ACTION TAKEN AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE WINDS MESSAGE
About an hour after I had sent the original Winds Message up to Admiral Noyes I received a call from him on the inter-phone to the effect that we ought to tell Guam to burn their excess codes and ciphers. I replied that I was in full agreement but there were other odds and ends to be taken care of, and that I would have some messages ready for his approval by noon.
As a direct results of the Winds Message and other contemporaneous information from intercepted Japanese messages, I prepared the following secret messages:
OPNAV 041754 (Priority) — Not yet introduced as evidence
OPNAV 042000 (Priority) — Not yet introduced as evidence
OPNAV 042017 (Deferred) — Page 44 of Exhibit No. 37
OPNAV 042018 (Deferred) — Not yet introduced as evidence
OPNAV 042019 (Deferred) — Not yet introduced as evidence
I took four of these messages up to Admiral Noyes’ office, cleared them through the Assistant Director of Naval Communications (Captain Joseph R. Redman) and made an appointment to see the Admiral with his secretary, as per office instruction. I was called to his office shortly before 3:00 p.m.
OPNAV 041754 was a correction to a previous Priority message, and was sent in response to a Priority service message requesting verification of the last four groups of ONPAV 040343 (page 43 of Exhibit No. 37). I released this message myself during the noon hour to save time.
OPNAV Priority 042000 for action of CINCPAC, CINCAF, COM 16, COM 14, Guam and Samoa, made a “new Intelligence” cipher effective immediately and directed the immediate destruction of the old cipher by Guam and Samoa. This message was released by Admiral Noyes himself, and is the most
important of the five which were sent on this occasion because the precedence did give some idea of urgency.
OPNAV Deferred 042017, for action of Guam and for information of CINCPAC, CINCAF, COM 14 and COM 16 was sent in the new cipher made effective by OPNAV 042000. It directed Guam to destroy excess cryptographic aids and other secret matter. This message was rewritten by Admiral Noyes and was released by Admiral Ingersoll. My original wording was much stronger than the message actually sent, because I had directed the destruction of everything except the system in which sent and the current edition of the Direction Finder Code. However, I was not trying to use this message as the vehicle for a war warning as I had the day before in OPNAV 031855 (page 41, Exhibit No. 37). I was just trying to insure that Guam “stripped ship” before a Japanese Commando-raid from Saipan, 100 miles away, captured a complete allowance of codes and ciphers, a matter for which I was officially responsible. Admiral Noyes made no mention of a war warning when he directed me to prepare this message and I feel sure he did not have any such warning in mind when he toned down my original draft. This message had to be sent “for Information” to CINCPAC, and others, as notification that Guam’s allowance of codes and ciphers was being reduced, and as a reminder to Guam to notify the addressees what systems would be available for its future communications. This message was sent DEFERRED to insure that OPNAV 042000 would arrive well in advance and thus avoid confusion and unnecessary messages at this critical time.
OPNAV 042018 and OPNAV 042019 are not important except that they help establish the date the Winds Message was intercepted and the time and date that the unsent warning message, prepared by Commander McCollum, was seen by me.
EVALUATION OF THE WINDS MESSAGE
Evaluation of the Winds Message was not based on JD-1 #6850 and #6875 alone. CINCAF 281430 gave much stronger translations of Tokyo Circulars 2353 and 2354, which dispelled any doubt as to whether or not WAR was meant by the literal translation:
“Japan — (blank) relations are in danger.”
This message contained official British translation furnished by Singapore, from which I quote:
“NISHI NISHI ENGLAND INCLUDING OCCUPATION OF THAI OR INVASION OF MALAY AND N.E.I.”
That means war, no matter how worded. No one disputed this British translation in November-December, 1941: in fact our own translation was considered consistent with it.
Two confirmations of the British translation came from the official Netherlands East Indies Government translations of Tokyo Circulars 2353 and 2354. Colonel Thorpe, the Senior Army Intelligence Officer in Java, sent an official message via the Navy addressed to General Miles, the Chief of Army Intelligence in Washington, which is a matter of record in previous Pearl Harbor investigations. This message may be identified as Alusna Batavia 031030 dated December 3, 1941. I quote from this message:
“FROM THORPE FOR MILES WAR DEPT. CODE INTERCEPT:
JAPAN WILL NOTIFY HER CONSULS OF WAR DECISION IN HER FOREIGN BROADCASTS AS WEATHER REPORT AT END.
EAST WIND RAIN UNITED STATES;
NORTH WIND CLOUDY RUSSIA;
WEST WIND CLEAR ENGLAND WITH ATTACK ON THAILAND MALAY AND DUTCH EAST INDIES”.
Copies of this message were circulated in the Navy Department, and the Chief of Naval Operations was indicated as receiving a copy.
Consul General Foote, our Senior Diplomatic Representative in the Netherlands East Indies, on December 4, 1941 (Java time), which is December 3, 1941 (Washington time), sent a similar message to the Secretary of State, from which I quote:
WHEN CRISIS LEADING TO WORST ARISES FOLLOWING WILL BE BROADCAST AT END WEATHER REPORTS:
ONE EAST WIND RAIN WAR WITH UNITED STATES,
TWO NORTH WIND CLOUDY WAR WITH RUSSIA,
THREE WEST WIND CLEAR WAR WITH BRITAIN INCLUDING ATTACK ON THAILAND OR MALAYA AND DUTCH INDIES.
WHEN THREAT OF CRISIS EXISTS FOLLOWING WILL BE USED FIVE TIMES IN TEXTS OF GENERAL REPORTS AND RADIO BROADCASTS:
ONE HIGASHI EAST AMERICA,
TWO KITA NORTH RUSSIA,
THREE NISHI WEST BRITAIN WITH ADVANCE INTO THAILAND AND ATTACK ON MALAYA AND DUTCH INDIES.