In his 1986 article, Briggs claimed that the mysterious “DW” could substantiate his claims. However, “DW” was no mystery man after all. He was D.W. Wigle, who, at the time in December 1941, was Cheltenham’s radioman-in-charge of operations at the site.
As mentioned previously in regards to Safford’s claim that he had sent tasking to Cheltenham, Wigle had contributed a statement to the congressional hearings in which he stated that he had never received any tasking from OP-20-G to monitor for a Winds Execute message and that Cheltenham had no assignment to copy Japanese Morse news broadcast except on an opportunistic basis. Cheltenham’s primary missions were German naval and European diplomatic communications. The lowest tasked mission was Japanese merchant marine broadcasts.157
The major problem with Briggs’ statement was that, since he claimed to have copied just the one phrase, “East Wind Rain,” this would have contradicted Safford’s claim that all three phrases had been part of the broadcast. It would have been difficult to have Briggs testify, as Briggs’ claimed Safford wanted him to do, if his story did not match
Safford’s. As for being ordered not to testify, the truth was that, if the committee had known of his story, it would have subpoenaed him to appear. The Republican members of the committee, especially, would not have let the opportunity slip by. The committee got whomever it wanted to appear. In fact, in one case, a former naval aide to President Roosevelt who was serving at sea aboard the USS Indianaat the time of the hearings was subpoenaed. He was flown back to Washington to testify. 158
Finally, the fact that Briggs discovered that Cheltenham files were gone was not extraordinary at all. Most of the site’s papers had been destroyed in 1942 as part of the standard destruction procedures for all noncurrent records.159 In fact, all navy field sites had performed periodic destruction of noncurrent records during the war. Cheltenham’s files from late 1941 had been burned in December 1942 [Exhibit #49]160 (Since 1941, the copies of the intercepted messages used in histories and as exhibits for the JCC Hearings have come from files located in OP-20-G headquarters in Washington. These files had been sent to Washington from the field sites. Station logs and other papers that were to be retained were shipped to the Navy’s record facility at Crane, Indiana.)
Whatever Briggs had in mind when he came forward with his claim, in the end he could not support it with any concrete evidence. During his interview, he had stated that he had located the Cheltenham intercept log for 4 December at the Crane records facility. He said he had handwritten a statement about the missing files on the log. However, the log sheet he wrote on was the one for 2 December 1941. That log indicated that he had worked the morning/day shift at Cheltenham from 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM that day. The log noted that he (identified by operator sign “RT”) had copied press broadcast for the entire day and not the Japanese MAM broadcast as he had claimed. [Exhibit #50]161
Source: Center for Cryptologic History National Security Agency, 2008
Robert J. Hanyok and David P. Mowry