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MacArthur's Pacific Appeasement, December 8, 1941: The Missing Ten Hours

MacArthur's Pacific Appeasement, December 8, 1941: The Missing Ten Hours

by Mark Douglas

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As planned, military action in the U. S. Commonwealth of the Philippine Isles would be in consonance with the 1935 U. S. WAR PLAN ORANGE, Revision 3 (WPO-3). When war threatened in the Pacific theater, WPO-3 was amended in 1941 as a result of the Placentia Bay, Argentia, Newfoundland meeting between United States President Franklin Roosevelt and Great Britain Prime


As planned, military action in the U. S. Commonwealth of the Philippine Isles would be in consonance with the 1935 U. S. WAR PLAN ORANGE, Revision 3 (WPO-3). When war threatened in the Pacific theater, WPO-3 was amended in 1941 as a result of the Placentia Bay, Argentia, Newfoundland meeting between United States President Franklin Roosevelt and Great Britain Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and their respective War Staffs. This revision, renamed RAINBOW 5, included military and naval forces of Australia, Great Britain, The Netherlands (Dutch), and the United States (America) (ABDA) in a mutual defense pact. War Plan Rainbow 5 provided detailed, precise instructions the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater would execute in the event of hostilities with Japan. If it appeared hostilities were imminent, the President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief of all U. S. military and naval forces, would order execution of Phase One, RAINBOW 5. Phase One explicitly ordered the U.S. Army Air Force (FEAF), headquartered at Nielson Field, Manila, subordinate to the U.S. Army Far East Command (USAFFE), The Philippines, to send one Boeing B-17D Flying Fortress on a high altitude photo-reconnaissance mission over Japanese military targets in and around the island of Formosa. At the same time, the U.S. Navy Asiatic Fleet, except submarines, gunboats, PT boats, harbor vessels, and shore command, would depart for agreed upon ports in Java, Borneo, Celebes, and Singapore. (The U.S. Army Air Force was created on June 20, 1941, but elements of the U.S. Army Air Corps remained intact until 1947 when both USAAF and USAAC were abolished and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) was born. I decided to use USAAF throughout this book.)

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By Mark Douglas

Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2012 Mark Douglas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4669-6906-3

Chapter One


The Missing Ten Hours

Unfurl the Banners: Uncase the War Drums

Many events around the world bubbled and seethed, impacting on the War Lords of Japan, the Philippines and the Pacific War. Dates and times presented herein are in the subjects' time without reference to other time zones. The International Date Line, always confusing, is between the Philippines and Hawaii. Hawaii and east are a day earlier than the Philippines and Japan or Formosa.

September 18, 1931 The Foreign Office Imperial Palace Tokyo, Japan

(International News Service, Tokyo, Japan, 1931/09/18). The Foreign Office released a statement today, stating that saboteurs severely damaged railway beds, bridges, and the railroad signaling system belonging to the South Manchurian Railway Company. The Japanese Kwangtung Army proclaimed the Chinese had sabotaged the railway. This excuse permitted Japanese troops to invade South Manchuria on China's northeastern border.

The Japanese Army later occupied the whole of Manchuria and renamed the country Manchukuo, setting up a puppet government. This was not acceptable to the League of Nations but the Japanese pulled out of the League in 1932, ignoring the League's pronouncements.

November 1932 Democratic Headquarters New York City, NY

(Associated Press, NYC/NY). Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), on the second Tuesday of November, is elected President of the United States of America in the depth of the Great Depression. FDR will take office January 20, 1933.

January 30, 1933 The Reichstag Berlin, Germany

(Reuters News Service, Berlin, Germany, 01/30/33). Winning 37% of the national vote, the National Socialists Workers Party (NAZI) became the largest elected party in the Reichstag (German Parliament). President Paul von Hindenburg who utterly loathed Hitler, by German law, was required to appoint Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany.

August 2, 1934 Berlin, Germany

(Reuters News Service, Berlin, Germany, 08/02/1934). President Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg died today. A period of mourning was declared by Adolf Hitler. It remains to be seen what Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his handpicked cabinet will do.

August 4, 1934 The Chancellery Berlin, Germany

(Reuters News Service, Berlin, Germany, 08/04/1934). Chancellor Hitler and his hand-picked cabinet have passed a law declaring the presidency dormant. The role and powers of the head of state are transferred to Hitler, who has proclaimed himself "Der Fuhrer", giving him command of the German Armed Forces.

October 1935 League of Nations Geneva, Switzerland

(Suise Wire Service, Geneva.) Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Time Magazine Man of the Year 1935, appeared before the General Assembly of the League of Nations and begged the Members not to pass the Hoare-Laval plan to turn over most of Abyssinia to the Italian Dictator, Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, and force him to call off the invasion. The voting members ignored his plea.

General Pietro Badoglio and his Italian Army occupied Ethiopia, used Mustard Gas on the populace and Ethiopian Troops, and easily captured the Capital, Addis Ababa in May 1936. Abyssinia, or Ethiopia, was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy under Italian Military Occupation becoming the Colony of Italian East Africa.

Mid-October 1935 SS President Hoover Manila, The Philippines

(Associated Press Manila 10/35) Major General Douglas MacArthur, family, and military staff arrived in Manila aboard the steamship, SS President Hoover. He would become President-elect Manuel Queson's Military Advisor to build the Philippines military establishment. The MacArthur's would be quartered in the Manila Hotel Penthouse on Manila Bay; special air-cooling equipment has been ordered for his quarters. His appointment as Field Marshall of the Philippines Army would coincide with the November 15th Inauguration of President Queson. MacArthur's Chief of Staff is expected to be Major Dwight D. Eisenhower.

March 7, 1936 The Rhineland France

Der Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, directly against the Treaty of Versailles of July 1919, and the Locarno Pact of 1925, denounced the Locarno Pact, marched his troops into and occupied the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland, forcing the French troops back to France. Der Fuhrer gambled that France and Great Britain would do nothing but complain.

They complained but Nazi Germany re-militarized the Rhineland with the German Army.

July 17, 1936 Military GHQ Madrid, Spain

(International News Wire Service, Madrid, 07/17/36) A military Junta under General Jose Sanjurjo made a declaration of opposition against the elected Second Spanish Republic. Shortly, General Francisco Franco began a protracted war against the government for control of Spain. He was assisted by Hitler's Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe, Italian Air Service, and the Portuguese Army.

The existing Spanish Royalist government was assisted by the Loyalists consisting of the governments of Soviet Union and Mexico, and private citizens of the United States volunteering as Loyalist soldiers in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

July 7, 1937 Yongding River Bridge Lugouqiao, China

A Japanese soldier missed morning roll call. The Japanese Army commander accused the Chinese Army Commander across the river bridge of capturing their soldier. Desultory fighting began with potshots and sniper fire between Chinese and Japanese troops. In days, a full blown war was on. By August 1st, the Japanese Army controlled Chinese territory from Peiping to Nanking.

March 11, 1938 10 Downing Street London, England

A State Luncheon was given in honor of Herr Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Ambassador to Great Britain, newly appointed as Germany's Foreign Minister. During the farewell luncheon, a messenger handed Prime Minister Chamberlain a note: German troops were marching into Austria for the Anschluss to fold Austria into the Third Reich. The PM abruptly rose in anger and ordered the Ribbentrops to leave immediately.

Madame von Ribbentrop warned the British to remember who their friends were.

March 13, 1938 Der Fuhrer's Private Residence Berchtesgarden, Germany

The Austrian Chancellor, Kurt von Schuschnigg, refused Der Fuhrer's demands and resigned. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, leader of the Austrian Nazi Party, became Chancellor and invited the German Army to occupy Austria. Austria, renamed Ostmark, became another German state.

October 10, 1938 Munich, Germany

Between the UK Prime Minister Chamberlain, Nazi German Der Fuhrer Hitler, and Italian Il Duce Mussolini, an accommodation was achieved whereby the Czechoslovakian government submitted to Nazi German demands. The Czech portion was occupied by German Army troops in March 1939, and renamed Sudetenland as another state of Germany.

April 1, 1939 Madrid, Spain

On April 1, 1939, Francisco Franco became the 68th Prime Minister of Spain, Caudillo de España and Generalissimo.

1200, April 7, 1939 Rome, Italy

Italian News Service, Rome, Italy. The Italian Foreign Minister announced today that Comando Supremo, Il Duce Benito Mussolini, has found it is necessary to protect Italian interests abroad. Italian Armies, led by General Alfredo Guzzoni, are invading Albania. The minister did not answer questions.

The Albanian Kingdom was rapidly overrun. Its ruler King Zog I, with Queen Geraldine Apponyi, and infant son Leka fled for Greece, taking with them part of the gold reserves. The country was made part of Greater Italy and the Italian Empire.

"Drummers! Beat to Quarters"

0440, September 1, 1939 Wielun, Poland

The Nazi Luftwaffe Junkers 87 Stuka dive bombers attacked and nearly destroyed this small Polish town.

Five minutes later at 0445, in Westerplatte, Danzig, on the Baltic Sea, the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish military depot.

Also at 0445 near Mokra, Poland, Nazi troops crossed the border. Germany invaded Poland, claiming that Polish troops crossed the border and attacked a German radio station. (German criminals were dressed in Polish Army uniforms and executed on site for NAZI photographs.) In Warsaw, the Premier, on Radio Warsaw, called up the Polish Army and Air Force to resist the German Army incursion into Poland.

1200, September 3, 1939 British Broadcasting Company London, England

Atop the House of Commons Bell Tower, the mellow tones of the bell tolled twelve.

"This is BBC London Calling. Great Britain this morning has declared war on Germany for their outrageous and illegitimate invasion of Poland."

October 14, 1939 British Broadcasting Company London, England

"This is BBC London Calling. In a shocking disaster, a German U-boat sneaked into Scapa Flow Naval Anchorage, torpedoed and sank His Majesty's battleship HMS Royal Oak with severe loss of life. It was reported by International News Wire Service that Adolf Hitler danced with joy!"

May 9, 1940 Reuter's News Service Paris, France

BULLETIN. The Foreign Ministry issued a terse statement confirming that German troops crossed the French border in the Ruhr Valley and are approaching the invincible Maginot Line.

1200, May 10, 1940 British Broadcasting Company London, England

"This is BBC London Calling. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain has resigned following the German invasion of France. King George VI has asked Winston Churchill to meet with him at 6 this evening. It is believed the King George will ask Mr. Churchill to form a new government."

May 24, 1940 British Broadcasting Company Radio Journalist with British Troops Portsmouth, England

"This is the BBC calling from the Naval Establishment in Portsmouth. The British Expeditionary Force in France is being recalled to England. 335,000 British, French, Belgian, Polish and some other small forces will withdraw at Dunkirk. A large French Army force is protecting the withdrawal. Most British Hurricane squadrons will return to their air bases in England in a few days; at least two squadrons will remain in the Low Countries to cover the withdrawal.

The Royal Navy is calling upon all yachtsmen and all shallow draft boats able to get close to shore to help evacuate the troops from Dunkirk beaches. It is hoped the final troops shall be taken off the beach before June 4th."

June 28, 1940 Commander, U.S. Naval Asiatic Fleet U.S. Navy Station Cavite Luzon, the Philippines

"Admiral, Commander Jenson from CAST is here, urgently requesting a meeting with you." reported the Admiral's Secretary, Chief Olsen.

That's odd. He's never asked for an ad hoc meeting before.

"Very well, Chief. Send him in."

Chief Yeoman Olsen, CYN, turned to the Lieutenant Commander and said, "Go right in, Commander."

Jenson opened the Admiral's door and walked in, turned and waited until the door close behind him. He turned to the admiral. "Good afternoon, Admiral. Something very important has come up you need to know about, and more important, all Navy and Air Force squadrons need to learn." Admiral Hart's shrewd eyes looked at Lieutenant Commander Jenson carefully. "And, what have you learned from the Japanese?" he asked sharply.

"The Japs have a hot new carrier fighter plane. It is a Mitsubishi Type 0. Top level speed appears to be 340 mph, it mounts two 20mm cannons in its wings, and two 7.7mm machine guns firing through its propellers. It will be put through its paces at the IJN air field at Yokosuka, Japan." He looked at the admiral for a moment and them continued. "That is better than anything the Navy or Army Air Force has." His demeanor was very sober.

"What's your source of this information, Jenson?" the admiral asked.

"We pulled this from a JN-25 coded message, bragging to all their forces about the new Navy Carrier fighter we are going to name Zero."

"Okay, get this into the system via Officer Messenger mail to CNO as soon as possible. Meanwhile, pass it to Station 6 for their study, too."

"Aye aye, Admiral. Bye your leave, sir?" Admiral Hart nodded and turned back to his incoming basket.

0945, June 29, 1940 IJN Air Base Yokosuka, Japan

Lieutenant Tamotsu Yokoyama turned on final in his Kawasaki Type 96 open cockpit, fixed landing gear, carrier fighter, and spotted new all-metal aircraft lined up on the tarmac.

He soon found out his orders. He was to put the new aircraft, a Mitsubishi Type 0 Model 11 Carrier Fighter through its paces, "stretching the metal," so to speak.

Following all the tests and modifications thereof, he would take a section of six aircraft and supporting ground crews to IJN/IJAF Air Base at Hankow, China, and place it in combat against the Chinese Air Force, especially against the new Flying Tigers squadrons with their Curtis P-40Bs who have been shooting down our bombers and fighters.

July 10, 1940 Fighter Command London, England

The Air Battle between the RAF and Luftwaffe begins on this date and would continue until October 31, 1940. Hermann Goring's famed Messerschmidt ME-109 and Focke-Wulf FW-190 fighters, the Messerschmidt ME-110 fighter-bombers and Dorner DO-17 bombers could not overpower the RAF with their Hawker Hurricanes and just coming on line, the new Supermarine Spitfire.

July 15, 1940 4th Composite Squadron Clark Field Luzon, the Philippines

Colonel Lawrence Churchill was depressed. All, that is, every type aircraft he had was so old, so out of date, the letter "Z" for Obsolete had been added to all his aircrafts' designators. Not only that, the new Second Lieutenants arriving on the transports were right out of flight school without combat training or experience and had less than 25 hours stick time.

Reading the news and listening to BBC every night about the so-called Battle of Britain and the fighters facing each other was frightening. Absolutely none of their fighters or pursuit planes were worthy of battle with modern aircraft.

The number of aircraft accidents with these new pilots was almost "okay". It was a way to write off these old aircraft. The Colonel even pleaded with the Department of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C., to remember we also are part of the Army Air Force.

July 22, 1940 CG, Philippine Army Department Intramurous, Fort Santiago Manila, the Philippines

Four hundred years ago and more, Chinese pirates regularly raided the Islands of the Thieves with impunity. Exasperated, the Spanish Governor-General of the islands, now called the Philippine Isles, began building a huge fortress with high, thick walls. The walls were constructed of volcanic rock on the outside facing, and baked brick on the inner wall facing with earth packed between the two walls. This project would take nearly one hundred years to complete.

The later Spanish Governor-General named the fortress "Intramurous" meaning "Within the Walls" when it was completed in 1570. This fortress of 64 city blocks was occupied by approximately 10,000 people of all nations and races. Fort Santiago, a military fort with soldiers and cannons, brought peace to the area.

General Grunert looked up from the staff paper just presented by his Chief of Staff. "My God, Louie, get a letter out to the War Department with Churchill's complaint as an appendix. I want to make sure General Marshall understands these are the aircraft we have to fight with. They should have been—what is the navy says? They should be deep-sixed and modern fighters and bombers sent out here.

"Good Lord, Boeing P-26A Peashooters? Martin ZB-10B twin-engine bombers? Thomas-Moore ZO-19E observation biplane aircraft, and even the older Keystone ZB-3A bomber? We need to get rid of them all."

He snapped his fingers. In that letter, request permission to transfer them all the the Philippine Air Corps."

"Yes sir, General. I'll have it for your signature tomorrow morning."

"Well, okay, it's too hot to get anything done right now. Tomorrow morning will be fine." With that, the general put on his hat and headed for the Army and Navy Club in Manila.

September 3, 1940 Vichy French Foreign Ministry Hanoi, French Indochina

(Reuters Wire Service, Hanoi, FIC 40/09/03) As reported by an unnamed French official, the Vichy government in Hanoi, Governor General Jean Decoux, has signed Accords with Japan, to allow 40,000 Japanese troops, equipment, and supplies to move into bases in northern Indochina.

1120, September 25, 1940 South China Sea USN PBY-4 N3690 VP-104, Patrol Wing 10

"Sparks? Are you in contact with Olongapo?" Asked Lieutenant (JG) Armstrong.

"Was when I sent out our last position report about 15 minutes ago, sir." He responded.


Excerpted from MacArthur's PACIFIC APPEASEMENT, DECEMBER 8, 1941 by Mark Douglas Copyright © 2012 by Mark Douglas. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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