Letter to the Editor
printed in June 2004, Naval History magazine,
published by the U.S. Naval Institute
"Pearl Harbor: Who Deceived Whom?"
(See P. Jacobsen, pp 27-31, December 2003; R. Hakanson,
p. 10, February 2004; G. Fowkes,
p. 7, A Yoshida, p7 April 2004 Naval History)
June 22, 2004
Who Was Fooled at Pearl Harbor?
One of the major ploys used to cover up advance American knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack is the radio deception hoax. According to 1950 era accounts issued by the US Department of Defense and its court historians, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) established a deception strategy in its radio broadcasts intended to hoodwink American military cryptographers.
The deception plan followed this scenario: In the several weeks prior to Pearl Harbor, Japanese naval radio stations transmitted bogus radio broadcasts that indicated warships were anchored in home waters and not on the high seas. Japanese naval air stations situated throughout the home islands participated in the deception and transmitted fake radio messages that mimicked IJN warships, including aircraft carriers. Japanese admirals initiated the ruse believing US Navy radio cryptographers would be deceived by the deception and erroneously locate the warships in home waters of Japan.
Lieutenant Commander Philip Jacobsen resurrected the decades old Pearl Harbor radio deception hoax in the October 2003 issue of Naval History Magazine.
Robert Stinnett, author of Day of Deceit contradicts Jacobsen with 1941 SECRET US Naval communications intelligence records withheld from public disclosure for nearly 60 years. Following is Stinnett’s reply published in the June 2004 issue of Naval History:
“Lieutenant Commander Jacobsen's claim that Japanese radio deception duped the brilliant U.S. naval cryptologists prior to 7 December 1941 is directly contradicted by pre-Pearl Harbor evidence gathered by the cryptologists and the Navy's intelligence community. The evidence , reported in my book, Day of Deceit ( New York Free Press 1999 ) ,is overwhelming. Foremost is the written record of Commander Joseph J. Rochefort , the commander of Station HYPO. (the radio intelligence center for the Pacific Fleet) and co-founder of the Navy's intelligence division.
In his oral history conducted by the U.S. Naval Institute, Rochefort denied that any of his staff were fooled by pre-Pearl Harbor Japanese radio deception. "It is awfully difficult to deceive a trained countercommunications intelligence organization, awfully difficult," Rochefort said.
Supporting Rochefort's denial are the written records of Station H (Territory of Hawaii) and Station AE( Sitka, Territory of Alaska).