U.S. Military Services


M - Z

McDonald, Dick [CAPT/USN (Ret.)], and Jim Fanell [CDR/USN]. "The Origins of OPINTEL and Its Successes in the Pacific in World War II." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly.

Each section includes narrative and photos from the Pacific Naval Intelligence panels at CINCPACFLT Headquarters.

Part I: 17, no. 4 (Oct. 2001): 3-5.

Part II [completes the display section titled "1930 to December 1941 -- The Road to War"]: 18, no. 1 (Jan. 2002): 24-25.

Part III [covers the period from 7 December 1941 through the Battle of Coral Sea, 7-8 May 1942]: 18, no. 2/3 (Aug. 2002): 28-30.

Part IV [focuses on the 30-day period culminating in the Battle of Midway]: 18, no. 4 (Oct. 2002): 24-25.

Part V ["sketches the establishment and growth of the JICPOA"]: 19, no. 3 (Sep. 2003): 29-31.

Part VI ["highlights the contributions of two special groups of people who served in the JICPOA"]: 20, no. 1 (Feb. 2004): 22-24.

Part VII ["The Heroes of Radio Intelligence," "Radio Intelligence Units," "Yamamoto Shootdown"]: 20, no. 3 (Sep. 2004): 8-10.

Part VIII ["features the enormous intelligence production effort of the JICPOA"]: 20, no. 4 (Dec. 2004): 21-23.

Part IX [concluding article]: 21, no. 2 (Jun. 2005): 10-12.

McGinnis, George P. Intelligence in Alaska Through the Eyes of Those Who Served. [Corvallis, OR]: Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association, 1991.

Surveillant 2.1: "31 Articles on cryptologic assignments by the individuals who served in the military communications group in WWII."

Moore. Jeffrey M.

1. "JICPOA: Joint Intelligence During WWII." Military Intelligence 21, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1995): 35-39.

The author surveys the creation and organizational structure of the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Area (JICPOA), which emerged during the war "because of the constant expansion and merging of other intelligence agencies." The JICPOA provided the Pacific Fleet operational intelligence support.

2. Spies for Nimitz: Joint Military Intelligence in the Pacific War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004.

See author's Website at:

Ennis, AFIO WIN 5-04 (24 Feb. 2004), finds that the author "profiles the history and operations of America's first effective, all-source, joint military intelligence agency known as JICPOA [Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas]. JICPOA is credited with providing Adm. Nimitz with intelligence needed to win the Pacific war."

For Darron, NIPQ 20.3 [reprinted from Marine Corps Gazette 89.2 (Feb 2005)], this work "is a bit tough to read" given the author's lack of military experience and lack of fluency in the military's language. However, it "should be required reading in every intelligence schoolhouse." Moore "has done extensive research into intelligence structure and process in the Pacific war and his footnotes reference many JICPOA (and its immediate forerunners) reports as primary sources."

Peake, Studies 48.4, refers to Spies for Nimitz as "the first full examination of how this group of all-source analysts [JICPOA] functioned and contributed to the war." The author evaluates "the sources, the quality of intelligence that JICPOA produced -- terrain, aerial, and cryptographic data, interrogation reports, and order of battle -- and the importance of the intelligence to the outcome for each of the major Pacific battles." This is a "valuable and very interesting book."

To Wirtz, NWCR 58.4 (Autumn 2005), this book is about "what is referred to in today's parlance as 'intelligence preparation of the battlefield.'" The author "links the intelligence provided [by JICPOA] to planners ... to the outcome of the major amphibious assaults against Japanese-occupied islands.... When intelligence analysts provided accurate pictures of the battlefield, operations generally went smoothly and U.S. casualties were light. When they underestimated enemy strength, failed to warn the assault of strange topographic conditions, or failed to anticipate shifts in enemy strategy, the outcome was a grinding attritional battle that generated high losses."

Myers, Larry. "The Key Role of Japanese Cryptolinguists in WWII COMINT." Cryptolog 16, no. 6 (Fall Extra 1995): 2-3.

The reference to "Japanese" is to Japanese-language-capable linguists, not Japanese nationals or Japanese-Americans. The author stresses the team effort required to produce usable intelligence from COMINT. However, the focus is on the linguists working in Op-20-GZ, "the language section of the predecessor of the Naval Security Group (NSG)." It was after intercepts had been reduced to unenciphered code groups or plain text that the linguists took over. Some of the "hazards and headaches confronting the linguist" are explained.

O'Donnell, Patrick K. First SEALs: The Untold Story of the Forging of America's Most Elite Unit. Boston: DaCapo, 2014.

Mattingly, Proceedings 141.6 (Jun. 2015), finds that the author "tells[s] of the successes and the contribution that OSS MU [Maritime Unit], Navy underwater demolition teams, and naval combat demolition unit operators made to defeat the Axis powers. He also candidly discusses their failures." O'Donnell "provides the reader with the history of the inception of Navy special operations."

Parker, Frederick D. "How OP-20-G Got Rid of Joe Rochefort." Cryptologia 24, no. 3 (Jul. 2000): 212-234.

Lt. Cdr. Edwin T. Layton and Cdr. Joseph Rochefort "were caught in the infighting between the director of naval intelligence and the director of naval communications over which directorate should control the production and dissemination of communications intelligence." Layton's career survived the struggle; Rochefort's did not.

Rochefort, Joseph J. "Finding the Kido Butai." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 118, no. 6 (Jun. 1992), 76-78.

The author was commander of the Fleet Radio Unit (Station HYPO) at Pearl Harbor. Here, he looks at the work of breaking Japanese naval signals leading up to the battle of the Coral Sea and Midway.

Soybel, Phyllis L. A Necessary Relationship: The Development of Anglo-American Cooperation in Naval Intelligence. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005.

Gardner, I&NS 21.3 (Jun. 2006), believes that the author has tried to cram too much into a single volume. Also, "too much space is devoted to such topics as Allied technical developments ... and ... the matter of security marking of documents in the two nations." Nevertheless, "this book certainly suggests areas for further research and study."

Terisi, Stephen R. [SN/USN] "Submarine Reconnaissance: The Dawning of a New Age in Intelligence." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 19, no. 4 (Dec. 2003): 40-41.

"In the early days of World War II, reconnaissance became a primary mission for the U.S. submarine force.... Periscope photography was investigated [earlier], but its effectiveness as an intelligence collection tool did not come about until late 1943.... Submarines proved to be the intelligence-gathering force that allowed Japanese fleet movements to be tracked and reported."

Whitlock, Duane L. [CAPT/USN (Ret.)] "The Silent War against the Japanese Navy." Naval War College Review 48, no. 4 (Autumn 1995): 43-52.

Clark comment: This is an excellent review of the Navy's traffic analysis and cryptanalytic efforts from 1921 to 1942. It encompasses both the establishment and the work of Stations ABLE, BAKER, CAST, and HYPO.

"[A]t the outset of the war, traffic analysis was, as it had been for many years, the only source of current intelligence bearing upon the strategic posture and the disposition of the surface, subsurface, and air elements of the Japanese navy.

"As cryptanalysis began to catch up with current events in 1942, it started to add to the traffic analysis picture the timely and precise details essential to achieving tactical advantage.... However, as has not been well understood by historians who have highlighted the many tactical successes, cryptanalysis made a rather limited contribution to 'the big picture' in the 'silent war' against the Japanese navy. Had it not been for the considerable number of victories mutually achieved by these two analytical methods in the silent war, the shooting war in the Pacific would have taken a far different and much more painful course."

Wren, Harold G. "Memoir of a Japanese Language Officer." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 17, no. 1 (Jan. 2001): 7-10.

Selected for the Japanese Language School in 1942. Assignment to JICPOA on 6 June 1944. Worked on translation of captured Japanese documents. Participated in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations.

Zacharias, Ellis M. Secret Missions: The Story of an Intelligence Officer. New York: Putnam, 1946. New York: Paperback Library, 1961. [pb] Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003.

Clark comment: Zacharias was a 23-year-old ensign when the Navy sent him to Japan in 1920 to become one of the few U.S. officers trained in the Japanese language.

Pforzheimer notes that the "book includes discussion of pre-WWII espionage activities and of the U.S. Navy's psychological warfare campaign against Japan." To Kruh, Cryptologia 30.2 (Apr. 2006), this story by "a remarkable man ... will keep you turning the pages." Constantinides calls the book "an indispensable record of ONI for the period he was associated with it and for the cryptologic and CI history of the prewar effort against Japan."

See also Maria Wilhelm, The Man Who Watched the Rising Sun: The Story of Admiral Ellis M. Zacharias (New York: Watts, 1967).

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