MR. BRIGGS: (Continuing)
…for a meeting with Admiral Stark… couldn’t be delayed further.
About that time Army General Miles, who was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Military Intelligence over there with a Colonel Bratton, who was also Chief of their Far Eastern Division Desk at the time at ACSI. Both concluded that the receipt of the code destruct/winds message made Japanese war intentions very clear and that the meaning at the moment didn’t really make any great deal of difference. And that’s why they didn’t pursue it further.
Now, neither Captain Wilkinson, who was our Director Naval Intelligence, and Commander McCullum who headed our ONI Far Eastern Desk, ever saw the message exactly at that point in time. Later, there is some conflict of information that they had heard of it or had seen it. Yet, they couldn’t find it later during the hearings.
Safford told me definitely that after he passed the teletype copy message to Rear Admiral Noyes that he did not see the message copy again, until when he was assembling the material in response to the Roberts Commission request for all documentation that could be there. This was some time mid-December. Safford told me that he definitely saw the message. I’m not talking about the teletype copy, but he found the message itself, and that he sent that, as well as his notes on the subject, to the committee.
This was some time again in Mid-December 1941. Thereafter, Safford never again saw either a copy of the message nor the teletype copy. To this day.
That concludes my testimony for the record at the moment.
BR. BRIGGS: (Continuing)
Another point for the record should, I think, be made to clear up a lot of misconceptions. The number of copies of this message were as follows. In those days, we’d take an 8 x 10 sheet already printed up ahead of time for us, usually– and fold it over in half and put,…and insert between it, one flimsy copy. So that meant an original and two copies of the message itself were contained therein.
Secondly, the teletype transmission from our TWX terminal at Station M to downtown 20G terminal was the other transmittal.
And last but not least, of course, was my log entry sheet which contained that specific reference to the intercept and the date, time and frequency. This means, therefore, there were some one, two, three, four, five pieces of paper that covered this specific intercept. And it seems incredible to me that all five should have turned up missing.
Now, after the interception, on the following morning, of course, the teletype copy was what they took action on immediately as related in my foregoing testimony here. But the following morning, why, the traffic was sent right in to downtown Washington as was our daily habit. We sent all our traffic in bundled up by courier… taken right in each day. What happened to that we’ll never know, as far as I’m concerned.
There are those who have alluded to who saw it that particular message stack, along with the other intercepts from Station M.
As I related earlier, when I was out at NAD Crane Indiana and had a chance to peruse through all the files and stacks of recorded message from all our intercept stations, it was interesting to note that I found all,… a lot of the traffic intercepted with the date and time of my watchstanding on the date in question, yet that specific message was missing.
I looked specifically for it and I couldn’t find it.
But, as reported earlier, in the foregoing, I did find the log sheet, only, and I would have thought I would have been able to find the message traffic itself.
If it had been sent out there it would have been normal to expect because it contained all the files and all the recorded traffic of all the years of intercept.