - Kaiten *"~ * Bushido Code - mistreatment of 

non-combatants and POWs 

*Mokusatsu - rejecting by ignoring 

Fig. 4: A Manifestation of the Bushido Code - Ketsu Sakusen 

While much has been written about the Kamikaze, the IJN's Kaiten project is uniquely 
interesting. The Kaiten were human suicide torpedoes built around a modified Model 93 
- Long Lance Torpedo developed by the IJN. The Model 93 was used quite successfully 
during the war and was the most advanced torpedo in the world at the time. 

In his autobiography "Kaiten Weapon", IJN Petty Officer Yutaka Yokota explains the 
meaning of Kaiten in this fashion: 

"Translated literally into English, 'Kaiten'' means 'sky change', but it 
has a much fuller meaning in Japanese. Kaiten, in our connotation, means to 
bring about a tremendous change in the way things are going, to make a 
radical reverse in affairs." [Yokata, p. 24] 

Why someone would volunteer for such a suicide mission is explained by Yokota: 

"Throughout the entire Pacific War, not one Japanese Sailor or 
Officer was decorated for bravery. A Japanese Navy Man, whether he be a 
seaman or an admiral, was expected to fight, and die if necessary, for his 
country simply because that was his duty. He fought to preserve his country, 
or defeat her enemies, but not for any medal or glory. The privilege of 
fighting, and dying, was considered reward enough. Perhaps this is one of the 
things that has made it so difficult for Westerners to understand us Japanese. I 
am sure that volunteering for kamikaze duty, or Kaiten duty, must be another. 
However, it has always been the Japanese way." [Yokota, p. 24] 

The Bushido Code and the way of the samurai is explained in this fashion by Yokota: 

"What ever lay ahead of me would fill my family with pride when they 
finally receive news of the manner of my death, for Japanese history, music 
and literature are rich in stories of heroes who died defending their country 
and its ruling family. Every schoolboy knew most of the names by heart, 

much as American boys can name famous frontiersmen. The samurai, with 
his quiet, polite ways and unending courage meant to us what cowboys mean 
to American youths." [Yokota, p. 18] 

The symbolism of Bushido and the short sword to the Japanese soldier is also explained. 
Like the shield of ancient Sparta meant to protect in battle or as a carry for the dead: 

"The short sword meant the same thing in Japan. A man must either 
fight honourably to victory, or use the short sword to commit seppuku, which 
Westerners call hari kiri, as atonement for failing. Once this sword was 
presented, a life was pledged for the Empire, either through battle death or 
disembowelment. " [Yokota, p. 44] 

Yukota, one of the volunteer pilots in the IJN human suicide torpedo program, describes 
the Kaiten torpedoes themselves as a terrifyingly destructive weapon of naval warfare: 

"By January 1943 the completed plans were ready. The enlarged Model 93 
was now much thicker than its original 24-inch diameter. Also, it had grown 
from 30 feet in length to 54, but it would carry a monster charge - 3,000 lbs - 
of high explosive in its nose, 5 times that of the enemy torpedoes! 
Calculations showed that the Kaiten would be able to make 40-kt speed, and 
run for an hour. Range could be increased by sacrificing some explosive 
power, but [designers] Kuroki and Nishina would not consider this alteration 
at all. They felt that a 40 nautical mile range was sufficient for the kind of 
operation they had in mind, especially since a 3,000- pound warhead would 
surely sink any warship in the world. Nothing afloat could withstand such a 
hit in its vitals. If the Model 93 Long Lance could break the back of a 
cruiser, as it did two months before in the battle off Tassafaronga, in the 
Solomons, surely the new weapon, three times as powerful, could do the 
same to a battleship or aircraft carrier." [Yukota, p. 32] 

The Kaiten were made at arsenals in Hiroshima Prefecture, and were deployed from 
several secret Naval bases in the region. 

If an invasion of the Japanese Mainland had been necessary, the combination of Banzai, 
Kamikaze and Kaiten would have wreck havoc on the allied fleets and landings, costing 
many lives and placing the success of the Proposed OPERATION OLYMPIC and 
OPERATION in jeopardy. 

Orders were also sent out to stand ready, in the event of the invasion of the Japanese 
Main Islands, to execute over 100,000 allied prisoners of war and non-combatants at 
camps within Japan proper, and in regions of their remaining conquest. The secret orders 
read as follows: 

(a) whether they are destroyed individually or in groups, or however it is done, with 
mass bombing, or poisonous smoke, poisons, drowning, decapitation, or what, 
dispose of them as the situation dictates. 

(b) In any case it is the aim not to allow the escape of a single one, to annihilate them 
all, and not to leave any trace {emphasis in original} [A & P, p. 285] 

These secret orders were intercepted and decrypted by the Allies. If they had been 
enacted these orders would be an obscene example of the Bushido Code. 

The Bushido Code would also dictate the Mokusatsu arrogance of the Imperial Japanese 
Army and the Imperial Japanese Government {Mokusatsu -rejecting by ignoring) and 
their rejection of the July 26 l , 1945 Potsdam declaration ... "Mokusatsu meant the 
inevitability of the bomb." [SW p. 290] 

To expedite an end to the murder, brutality and hostilities in the Pacific, as the Allies 
listened to the diplomatic messages between Tokyo, Moscow, Bern and Stockholm it 
became evident that a decision would have to be made, 

> whether to treat Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal in the same 
way that national leaders Hitler and Mussolini were war criminals 

> or not to try Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal and to permit the 
Japanese people to keep the Emperor, 

and draft the unconditional surrender in terms of the Japanese Armed Forces. 

In the near term, political and military pragmatism would prevail. There was also post- 
war uncertainty to deal with. 

In the long term history would be swept slowly and surreptitiously under the carpet 
within Japan proper and forgotten by much of the world, except in those countries and 
amongst the kinsmen and countrymen who suffered at the hands of Emperor Hirohito, the 
Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Government. 

The traditional route for a samurai leader to take was to recognize as eloquently stated by 
Yokota, that "a man must either fight honourably to victory, or use the short sword to 
commit seppuku ... as atonement for failing." 

Each amongst the Japanese, there are those who believe that Emperor Hirohito should 

> followed the counsel given by him to his own loyal subjects, 

> abdicated and 

> atoned for his sins. 

1.4 The Asian Holocaust 

That "New Order" imposed on Asia from 1935 to 1945 resulted in the widespread 
implementation of a political policy meant to destroy the economic and political spheres 
forged by other nations in the region. It also meant a deliberate and widespread murder 
and brutality inflicted on combatants and non-combatants alike. 

At the heart of the Japanese political policy in the period 1935 to 1945 was a disregard of 
International Law, as it applied to the Conduct of War and the Treatment of Prisoners, 
and of non-Combatants, a disregard which resulted in an Asian Holocaust - a systematic 
murder in Asia of some 20 to 30 million people, the destruction of many billions of 
public and private property and the toppling of stable functioning societies. 

Such widespread destruction and dislocation were central to the aims of Emperor 
Hirohito and his Imperial Japanese Government to establish a "new order" in Asia. 

The actual totals will never been known for certainty but appear to be between 20 and 30 
million people. The War Crime Trials in Tokyo after the war would just scratch the 
surface of the crimes against humanity committed by the Japanese during the War in the 
Pacific. [Asian] 

Thomas B. Allen and Norman Polmar express the scale of the Asian Holocaust in terms 
of the Three-all policy of the Japanese Emperor and his "Divine Land": 

"Japan's 'Three-all' policy in China - 'kill all, burn all, destroy all' - 
cost the lives of millions of Chinese. The population in occupied China 
plummeted from 44 million to an estimated 25 million, and although millions 
fled to areas held by Chiang Kai-shek's forces, millions of others died from 
Japanese brutality and Japanese-inflicted starvation. Many Japanese looked 
upon Chinese as subhumans. To Japanese medical researchers performing 
hideous experiments, Chinese victims were maruta, 'blocks of wood.' Not 

human beings. In the notorious Unit 731. Japan's major bacterial-warfare 
research organization, countless Chinese, Koreans, Mongolians, people from 
conquered Manchuria - as well as some U.S. prisoners - were treated, in the 
words of a Unit 731 worker, like 'valuable laboratory animals.' Some 
infected with plague bacilli, were dissected as they lay dying so that their 
diseased organ can be used for new plague bacilli cultures. 

While on duty in Central China, a Japanese Army surgeon said that 
he had tested anaesthetics and performed practice amputations on healthy 
Chinese prisoners, then killed then. He also admitted to shooting prisoners so 
that he could teach other surgeons how to remove bullets. Confessing long 
after the war, he said hundreds of other military doctors and nurses performed 
similar. 'Most never recognized their crimes because it was justice to kill and 
rape the Chinese and other Asians.' He said. ' It was all for the Emperor.'" 
[A&P,p. 157] 

The author Chalmers Johnson more recently wrote an overview of the Asian Holocaust: 

"It may be pointless to try to establish which World War Two Axis aggressor, 
Germany or Japan, was the more brutal to the peoples it victimised. The 
Germans killed six million Jews and 20 million Russians; the Japanese 
slaughtered as many as 30 million Filipinos, Malays, Vietnamese, 
Cambodians, Indonesians and Burmese, at least 23 million of them ethnic 
Chinese. Both nations looted the countries they conquered on a monumental 
scale, though Japan plundered more, over a longer period, than the Nazis. 
Both conquerors enslaved millions and exploited them as forced labourers - 
and, in the case of the Japanese, as prostitutes for front-line troops. If you 
were a Nazi prisoner of war from Britain, America, Australia, New Zealand 
or Canada (but not Russia) you faced a 4 per cent chance of not surviving the 
war; the death rate for Allied POWs held by the Japanese was nearly 30 per 
cent. "[Johnson] 

The statistician and historian Werner Gruhl Werner estimates the civilian victims at 
closer to 20,365,000. [Gruhl] 

Detailed by country: China; 12,392,000; 

Indochina; 1,500,000; 

Korea; 500,000; 

Dutch East Indies; 3,000,000; 

Malaya and Singapore; 100,000; 

Philippines; 500,000; 

Burma; 170,000; 

Forced laborers in Southeast Asia; 70,000, 

Interned non-Asian civilians; 30,000 

Timor 60,000; 

Thailand and Pacific Islands 60,000. 

Gruhl estimates POW deaths in Japanese captivity at 331,584. 

Detailed by country: China 270,000; 

Netherlands 8,500; 
U.K. 12,433; 
Canada 273; 
Philippines 20,000; 
Australia 7,412; 
New Zealand 3 1 ; and 
United States 12,935 

It was evident that to bring an end the Asian Holocaust and an end of the War in the 
Pacific and the defeat Imperial Japan meant, just as in the case of Japan's Axis Partners 
Germany and Italy, 

> the invasion of the Japanese homeland, 

> the Unconditional Surrender of Japan, 

> the Occupation of the Japanese homeland 

> an International War Crimes Tribunal and the punishment of Japanese 
War Criminals (the Tokyo Tribunals) 

> the establishing of a new elected Government committed to 
democracy, and 

> the full acceptance by the Japanese of International Law and the ideals 
of the Community of Nations. 

The storm after the pause was the Battle for Okinawa. 

By the spring of 1945 plans were well on their way to invade the Japanese Main Islands 
beginning with the southernmost island of Kyushu. Work was also nearly completed on 
both the gun and implosion type atomic bombs at Los Alamos. The first atomic test 
would be in July, and the first deployment to Tinian in early August, 1945. 


Once Okinawa fell to the Allies in the spring of 1945 it was evident to the Japanese High 
Command that the thrust towards Japan would next lead to the southern island of Kyushu 
(Fig. 5: The Allied Advance from Okinawa to Kyushu, OPERATION OLYMPIC). 



^■The Western 

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Fig. 5: The Allied Advance from Okinawa to Kyushu (OPERATION OLYMPIC) 

Know as OPERATION DOWNFALL, the plan consisted of several proposed landings on 
the four main Islands of Japan: (refer to Fig. 6: OPERATION OLYMPIC). 

> OPERATION OLYMPIC the first landing, an invasion of the Island of 
Kyushu titled scheduled for 1 st November 1945 

> OPERATION CORONET the second landing, an invasion on the main 
island of Honshu near Tokyo scheduled for April 1946. 

> SOVIET OPERATIONS against the Kurile Island (August, 1945) 

> SOVIET OPERATIONS a proposed Soviet Landing on the islands of 
Hokkaido and Honshu and 
1945 and the spring of 1946 

Hokkaido and Honshu and an advance to the 38 l Parallel in the fall of 

The Japanese High Command had made the judgement that Kyushu would be the first 
landing by the Allies. This assessment was supported by the fact that the direct line from 
Okinawa to Honshu island went through Kyushu. 

The southernmost island of Kyushu was heavily defended and well supported though the 
Southern Command HQ in Hiroshima. As a prelude to OPERATION OLYMPIC the 
island of Kyushu was to be isolated from Honshu Island. 

On Kyushu in August 1945 was located over 540,000 Japanese soldiers (refer to Fig. 7: 
Estimated Japanese Troop Strength on Kyushu, August 1945). 

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/■■■.■■■\:M-. -J--. ■. ■■ At.:..' .'-» : 

Estimated Troop Strength 
4inly /Ttmhd rorcefr 355,000 
Navy ground forces 90.000 
Mr tvoum) fcrcas ioO.OOO 

tolill S*S,0OD* 

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MmtfUr ma ndo ■* wMqrtitMt. ** 
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Fig, 7: Estimated Japanese Troop Strength on Kyushu, August 1945 (Source: NARA) 

The command headquarters for Kyushu Island and southern Honshu Island was located in 
the Port City of Hiroshima, supported by the Naval Port and Arsenal of Kure (refer to 
Fig. 8: The Ports of Hiroshima and Kure) 

Fig. 8: The Port Cities of Hiroshima and Kure 

In 1945 Hiroshima was the eighth largest city in Japan with a population of over 365,000 
inhabitants, of which nearly 90,000 were troops or war production workers. Located in 
the city were major military and industries targets like the Mitsubishi works and naval 
facilities, with the major Naval facility of Kure a short distance to the south east (refer to 
Fig. 9: Second Army HQ, Southern Japan - Hiroshima). [SW] 


Fig. 9: Second Army HQ, Southern Japan - Hiroshima 

By the summer of 1945 the once proud and mighty Imperial Japanese Navy had been all 
but destroyed. In June 1945 few of its aircraft carriers (including a number that were 
built in the period 1943 - 1945) and few of it capital ships remained. 

The largest ship remaining afloat was the battleship Nagato, which had been Admiral 
Yamamoto's flagship which was anchored in Hiroshima bay on December 7 l , 1941 and 
is where Yamamoto oversaw his attack on Pearl Harbour by radio. In Kure, in the 
spring of 1945, were several newly built and advanced UN aircraft carriers including the 
Amagi, which was sunk in air raids, (refer to Fig. 10: Air Raid on Kure, March 1945). 

Fig. 10: Air Raid on Kure, March 1945 

The remnants of the Japanese Fleet, a few dozen large submarines, five man Koryu 
midget submarines, miniature two man submarines, and Kaiten suicide torpedoes were 
hidden away at the Naval Port and submarine force Sixth Fleet HQ at Kure, a short 
distance east of Hiroshima Bay. 

Much of the armaments and torpedoes for the remaining ships and submarines were built 
in and around Kokura, Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the distributed network of skilled and 
semi-skilled war workers, many of who worked in their homes (refer to Fig. 11: 
Miniature Submarines at Kure Ship yard, August 1945) 

Photo # 80-G-351S7S Japanese midget submarines in drydnck at Kure. 19 October 1945 

Fig. 11: Miniature Submarines at Kure Shipyard, 1945 

By the summer of 1945, Japan had also lost 90 % of their maritime freighters and tankers, 
mostly to USN submarines and naval mines. The allies had established a naval blockade 
of the Japanese mainland, even to the point of interdicting the movement of coal from 
Hokkaido, the northern island in the home chain, across the 50 km wide Tsugaro channel 
between Hokkaido and Honshu, and sinking the coal ferries and small vessels plying the 
northern coal routes. 

Nearly 12,000 naval mines were also deployed in the region adjacent to Kure, Hiroshima 
and Kyushu in the first six months of 1945, most deployed by US aircraft to help isolate 
Kyushu from the mainland. [SW p. 299] 

Three of the four primary targets on the atom bomb target list were port cities and 
legitimate military targets associated with the defence of the focus of OPERATION 
OLYMPIC, the island of Kyushu: 

> Hiroshima (Second Army HQ, Southern Japan) 

> Nagasaki (south western Kyushu) 

> Kokura (now known as Kitakyushu - West Kyushu) 

In and above the primary targets of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kokura, which the Japanese 
High Command viewed as vital to the defence of Kyushu, to support the OPERATION 
OLYMPIC landings the Allies were prepared to use upwards of nine atom bombs as 
tactical weapons against the 550,000 Japanese troops on the island of Kyushu. 

The secondary atomic bomb target list included targets in the vicinity of the main 
OPERATION OLYMPIC landing zones around 

> Kagoshima, 

> Ariake Bay and 

> Miyazaki. 

In each of these landing areas, plans were drafted for three atom bombs were to be used 
in support of each landing zone (refer to Fig. 12: Nine Proposed Atom Bomb Targets, 
Kyushu Invasion, November 1945). 

The dropping of an atom bomb on a large military target such as the Port City of 
Hiroshima, is a Strategic Use of an atom bomb. The possible use of atom bombs against 
soldiers in the field, the Tactical Use of the Atom Bomb, was first suggested as early as 
July 30 l , 1945 by General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Engineering District, in 
a letter he wrote to General Marshall. 

Allen and Polmar would describe the proposed tactical uses of the atom bomb in these 

"[Marshall] believed that at least nine atom bombs could have been used in the 
invasion, three in support of each of the three U.S. Corps in the Kyushu assault. 
One would be dropped, before the landing, on the stretch of shore assigned to each 
Corps, a second would be targeted on Japanese forces inland from the beaches, and 
a third would be dropped on enemy reinforcements 'that might try to come through 
the mountains' in northern Kyushu." [A&P, p.260] 

Had OPERATION OLYMPIC proved necessary a total of upwards of 500,000 tonnes 
(500 kt) of conventional bombs, and 260,000 tonnes (13 x 20 kt = 260 kt) of atom bomb 
yield would have been used during the invasion of Kyushu, a total of 760 kt. [A & P] 

In fact only two atom bombs with a combined yield of 32 kt (1/8 1 of the planned total) 
would be used against military targets in Japan in the lead up to the invasion of Kyushu 
before the Imperial Japanese Government accepted the futility of continuing to make war, 
and accepted the Potsdam Unconditional Surrender terms. 

In a series of high level committee discussions chaired by Secretary of War Henry 
Stimson, a demonstration test of the atom bomb for the Japanese was decided against, as 
was their use against Tactical Targets prior to the planned invasion of Kyushu. A list of 
Strategic Targets was prepared for Secretary Stimson. 

The total number of Japanese combatants and non-combatants that would have died in 
the Invasion of the island of Kyushu, OPERATION OLYMPIC, is estimated at 500,000, 
while the total number of allied combatants killed or injured was an estimated 250,000. 

A greater number would have perished in OPERATION CORONET scheduled for the 
spring of 1946, as well as a Soviet Invasion and Occupation of the Northern Island of 
Hokkaido and the portion of the Mainland to the 38 l parallel. 

2^2 Pre -Landing 

<> Post- Landing 

\_J Against Reinforcements 

Fig. 12: Nine Proposed Atom Bomb Targets, Kyushu Invasion, November 1945 

Mindful of wider implications and his unique responsibilities, Secretary of War Henry 
Stimson removed a number of cities off the proposed list of strategic targets because of 
their unique cultural significance to the Japanese. 

At the top of the list of strategic military targets for OPERATION OLYMPICS was the 
Port City of Hiroshima. 

Prior to the attack on Hiroshima, leaflets were dropped on the city urging the residents to 
leave the city. The following morning on August 6 l a single atom bomb was dropped on 
Hiroshima, taking this strategic military target and Port City out of the war. (refer to Fig. 
13: A Recently Rediscovered Picture of the Cloud Rising above Hiroshima) 

Fig. 13: A recently rediscovered picture of the Cloud Rising above Hiroshima 

The atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima killed an estimated 140,000 Japanese combatants 
and non-combatants (a combatant is someone in uniform or directly involved in war 
related activity, such as war production). The day following the dropping of the 
bombing of Hiroshima, over 6 million Warning leaflets were dropped on 47 Japanese 
cities with populations exceeding 100,000 urging the Japanese to surrender. 

This Warning leaflet was translated into Japanese, printed and dropped by B-29 over the 
47 cities across Japan the day following the Hiroshima bombing. The Emperor and 
members of his war cabinet in Tokyo all received and read copies of the Potsdam 
Declaration, transcripts of the allied radio broadcasts and leaflets urging the 
unconditional surrender of Japan. The Warning leaflets were five brief and blunt 
paragraphs: [SW, p. 447] 


America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this 

We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised 
by man. A single one of our newly developed ATOMIC BOMBS* is actually 
the equivalent in explosive power to 2000 of our giant B-29's can carry on a 
single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly 
assure you it is grimly accurate. 

We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland. If you 
still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened at Hiroshima when 
just one atomic bomb fell on that city. 

Before using this bomb to destroy every resource of the military by 
which prolonging this useless war, we ask that you petition the Emperor to 
end the war. Our President has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of 
an honourable surrender. We urge you accept these consequences and begin 
the work of a new, better and peace-loving Japan. 

You should take steps now to cease military resistance. Otherwise, 
we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all other superior weapons to 
promptly and forcefully end the war. 


(* ATOMIC BOMB was translated into GENSHI BAKUDAN) 

While this drama was unfolding the Allies were decrypting messages, including 
diplomatic messages by Station Point Grey, which was helping the Allies to refine their 
"end game " diplomacy and accomplishing an end to the Pacific War in the fastest 
manner possible and with the lowest loss of life possible. The Allies had had to wait over 
100 hours for the Imperial Japanese Government to follow through with their offer. 

Nine days after Hiroshima, and six days after Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito, the Imperial 
Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Government accepted the Unconditional Surrender 
terms on August 15 th , 1945. 

For over two weeks before the signing of the terms of surrender on September 2 n , 1945, 
the Imperial Japanese Government undertook internal efforts 

> To disarm the Japanese Fighting Forces 

> To destroy the 12,000 + kamikaze aircraft, the 300+ Kaiten and related 
"Ketsu Sakusen" weapons 

> To destroy documents and evidence of war crimes 

> To destroy documents and evidence of war related activities 

> To destroy documents and evidence of their Nuclear, Chemical and 
Biological Weapon work (eg. Unit 731) 

> Prepare the Japanese People for Occupation by the Allies. 

If Emperor Hirohito, and his Government had not accepted the surrender terms on that 
date another target from the primary list, most likely Kokura would have been destroyed 
by the third operational bomb before the 21 st of August, 1945. 

The city of Kokura was a major industrial centre and military target, and was, in fact, the 
primary target on August 9 l , 1945. Due to bad weather and a lack of visual 
confirmation, Nagasaki was targeted instead (in fact the plane that dropped the Nagasaki 

bomb returned to base with less than 7 gallons of fuel remaining in its tank, starting its 
flight with 6,650 gallons). 

Counter to mistaken belief, the Allies never intended to attack Tokyo with an atom bomb 
for fear of decimating and destroying the very Government they were in negotiations 
with to end the war. International Law, including War Law, does not condone the 
destruction of an Enemy's Government even during wartime, a wisdom arrived at in the 
aftermath of the 1870 Franco-German war and the siege of Paris. 

Had Emperor Hirohito and the Imperial Japanese Government accepted the 
Unconditional Surrender terms when offered in July 1945, there would have been no 
need to introduce atom bombs into the Pacific Theatre of Operation, and they would have 
probably not found their way so readily into modern military arsenals. 

Had the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Government accepted the 
Unconditional Surrender terms immediate following an atom bomb being dropped on 
Hiroshima, there would have been no need to drop a second atom bomb on Nagasaki (the 
primary target for the second atom bomb was Kokura, which was obscured by bad 
weather and so as a result the secondary target of Nagasaki was attacked instead). 

A careful reading of the Declaration gives a clear indication of what was to come (See 
Appendix Four: The Potsdam Declaration). 

Ultimately it appears that the Asian Holocaust, the Bushido code and the Mokusatsu 
arrogance of Emperor Hirohito, the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces and the Imperial 
Japanese Government is what may have made Hiroshima and Nagasaki inevitable. 

Had Emperor Hirohito, the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese 
Government not accepted the Unconditional Surrender terms at the earliest date possible, 
plans were well underway to produce three atom bombs each month beginning in 
September 1945. 

The use of these atom bombs would mean that military targets like the industrial centre of 
Kokura on the island of Kyushu would have been the next target, followed most likely in 
short order by other military targets such as the naval port of Kure east of Hiroshima. 

If the planned OPERATION OLYMPIC invasion of Kyushu, had gone ahead as 
scheduled for 1 st November, 1945 it is likely several other Strategic Military Targets in 
and around Kyushu, such as the 

> Kokura 

> Kure 

> Kagoshima, 

> Ariake Bay and 

> Miyazaki. 

would have met the same fate as the Port Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

At the heart of the great drama from the period of the Potsdam Declaration in July 1945 
to the Unconditional Surrender of Japan and the end of the war in the Pacific Theatre of 
Operations in August 1945 is the work of intercept stations like Station Point Grey and 
the Special Intelligence collected there (refer to Appendix 4: Potsdam Declaration, 26 l 
July, 1945). 

The radio intercept operators at Station Point Grey were listening in to the diplomatic 
traffic being sent by the Emperor Hirohito, and the Imperial Japanese Government to and 
from Tokyo to Moscow, Bern and Stockholm regarding the Allies' Potsdam 
Unconditional Surrender Proclamation and the disposition of Emperor Hirohito. 

These Station Point Grey intercepts would help to bring an early end the War in the 

2.0 Canada and the War in the Pacific 

The devastation wrought on military targets in wartime Japan had a link to the past and 
events of that period at Ports on both Canada's East and West Coasts, and in particular to 
a direct link to a sad tragedy inflicted on Halifax in 1917. 

2.1 The Halifax Explosion of 1917 


On the morning of the 6 of December, 1917 within Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia, 
the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship collided with a second vessel and caught fire. 
The Mont-Blanc was carrying munitions from Canada to France for the allied war effort. 

At 9:04, some 25 minutes after the collision, the Mont-Blanc exploded with a force 
equivalent to 3,000 tonnes of high explosive (3 kt). A mushroom cloud from the 
explosion rose to a height of over 6,100 metres (refer to Fig. 14: Picture of the Halifax 


Explosion, Dec. 6, 1941) 


Fig. 14: Picture of the Halifax Explosion, Dec. 6 , 1917 

The explosion of the Mont-Blanc was due to human error by the French crew while 
underway. The resulting explosion killed 2,000 and injured 9,000 Canadians, levelling 
much of Halifax's inner harbour. 

The force of the explosion destroyed the Mont-Blanc, launching the remains of her hull 
300 metres into the air and sending white-hot shards of iron raining down upon Halifax 
and the surrounding region. Part of the Mont-Blanc's anchor landed 3.2 kilometres away 
from the explosion. As debris rained down on the city many building shattered by the 
blast caught fire, creating an inferno that caused most of the death and injury. 

The shock wave from the blast travelled through the earth at several times the speed of 
sound and was heard as far away as Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. The harbour 
floor was momentarily exposed as a large volume of water was vaporized. 

A tsunami was formed by water surging in to fill the void, which rose up as high as 1 8 
metres (60 ft) above the harbour's high- water mark on the Halifax side. An area over 160 
hectares was completely destroyed by the explosion (refer to Fig. 15: Halifax Harbour 
two days after the Explosion, looking south). 

Fig. 15: Halifax Harbour two days after the Explosion, looking south 

Over 1,500 people were killed instantly while 9,000 were injured. Every building within 
a 26 kilometres (16 mi) radius, over 12,000 total, was destroyed or badly damaged (refer 
to Fig. 16: The Epicentre of the 1917 Halifax Harbour Explosion, - the area within the 
contour line was totally destroyed). 

■ ' l_ ■* -V 

CITY' Qf /-/At-ff=-A#~ 

Fig. 16: The Epicentre of the 1917 Halifax Harbour Explosion 

The explosion had damaged buildings and shattered windows 15 km distant. An area of 
around 325 square kilometres was badly damaged. Buildings shook over 100 km away. 
The explosion was felt and heard in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, over 200 
kilometres distant, and as far away as Cape Breton some 400 km east. 

Large brick and stone factories near Pier 6, at the 500 metre wide narrows into the 
harbour, such as the Acadia Sugar Refinery and the Hillis & Sons Foundry, as well as the 
Nova Scotia cotton mill disappeared into unrecognizable heaps of rubble, killing most of 
their workers. The Royal Naval College of Canada was also destroyed, and several cadets 
and instructors seriously injured. 

The Rt. Hon. Robert Borden Canada's Prime Minister was in Charlottetown 215 km away 
at the time of explosion and he heard it along with his entourage. Two days later the 
Prime Minister arrived and toured Halifax to oversee and organize the recovery and 
rescue efforts. 

There was an official Board of Inquiry along with a number of scientific groups which 
studied the effects of the explosion. It was determined that the explosion released an 
explosion with a yield of 3,000 tonnes (3 kt), the largest single conventional explosion in 
modern terms. The Mont Blanc was carrying very flammable and explosive cargo (refer 
to Fig. 17: A drawing of the Mont Blanc from the official Board of Inquiry) 

EXHIBIT M. B. R. 1 (See page 38). 

Fig. 17: A drawing of the Mont Blanc from the official Board of Inquiry 

A description of the explosive yield and the explosive cargo is listed in Table 1 (refer to 
Table 1: Explosive Cargo and Explosive Yield of the Mont Blanc). 

Explosive Type 






Picric Acid, wet 




Picric Acid, dry 














0.3 (est.) 





Table 1: Explosive Cargo and Explosive Yield of the Mont Blanc 

In his famous letter to President Roosevelt warning the US President of the ominous 
possibilities that nuclear fission and atom bombs provide, Albert Einstein states what 
even as early as 1939 in light of the 1917 Halifax explosion had become an obvious 
matter (refer to Appendix 1: Albert Einstein's 1939 letter to President Roosevelt): 

"A single bomb of this type, carried by a boat and exploded in a port, might 
well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory." 

For nearly thirty years the 1917 Halifax explosion was the largest man made explosion 
until the Trinity test of July 1945, a nuclear test of the Fat Man implosion design. 

The scientists at Los Alamos, in fact, used the scientific evidence gathered during the 
investigation of the Halifax explosion to estimate the effects of the dropping of an atom 
bomb on a strategic military target in Japan 

2.2 The Defence of the Port of Vancouver and the Vulnerability of West Coast Ports 

Mindful of the Halifax Explosion of the First World War, and of the manner in which 
Pearl Harbour was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy, during the Second World 
War the Royal Canadian Navy set in place procedures to prevent a repeat of a Mont 
Blanc type disaster in Canadian Ports on both Coasts. 

The RCN set in place procedures in place to prevent an attempt to strike at the ports using 
ships laden with high explosives or by submarine or human torpedoes. Fort Point Grey at 
the University of British Columbia was part and parcel of the defence arrangements set 
up for the Port of Vancouver. 

At the entrance of Halifax Harbour, Esquimalt, Victoria Harbour and Vancouver Harbour 
are narrows, which if blocked would hamper port operation or close the ports for an 
indeterminate period of time. Had a Mont Blanc type explosion occurred in any of these 
Canadian Ports such as the Port of Vancouver during the Second World War, it would 
have killed or injured thousands and closed the port for a number of months. 

The Ports on Canada's West Coast and the ships sailing from them were targets of war 
and special intelligence gathering played a crucial role in their defence. 

2.3 The Breaking of the UN Code, JN-25 

Since the early 1970's the most widely know history about special intelligence in the 
Pacific Theatre of Operation involved the work done by USN code breakers. In recent 
years a more complete story of their work has been presented, and includes British, 
Australian and Canadian participation. One excellent source is the book '7 Was There" 
written by Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton, Captain Roger Pineau and historian John 
Costello (William Morrow and Co. New York, 1985). 

The Allies broke into the Japanese Naval Codes by a number of techniques, including 
traffic analysis, and advance mathematical techniques that stem from the orderly structure 
of the Japanese language (verbs are at the end of a sentence and so Bayesian mathematics 
can be readily used to break down the structure of the code). 

Of course, the best approach is to get one's hands on the code books and code structure 
directly and this appears to have been what happened in January 1942 when the IJN 
submarine 1-124 sank off Darwin Harbour in Australia and the wreck visited by USN 

As outlined in Hiroyuki Agawa's book " The Reluctant Admiral: Yamamoto and the 
Imperial Navy''' [Agawa], 

"At the site of the sinking the sea was only forty feet deep, with clear 
water free from strong tidal currents, and the US navy immediately sent 
divers down from a submarine tender to cut open the I-124's hull and bring 
up important documents found inside. The documents thus recovered 
included a number of navy code books . . . 

Nothing is easier than to decipher codes once you have got hold of the 
signal codebooks without the other side realizing it. From now on, it seems, a 
considerable portion of the navy's coded messages were unravelled by the 
Americans, and it seems likely that the American find would have provided a 
valuable clue to the deciphering of codes ..." [Agawa, p. 305-307] 

The random number sheets for their naval codes were periodically changed by the IJN 
during the course of the war, however, by hook or by crook the USN were able to 
reconstruct the codes and peer into the inner sanctum of Japanese naval messages for 
much of the war, resulting in the Miracle of Midway in 1942 and the tracking and 
shooting down of Admiral Yamamoto in 1943 during his scheduled visit of troops in the 
front line. 

2.4 Submarine Attack at Pearl Harbour 

On December 7 l , 1941 Pearl Harbour was attacked both from the air, and by a fleet of 
five miniature two man submarines, each armed with two mark 97 torpedoes with a 350 
kg warhead. One of these submarines Ha- 16 actually made it into Pearl Harbour and 
launched both of its torpedoes at battleship row, striking two ships. Ha- 16 was sunk 
within Pearl Harbour. The other four never made it into the harbour. 

One of the five Ko-hyoteki class two-man submarines was Ha- 19, which beached outside 
of Pearl Harbour on December 8 l , 1941 (refer to Fig. 18 : UN submarine Ha- 19, beached 
outside of Pearl Harbour, Dec. 8 th , 1941). 


Fig. 18: UN submarine Ha-19, beached outside of Pearl Harbour, Dec. 8 , 1941 

It is worth noting that the submarine Ha-19 was scheduled to be within Pearl Harbour 
three hours before the first bombs and torpedoes fell from the sky on December 7 l , 1941 
(refer to Appendix 2 for the complete naval chart captured aboard Ha-19). 

In a famous picture, Ha- 16 is seen in the inner harbour letting lose two torpedoes against 
battleship row. The remains of Ha- 16 were found in the west channel (the area in the 
removed portion of the Ha-19 map outlined in the Appendix). It appears the west channel 
was to be the rendezvous for the miniature submarines after the attack. During the war 
the remains of Ha- 16 was removed from the west channel and disposed at sea. 

Captured materials aboard Ha-19 included a detail chart of Pearl Harbour itself (refer to 
Fig. 19: Naval Chart of Pearl Harbour captured aboard UN submarine Ha-19). The five 
miniature submarine's orders were to enter Pearl Harbour and launch their two torpedoes 
against the capital ships and inflict as much damage and confusion as possible. 

Fig. 19: Naval Chart of Pearl Harbour captured aboard UN submarine Ha-19 

Conventional submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy were also considered a threat to 
Canadian West Coast Ports such as Esquimalt and Vancouver. 

The interesting story of 1-26 (see below) and the shelling of Estevan Point on Vancouver 
Island in June 1942 and the special intelligence that the RCN had at their disposal, is the 
main reason that during their three week deployment off Canada's West Coast IJN 
submarine 1-26 would sink only one ship the Coastal Trader, a small US merchant man 
off Cape Flattery at the entrance to the Straits of Juan da Fuca. 

2.5 OPERATION CHARIOT and the Esquimalt Graving Dock 

A Mont Blanc type surface attack against Canadian Ports on the West Coast would also 
be a concern from early on in the Pacific War. In March, 1942 the Royal Navy used the 
very technique of loading explosives aboard a ship, in this case HMS Campbeltown and 
crashing the ship into the heavily defended Normandie dry dock in St. Nazaire in 
Occupied France during OPERATION CHARIOT. 

This successful commando raid by the UK was meant to deprive the dry docks from 
being used by the German Navy to support its capital ships. It was to St. Nazaire that 
the German Battleship Bismark was sailing to after sinking HMS Hood during the Battle 
of Denmark Straits in May, 1941. [Campbeltown] A number of the Yanagi missions 
(see part 1 and 2) between Japan and Germany of submarines arrived and departed from 
St. Nazaire and so the HMS Campbeltown attack against St. Nazaire was known to the 
Imperial Japanese Navy. 

It did not escape the notice of the RCN after the March, 1942 raid by the Royal Navy 
against the dry dock in St. Nazaire, that the graving dock carved out of the limestone at 
Esquimalt harbour, Canada's Main West Coast Naval Port, is large enough to hold a 
battle ship and comparable in size and importance to the Normandie dry dock in St. 
Nazaire. The large graving dock at Esquimalt was built at the request of Admiral Fischer 
of the Royal Navy during the dreadnought era prior to the Great War of 1914-1918. 

Esquimalt Graving Dock Dimensions : 361 metres long x 41 metres wide x 10.3 metres 
deep, deep weight capacity 100,000 tonnes 

Given that the Taranto raid acted as a catalyst to the Raid on Pearl Harbour (see Station 
Point Grey and Special Intelligence: part 2) in the wake of OPERATION CHARIOT 
concern was heighten of submarine attacks by the UN against Esquimalt or Vancouver 

The Esquimalt graving dock would prove invaluable to allied wartime efforts being large 
enough to accommodate ships the size of the 85,000 ton RMS Queen Elizabeth, 
commissioned in 1940 and named after the wife of George the 6 l (refer to Fig. 20: RMS 
Queen Elizabeth, Graving Dock Esquimalt, Feb. 1942) [RMS QE] 

Fig. 20: RMS Queen Elizabeth, Graving Dock Esquimalt, Feb. 1942 

During the war the Imperial Japanese Navy would in fact attack several ports in the 
eastern Pacific using both conventional and miniature submarines. 

2.6 The Physical Defence of the Port of Vancouver 

To protect the Port of Vancouver from a similar Japanese attack, a defence line was draw 
from Point Atkinson in West Vancouver to Fort Point Grey (ZD) at the University of 
British Columbia at Point Grey. Ships entered the port under the Lions Gate Bridge. 

The Port of Vancouver and large portions of UBC were under the direct jurisdiction of 
the Minister of War and Parliament of Canada in Ottawa (refer to Fig. 21: The 
Vancouver Defences in 1942, complements of Peter Moogk) 



Examination Line 

*** Examination Vessel (XV) 

~Q Gun position 

6 Searchlight emplacement 

& Military camp for gun battery 

A Observation post 

V Port War Signal Station 

2 miles 

Fig. 21: The Vancouver Defences in 1942 (harbour narrows circled) 

To assist in the physical defence and reduce the chance of espionage in the Port of 
Vancouver, soon after December 7 l , 1941 the University of British Columbia was 
required to relocate all students of Japanese Heritage from the Point Grey campus, which 
formed an integral part of the defence of the Port of Vancouver. 

2.7 Japanese Naval Espionage and the West Coast 

Port watching was a standard practice of Navies. The full story of the extensive and 
well-orchestrated espionage by the Imperial Japanese Navy against United States and 
Canadian ports and naval facilities may never be fully told. 

The Parliament of Canada has been reticent to open its special intelligence archives to 
make the historic material regarding west coat espionage by the IJN fully available for 
public scrutiny, perhaps because the release of such materials would include the mention 
of names of people living or dead which may affect their place and standing in the 

From as early as 1933 to 1941, until they were shut down by the war or were discovered 
and compromised, the Imperial Japanese Navy had run directly, or indirectly with the 
help of both Axis and agents from ostensibly neutral countries such as Spain and 
Argentina, intelligence gathering networks in all major Pacific Ports, including 

> Singapore, 

> Hong Kong, 

> Honolulu, 

> the Panama Canal zone, 

> San Diego, 

> San Francisco, 

> Seattle, 

> Vancouver, and 

> Victoria / Esquimalt 

How extensive this network was before Dec. 1941 in Hawaii and the rest of the United 
States is hinted to in Appendix 3: Chapter 8 - The Biggest Rattlesnake, from "And I 
was There", written by a USN Rear Admiral who served under Admiral Chester Nimitz. 

The breaking of the UN naval codes during the Second World War allowed the USN to 
retroactively read UN messages back to early 1941, and they discovered that as the Strike 
Force sailed that the following message had been sent on December 6 l , 1941, a handful 
of hours before the attack on Pearl Harbour, from Imperial Japanese Navy Headquarters 
to Admiral Nagumo commanding the Pearl Harbour Strike Force: 

"Utah and seaplane tender entered harbour at dusk on the fifth. Vessels at 
anchor on the sixth included nine battleships, three light cruisers, three 
seaplane tenders, and seventeen destroyers. In dock four light cruisers and 
two destroyers. All heavy cruisers and aircraft carriers are out. No sign of 
anything unusual in fleet. Telephone conversation with Japanese residence 
on Oahu between 1330 and 1400 today December sixth [Hawaii Time] 
confirmed all normal, no blackout. Imperial HQ Navy Section convinced 
operation will succeed." [Agawa p. 254, emphasis added] 

There were a number of Issei and Nisei civilians in Hawaii, providing information to the 
Imperial Japanese Navy. As described by the Japanese Historian Agawa in his book 
about Yamamoto, 

"[t]he FBI had for some time been keeping an eye on the espionage activities 
of embassy official "Morimura" - Yoshikawa Takeo - in Honolulu; the 
earlier intelligence messages he had sent to Tokyo had been deciphered, and 
it was known in Washington that Japan was showing an unusual interest in 
the number and position of naval vessels at anchor in Pearl Harbout." 
[Agawa. p. 279] 

For instance, in the Indochina crisis of February 1941 when a large fleet of IJN ships, 
including several carriers, sailed south from Japan to occupy the naval base of Camranh 
Bay and Saigon, and air bases at Phnom Penh, Bien-hoa and Saigan in French Indochina, 
the movement of the Japanese Fleet was watched closely by the US and the UK. 

As noted by Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton in his book, 

"Confirmation that such a task force was underway was evident from 
intelligence received from our consuls and naval attaches in Shanghai. The 
concentration of Japanese naval forces was also confirmed by the latest 
sightings from the ONI* network of seventeen undercover observers in Far 
East Ports. A low volume of Japanese naval radio traffic during the second 
part of July suggested most of the Combined Fleet was probably still in home 
waters. The New York Times on 8 July supported this with reports from its 
Tokyo correspondent that most of the fleet was at anchor off Yokohama 
'without any attempt at secrecy.'" [Layton, p. 126] 

(* ONI - Office of Naval Intelligence) 

Within the Japanese Embassy in Washington was a naval attache Terasaki 

"Second Secretary Taro Terasaki, by 1941 had become the mastermind of 
Japan's entire espionage network in the western hemisphere." [Layton, p. 

Terasaki focused mostly on technical issues and matters relating to air and naval forces: 

"Terasaki ordered the naval agents to enrol at universities* and technical 
institutes, principally in the vicinity of West Coast Ports. The naval attache 
maintained a branch office in New York, known as the 'inspector's office' 
where the FBI investigation found the disbursement for the development of 

intelligence amounted to half a million dollars a month, a staggering sum for 
those days. Much of this was spent to obtain technical information and to 
buy aircraft parts, radios and tools, apparently only for investigation. Two 
officers assigned to the New York inspectorate had been meeting with a 
German agent, code named "Steamer" in the Nippon Club where they shared 
American scientific and technical information ... The major effort was 
centred on the West Coast." {Layton, p. 106] 

{* at least one such person of interest was enrolled in the University of 
British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada - information told the author by the 
late Col. Gordon Shrum who headed the OTP at UBC during World War II). 

Along with agents, Terasaki's network ran brothels on the West Coast and in Hawaii to 
gather intelligence and finance the running of their operations. It would be involved in 
the Blake Affair, the Morimuri Affair and countless other acts of espionage, such as the 
Tachibana and Okada Affair. 

One such acts directly affecting the Pacific Northwest was the Okada Affair: 

"Amongst Tachibana's effects was a suitcase belonging to Lieutenant 
Commander Sadatomo Okada, another 'language officer', suspected for many 
months of being engaged in espionage activities, and who was rounded up for 
deportation. It contained a great quantity of data relating to national defence 
in the Pacific Northwest: data on antiaircraft defences for the Boeing aircraft 
plant in Seattle, details of naval ships under construction, times of warship 
arrivals and departures, test data on naval aircraft, records of movements of 
troops at military establishments, production data on national defence 
factories and aerial photographs of naval and army bases as well as war 
plants."[Layton, p. 108] 

One of the most disturbing examples of Japanese espionage relates to Lieutenant 
Commander Itaru Tachibana, whose name is also linked to the Okada Affair. Reaer 
Admiral Layton who had a direct understanding of the matter, describes the Tachibana 
Affair in these explicit terms. 

"Comparable to our office of naval intelligence, its best man was its 
deputy chief, Captain Kanji Ogawa, a former assistant naval attache in 
Washington. His mouse like demeanour concealed an encyclopaedic 
knowledge of the United States that he had acquired through skilful 
espionage. It was Ogawa who had been instrumental in bringing into the 
Third Bureau one of his former undercover agent, Lieutenant Commander 
Itaru Tachibana. 

This was none other than the former brothel keeper and Japanese 
agent in Los Angeles, whose spying had been uncovered in 
counterintelligence operation in which I played a small part. Tachibana' s 
unceremonious expulsion from the United States, instead of being made to 
stand trial for espionage, was a diplomatic concession to American- Japanese 
relations that we would regret later. He returned home and put all the 
information he had garnered to good use, becoming one of Ogawa's principal 
assistants as an expert in our naval practices. 

Because of his expertise, Tachibana had been one of the privileged 
handful of officers whom Yamamoto had permitted to observe the Pearl 
Harbour map exercise. And Tachibana subsequently played a leading role in 
assembling the detailed intelligence that would make the attack possible." 
[Layton, p. 161] 

The map exercises were the war games done at their Naval War College, that played out 
Yamamoto 's planned attack. On the first run through, the attacking force approached 
Pearl Harbour from the south, were intercepted by American carriers, and were defeated. 
Tachibana informed Yamamoto that no air patrols were done by the Americans north of 
Hawaii, and that the US Fleet spent the weekends in port and sortied on Mondays and 

Tuesdays for exercises. On the second run through, the attacking force met with great 
success, sinking much of the US Fleet at anchor. The technical and tactical details for 
Yamamoto's OPEWRATION Z were ready by September 1 1th, 1941. 

As Admiral Yamamoto, who had spent time in the US and studied at Harvard, developed 
his OPERATION Z, the December 7 th attack on the US Fleet at Pearl Harbour, 

"Since February Admiral Yamamoto had been planning and coordinating a 
massive naval air operation that depended on the skilful application of 
intelligence in order to realize his strategic gamble for control of the western 
Pacific. Above his table on board Flagship Nagato hung a detailed map of 
the American naval base on Oahu, marked with anchorages, defences, and 
fuel-storage depots. In his desk drawer was a weighty volume titled The 
Habits, Strengths and Defences of the American Fleet in the Hawaiian Area, 
a bible of data on warship movements, water depths, and air and sea patrol 
patterns that were constantly updated from Japanese agents in Hawaii." 
[Layton, p. 103] 

The information gathered at the Boeing aircraft plant in Seattle by Okada and his 
compatriots was 

> in regards to the performance and productions of the B-17 and 

> the ongoing development and performance of the B-29. 

In the weeks leading up to Pearl Harbour the US was flying B-17 to forward airfields in 
the Philippines to try to deter the Japanese from an anticipated attack to the southwest 
towards the oil fields of the Dutch East Indies. 

In the fall of 1941, as the B-17 to be deployed in the Philippines left Boeing field and 
made their way first to California then Hawaii and onto Manila, they were being counted 
at each step of the way by Japanese agents and upon their arrival in Manila as well. 

As Rear Admiral Layton notes: 

"The President was advised that the Philippines-based strategic 
bombers could not become a 'positive threat' until mid-December, and that 
they would not reach their projected strength until February or March 1942 
when the 'potency of this threat will have reached the point where it might be 
the deciding factor in deterring Japan. 

Meanwhile, Purple decrypts had revealed that Japans consulate in 
Manila - paying close attention to every B-17 arrival - was keeping Tokyo 
posted on the accelerating pace of MacArthur's military build-up. That Japan 
anticipated Washington might be intending to threaten the home islands from 
the air was evident in a 4 September circular put out to the Japanese 
consulates on the West Coast from the embassy in Washington asking for 
investigation of the 'possibility the United States is preparing for the 
eventuality when a considerable bombing force will have to be transferred to 
the ... area." [Layton, p. 177] 

Most forget that the Philippines and Wake Island were attacked and that a large fleet of 
Japanese Naval ships sailed into combat in the Pacific Southwest on the same day that the 
Pearl Harbour was attacked. 

In the weeks prior to December 7th, 1941 Naval matters would be at the forefront, with 
the Japanese Foreign Minister Teijiro Toyoda and the Japanese Ambassador to the US, 
Kichisaburo Nomura respectively both being Naval Admirals. 

During the First World War Franklin D. Roosevelt had been undersecretary of the Navy 
in the Wilson Administration. As a President who understood naval matters, even as 
early as 1936, FDR felt it might someday be necessary to move Japanese Issei and Nissei 
away from vulnerable west coast ports. 

As noted by Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton in his book, 

"The evidence of extensive espionage discovered in these and similar 
operations on the West Coast probably influenced Roosevelt when he issued 
a controversial emergency executive order two months after Pearl Harbour 
that resulted in the rounding up of Japanese Americans and packing them off 
to detention camps." [Layton, p. 109] 

It is a little known and conveniently forgotten detail that under Japanese Citizenship laws 
as they stood in the 1930's and 1940's if your parents were Japanese Citizens, 
irrespective where you were born, their children were considered Japanese Citizens as 

Even if the parent or child claimed another citizenship such as American or Canadian, 
during the Second World War, both Issei (Japanese without American or Canadian 
citizenship) and Nisei (Japanese with American or Canadian citizenship - second 
generation, hence Ni, which means two) were treated as citizens of a belligerent 
combatant and subject to a restriction to freedoms of movement. 

In the years prior to December, 1941, and during the duration and aftermath of the war in 
the Pacific, the widespread murder and brutality inflicted on combatants and non- 
combatants in Asia by their kinsmen and countrymen had a profound impact as to how 
the expatriate Japanese Issei and Nisei were viewed outside of Japan. 

After Pearl Harbour, along with the US, Canada moved Issei and Nisei away from the 
West Coast. Towards 1944 in the United States, some restrictions on the Nisei who had 
been vetted by the FBI and the US Army were lifted and they were allowed to serve in 
general combat in the European Theatre of Operation, and in some intelligence related 
roles in the Pacific Theatre of Operation, including some specialized combat roles. 

The Dominion of Canada lacked the human and physical resources to vet expatriate 
Japanese Issei and Nisei during the Second World War and so once detained, they had to 
wait out the war and the termination of the War Measures Act in 1946. 

During the war, the security of the Ports of Halifax and Vancouver was closely checked 
by Canadian Naval Intelligence (Naval Intelligence Unit 4): 

"NI4 focused on port security at Halifax and Vancouver, two areas that 
because of their sensitivity were blanketed by complete censorship - all 
outgoing mail and telegrams, even to addresses in Canada, were intercepted 
and read, while Department of Transport trucks with portable receivers 
prowled the streets listening for signs of clandestine radio transmissions. All 
long-distance telephone calls were also monitored." [Bryden., p 145] 

On several occasions during the war in the Pacific, RCN Naval Intelligence Unit 4 would 
have need to visit the campus of the University of British Columbia to attend to security 
matters, as well as Station Point Grey and Fort Point Grey. The author has been told that 
a "person of interest" spent part of the war as a student of the University of British 
Columbia and may have attempted to undertake covert espionage activities. 

The mail, secret writing and microdots being a means for espionage in North America, 

"Canadian Censorship reflected this change. Postal Censorship, for example, 
became totally integrated with mail sorting. Watch lists were distributed to 
postal stations around the country and covered innumerable subjects. The 
interception of purely domestic mail was extended from the East Coast to the 
West Coast to counter the perceived threat of spies among people of Japanese 
descent in British Columbia." [Bryden, p. 153] 

What covert intelligence was gathered on the Canadian West Coast by the Japanese 
during the Pacific war as well as the counterintelligence gathered against Axis espionage 
rings remains classified and hidden away in archives in Ottawa to this day. 

Incidents such as the attack by the IJN submarine 1-26 on Estevan Point in June 1942 
would drive home the proximity of the overt threat to Canada's West Coasts. 

2.8 The War Patrols of Japanese Submarine 1-26 

In the winter of 1941 , spring and summer of 1942 the Imperial Japanese Navy deployed 
a flotilla of submarines on War Patrols in the Pacific including 

> All along the West Coast of North America including Alaska, British 
Columbia, Washington State and Oregon, as far north as the Aleutians, 

> deployments off Cape Flattery at the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and 

> as far south as the approaches to the Panama Canal 

During the Pacific War a number of IJN submarines including 1-25 and 1-26 would be 
deployed off the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and the Pacific North West (refer to 
Fig. 22: Deployment of IJN Submarines off the West Coast, July 1942). 

During all of the War in the Pacific the submarine arm of the IJN was a threat to the 
Allies. The sinking of the heavy Cruiser USS Indianapolis during the last few days of the 
war by 1-58 and the loss of most of its crew as it returned having delivering an atom 
bomb to Tinian is a terrible reminder of the clear and present danger Japanese 
Submarines of all types and sizes posed to the Allies. 

Presented in a Ship's Log format are the first three wartime patrols of 1-26 (this section 
draws from Ref: ). 




- 18' 

C" - 

I-26\Cape Flattery 

3 i 3 1 



Fig. 22: Deployment of IJN Submarines off the West Coast, July 1942 TBoydl 


Patrol Area 


19 Nov 1941 

First War Patrol: 

Aleutians /The Attack on 
Pearl Harbour / First Patrol 
off Seattle 

The 1-26 and the I- 10 are assigned to the Sixth Fleet's 
Reconnaissance Unit to cover the Aleutians area. At 
1500, the 1-26 departs Yokosuka for the Aleutians 
alone on her first war patrol. The mission calls for the 
1-26 to operate at her maximum endurance. There is a 
lack of space and the hangar is crammed full of food. 
Since her primary mission is reconnaissance and 
there is a shortage of modern torpedoes, she is armed 
with only 10 old 6th Year Type torpedoes of the 17 
torpedoes that she is capable of carrying. 
When he is 600 miles from the Aleutians, Cdr 
Yokota submerges. From here on, he runs on the 
surface only at night. His orders are to reconnoitre 
American bases in the Aleutians and report on 
American naval forces in that area to C-in-C Sixth 
Fleet by 5 December. He is then to proceed to an 
area midway between Hawaii and San Francisco and 
report on American fleet units heading for Hawaii 
with reinforcements. Lastly, Yokota is to destroy 
enemy merchant shipping. 

26-28 Nov. 


The 1-26 makes submerged periscopic observations 
of the harbours at Attu, Kiska and Adak, in the 

29 Nov. 1941 


The 1-26 carries out periscopic observations of the 
American base at Dutch Harbour, Aleutians. No 
enemy warships are detected. Yokota heads for a 
point between Hawaii and San Francisco. 

2 Dec. 1941 

West Coast 

The 1-26 receives the coded signal "Niitakayama 
nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208". The signal means 
that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan 
time). Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), 
is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire. 

6 Dec. 1941 

300 miles off San 

The 1-26 spots the 2,140-ton Army-chartered steam 
schooner CYNTHIA OLSON with a cargo of Army 
supplies enroute at 10 knots from Tacoma, 
Washington to Honolulu, Hawaii. Cdr Yokota 
establishes the schooner's course and gives chase. 

After dark, the 1-26 surfaces and outflanks the 
schooner so as to be in position to attack her 
simultaneously with the start of hostilities. 

7 Dec. 1941 

War Commences: 
Tora, Tora, Tora 

At dawn, the CYNTHIA OLSON is exactly on the 
projected point of interception. Cdr Yokota 
establishes her nationality, surfaces and fires a 

warning shot. The schooner sends a SOS signal and 
lowers her two lifeboats. The 1-26 fires 18 shells 
from her 140-mm aft gun at a range of 1,000 meters, 
but the schooner refuses to sink. Twenty minutes 
after the first shot the 1-26 receives the signal "Tora, 
Tora, Tora!" Cdr Yokota submerges and fires a 
torpedo from 450 yards. It passes astern because the 
burning schooner is still making headway. 
Yokota fires 29 more shells and the OLSON starts to 
settle. Two hours later, Cdr Yokota decides that the 
OLSON is sinking and departs. Later, the OLSON 
does sink at 33-42N, 145-29W. She is the first 
American merchant to be sunk by a Japanese 
submarine in World War II. 

10 Dec. 1941 


The 1-26 receives a report that the 1-6 sighted a 
LEXJNGTON-class aircraft carrier and two cruisers 
heading NE. Vice Admiral Shimizu in the KATORI 
at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands orders all of SubRon 1 
boats stationed N of Hawaii, except the Special 
Attack Force, to pursue and sink the carrier. 

14 Dec. 1941 

Christmas Eve Attack: 
Nine IJN submarines 
ordered to shell the West 

After the unsuccessful pursuit of the carrier, the 1-26 
joins other submarines and heads to the West Coast 
of the United States to attack shipping. The 1-26 is 
assigned to patrol off Cape Flattery, Washington in 
the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Seattle. 
The Imperial General Headquarters orders the IJN to 
shell the U.S. West Coast. Vice Admiral Shimizu 
issues a detailed order on the targets. The 1-15, -9, - 
10,-17,-19,-21,-23, -25 and the 1-26 are each to fire 
30 shells on the night of 25 December. Rear Admiral 
Sato, aboard the 1-9, is charged to execute the order. 

20 Dec. 1941 

Juan De Fuca Straits 
Pacific North West 

The 1-26 arrives at her assigned area off Seattle, 

22 Dec. 1941 

Christmas eve attack 

Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku CINC, Combined Fleet, 
postpones the Christmas Eve attack until 27 Dec. 

27 Dec. 1941 

Flotilla have depleted their fuel reserves. Vice 
Admiral Shimizu cancels the shelling. 

11 Jan. 1942 

The 1-26 arrives at Kwajalein to refuel and take on 
provisions in company with the 1-15,1-17 and the I- 
23. That same day, LtCdr J. H. Willingham's USS 
TAUTOG (SS-191) spots three IJN subs going into 
Kwajalein, one of which may have been the 1-26. 


Patrol Area 


Jan. 1942: 

Second War Patrol: 


Flying Boat Attack on 
Pearl Harbour 

The Naval General Staff develops a plan to 
raid Pearl Harbour using two large Type 2 
four-engined H8K1 "Emily" flying boats. 

The plan calls for the planes to depart 
Wotje in the Marshalls and fly to the 
French Frigate Shoal in the Hawaiian 
Islands (500 miles WNW of Pearl Harbour) 
where they are to be refueled by I-class 

1 Feb. 1942 

American Pre-emptive Air 
Raid on Kwajalein 

Vice Admiral William F. ("Bull") Halsey 
Jr*s Task Force 8 (USS ENTERPRISE 
(CV-6) raids Kwajalein and Wotje in the 
Marshall Islands. The ENTERPRISE'S 
SBD Douglas "Dauntlesses" of VB 6 and 
VS 6 and Douglas TBD "Devastators" of 
VT 6 sink a transport and damage the light 
cruiser KATORI, flagship of the Sixth 
Fleet (Subs) and wound its commander, 
Vice Admiral Shimizu. 

The 1-23, the submarine depot ship 
YASUKUNI MARU, and several other 
important ships are also damaged in the 

Moored alongside the 1-23 at Kwajalein, 
the 1-26 prepares to fire her 25-mm twin 
AA gun at the attacking planes, but the gun 
malfunctions, LtCdr Yokota submerges 
until the planes are gone. 

Two hours later, Headquarters, Sixth Fleet 
orders SubRon l's 1-9, -15, -17, -19, -23, - 
25 -1-26, RO-61 and the RO-62 to put to 
sea and intercept the enemy carriers. 

3 Feb. 1942 

The 1-15,-19, -23 and the 1-26 are recalled 
to participate in Operation K-l. 

At Kwajalein. Five submarines are selected 
to participate in Operation K-l. The 1-9 is 
assigned to take up station midway 
between Wotje and the Shoals and act as a 
radio beacon for two Kawanishi H8K1 

"Emily" flying boat bombers. 

5 Feb. 1942 

Operation K-l: 

The Second Air Attack on 
Pearl Harbour: 

The objective of the attack is to bomb Pearl 
Harbour's "Ten-Ten Dock" and disrupt 
ship repair activities. 

The 1-26, 1-15 and the 1-19 are to refuel the 
flying boats at the Shoals. The 1-23 is to 
standby 10 miles south of Pearl Harbour, 
provide weather reports and act in an air- 
sea rescue capacity. 

14 Feb. 1942 

The I-26's empty hangar space is fitted with 
six fuel tanks each to store aviation fuel, as 
are the 1-15 and the I-19's hangars. 

20 Feb. 1942 

The 1-26, in company with the 1-15 and I- 
19, sorties from Kwajalein to the French 
Frigate Shoal. 

4 Mar. 1942 

French Frigate Shoal, 

The 1-26 is in reserve and the 1-9 is at 
Wotje as a radio beacon. The 1-15 and the 
1-19 arrive at the Shoals. After dark the 
"Emilys" arrive, refuel and take off for 
Pearl Harbour. 

5 Mar. 1942 

UN Bomb Honolulu 

Seven hours after departing the French 
Frigate Shoal, the flying boats bomb 

The Honolulu attack is a "nuisance raid" 
and achieve no significant results. 

The Type 2 four-engined H8K1 "Emily" 
flying boats return to the Marshall Islands. 

16 Mar. 1942 

Return to the Marshall 

Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Komatsu 
Teruhisa assumes command of the Sixth 
Fleet (Submarines) replacing Vice Admiral 
Shimizu who was wounded in the raid on 
Kwajalein and returned to Japan to 

21 Mar. 1942 

1-26 Returns to Yokosuka Japan for an 


Patrol Area 


11 May 1942 

Third War Patrol 
Operation "AL": 

Invasion of Aleutian 

The 1-26, in company with the 1-25, departs 
Yokosuka for her assigned area off Seattle 
on her second war patrol. 

24/26 May 

Aleutian Islands 

The 1-26 reconnoitres Kodiak Island, 
Chirikof and Sitkanak Islands., Alaska. 

27 May 1942 

The I-26's sister, the 1-25 launches her 
Yokosuka E14Y "Glen" floatplane to 
reconnoiter Kodiak. The plane sights an 
American cruiser and two destroyers. The 
intelligence derived from this flight is to 
support planning for an attack on Dutch 
Harbor to divert attention from the attack 
on Midway Island. 

Information from the reconnaissance flights 
is considered so important that the 1-26, 
with its hangar empty, is positioned to 
recover the aircraft should something 
happen to the 1-25. 

1 June 1942 

Juan De Fuca Straits 

1-26 Patrols off Seattle, Washington. 

5 June 1942 

Operation "AL" 

The Invasion of the 
Western Aleutians: 

Twenty ships of the Vice Admiral 
Hosogaya Boshiro's Fifth Fleet, including 
the light cruisers KISO and the TAMA, 
three destroyers, three corvettes, three 
minesweepers and four transports land 
Rear Admiral Omori Sentaro's Occupation 
Force on Attu, Aleutians without 

7 June 1942 

35 miles SW of Cape 
Flattery in the Juan De 
Fuca Straits. 

The 1-26 torpedoes, shells and sinks the 3, 
286-ton American cargo ship COAST 
TRADER at 48- 19N, 125-40W. 
Later, the survivors are rescued by the 
RCN Flower-class corvette HMCS 
EDMUNSTON and a fishing vessel. 

20 June 1942 

Estevan Point lighthouse. 

After sunset, the 1-26 shells the Estevan 

Point lighthouse and radio station on 

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 


It is the first attack on Canadian soil since 


7 July 1942 


Returns to Yokosuka. (The 1-26 would be 
sunk by the USN later in the war. ) 

The sinking of the SS Coastal Trader by 1-26 on the 7 l of June, 1942 would occur at the 
mouth of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, a few hours sailing time from Vancouver, Victoria, 
the Naval base at Esquimalt, or Seattle, (see Appendix 5: The Sinking of the SS Coast 
Trader by 1-26 on 7 th June, 1942). Two weeks later, on June 20, 1942, the IJN submarine 
1-25, the sister ship to 1-26, would sink the SS Camosun a few hours sailing time south of 
the where the SS Coastal Trader went to the bottom. The SS Camosun would survive the 
attack, (refer to Fig. 23: The Attacks on of the SS Coastal Trader and the SS Camosun in 
the Straits of Juan de Fuca, June 1942). 

X - CT: marks the sinking of the 
Coastal Trader by t - 26, 7 June, 1541 

X - FC: marks the attack on the Fort 
Camosun bv 1-25, 20 June, 1M1 

Fig.23 : The Attack on the SS Coastal Trader and the SS Camosun in the Straits of Juan 

de Fuca, June 1942 

The IJN Submarine 1-26 and the attack on Estevan Point is of particular note to Canada, 
in that it was the first hostile attack on Canadian soil since the War of 1812 (refer to Fig. 
24 : IJN Submarine 1-26 during pre-war acceptance sea trials off Hiroshima). 

r-^:- -** 

- .^£" ■** _ "" _--^- ,_ _■— '_ .'<T^ *^r -m- 

Fig. 24 : IJN Submarine 1-26 during pre-war acceptance sea trials off Hiroshima 

The attack on Estevan Point Lighthouse and radio station was of limited military value to 
the IJN, but it was a significant Japanese diplomatic debacle, in that it had a far more 
significant secondary consequence, helping MacKenzie King to enact conscription. 
Canadian Historians Norm and Carol Hall, in their synopsis "At a Crucial Hour: The 
Attack on Estevan Poinf describes the Estevan Point attack in these terms (it is worth 
quoting in full a portion of their synopsis): 

"Most Canadians, even in BC, had never heard of Estevan Point 
before (it lies half way up the rugged and largely uninhabited west coast of 
Vancouver Island). They were even less aware of the existence of a lonely 
lighthouse station located there. But one thing was clear: for the first time 
since the War of 1812, Canadian soil had come under enemy fire. 

All across the country, Canadians were understandably alarmed by 
this hostile incident on their doorstep. But the Prime Minister William Lyon 
Mackenzie King, news of the attack couldn't come at a better time. 

By the middle of 1942, King was in the middle of a conscription 
crisis. Even before Canada entered the conflict on September 10, 1939, he 
had promised 'no overseas conscription' should war come. The deep 
divisions caused by the conscription crisis of 1917 had not fully healed and 
King believed that conscription for another European conflict would lead to 
civil war and the break up of the nation. 

... That month [1940], reluctantly, he brought in the National 
Resources Mobilization Act, authorizing compulsory military service - but 
limiting it explicitly to home defence. NMRA conscripts became known as 
'zombies' for their perceived non-active role in the war. 

But the war widened. The Japanese attack Pearl Harbour December 
7, 1941, brought the U.S. in; later that month two Canadian voluntary infantry 
battalions were butchered in Hong Kong. In January 1942, with calls 
growing to rescind the no-overseas-conscription clause of the NRMA, King 
announced a national plebiscite. 

Results in the April 27 vote were 63.7 % and nine provinces for 
conscription and 36.3 % and one province - Quebec - against. ... King told 
his cabinet that Parliament . . . would be responsible for the decision. 

On June 10, 1942, the House was set to consider Bill 80 which would 
allow unlimited conscription under the NRMA - but only if the war situation 
became serious enough to require it. King made his famous speech: 'Not 
necessarily conscription, but conscription if necessary.' 

By June 19 heated debate was in full swing. 

The next day Estevan Point was fired on from the sea with about 
twnty-five shells, all of which missed. When King received the news on June 
21, he declared it ' the first time in this war that our country has been attacked 
on land ... It only goes to bear out what has been said so often that no one can 
take too seriously both the immediacy and the extent of the danger with 
which all parts of the world are confronted, and at this time our own part in 

... Bill 80 passed second reading on July 7 by a vote of 158 to 54." 
[Hall. P. 18] 

An interesting mystery even today, seven decades after the fact, is that the number 
of recovered Japanese shells fired at Estevan Point exceeds the number reported 
fired by 1-26 at the target. It is possible that a second Japanese ship may have 
participated in the attack on the Estevan Light House and Radio Station. 

2.9 Attack by 1-25 on the SS Fort Camosun, outbound from 
Victoria BC, Canada to England, June 20 1942 

In June 1942, the 1-25 would launch its float plane and would unsuccessfully two 
undertake incendiary raids against the forests of Oregon and would attack the SS. 
Camosun outbound from Victoria to England in June, 1942. On June 20, 1942, the new 
coal-burning freighter SS Fort Camosun was on her maiden voyage from Victoria to 
England with zinc, lead, plywood, and other raw materials (refer to Appendix 6: The 
Attack on the SS Camosun by 1-25, June 1942 Outbound from Victoria, BC Canada to 

Just after midnight, in a position approximately 70 miles SW of Cape Flattery, the 
Japanese submarine 1-25, under the command of Commander Meiji Tagami, launched a 
torpedo which damaged the hull of the ship and brought her to a stop. 1-25 submarine 
surfaced and fired 18 shells at the Fort Camosun with her deck gun causing further 
damage. Although the 1-25 had reported the Fort Camosun as sunk, although the 
disabled ship remained afloat, but listing and dead in the water. 

The officers and crew abandoned ship and were rescued later that day by two corvettes of 
the Royal Canadian Navy HMCS Edmunston and HMCS Quenel which had been 
dispatched out of the Naval Port of Esquimalt, to search for the Japanese submarine and 
to recover survivors. HMCS Edmunston along with three US tugs took the SS Camosun 
under tow to Neah Bay for temporary repairs after which she was fully repaired at 

The SS Camosun was repaired and returned to active wartime service, surviving another 
torpedo attack in the Gulf of Aden. 

2.10 The Balloon Attacks on the West Coast 

Along with submarine deployments and attacks against ships and shore targets by the 
IJN, the Japanese attacked the West Coast of North America with Balloons carrying 
bombs and incendiaries, the so called "Fire Balloons". Both the United States and 
Canada were the targets of these balloons, (refer to Fig. 25: Gun Camera View of 
Balloon under Aerial attack by USN Pilot) . 

Fig. 25: Gun Camera View of Balloon shot down by a USN Pilot 

The trans-Pacific Fire Balloon program was launched separately by both the Imperial 
Japanese Army (A-Go) and the Imperial Japanese Navy (B-Go) shortly after the April, 
1942 Doolittle raid on Tokyo by a handful of B-25 bombers launched off an aircraft 
carrier. The trans-Pacific Fire Balloon strategy was also established as a response to the 
air raids by B-29 on Japanese cities. 

As Canadian writer Jennifer Crum notes in her 2012 book titled Canada Under Attack, 

"The first fire balloon was launched on November 3, 1944 In 

Canada, the first word the Japanese were targeting the Canadian West arrived 
with a collection of balloon fragments discovered by civilians by Stoney 
Rapids, Saskatchewan. The Allies were stunned when the first discovery was 
made. They were completely unaware of the jet stream and it seemed 
inconceivable that these devices - whose marking were clearly Japanese - 
could have made the journey from Japan, more than 8,000 kilometres away. 
Instead, they focused their attention on finding a potential launch site for the 
fire balloons somewhere in the waters off the North American coastline. 
Some experts speculated that the balloons had been launched on North 
American beaches by landing parties from Japanese submarines. Other, 
wilder theories, suggested that they had been launched from ... Japanese- 
Canadian internment camps. 

The only thing the Allies were certain of was that one of the most 
pressing threats from the balloons was the threat to Canadian and American 
morale and their potential to boost sagging morale in Japan. Therefore, it was 
imperative that the Canadian Military ensure that no word of the balloon 
attacks reached the press." [Crump. P. 170] 

The A-Go balloons were made of paper, while the B-Go balloons were made of silk. 
Most of the assembly work of the A-Go paper balloons was performed by Japanese 
schoolgirls working in large buildings, arenas and theatres in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and 
on the island of Kyushu. The B-Go was made of silk and gum coated. The balloon were 
10 metres across when fully inflated and had a weight of around 80 kg. 

As historian Weintraub writes 

"The forty foot balloons, glued together from six hundred tatami-sized 
sheets by conscripted school girls at a makeshift factory in Kokura, had 
carried a bomb package across the Pacific jet stream. A Japanese officer had 
urged the girls as they gathered in predawn darkness, ' You will be defeating 
America with these arms. Work to your utmost! Achieve your goals!' 
Contributing nothing to the defeat of America the balloon bomb exploded. 

The Japanese girls wore headbands displaying the Character of the 
SPECIAL ATTACK FORCE. Prior to twelve-hour shifts without breaks they 
had recited daily the Imperial Precepts for the Soldiers and Sailors. But in 
March 1945 there was neither paper nor paste. As submarine and air 
blockades cut the home islands off from the raw materials formerly supplied 
from the vast empire seized in the first few months of the war, Japan was 
running out of everything. Even the powdered konnyaku paste sealant was 
being covertly consumed as food. Yet the remaining 9,300 balloons 
continued to be launched in the west wind, even into the summer of 1945, 
touching down as far east as Ontario and Michigan." [Weintraub, p. 4] 

In took Canadian and Allied authorities some weeks, and much field work, to determine 
the facts behind the Fire Balloon: 

"In one instance, near Minton Alberta, they tracked a balloon as it repeatedly 
touched down and rose again. On one touchdown, the balloon dropped a 
bomb that was discovered and reported by two children. The RCMP and the 
RCAF continued to track the balloon through repeated sightings and damaged 
fences, finally discovering it almost intact in a farmer's field near Minton. It 
proved to be a valuable find, providing intelligence on the type and size of the 
explosive and incendiary bombs attached to the balloons. It also provided 
evidence in the form of the sand from several intact ballast bags discovered 
with the balloon. Geologists at Canada's National Research Council worked 

with the United States Geological Survey to analyze the sand and eventually 
proved it had been taken from the beaches in Japan, stunning Allied military 
experts with the news that the balloons had indeed sailed all the way from 
Japan, and allaying public fears that Japanese submarines were lying in wait 
off Canada's shores." [Crump. P. 175] 

Of the 10,000 or so Fire Balloons launched by the Japanese across the Pacific from 
November 1944 to the end of the war in August, 1945, at least 285 of the balloons 
reached North America: 

"the fire balloons managed to cover most of the Canadian West. They landed 
or were shot down in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, 
Alberta, and British Columbia, which saw the most balloons - over 57 
recovered during the six months of the fire balloon invasion. Hundreds of 
balloons remained undetected in Western Canada's woods, fields and 
mountains. In fact, one of the last was discovered in British Columbia in the 
1990's. Others may still be lying somewhere deep in the Canadian bush." 
[Crump., p. 177] 

Several thousands of these Fire Balloons were launched into the jet stream from the 
southern most Japanese island of Kyushu. 

2.11 Biological Weapons and the 'Stockholm Understanding' 

Over this nine month period from January to August 1945 there was a concern that Japan 
would also use either their submarines or their Balloons to deliver Biological Weapons 
developed by Shiro Isshi and his Unit 73 1 against North America, and possibly chemical 
weapons as well (refer to Fig. 26: Lt. General Shiro Ishii, Head of Unit 731). 

Of Ishii and Unit 73 1 , Allen and Polmar write 

"The human beings used in Ishii 's biological experiments are believed to 
have included some 3,000 Chinese, Koreans, and Manchurians. British 
sources contend that some of the survivors from the 1942 Bataan Death 
March were also used in the experiments. This has never been confirmed or 
denied by official US sources, although documentation once existed and US 
officers conducted extensive interviews with members of Ishii 's staff. 
Australian prisoners, Manchurian bandits and Japanese petty criminals were 
also reported among the test victims. Those prisoners who survived the 
experiments were poisoned or machine-gunned when Soviet troops approach 
Pingfan in August, 1945. Most of the bodies were then burned." [A & P. p. 

There were also a number biological and chemical weapons labs on the Japanese 
Mainland. Both Biological and Chemical weapons were used on the battlefield in China 
and Manchuria. 

Allen and Polmar write 

"In the 1930's a poison-gas factory was established at Okunoshima in 
Hiroshima Prefecture, and poison gas was reportedly used in border fighting 
with the Soviets in Shanshi Province in 1939. Tanisuga Shizuo, a Japanese 
'gas soldier' recalled using poison gas in China in 1939." [A & P. p. 184] 

A series of Allied Intelligence Bulletins were issue in the Pacific in 1944, 1945 and 1946 
regarding the Japanese Balloon Offensive, and biological and chemical weapons were 
issued (refer to when they are posted). 


* ^^ T* 



» ^ 

4 3 


Sm, * 



p*» , HH^jjH 

L ' 



* ^^1 


Fig. 26: Lt. General Shiro Ishii, Head of Unit 731 (Source: Downfall) 

As Allen & Polmar describe the planning going on in Japan for a biological attack against 
North America using IJN submarines: 

"Still another idea was put forward in the final days of the Japanese 
Empire. This was to use of submarine-launched aircraft to disperse germs 
over the western United States. As late as August, 1945 the Japanese still had 
three large, aircraft-carrying submarines - the 1-14 which could carry two 
float planes, and the 1-400 and 1-401, which could each accommodate four 
float planes. Earlier in the war, the submarine 1-25 had twice flown over off 
an aircraft that dropped incendiary bombs on forests in the Pacific Northwest. 
The bombings caused no damage, but the flights proved the feasibility of 
aircraft strikes against the United States. 

The 1-400 submarine carriers, the largest submarines built by any 
nation during the war, were originally designed for launching air attacks 
against New York, and other American cities. Now, under a more diabolical 
plan, the submarines would carry out a mission the code name CHERRY 

These submarines, taking some 30 days or more to transit, were to 
come within a dozen miles or so of the coast of California. They would 
surface at night, their floatplane' wings would be spread, and the planes 
would be catapulted into the night sky. They would spread their cargo of 
plague-infested fleas over West Coast cities on one-way kamikaze missions. 
One target date for the attack, cited by Japanese officials, was September 22, 
1945, a little more than a month before the planned American landing on 
Kyushu." [ A & P, p. 257] 

The Allies caught wind of OPERATION CHERRY BLOSSOM AT NIGHT and a 

number of other planned Biological Weapons attacks through a number of Special 
Intelligence sources, including several agents run by MI6 and by the spymaster Cdr Ian 
Fleming (RN) within General Ishii's Command and his Unit 731 at Pingfan, near Harbin. 

There is some speculation that Ishii himself may have been in contact with the Allies 
through MI6. For the last few months of the Pacific War, Ian Fleming was posted to the 
Far East and undertook Operations that remain classified to this day. Despite his war 
crimes, Lt. General Shiro Ishii would avoid trial at the post-war Tokyo Tribunals and 
remain a free man. 

In a still secret diplomatic undertaking, the Allies through second party talks in Bern and 
Stockholm in the summer of 1945 reached a 'Diplomatic Understanding - the Stockholm 
Understanding'' with the Japanese Government not to undertake any further Biological 
and Chemical weapon attacks against China, Russia or North America for Fear of 
Reciprocity: The Allies were prepared to destroy the Japanese Rice crop for 1945/46. 

It appears the Foreign Office in London took the lead in these sensitive and secretive 
second party talks in Bern and Stockholm of the Allies with the Japanese. The 
underlying implications of the Okamoto Edict seems to point to Ambassador Suemasa 
Okamoto in Stockholm as having played a key role in this 'Stockholm Understanding'' . 

As a result of the 'Stockholm Understanding', the July 1944 Unit 731 balloon-germ 
project to drop anthrax bacilli, cattle-plague bacilli, or grain smut to infect North 

"was vetoed by high-ranking Japanese officials, who feared that if Japan 
launched biological warfare against the United States, similar retaliation 
would be swift and massive." [A & P. p. 189] 

As the secret diplomatic discussions were ongoing in Sweden (and in Bern as well), 
Station Point Grey was listening in to messages to and from Tokyo and providing raw 
intercepts to Arlington Hall and Bletchley Park. 

The role that Station Point Grey and Special Intelligence played in this extraordinary 
diplomacy - the Stockholm Understanding - remains highly classified even to this day 
some seven decades later. 

As Allen and Polmar explain: 

"The Japanese [BW] efforts are still largely unknown by the American 
public. After the war, U.S. occupation officials were determined to convert 
Japan into a Western-style democracy. To help Japan's image, they 
suppressed intelligence data about Japan's use of poison gas and germ 
warfare in China and experiments on human victims, amongst Allied 
Prisoners of War. U.S. officials also kept evidence of these atrocities from 
being introduced at war crimes trials." [A & P, p. 174] 

3.0 The Soviets and the 38 th Parallel 

The 1941 Neutrality treaty between Japan and the Soviets lapsed without renewal in 
April, 1945. While the Japanese hope to renew the treaty with the Soviets, the Allies at 
the Big Three meeting first at Yalta and later in Potsdam had come to an understanding 
regarding the Soviet's entry into the Pacific War as part of the Anglo-American strategy 
to force an unconditional surrender upon Japan. 

The Soviet Armed Forces agreed to enter the war against Japan on or about the 15 l of 
August, 1945 on the mainland, and to recover much of the territory taken from Russia by 
Japan in 1904 and 1905 during the brief Japan-Russian conflict, such as the southern 
portion of Sakhalin Island. The Soviets also had plans to occupy the Kurile Island, as 
well as invade Hokkaido Island; the northern most of the Japanese Home Island had 
OPERATION OLYMPIC in November 1945 proved necessary and had the war 
continued into the spring of 1946. 

The Soviets had designs to divide the Main Island of Honshu at the 38 l Parallel and 
undertake a joint occupation with the US. This Soviet design on Japanese mainland 
territory was promptly and emphatically turned down by the Allies. 

In 1950, in neighbouring Korea, the Soviets would try to expand their sphere of influence 
in the region past the 38 l parallel in that country. It was left to the US and its allies, as 
well as the UN to undertake a Police Action in Korea and re-establish a divide of the 
Korean Peninsula along the 38 th Parallel. 

The Korea Fighting War of 1950-1953 was turned into a Cold War that has lasted nearly 
six decades and is one of the echoes of the Japanese efforts from 1905 to 1945 to 
establish a "new order" in Asia (see Station Point Grey and Special Intelligence: Part 4) 

4.0 Listening in to Okamoto in Stockholm - The Okamoto Edict 

As it became obvious that the Imperial Japanese Government would lose the war, even as 
he was indirectly involved in the negotiations of the terms or Japan's surrender, an 
interesting Political Edit, the "Okamoto Edict", was issued by Ambassador Suemasa 
Okamoto in Sweden to the Imperial Japanese Government in Tokyo. Okamoto 's 
messages to Tokyo were in fact being intercepted by Station Point Grey and decrypted by 
both Bletchley and by Arlington Hall, in August, 1945. 

The historian Stanley Weintraub explained the Edict in this fashion: 

"A reading of diplomatic intercepts suggested that the resourceful Japanese 
expected to rise again as an Asian power. The noble task in East Asia by the 
'Divine Land' was only interrupted, and could be revived, Minister Okamoto 
suggested from Stockholm, by exploiting the inevitable rift between Russian 
and the Anglo-Americans. Further, he thought, America could be isolated 
morally and diplomatically 'by skilfully emphasizing the extreme inhumanity 
of the bomb'". [SW. p. 652] 

This first point, the post -war "divide and conquer attitude''' was not just seen in the 
Okamoto Edict. Stray dogs fighting appears in a message from Kaifeng, China: 

"Although the collapse of Germany has been expected since about the 
autumn of last year and we knew it was only a matter of time, one feels 
somewhat sorry now that ot had come. However, with reference to the future 
of Europe, in view of the national feeling of the three countries - England, 
America and the Soviet - and also of their political philosophies, continued 
mutual agreement is unthinkable. They are just like three stray dogs fighting 
for a piece of meat, and in the near future a new conflict will break out. 

It is regrettable that Japan and China, and Japan and America are fighting 
each other." [Bryden. p. 256] 

With regards to the second major point in the Okamaoto Edict, had Emperor Hirohito and 
his Government accepted the terms of the 
then Hiroshima might never been attacked. 

his Government accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration prior to August 6 l , 1945 

Every year, on August 6 l at Hiroshima the Japanese point to a single event as an 
immorality, never admitting the guilt that the Japanese nation carry for the Asian 
Holocaust nor the fullness of the reasons why the world came to attacking a military 
target with a technologically advanced instrument of war. 

For the past seven decades, the post-war Japanese have followed the political edict of a 
war time Minister of Emperor Hirohito and his Imperial Japanese Government and have 
enacting the "Okamato Edict". 

5.0 A Near Half Century of Pacific Conflict: 1905 - 1945 

During the period 19o5 to 1945 successive Imperial Japanese Governments undertook an 
aggressive foreign policy designed to expand the Japanese Sphere of Influence through 
diplomatic and military means. 

In that period successive Imperial Japanese Governments made war with most of its 
neighbours, including all the major countries of the day, 

> Russia (1904/1905, 1939 and 1945) 

> China (1919-1945) 

> Korea (1910-1945) 

> The United States ( 1 94 1 - 1 945) 

> The United Kingdom (1941-1945) 

> Canada (1941-1945) 

> Australia (1941-1945) 

> New Zealand (1941-1945) 

With the signing of a Neutrality Treaty with Stalin in April 1941 and with the signing of 
the Triple Alliance with Hitler and Mussolini that same year, Japan clearly set out with 
their Axis Allies to establish a "New World Order". 

In a calculated move the Japanese were also able to undermine the old political order and 
existing interests in the region. The awakening of a sleeping giant to their East, China 
has forever changed the body politic, ironically to the detriment of the Japanese, who 
now live in a less stable and more uncertain world, in the shadow of the "Middle 
Kingdom" and a people who have a very rich heritage and a very long memory. 

6.0 Station Point Grey and the Terms of Unconditional Surrender 

Many authors have touched on the matter of the Unconditional Surrender of Japan and 
the disposition of Emperor Hirohito, but few realize that it was a series of radio intercepts 
gathered by Station Point Grey that helped to present the Japanese view on this matter. 

For instance, intercept of messages to Tokyo and back from Japanese Ambassador Sato 
in Moscow, involved in frantic and futile last minute negotiations with Foreign Minister 
Molotov in Moscow to extend the neutrality treaty and negotiate an end to the War in the 
Pacific, clearly laid out the key points of contention between the Potsdam Declaration 
and the cessation of Hostilities. 

As the Canadian Historian John Bryden writes; 

"Excerpts from a July 22 message to Tokyo from the Japanese 
Ambassador in Moscow spoke of the total 'paralysis' of the Japanese Armed 
Forces. It pointed out that the Americans needed only to destroy the rice 
harvest in the home islands to reduce the country to 'absolute famine.' . . . 

They all knew -Truman, the State Department, and the Chiefs of Staff 
- that the Japanese were still fighting only because they were afraid the 
victorious Americans would remove their Emperor, a revered institution 

absolutely essential to Japan's sense of national identity. Consequently, in 
June 1945, when Stimson drafted the ultimatum demanding Japan's 
surrender, he included the assurance that afterwards 'the Japanese might 
chose a constitutional monarchy under the present dynasty. The wording of 
the ultimatum received tacit approval from Truman on July 2. On July 12 the 
wisdom of the assurance was explicitly confirmed by decrypts * which 
revealed that the sole stumbling block to Japanese surrender was American 
insistence on 'unconditional surrender'. The Emperor himself had 
dispatched a special envoy to Moscow with personal instructions to clarify 
the point and seek peace with the United States through the Soviets." 
[Bryden, p. 259] 

Since the Soviets had already committed themselves to the Allies to let their neutrality 
treaty with Japan lapse and enter the war in the Pacific, the endgame diplomatic 
negotiations between the Allies and Japan would be played out in Bern and Stockholm. 

As the diplomatic endgame as messages passed to and from Premier Suzuki in Tokyo to 
and from many of its Ambassadors and Consulates abroad, such as 

> Ambassadors Naotake Sato in Moscow, 

> Ambassador Shunichi Kase in Bern and 

> Ambassador Suemassa Okamoto in Stockholm . . . 

. . . Station Point Grey was listening in ... 

7.0 Conclusion of Part 3 

From the Korean conflict of 1950-1953 to the present day, the rest of the world is still 
haunted by the legacy of the Imperial Japan's aggression during a quarter century of 
conflict and by the Asian Holocaust the ensued during the period 1937 - 1945. 

Seven decades later the world has a belligerent and divided Korea to contend with and an 
emerging Chinese Superpower and a growing navy with expansive ambitions that may, 
with time, rival that of wartime Japan. 

As long as a denial of the Asian Holocaust by the Japanese and the Okamoto Edict are in 
effect, the disturbing legacy of the Empire of Japan during the Second World will linger 
like a dark cloud over cities like Hiroshima. 

During the years of the Second World War, the intercept work done at Station Point Grey 
became of such importance that they helped change the course of the war, and help to 
shorten the duration of the conflict and save the life of upwards of 30 million people, 
many Asian and in fact Japanese. 

On several occasions during the war in the Pacific, RCN Naval Intelligence Unit 4 would 
have need to visit the campus of the University of British Columbia to attend to security 
matters, as well as Station Point Grey and Fort Point Grey. 

The author has been told that a "person of interest" spent part of the war as a student of 
the University of British Columbia and may have attempted to undertake covert 
espionage activities. 

As outlined in "Station Point Grey and Special Intelligence: Part 1 and Part 2" the 

security of the Port of Vancouver, Fort Point Grey, and Station Point Grey with regards 
to the war in the Pacific was of primary importance. 

Of particular note in "Station Point Grey and Special Intelligence: Part 3" are the 

matters relating to Special Intelligence in the diplomatic realm, the 'Stockholm 
Understanding', and the terms of Unconditional Surrender of Japan in August, 1945. 

It was evident to me that in conferring honorary degrees in 201 1 the University of British 
Columbia erred in matters of scholarship and in matter of law. 

This matter will be dealt with in greater detail in Station Point Grey and Very Special 
Intelligence: Part 4. 

Appendix 1: Albert Einstein's 1939 Letter to President Roosevelt 

7dHh R<iOHflVftlt f 

President <i?. the United Etat«3, 

Ai^trr 3inst«ln 
rtl^i ^-rova nil -, Paint 
Pflconia* Long la^uid 


3iihte reaan^ work by T5*7*tTii And L. 5z.ilard. h wLi lch ban bean, aon- 
inuTilaateHi to as In m^hiiBtrlS? P l*sd» rat to axpact that th-e elaoaut ur&q.- 
iiun t\ny D« turned into n naw and important (wave* of sHA^gy An th* la- 
-icciiite future. Certain an pacta of tfifi situation TdiicJi ^aa ariaan aeeq 
to ifill far i.-at equina us and, If nGcaBaary, r^iijii action en tue fftrt 
if tho Ari^lnigtrHtion. r boimri to e *-() f r* that tt is =V duty to bring 
to /aiir attention t^Q following facts f.nil rec&punaniiatlOnn; 

In the Source flf thft Inst ("flur month* ii has been rcadc probable - 
iiirsm;]! t:io rorJr of Jollat ill 7rwee a? imLI an ~crrai ani Sailart in 
/uitfMca - that H way boaame possible i* *et up- * n^*l<!&r reaction 
in * liiifit* it|*u* oT u.r&niii*n /by which vnat ftnjounts o" po^or and lar^o quant- 
ities of i\<w fAdtt|>4-lflco elornarita ^ould be a«naratoi. Jiow it appears 
filn-ju: certain titat thla could "&c relieved in tho ijiiwdiftta rn*H"*. 

Thin new c^anc-nvnan wo-Jld hl*o lead to the conat runt Ion of fcoaba± 
Mil it Sis eorvt«t™'mo - tiiwu(jji injch lOsu obtain - tfint extrei-ialy ro*er- 
f«1 bonbo of n n«» type Tiuny thus bo oenii ti*jatad T A Bid£|ft bonb of thla 
■-y P #. tJirrlcd by boat and axpLodoa in a port, nttfftt **ry wll destroy 
\tii> wjiolo port tofjoMiar pith oon-o at the aUrraUrtdii:i? territory* HowoT-erp 
stish b.'aftiB HSsiit very *oLl provr to bfr trte hiiary Tor lrftna])ort«tlon by 


Thg (*n^*:l Stages hfi-3 o ill y Ttiry war ^raa of jrvniJiq la sodo^iti 
Ijajit tt J.>o« Tli*ra jd edU* ig&4 074 LH Oft-l^clA lind A* fanner Ciccboalavilcit , 
n'niic m t .ni^j^ Jmpc-ct-^nt; source or tiiiitiJu^ ig. 3a l^ian Co^jj-o , 

Jd view af tf.L4 situation y»u =tajr thinU It desirable to have Aon* 
p»>!-taii*Ht nont*?t ■*»intft.Ij:sd bstwssn tlie ASuiy.l? tin tint wid tiia ^roMu 
or gnj3i$ig»B tfa-nsLng on attain t^aitlorta m JUrmifio,, Oftfl Sftoftlbl* war 
of GaltlQTJils till la rLjhb be ftr yau to si;ti"jnt vi-hh thin hiw'k a ^ar-aou 
n-Ua "\u:i< jouj- l: um f id anc e and Tilio coulL 1 . perhEfp* s«rT* i?* (ui 4n*(fl.0lftl 
sa^aeity, :iit task miijht a<ns:n*is$ the iflUowisigi 

q) to apj*r&a-2h 3(iYfrrnsaQ»t Da ;» rime lit ft , itssj,: their infon-ieii nf tha 
further 4eTBlofa-9r.t , and. tut f^rotrd TejcocsEandal lono f*r GCTernnoJlt Action i 
ilviae E^rtisul&r attention to the ptoMsni *f oecuurin^ r. auaivly of liu* 

ium urw fgr bhv Ur:Ltod EtBtcaf 

to) to sTpcad utq tlw cspcrlnic n,tn,I ncEkjUkioli ia &t picccat fe-oing tfa;> 
risd on within Jl6 JUjuH* af W-* bwdgota *C Ifci-veptity ln"bor*,tirlea, by 
pro7Astncr f una* , if eueh fun 4ft ^a ro^nitaii, tiirouflj: his csntaata xiiHv 
jr-ivA+a p^rjim.T. i?ho &r« FlMLnj trt itiRJtft CMt3fJ"bub iona foe tliia diVubci 
;mi perhaps aLto ty o-'a'&inirijj Ihi eo-ojper-Etior. oi 1 i'li^s-lrir-.i. ia.tioVA.tur leg 
TrhlGh Jiht-S the nccsanary at|iiijpnisilt , 

J understand tha~ jaranny hs^s s topped t&Q afL* »i" ttralliua 
froi the 'JaaetMtlcTaKLatt tfineo. -rtiitH uhc too taSiaa a™-^, ti:*'- flu? AhotiLd 
have taJes?! auri. «:i,-Iy ;lcUoii MiSijJit puritan tt Und«T*l;eoi or, tta ^i'iuiii 
CH&S the aon or fAi ^?rrwj] Unacr-Sietelar^' of 5i^«, ^*n Tetaniiekcr, is 
,it,t*clT!td Co L5i«? ^uLae-L-WilSuelfn^Tnnt- tut inSecliil ?*Hare aoltio er the 
Aneriflaji -florj cn Titan torn lo nfltf tein^ rapuntfld, 

V^ttJa ■vsrv trtljr t 

(Albert JJiTtotflln) 

Appendix 2: The Naval Chart Captured aboard Ha-19 

Appendix 3: Chapter 8 - The Biggest Rattlesnake, from "And I 
was There" 


The Biggest Rattlesnake 

TIEER.EL IS AN OLD cowboy saymg: "The nearest rattlesnake is always 
bigger." It illustrates perfectly how ihu intelligence evaluations 
ffiitte at Washington and Pearl Harbor differed throughout ! "■>- 1 . 
The polarity, which had been aggravated by the feud within rbe niivy 
depa rtrheitt . was now further worsened ort 27 May when Roosevelt de- 
clared a slate of "un.limii.ed national emergency" and warned Americans 
in a radio broadcast that war was "coming very dose to home." 1 

To Admirals Stark and Turner, bath of whom had played such a Jciid- 
ing role in drafting (he "Europe first" strategy, compared h> the German 
submarines Japan was a distant menace. The president was calling Ihc U- 
boals "the rattlesnakes of the Atlantic." They threatened to cut the lend- 
lease supply Line to Britain. But from AdrmraJ KJmmeE's point of view the 
Geiman submarines were Jess of a menace than a Japanese battle fleet, 
which could sortie from bases in the Marshall Islands, less than two thou- 
sand miles southwest of Fear.l Harbor. But if we had known just how 
cEraely Axis agents had been studying the Pacific Fleet ever since the 
c;i[|y spring, the Japanese rattlcsnatc would have appeared even larger. 

Since February Admiral YamamOlO had bucn planning and coordinat- 
ing the massive naval air operation that depended an the skillful applica- 
tion of intelligence in order to realize his strategic gamMe lift control of 
the western Pacific. Above his table on board flagship Nagaio hung ji 
detailed map of tints American naval base on Oahu. marked with an- 
chorages , defenses, and fuel-storage depots. In his desk drawer was a 
weighty volume titled Tht Habits, Siretigffts f and Defenses (*f rh& Amer- 
ican t"!cet in the Hawaiian Area, a bibie of data on warship movements, 
water depths, and air an J sea patrol patterns that were constantly up- 
dated by reports from Japanese agents in Hawaii. 

Ynmamoto's most valuable source of such infonmaaion was the con- 
sulate at Honolulu. On 27 March I ¥41 [he two-story white building on 


Nuuanu Avenue became the base of operations for the Japanese navy's 
espionage effort when a junior diplomat known as Tadashi Morimura ar- 
rived at the consulate to take up his mission of collecting information 
essential to the fleet's destruction. 

Morimura was the alias of twenty-eight-year-old former Ensign Takeo 
Yoshikawa. It also literally gave a new lease on life to a naval officer 
whose career had been terminated by stomach cancer. Yoshikawa had 
been recruited by the intelligence division of the naval general staff and 
trained for four years as an undercover agent for American operations. A 
slim, personable man, with an infectious politeness, he attracted little 
attention among the many Japanese Americans of Oahu. 

At the consulate, however, where "Morimura" was assigned a desk in 
the vice-consul's office, it was curious — as one of the nisei female clerks 
was later to admit — that Otajiro Okuda's new assistant paid little atten- 
tion to his duty of administering expatriate affairs. He was often late 
arriving for work and was seldom at his desk in the afternoon. Once Miss 
Kimie Done saw a map of Oahu spread on his desk, and she often saw 
him leave the consulate in a taxi driven by John Mikami, who worked out 
of a stand on Vineyard Street. Another clerk would recall that Morimura 
sometimes arrived wearing an aloha sports shirt and was driven away in 
the car of Richard Kotoshirodo, who once admitted that the trips were to 
'"military places." 2 

Although the Honolulu consulate was staked out by both the FBI and 
the Fourteenth Naval District intelligence office, it was not until after war 
broke out that interrogation of the taxi driver Mikami and clerk 
Koloshirido revealed how extensive had been the assistance they gave to 
Yoshikawa's espionage activities. Both admitted making frequent trips 
with him to observe the local airfields, or to the Sunchoro tea house at 
Aiea Heights and the Punchbowl overlooking Pearl Harbor where they 
"looked at the view." 3 

During the latter half of 1941 his reports on the movements of the 
Pacific Fleet would be relayed by the consul in the J-19 cipher to the 
foreign ministry. To preserve the secrecy of the Pearl Harbor attack plan, 
neither Nagao Kita nor Yoshikawa was informed of the special impor- 
tance that was attached to these reports. 

In fact every port and naval base in the United States as well as the 
Panama Canal, the Philippines and the British, Dutch, and Australian 
territories in the Far East were already under intensive surveillance. By 
1941, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was keeping detailed tiles on some 
342 suspected Japanese agents operating throughout the United States. 
Their movements were monitored, as it was widely believed that many 
were engaged in espionage directed from the Japanese embassy in Wash- 
ington and Japan's main consulates in New York, Los Angeles, San Fran- 
cisco, and Honolulu. Many of the suspects were nisei on the west coast 
who belonged to one of the patriotic societies with close links to Tokyo. 

The Biggest Rattlesnake 105 

Especially close watch was also being kept on those Japanese who met 
with known Nazi agents. 4 

It was evident by 1941 that there was increasing cooperation between 
the undercover operatives of the Axis powers, but Hoover was to drop 
the ball completely when the British sent over to the United States their 
double agent known as Tricycle, who had been ordered to Berlin to un- 
dertake an espionage mission to Hawaii. Dusko Popov — and revisionist 
Pearl Harbor historians — have made much of the claim that Popov's mis- 
sion had warned Roosevelt of the Japanese plan to attack the Pacific 
Fleet. Popov asserted that the straitlaced Hoover underrated the impor- 
tance of the intelligence concealed in the microdot questionnaire he was 
given by his German contact in Lisbon. He also clashed with Hoover over 
his philandering and high-spending ways. 5 

Newly released FBI files, however, reveal that Hoover had more than 
enough justification for regarding Popov's credentials as suspect. When 
he had arrived in the United States he had received an unreported eigh- 
teen-thousand-dolfar payoff from a local German Abwehr agent. Popov 
did, however, hand over his questionnaire with its misspelled list of 
Hawaiian military installations drawn up by his German paymasters at 
the request of Tokyo. But only about a third of the questions dealt specif- 
ically with Hawaii; the rest related to general intelligence about United 
States war production. 

Hoover and his aides therefore failed to see any special significance in 
the document. They were more concerned with claiming credit for un- 
covering the microdot technique. This formed the basis of Hoover's 
"Strictly Confidential" report to the White House on 3 September. The 
president received only the first page of the questionnaire, which did not 
include any reference to Hawaii. Hoover did not communicate the entire 
Popov microdot document to either naval or army intelligence, despite a 
1940 agreement by which the FBI pledged to cooperate with the military 
intelligence to counter Axis espionage. His failure represented another 
American fumble on the road to Pearl Harbor. 7 

The FBI, however, was more diligent in its pursuit of potential Jap- 
anese agents, especially the dozens of naval officers who had arrived in 
the late thirties claiming to be language students or technical experts." 8 

In addition to spying on navy bases and armaments factories by the 
Japanese, there was another general level of espionage conducted by 
naval officers posted to the United States to study English. Whereas our 
own naval officers sent to Japan at this time to study the language num- 
bered about three or four per year, Tokyo was sending them by the doz- 
ens to the United States. They reported for a few weeks to the embassy 
in Washington, where they would be briefed by Second Secretary Taro 
Terasaki, who by 1941 had become the mastermind of Japan's entire es- 
pionage network in the western hemisphere. 

Terasaki, whose brother was a ranking official in the Japanese foreign 


ministry, had sLud.ied at Brown University and gleaned valuable informa- 
tion from farmer classmates who were now in the State Department. We 
tsafl now sec firnm recently declassified FBI doc-amenta and the Signal 
traffic ot Japan's ruilifary attache's, just hO(* intensive I his espionage was. 
Ternsakj reporred to Tokyu that, in addition to the is*.ile*tlondsT supporters 
of Charles Lindbergh's America First campaign. Ins a^enls were also 
cultivating "very influential Negro Jenders 1 '" in anticipation, of Stiffing, up 
racial discontent ,l to stall (Tie program of U.S. plans for national defense 
and the economy as v^eM an sabotage." 11 Special attention was also paid to 
nisei working in ihc west coast aircraft factories and to their relatives in 
the IMS; Army. 

Terasaki ordered I he naval agents to enroll ai universities and tech- 
nical institutes, principally irt the vicinity of west coast ports. The navjil 
attache maintained a branch office in New York, known as the "inspec- 
tor's office," where (lie FBI investigation found [hat disbursements for 
I he development of intelligence amounted h> half a million dollars a 
month, b staggering sum for those days. Much of this was spent to obtain 
technical information and to buy aircraft parts, radios, and tOOl& L appar- 
ent!} only for examination, Two officers assigned lO ihe New York in- 
spcctorale bad been meeting with a German agenl-. code- named 
"Steamer." in the Nippon Out? where they shared American scientific 
and technical information," 

The major effort was centered on Ihe west coast. In San Francisco, 
outposts of large Japanese corporations such as the Yokohama; Specie 
Bank, Mitsubishi Sboji Kaisha, and Nippon Yusen K&isha provided pro- 
Lection, and a channel of communications for the imperial navy's under- 
covet agents. The Los Anpeles headquarters of the North American 
branch ol Ihe Nippon KaigUII Kyokai (Japanese Naval Association h col- 
laborated with the language officers to ohtain inforrriation about naval 
bases nnd.defense plants. Tn Los Angeles a Dr Takushi Funisawa and his 
wife Sachiko (known as the mutber of the Japanese navyj. memrscrs of 
ihe Japanese Political Society „ ran a clearinghouse for information col- 
lected by these undercover Japanese naval officers. 

Lieutenant Commander Jtaru Taehi ba na was one of the must active of 
the language student?" He lived in Los Angeles., used the name 
Yamaio as an ahas. and operated a String of hrorhels for his cover and 
added, income, while Spying under orders of Commander Nagasawa. the 
local representative uf the naval attache.. 

Tachihana came to the attention of ihe Eleventh Naval District intel- 
ligence office in early 1$41 through, of all people, A3 D- Blake, also 
known as, King of ihe RoDOtS, from the wortd record he had set 
by standing motionless for one hour and twenty-seven minutes. He was a 
sometime vaudeville performer whose robot iiCL got him. occasional jobs 
at fain and store openings. He had spent four years in Ihe ttavy before 
playing a bit role in Charlie Chaplin's 1917 movie Shoulder Arm*, where 
he became acquainted with the star's valet-chauftJe-ur, Tortichi Kono 1! 

The Biggest Rattlesnake 107 

When they met by chance again in 1940, Blake was broke and jobless, 
and Kono was "chauffeur" to Tachibana. Tachibana offered Blake five 
thousand dollars if he could produce classified naval information. First, 
however, Tachibana wanted proof of Blake's naval connection and a sam- 
ple of the sort of data he claimed he could provide. Blake, now realizing 
that he was beyond his depth, went to the FBI in Los Angeles with this 
story, saying that he had led Tachibana on out of patriotism, intending to 
expose him. He confessed that he had no buddy in the fleet, but that he 
did need money, and offered his full cooperation. The FBI notified the 
local office of naval intelligence headquarters who cabled Pearl Harbor 
and asked for cooperation. 

Most of Admiral Kimmel's staff wanted nothing to do with this "cops 
and robbers' 1 caper, feeling that the Fourteenth Naval District could han- 
dle it, and seeing no need for Cincpac involvement. Because of my pre- 
vious experience with undercover operations, I urged that we cooperate. 
I explained that we could easily arrange for Blake to get faked classified 
information. That would bolster his position with Tachibana, and at the 
same time feed bum dope to the Japanese, and perhaps help catch some 
of their spies. Kimmel approved, saying, "Why not? If we can catch 
spies, and at the same time lead the Japanese astray, I think it's a good 
idea. You go ahead with it, Layton." 

We arranged for Blake to write to his "buddy Paul Mitchell" in 
Pennsylvania, saying, "We can make a heap of dough if you cooperate." 
A naval agent in Honolulu posed as "Mitchell" who corresponded on 
Pennsylvania letterhead stationery telling how fed up he was with the 
navy, how much he needed money, and that he was eager to see his pal 
Al and hear more about the money. Tachibana was so impressed by the 
"Mitchell" letter that he booked passage for Blake on President Garfield, 
which sailed for Honolulu shortly after noon on 25 April. 

As if Blake was not involved enough, he made shipboard acquain- 
tances of four Nazis and decided to play "boy spy" with them. One of 
them brawled with Blake, but he got clear of the Nazis when they were 
arrested after the captam reported the incident to a passing Canadian 
cruiser 29 April, the night before entering Oahu. 

Meanwhile, we had prepared for Blake's arrival. When he stepped 
ashore and hailed a taxi, a naval agent was at the wheel. They went 
directly to the Alexander Young Hotel, where a room— specially wired 
with a recording machine— was reserved. We also had a cover for him, 
and a cover for the cover. If the Japs tailed him, we'd have a tail on 
them. At' Pearl Harbor, Bill Kitts, the staff gunnery officer, helped me 
prepare some bait documents on fleet gunfire practices. 

Blake spent enough time doing Honolulu with his "buddy" to be seen 
in the right places, before returning to the mainland with his "delivery." 
On 15 May, Tachibana, accompanied by another "language student," 
carried the material to the Japanese embassy in Washington. The naval 

108 "AND I WAS THERE' 1 

attache liked it so much that he authorized a second Blake mission to 
Honolulu. We had arranged his reception as before. 

We were doctoring bait for the second delivery when out of the blue I 
got a call from the ONI office in Honolulu saying that Blake had blown 
his cover. He had run across a woman friend from his old vaudeville 
days, dined her, and got her up to his room. There, midst amours, he 
bragged of being an intelligence agent. Our microphones had recorded 
everything he blabbed. 

My yeoman, Hedges R. Keene, fetched Blake from Honolulu to my 
office, where 1 read him the riot act. I told him his Hawaiian holiday was 
over, that we knew ah about his hotel-room indiscretions, and that he 
was on his way home. I made it clear that if he created any further fuss, 
we would notify the woman's husband. Meanwhile, an ONI agent visited 
her home at Waianae, ensuring her silence in exchange for our not giving 
her husband a copy of the hotel-room recording. 

Back in Los Angeles, Blake made the second delivery to Tachibana, 
who was arrested by the FBI after it obtained Department of State ap- 
proval. His property was seized and three of the navy's best translators 
were rushed to Los Angeles to screen the voluminous papers. Further 
confirmation of Tachibana's espionage activity came from the code break- 
ers in Washington who intercepted a message from the Japanese consul in 
Los Angeles asking the embassy in Washington to subsidize Kono and 
"friends" to the tune of twenty-five thousand dollars K: in view of the fact 
that he might give evidence unsatisfactory to Tachibana." 12 

Among Tachibana's effects was a suitcase belonging to Lieutenant 
Commander Sadatomo Okada. another "language officer" suspected for 
many months of being engaged in espionage activities, and who was 
rounded up for deportation. It contained a great quantity of data relating 
to national defense in the Pacific northwest: data on antiaircraft defenses 
for the Boeing aircraft plant in Seattle, details of naval ships under con- 
struction, times of warship arrivals and departures, test data on naval 
aircraft, records of movements of troops at military establishments, pro- 
duction data on national defense factories, and aerial photographs of 
naval and army bases as well as war plants. 13 

The haul of intelligence material was so extensive and incriminating 
that Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox wanted Tachibana, Okada, and 
another language officer named Yamada to be charged with conspiracy to 
violate our espionage statute. Washington's diplomatic wheels, however, 
soon began turning and this charge was tempered. Ambassador Nomura 
personally intervened to request that "the Tachibana incident be dealt 
with from the standpoint of the current political trend.'" 14 

On 21 June, escorted by a posse of FBI agents, Tachibana boarded 
Mtta Mam en route to Tokyo. There his talents were to be put to use by 
the Third Section (intelligence) in supervising and analyzing the flow of 
information from the consulate in Honolulu. To protect remaining naval 

The Biggest Rtxititmuke 100 

agtnls in 1he United Stiitcs, instructions went Out from the foreign minis- 
try lhat they s.hauid be appointed naval attache's (o gjv* then] diplomatic 

'JTjl Tuchihana case represented the culmination of several years of 
eounterinielligertee Operations hy the navy in unofficial colHaborgtion with 
the FBI. The he.adquarters of the Twelfth Naval District al San Francisco 
was the most active tenter of these Operations. While the detailed court- 
tennlel ligcocc files kepE hy the district intelligence office feir the prewar 
years have been recalled by the navy, station signal Jogs and the testi- 
mony e>t former staffers confirm that the office was engaged in extensive 
counterintelligence operations against the Japanese community on the 
west coast. Not only was Jt responsible for monitoring all the transpacific 
telephone calls from a Market Street office adjacent to the main San 
Francisco telephone exchange, but it was also tapping telephones in of- 
fices and hotel rooms- used by nfemfeas of the local Japanese business 
iOmmumEy, '* 

The evidence of extensive espionage discovered in Ihcse and similar 
operations on cite west coast probably influenced Roosevelt when he is* 
sued a controversial emergency executive order two months after Pearl 
Harbor that resulted in the rounding up of Japanese Americans and pack- 
ing them off Eo detention camps. Commander Robert E. Lawrance, the 
deputy intelligence officer for the Twelfth Naval District, was responsible 
lor liirectirLi: the undercover surveillance of Japan's suspected espionage 
network. Whh the promise of a lieutenancy in the rraval reserve* he hired 
Willi-am L. Magiscretli— a twenty^year^ld student of Japanese at the 
IJnivcTSiity of California at Berkeley, who had studied at the Imperial 
University in Tokyo Law ranee, made it clear thai the job required illegal 
entries and hreat-ins that amounted to burglary, a felony offense, and 
that if Magistfetti was caught in the act the navy would have to disown 
turn. Magistrate J patriotically accepted the job, nevertheless, and partici- 
pated in a number of successful break-ins, starting in 1938. But he finally 
quit when [he promised commission never materialized, joined the office 
of strategic services (OSS) in 1943, arid served in the China-Burma-India 
theater for the test of [he war. '* 

To assist Magislrclti, a civilian named Sec-man Ci add is- was engaged to 
pick the locks of offices of Japanese cultural Centers. Organizations, and 
businesses in the San Francisco area. An cx-ftaifnot known as Soapy, he 
was an employee of a private detective agency run by Gene Kerrigan, 
who was under contract to carry out these break-ins for the Twelfth 
Naval District. In addition to discovering hundreds of pornographic pie- 
lures, whLch many Japanese businessmen kept locked in their desks, the 
bieak-ins by Gaddisand Magistretti produced a useful flow of intelligence 
ahoul the extent ot Japan's surveillance ot naval and army bases on the 
west coas[. 

In ]Q44) tney conspired to obtain a copy of the imperial navy's mobi- 


Uzation codes for the merchant marine from a Japanese Ship in San 
Pedro, During a "customs inspection" Gaddis planted and "discovered" 
narcotic? in. the tap[aini''s safe;, thereby providing an excuse fop removal of 
■is cements, over furious protests by the Japanese skipper. Magistre tti 
identified the merchant-ship code book^ which was quickly photographed 
in a dockside warehouse, and the contents i»f the safe were reLurned- 1 
Getting the mcrc3iani-$hip code wis a windfall for ONI Even though 
the Japanese switched codes as son as the ship's captain reported that it 
had heen compromised, possessing an entire code was. always useful for 
comparison purposes. This American success, however, was only a drop 
in Che bucket compared with the iitformalion Japan's undercover aguntft 
lite Tacbibana were getting in the United Scales. 3 n contrast 10 Japan, wc 
were a free country with none of the police-state controls and restrictions 
that [ had discovered made intelligence gathering so difficult when I was 
assistant naval attache in Tokyo, 

The United Slates armed services were constitutionally restrained 
from conducting extensive counterintelligence activities such as phone 
tapping against civilians. Such operations had to be conducted on an un- 
official and ad hoc basis. t?uf it is now clear thai enterprising inldligen-W 
officers in naval districts such as. San Francisco took it upon themselves to 
oryart iie quite extensive covert surveillance operations wilb the con- 
nivance — if not approval — of the QN7 and FBI in Washington. 

Once the Pacific Flee! had moved to Pearl Harbor in 1540, it was 
realized by [he local district intelligence office and by the ONI in Wash- 
ington thai that base would certainly become the focus of Japanese es- 
pionage. Nevertheless, the mortiloting of telephone find cable traffic K> 
and from Honululu was Far less extensive than that conducted in San 
E-'ranrisCO . 

This was nut through any lack Ol seal on the part of Captain Irving H. 
Mayfield, Fourteenth Naval 'District intelligence officer, but because tele- 
graph companies in Honolulu insisted on hewing Lo the statutes which 
made the disclosure of communications a federal crime. On his own ini- 
tiative MuyfieJd, in an ingenious hid io bypass the regulations., had en- 
listed the aid of local telephone authorities, They provided telephone sets 
modified with live microphones, which were installed in the Japanese 
consulate by two warrant officers in phone company unifOrrnS who drove 
up in a phone company truck The same team used Street cables lo route 
(he taps on the consulale switch board TO Ji nearby Nuuanu Heights resi- 
dence Where Mayficld had set up a listening Station equipped with record- 
ing machines." 1 

The eighieen-month eavesdropping operation on the Honolulu con- 
sulate had failed to provide us with any hard evidence of Japan's special 
interest in Pearl Harbor. It was to be expected that they would be inter- 
ested in watching our main Padfic FLeel base, but apart from confirming 
i hat their diplomats ^ere engaged in a general surveillance, our invesliga- 

The Biggest Rattlesnake ± j j 

tion uncovered nothing that singled out their agent Yoshikawa for sn^i.l 
attention by Captain Mayfield's office before December 1941 » 
An ,n ma ; i ; c 7^ r " was with preventing unauthorized snooping a sea 
An attempt had been made by the coast guard in 1939 to deorle hn 

Head but the wanderings of one additional Japanese among the ISO (00 
already hvmg on Oahu attracted no special attention ulng hi IJ2 

7 M ° n r ra ' Y ° Shlkawa h * d set *> work promptly and elec velv a 
Passional naval observer who knew exactly what was needed 1 how 
to obtain and report it. His casual strolls, auto rides, and even siZ^Z 
plane trips were not as casual as they seemed Al hk intHi ? g 

~n g channeled to Admiral YaLm^ ££ ST" ** 

md Gel ^1 h arb ° r aUaCk C ° nCept m ° Ved from "**■ ^ Ohnishi 
and Genda to full operational treatment by the Combined Flert « ,fr 

unurca earner-based planes under a single commander * 
The overall plan-designated Operation 2 in honor of the sienal fla. 
used by Admiral Heihachiro Togo at the Battle of Tsusln„s ftdl 
known to only a few members of Yamamoto's staff. Serious ooeltiona 
Planning could not begin until the imperial general staTre"dir 
erences in strategic policy. The army still wanted a northed advane 
against the Russians m Siberia and an all-out commitment o cone ude 
he long war in China. The navy argued for a southward assaults sei e 

general staff to begin any formal planning for war. P 


Appendix 4: Potsdam Declaration, 26 July, 1945 

Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender 
Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945 

1. We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of 
the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the 
hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be 
given an opportunity to end this war. 

2. The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the British Empire and of 
China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised 
to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by 
the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she 
ceases to resist. 

3. The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused 
free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of 
Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that 
which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the 
industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our 
military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete 
destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation 
of the Japanese homeland. 

4. The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by 
those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the 
Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of 

5. Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We 
shall brook no delay. 

6. There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have 
deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we 
insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until 
irresponsible militarism is driven from the world. 

7. Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan's 
war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the 
Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here 
setting forth. 

8. The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall 
be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands 
as we determine. 

9. The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to 
return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives. 

10. We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a 
nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who 
have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all 
obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the 

Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for 
the fundamental human rights shall be established. 

11. Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and 
permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her 
to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw 
materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations 
shall be permitted. 

12. The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these 
objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with 
the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible 

13. We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of 
all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their 
good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction. 

Appendix 5: The Sinking of the SS Coast Trader by 1-26 on 7 th 
June, 1942 

Ref: cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=7 1 66 

Japanese submarine sinks the SS Coast Trader on June 
7, 1942. 

On Sunday, June 7, 1942, the American merchant vessel SS Coast Trader is torpedoed 
and sunk by the Japanese submarine 1-26, 35 miles southwest of Cape Flattery near the 
Straits of Juan de Fuca. Fifty-six survivors from the 3,286-ton freighter are eventually 
rescued by the fishing vessel Virginia /and the Canadian corvette HMCS Edmunston (K- 
106). The SS Coast Trader is the first American vessel the Imperial Japanese Navy sinks 
off the coast of Washington State during World War II. 

The Japanese vessel 1-26 was a 356-foot Junsen Type-B Class submarine built in Kobe, 
Japan, in 1941. With a crew of 101 officers and men, they were the Japanese Navy's 
largest and most successful class of underwater boats. The submarines, called "I-boats," 
were fast, had long range and even carried a small collapsible float plane (a Yokosuka 
E14Y1 "Glen") which could be launched by compressed-air catapult from the foredeck. 
The 1-26 was one of nine Japanese B-class submarines prowling the West Coast from the 
Aleutian Islands to San Diego during 1941 and 1942. 

The 1-26 was responsible for sinking the SS Cynthia Olson, the first American merchant 
vessel to be sunk by a Japanese submarine in World War II. The SS Cynthia Olson, en 
route from Tacoma, Washington, to Honolulu, Hawaii, was torpedoed on December 7, 
1941, 1000-miles northeast of Honolulu; all 35 crewmembers were lost. 

The SS Coast Trader (formerly the SS Point Reyes) was a 324-foot freighter built by the 
Submarine Boat Company, Edison, New Jersey, for the U. S. Shipping Board in 1920. 
The Coastwise Line Steamship Company purchased her from the government in 1936 
and home-ported her in Portland, Oregon. The SS Coast Trader had been under charter to 
the U.S. Army since the beginning of World War II (1941-1945). 

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese submarines had been 
sighted off the coasts of British Columbia and Oregon and at least 15 American merchant 
vessels had been attacked in the eastern Pacific and along the West Coast. 

On Sunday, June 7, 1942, the SS Coast Trader was en route from Port Angeles to San 
Francisco carrying 1,250 tons of newsprint. After leaving the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the 
ship, steering a non-evasive course, turned south. Lookouts were posted fore and aft to 
watch for enemy submarines but they didn't spot the 1-26, which had been shadowing 
them at periscope depth since Neah Bay. 

At about 2:10 p.m. there was a violent explosion inside the ship, which blew off hatch 
covers, sent 2000-pound rolls of newsprint 50 feet into the air, and toppled the main mast 
and radio antenna. The torpedo hit the ship on the starboard side in the stern, beneath the 
No. 4 hatch. The engines immediately stopped and holds filled with steam. The radio 
operator was unsuccessful in his attempt to repair the radio antenna but continued 
sending SOS distress messages. 

Captain Lyle G. Havens knew the Coast Trader had suffered catastrophic damage and 
gave the order to abandon ship. Ammonia fumes leaking from the ship's refrigeration 
system overcame some of the crew as they attempted to lower the lifeboats. The 
starboard lifeboat was badly damaged during launching and was unusable. The crew 
successfully launched the port-side lifeboat and two large cork rafts. Some of the men 
had been injured in the explosion and needed help getting off the ship. Fortunately, the 
sea was calm and the crew evacuated the ship without difficulty. First Officer E. W. 
Nystrom and other crewmen in the lifeboat reported sighting the conning tower of a 
submarine 200 yards from were the ship was sinking, but it did not surface. At 2:50 p.m. 
the SS Coast Trader sunk slowly, stern first, in 93 fathoms of water, as the crew watched. 
Then it started to rain. 

Captain Havens had the lifeboat and rafts made fast to each other with lines. He then had 
all the injured men transferred to the lifeboat. As evening approached, Captain Havens 
decided their distress call must not have been received so he ordered the lifeboat crew to 
start rowing toward the coast with the rafts in tow. The weather continued to deteriorate 
and towards midnight, 60-knot winds and heavy seas caused the rafts and lifeboat to 
become separated. The lifeboat, unable to reach the rafts, continued to head toward the 
shore in search of help. The storm abated toward morning, and Captain Havens had a sail 
rigged on the lifeboat to hasten their journey. 

At about 4:00 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 1942, the lifeboat crew spotted a fishing vessel on 
the horizon and rowed toward it. They were eventually rescued by the Virginia I, a 
halibut schooner out of San Francisco, and taken to the Naval Section Base at Neah Bay. 
Captain Havens and First Officer Nystrom were then able to supply the Naval authorities 
with the approximate position of the two rafts. 

The U. S. Coast Guard immediately dispatched several aircraft to search for the Coast 
Trader's survivors. Just before dawn on Tuesday, June 9, 1942, crewmen saw Coast 
Guard Aircraft V-206 circling overhead and fired an orange signal flare into the air. The 
pilot spotted the signal and directed the Canadian corvette HMCS Edmunston (K-106) to 
the rescue site. By that time, the survivors, cold and wet, had been on the rafts for 40 

Out of the Coast Trader's crew of 56, which included nine officers, 28 men and 19 U.S. 
Army armed guards (deck gunners), there was one fatality, Steven Chance, a 56-year-old 
cook, who died in the lifeboat from exposure. The crewmen suffering from injuries and 
exposure were hospitalized at Port Angeles. 

West Coast residents had been swept by a post-Pearl Harbor hysteria and feared that an 
invasion by the Japanese was imminent. On February 28, 1942, the Japanese submarine 
1-17 bombarded an oil pumping station near Santa Barbara, California. On June 3, 1942, 
carrier-based Japanese aircraft attacked Dutch Harbor, Alaska, followed by the invasion 
of the islands of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands on June 7, 1942. The 1-26, 
patrolling north along the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, shelled the 
lighthouse and radio-direction-finding (RDF) installation at Estevan Point near Torino on 
June 20, 1942. The following day, the 1-25 shelled the U.S. Army base at Fort Stevens at 
the mouth of the Columbia River, just five miles west of Astoria, Oregon, and on 
September 9, 1942, fire -bombed the Siskiyou National Forest near Brookings, Oregon, 
using their "Glen" aircraft. 

These had been the first attacks on North American soil since the War of 1812 and the 
government, trying desperately to pacify the public, was tightly controlling the media. 
Reports of enemy submarine actions along the West Coast were generally suppressed and 
"cause of explosion unknown" was often given as the reason some of the ships sank. 
So it was no surprise that, despite evidence to the contrary, a U. S. Navy Board of Inquiry 
found that the SS Coast Trader "was sunk by an internal explosion and not by torpedo or 
mine." The Navy's public-information officer in Seattle was told to downplay the 
incident in the press. According to the Coast Trader 's officers, "The thought that a 
submarine could be that close to the coast was more than they could imagine" (The Seattle 
Times). The official explanation of an "internal explosion" sinking the Coast 
Trader remains in the Navy's official record. 

When the 1-26 returned to Yokosuka, Japan on July 7, 1942, Commander Minoru Yokota 
reported torpedoing a merchant vessel on the date and at the location where the Coast 
Trader sank and also reported shelling Estavan Point. The 1-26 was sunk on October 25, 
1944, by the destroyer escort USS Richard M. Rowell (DE-403) during the Battle of Leyte 


Carl Boyd and Akihiko Yoshida, Japanese Submarine Force and World War //(Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 
1995); Brendan Coyle, War On Our Doorstep: The Unknown Campaign on North America's West Coast (Surrey, 
B.C., Canada: Heritage House, 2002) James A. Gibbs, Shipwrecks Off Juan De Fuca (Portland: Binford and Mort, 
1968); The H. W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest ed. by Gordon Newell (Seattle: Superior 
Publishing Co., 1966); Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia — 1-26, ed. by Lincoln P. Paine (New York: 
Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997); R. B. Berman, "55 Survivors Land at Port on West Coast," Seattle Post- 
Intelligencer, June 10, 1942, p. 1; "Sailors, Torpedoed Off Neah Bay, Saved Gun Hoping to Fire on Japs," The 
Seattle Times, June 10, 1942, p. 1; Grahame F. Shrader, "The Sinking of the Coast Trader," Charmed Land 
Magazine, The Seattle Times, July 11, 1965, p. 10; "Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary -- Shipwreck 
Database," NOAA Website accessed September 2004 ( 
ocnms/coasttrader.html); "Estevan Point," Lighthouses of British Columbia website accessed September 2004 

By Daryl C. McClary, December 20, 2004 

Appendix 6: The Attack on the SS Camosun by 1-25, June 1942 
Outbound from Victoria, BC Canada to England 

From: Official Journal of the United Kingdom Maritime Pilot's Association (UKMPA) 

December 22nd, 2009 by JCB 

7776 late ex Manchester pilot, John Law whose obituary appears here was on board the SS 
Fort Camosun when it was torpedoed of the NW Coast USA by the Japanese submarine 1-25. 
The following is his first hand account of the action. 

"We got off in Vancouver then made the short journey across the straits to Victoria, where 
the SS Fort Camosun was being built. We stayed in a hotel until we joined the ship on a day- 
to-day basis before taking up permanent residence aboard. In June 1942, we loaded a full 
cargo of timber, stacked up on deck as well as in the holds and, after bunkering in 
NewWestMinster, started on the long haul home. It had been a tiring period preparing the 
ship for sea, so I turned in early to be awakened two hours later by a crunching noise and 
being rolled out of my bunk when the ship took a 20/30 degree list. Our ship had been 
torpedoed just eleven hours out on her maiden voyage.-I quickly threw my bridge coat over 
my pyjamas, donned a pair of shoes and made my way to my lifeboat station. It was 11pm 
and very dark because all the lights had gone out. When I arrived at my mustering point I 
was stunned to see what I can only describe as a heap of firewood where my lifeboat should 
have been. The torpedo had struck in number two hold, on the port side and what I was 
looking at was the remains of No. 1 lifeboat, which had been blown clear over the ship to 
land on my lifeboat. That was the cause of the crunching noise I had heard, because it was 
directly above my cabin.-Initially, I experienced a weird sensation that the crew had 
abandoned ship, leaving me alone, but gradually the noise of people filtered through, so I 
made my way to the starboard boat, situated on the bridge structure. The Captain, Chief 
Engineer and other crew members had assembled there and the decision to abandon ship 
had already been made because of the damage sustained. The torpedo had hit on the port 
side, shifted 50,000 cubic feet of timber which caused a split in the hull on the opposite side 
and also lifted the decks.-Tne hole made by the strike was some fifty feet diameter and there 
was the very real danger of the vessel breaking in half. 

We all took up positions in the lifeboat and, after being joined by the remaining boat, pulled 
away into the dark night. The sea was quite calm and although excited, I didn't feel we were 
in any real danger. 

Then I saw a flash followed by a thud and a shower of sparks from the ship. The submarine 
had surfaced and was attempting to sink our ship by firing shells from its deck gun. I saw 
another flash, followed by a ripping noise through the air, which was the missile passing 
close. The submarine was obviously trying to find us and I must admit that I was terrified. 
The Japanese weren't noted for their leniency to prisoners - if they took them! The shelling 
stopped but then the sinister noise of his exhaust could be heard as he cruised around, 
trying to locate us. 

It was truly terrifying and I even toyed with the idea of slipping over the side and hanging 
on to the boat. The reality is that I would not have lasted long because the water is bitterly 
cold, the result of an Arctic current sweeping south. So we just sat quiet and prayed. 
Eventually, the exhaust note faded and we breathed a sigh of relief. We presumed the 
submarine had abandoned the search, but a few minutes later it returned. He had gone up 
the other side of the ship which had blanketed the sound but was now back sweeping the 
area for survivors. Once again the noise of his engine faded away and after a short time it 
was agreed that he had left the scene, so we settled down for the night. 

When the two lifeboats had joined up, some observant soul pointed out that the two navy 
gunners were missing. The Captain asked for two volunteers to go back board to investigate. 
I instantly put up my hand, and the 3rd officer, Mr Coles, said he would accompany me. 

We pulled alongside the stricken ship, climbed aboard and began the search. Mr Coles went 
to the bridge area whilst I went aft to their cabin. To my amazement I found them both 
asleep. I woke them and explained what had occurred and that we had abandoned ship but 
I was told, in fluent Navy language, to "go away". They had slept through the incident 
because their cabin was directly opposite the steering flat where the steering engine which 
pulled the rudder over was located. They had become accustomed to the noise and 
vibration. Once I had convinced them, it was back to the boat and away into the night. 
There was no point in rowing around so we just drifted. I tried to sleep but the cold and 
cramped conditions made it near impossible. The next morning we sent out a distress call on 
a portable radio operated by a hand driven generator. 

A few hours later an American Flying Fortress located us, wagged its wings to indicate he 
had spotted us then dropped a marker flare. We now knew it was only a matter of time 
before rescue came and sure enough, in the late afternoon, a Canadian Corvette came over 
the horizon. 

During the night, the Captain had valiantly given his uniform jacket to a crew member called 
McCarthy, a big Liverpool/Irish stoker. When the torpedo struck, he had dashed up from the 
engine room clad only in a singlet and jeans. Having been torpedoed before he knew the 
score. After circling the ship and dropping depth charges, the Corvette came to pick us up 
and who should be first to board her but our friend McCarthy. The officer on duty saluted 
him and welcomed "the Captain" aboard and McCarthy played it up to the hilt returning the 
officer's salute whilst the Captain sat in the lifeboat trying to attract the attention of the 
Navy Officer. However, McCarthy backed off when the Officer said he would take him up to 
the bridge to meet the Commander. 

The ship had to be prepared for towing so a volunteer skeleton crew, including myself were 
put aboard to set up the towing ropes. Once completed we patched up the hole in the hull 
using a mattress and some timber from the cargo. No more could be accomplished so we 
re-boarded the Corvette which took us back to Victoria from whence we had commenced the 
voyage. The good people of Victoria made a great fuss over us. We were invited to take our 
pick of clothes from the shops and we were treated to dinner at the Mayor's residence and 
even got to sign the visitor's book in the town hall. 

The ship was towed into dry dock in Esquimalt where a huge wooden patch was put over 
the hole made by the torpedo. 

I was included in the skeleton crew assigned to take her to Seattle for permanent repairs in 
the naval dockyard there. 

The Torpedo damage. Picture. Veterans Affairs Canada: www.acc- 

The repair took almost two months, during which time we lived in a hotel On completion we 
took her back to Victoria where, once again, a full cargo of timber was loaded. We then set 
off for home once more via Guantanamo and New York. The passage was made with only 
two incidents; an attack on the convoy by a submarine in the Atlantic and a strange 
happening when we were passing through the North Channel, after the convoy had 
dispersed. A German aircraft flew over, dropped one bomb which landed well clear of the 
ship and simply flew off; probably to a base in occupied Norway". 


[Agawa] Hiroyuki Agawa, The Reluctant Admiral: Yamamoto and the Imperial Navy, 
Kodansha International Ltd, Tokyo, 1979 (translation and reprint of 1969 Japanese Ed.). 
Special Thanks to a senior officer JDF/ Maritime for providing the author with this book. 

[Asian] http://en.wikipedia.0rg/wiki/W0rld_War_II_casualties#Japanese_war_crimes 

[Boyd] Carl Boyd and Akihiko Yoshida, Japanese Submarine Force and World War II, 
Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995 

[Bryden] John Bryden, Best-Kept Secret: Canadian Secret Intelligence in the Second 
World War, Lester Pub. Ltd., Toronto, 1995 


[Crump] Jennifer Crump, Canada under Attack, Dundee Press, Toronto, 2010 

[Gruhl] Werner Gruhl, Imperial Japan's World War Two, 1931-1945 Transaction 2007 
ISBN 978-0-7658-0352-8 


[Hall] Norm and Carol Hall, At a Crucial Hour, The Beaver, April/May 2004, p 18-23 

[Johnson] ref: 

[Keegan] The Second World War, Penguin Books, London, 1989, Chapter 31, 

[Layton] Rear Admiral E.T. Layton, And I was There: Pearl Harbour and Midway 
Breaking the Secrets, William Morrow and Co. New York, 1985 

[Montblanc] ref: 


[RMS QE] RMS Queen Elizabeth in the Graving Dock in Esquimalt on the 25 of 
February 1942 before heading to the Atlantic to Transport Troops to Europe and 

[Weintraub] Stanley Weintraub, The Last Great Victory: The End of World War II 
(July/August 1945), Konecky & Konnecky, CT, USA, 1995 

[Yardley] Herbert Yardley, The American Black Chamber, Ballantine Books, NY, 1981 

[Yukota] Yutaka Yukota, Kaiten Weapon, Ballantine Books, New York, 1962