Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Traitors V.

This is coolbert:

All during World War Two [WW2], there were Americans that did take up arms against their own country. Traitors in every sense of the word traitor.

Aboard every major Japanese warship in WW2 was a small contingent of radio intercept operators. Persons who could speak American English. These radio intercept operators would listen in on the radio frequencies used by U.S. naval aviation. Hear the chatter and radio communications of American pilots active in the vicinity. With the use of radio direction finding [RDF] equipment, these operators could also determine the direction of the aircraft. And judging by the strength of the transmissions, determine to a degree whether the planes were approaching, moving away, or static in position. It would be possible to intercept transmissions from U.S. aircraft at a very long distance. Aircraft flying at 10,000 feet would be susceptible to having their transmissions heard as far as 150 miles away.

This type of radio intercept operation gave the Japanese some real advantages. In the days prior to widespread use of radar, intercepts of this type would give forewarning to every ship captain that American naval aviation was active in the area. He had better take preventative measures. Once intelligence had been derived from the intercepted transmissions, even more aggressive measures could be taken by the radio intercept operators. This would involve imitative deception [ID]. The American English speakers would attempt to intrude into the American radio frequencies and give false and deceptive orders. In an attempt to deceive the American pilots. And there does seem to be evidence that this sort of thing was done successfully. It is reputed that during the naval operations to liberate the Philippines in 1944, Admiral Halsey's naval aviation was deceived by ID with some real success by the intruders [those American English speaking Japanese radio intercept operators].

And where did the Japanese Navy get American English speakers to man these radio intercept positions that existed on all major Japanese warships?? Why, from America itself! It seems that at the outbreak of the war, there were numbers of American citizens of Japanese descent living and studying in Japan. A custom of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. at the time was to sent their college age offspring to universities and colleges in Japan after completing high school in American. Not only to get what the parents felt was perhaps a superior higher education, but also to retain the Japanese culture, traditions, language, etc. At the start of the war, in 1941, these students were "stranded" in Japan, recruited [dragooned] into military service, made officers in the Japanese Navy, and told to go man those intercept positions. And that was that, "you're in the Navy now, go serve!!"

Men such as Yamada [born and raised in Idaho], Nakatani [born and raised in California], and Kuramoto [born and raised in California] are illustrative of the persons involved in this "treason". Experiences of these men was quite similar:

"The boys were bundled off to universities in Japan where the outbreak of war faced them with the agonizing choice of prison and possible execution as suspected spies - - or collaboration."

Shigeo Yamada, the Idahoan, for one, did survive the war [it was noticed at the time of his capture that he tore off his badges of rank!!]. His fate appears to not to have been so bad:

"Ensign Shigeo Yamada did not get back his American citizenship. He did the next best thing by working in the United States for Japan Air Lines [JAL]. After years in the United States, he returned to Japan as a JAL vice-president in 1979. With his daughters married to Japanese, and his youngest son, born in CHICAGO, living in the United States, he reckoned his family was a 'little bit torn'. It was the story of his life."




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