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radar warning at the info center

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by steverodgers801, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Im watching the military channel and they are talking about Pearl. A fact I never knew is that LT Kermit who was on duty and thought the radar signal was B17s did not have any means of contacting the airfields even if he had known the signal was not the bombers. To me this is one more failure of Short and Kimmel.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    From all I have read and seen, the Radar, its operators and even the call center were all operating purely on a training schedule and essentially without any concern for 'operational' needs. Curious as Britain had fought and won the BoB with Radar a full year before. Certainly this is one of Pearl's command failures, the failure to use every asset to its utmost. Seemingly they could not get past the notion that technicly, America was at peace and therefore not at risk.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Fighter Information Center was being developed from scratch. There were no experience with radar and vectoring fighters from the data the radar provided. The infrastructure was being created and there was some confusion/conflict regarding who was to do what.

    BTW, it's commonly said that the radars only radar from 0400 to 0700. This is wrong. They ran weekdays 0800-1200 for training, and 1200-1600 for training and maintenance.
     
  4. CTBurke

    CTBurke Member

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    Perhaps the biggest "failure" of the radar system is that, post-attack, the radar was duly tracking the Japanese planes back to their carriers, but that information went nowhere. The USS Enterprise was "chasing ghosts" all over trying to find out where the Japanese forces were, getting false and misleading reports, and the info was at hand if only the communications "system" would allow it. Probably just as well the paltry forces of our lone carrier didn't try to take on the SIX carriers of the Kido Butai, but it would be nice to think that maybe an American scout bomber could have slipped through in the mass "confusion" of landing on the second strike and maybe left a Japanese carrier burning off Hawaii (scout bombers did that a couple of times around the Solomons)!
     
    brndirt1 likes this.
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Army did give the radar tracks to the Navy, but too late to pursue the enemy. Just as bad was the choice of the reciprocal bearing for the radio signals picked up, sending the Navy south instead of north. This is somewhat understandable as there was suspicion that at least one IJN carrier group was at Johntson Island, based on call sign intercept. This was wrong, of course, the ships assigned those call signs, for a destroyer squadron normally assigned to the carriers, were there to cover submarine refueling operations, IIRC.
     
  6. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Remembering some of the research I did during Robdab's legendary "December 7th attack on the Panama Canal" WI on AHF....could the Info Center have vectored fighters??? Real GCI required VHF radios fitted to fighters, rather than HF; only a few of the fighters in the Carribean Air Force had been so fitted by December 7th - what was the situation in Hawaii???

    Also - had Robert Watson-Watt made the first of his advisory visits to the Pacific theatre by then??? IIRC he was sent a number of times on shortish trips....then a much longer secondment.
     
  7. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Someone check A.V.Jone's book...I wold but mines under the chickens..holding the gate up.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    Phylo, the F.I.C. had no way to direct fighters, and nobody to do it when the shooting started. The system had not developed that far, and the radar sets were under the engineers for accounting puroses at this time. They were reluctant to turn the system over to the Air Corp, something they were castigated for by Congress and the Army Board.
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Is there a good, handy ( I.E. net-available) overview of what was in place as an early warning net/filter process? By December '41, much more work seems to have done in the PCD than Hawaii?
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    Col. Berquist was in charge of the radar development, you can find his testimonies indexed here: INDEX TO WITNESS TESTIMONY REGARDING OPANA POINT RADAR.

    Here's the PDFs in case you didn't save the link: PDF copies of the Pearl Harbor Attack Hearings before Congress

    I'd start with the Joint Committee testimony, as it was the last given.
     
  11. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Thanks for that...

    Even just three pages into the Joint Committee testimony, I've seen FIVE major points-of-failure in the system :eek: God knows how many will rack up...
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    Commander Taylor's testimony is interesting. He was a Eagle Squadron Leader before the USN asked for him to help them with their radar systems. The Army borrowed him from Kimmel. So you could say he's the most informed person on the scene with regard to radar.
     
  13. arthur45

    arthur45 Member

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    The simple fact was that Short had been told by the Navy that an air attack was impossible.
    Short's error was that he assumed the U.S. Navy knew what the Japanese navy was capable of.
    That provides the reason for his total incompetence in the event.
     
  14. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Nothing new to see here.......move along
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    ??? It seems to me you would find a course in logic helpful.
     
  16. dna

    dna New Member

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    It seems that the Army - who was responsible for AA defense of both Navy and Army Bases - complained of ready ammunition going bad in the Hawaiian climate sometime well before December 7. At the time, Navy fighter and torpedo aircraft had so little range the aircraft carriers would have to close to about 100 miles from the target to safely launch and recover them, putting a carrier attack fleet within range of search aircraft before dark of the previous day. The same would be true for a submarine or raiding cruiser that might shell the Oahu defenses or harbor. So, the Navy told the Army they would have at least 4 hours to prepare for an attack and allowed them to keep the ammunition safely storage. The ammunition was, in fact, placed at all the guns within 4-hours of the initial attack on December 7 and probably remained there unused until the war ended.
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    Actually, Kermit Tyler had a means of contacting them, the telephone. If the AIC had been fully functional there would have been telephone lines open and manned on both ends between the Center and the airfield. However, the 2LT had no authority to order the planes into the air and trying to make the various airfield COs believe him enough to break Short's stand-down would have been fun to watch.

    However, history might have been different if Tyler hadn't been ordered to be there from 4 am to 8 am when the AIC operated from 4 am to 7 am. If he had left with everybody else the phone watch would have contacted the officer on duty at Wheeler and maybe, just maybe, that officer would have taken some positive action. We'll never know.
     

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