Noyes then telephoned Admiral Turner who was Director of War Plans, and also a Colonel Sadler. I’m not sure of that name, because I recall that’s who it was. Sadler, who was then Chief Signal Officer Acting, for the War Department. Admiral Noyes also advised Admiral Stark and in what manner I am not sure. I do not recall whether it was by telephone or in person. In any event, in each case, Safford was clear in his mind that they had been advised this was a war warning message with a break between the United States and Japan.
Also, Vice Admiral Ingersoll, who was then the VCNO, was informed by an unidentified officer, who also had a copy of the message in his hand at the time he advised the Admiral. Admiral Ingersoll recalled this later, and alluded to the fact that he didn’t see the message but this aide advised him that’s what it meant.
Army called back, after Admiral Noyes had telephone them, to inquire further as to what country was the code indicating a break with. But Noyes indicated he wasn’t certain. And instead of checking on it, he said he thought it was a break between Japan and Great Britain. He was asked to confirm it further. Noyes replied to the effect that he didn’t have time. He was his way at that point to a meeting or conference with Admiral Stark.
Army called back. According to Safford’s comments to me, he said at that time, Army General Miles was the Assistant Chief of Military Intelligence Division. A Colonel Bratton, was also Chief of the Far Eastern Desk for the Army. Both concluded, in view they couldn’t get any further confirmation as to what country was involved, that in any event, this code destruct winds executive simply meant that Japan’s war intentions were clear and the exact meaning at the moment didn’t really matter.
Neither Captain Wilkinson nor Commander McCullom, who were DNI people –McCullom headed our ONI Far Eastern Desk at the time–were advised at that time. They learned of it later. In what manner is not exactly clear.
Safford told me that after he had passed the teletype message to Rear Admiral Noyes, he did not see the message copy later until when he was in the midst of assembling the material in response to the Roberts Commission. He definitely told me that he recalled seeing the message. He did not say the teletype copy. He said the message itself. It was in the material that was sent down to the Roberts Commission. I think this is a rather important detail at this point in time to recall, to put into the historical record what it portends.
He told me very clearly it was the message, not the log sheet, not the teletype copy. This was sent ,in other words, to the Roberts Commission. So, it would appear that the Roberts Commission did have the copy of the message. But that was the last time Safford ever again saw any copy of the message. And when he met with me, and asked me to meet with him about it, he was up a tree trying to find anyone who put any clue as to what had happened to it. Of course, I couldn’t enlighten him on that beyond my part in having intercepted it.
And going back once more to the date in question when I intercepted the message, we were so sure at Station M that we had done a good job. Weigel was tremendously pleased. As a matter of fact I got the weekend off as a reward for having gotten the message and got it right off to the people I should.
Now, we were quite confident, and smug you might say, in feeling we had done our job. Naval Intelligence, Crypto analysis and all had it. We were sure that now we knew that an attack against the United States was eminent. In what form, of course, we had no way of knowing at the moment. Although our intercepted traffic over the months preceding gave us a pretty good clue as to where they might strike.
This ends my testimony for the record at the moment.