PSSST!--On January 27, 1941, US Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew secretly cabled the United States with information gathered from the Peruvian ambassador to Japan, Ricardo Rivera Schreiber, that Japan was considering a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Grew's report from Peruvian sources would make it to Admiral Harold R. Stark, chief of naval operations, and to Admiral Husband Kimmel at Pearl Harbor but the Peruvian ambassador’s tip was discounted by both naval officers.
Astonishing is a word that comes to mind that such a cable was sent in the first place and ignored in the second. Seen through the 20/20 lens of history that advance came much earlier.
In 1940, a college professor in Japan was the man, who provided the amazing piece of intelligence. The professor learned of the proposed attack on United States interests at Pearl Harbor from the head of housekeeping at the Peruvian Consulate in Yokohama, who in turn was related to a member of Japan’s warlike Black Dragon Society.
How different world history would have turned out if the U.S. heeded the tip by in the least shoring up Hawaiian Island defenses and to better track Japanese naval forces in the central Pacific.
The tip was real.
So was the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.