Weekly Report of U. S. Maritime Commission Representative in Honolulu for Dec. 7-15, 1941


December 15, 1941

Mr. E. J. Bradley
U. S. Maritime Commission
200 Bush Street
San Francisco, California

Dear Mr. Bradley:

The following is a brief summary of the activity of my office since the attack made on December 7.

December 7 - No damage inflicted on any of the ships in the harbor, or the piers, although bombers flew over the harbor and such bombs that were dropped, fell in the water near Sand Island. I was in the Tower during that period. A Military guard was thrown around all piers and no one was allowed to enter them and no cargo was discharged on this day.

December 8 - No activity in connection with discharging of cargo and removing of freight from piers in view of the Military authorities prohibiting entry to the piers.

December 9 - Same condition as on December 8.

December 10 - Permits to haul cargo were being issued by the Territorial Civil Defense Administration. This procedure was slow in accomplishing results.

December 11 - Your dispatch to clear all docks received. Called a conference of Army, Navy, civil authorities and Terminal operators, which helped to step up the work on the piers and on board ships.

December 12 - Took matter up with Civil Defense Administration and Commandant and eliminated practically all restrictions to work on cargoes and freight.

December 13 - Freight is being handled satisfactorily under the existing conditions in view that aliens (Japanese, in particular) are barred from piers. Incidentally, a large number of trucks was taken over by the Army, which has caused some congestion on the piers. On that date, received a dispatch from the Maritime Commission in San Francisco directing that the cargo of the SS ROSEVILLE be discharged in Honolulu, subject to the approval of the Naval authorities. Before this could be executed, the Master of the SS ROSEVILLE received instructions from their agents in San Francisco (Sudden and Christianson) to disregard the Maritime Commission dispatch and to wait for their instructions. I notified the Commandant of this matter and no action was taken accordingly in regard to discharging of cargo.

December 14 - The SS ROSEVILLE failed to receive any further instructions. I examined her manifest and bills of lading and notified the Commandant of the contents of general cargo, which was approximately 8373 tons. The Commandant sent a dispatch to Naval Operations, requesting that the SS ROSEVILLE'S cargo be landed in Honolulu.

December 15 - Cargoes being discharged from various vessels. Freight being removed from piers a little better than the previous few days. I am making an effort to expedite the clearing of piers.

Received this date, orders from the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District for additional duty as U.S. Navy representative for evacuation of personnel in the Fourteenth Naval District. This additional duty was offered to me and accepted. I intend to carry out this duty in addition to my duties with the Maritime Commission, in an office temporarily loaned to me in the building of Castle and Cooke, Limited, rent free, until the evacuation has been completed.

The number of personnel to be evacuated for the Army is 4996; for the Navy, approximately 10,000; the latter figures do not include dependents of Navy Contractors Employees. The amount of personnel of the latter have not, as yet, been furnished to me. The staff of the firm of Castle and Cooke, Limited will assist me in my work in connection with evacuation of personnel.

I am still awaiting authorization to rent an office for the Maritime Commission, as the space now occupied by me is necessary for Naval activities in connection with harbor defense. I will use the offices of Castle and Cooke, Limited, temporarily and request authorization to rent an office in that building, as it will be close to my work in connection with evacuation.

Bunker fuel oil, available in the port of Honolulu, was 297,000 barrels on December 8, 1941, at 9 a.m. The weekly report is submitted to my office from the various oil companies, showing the stock on hand as of Saturday noon.

The general situation in regard to ships, piers, cargoes and removal of freight is satisfactory under the present conditions and it is improving.

Yours very truly,
Max K. Frucht, Representative
U. S. Maritime Commission

P.S. I received authority at 2:30 p.m. to discharge the cargo of the SS ROSEVILLE.

Correspondence of D. B. Donald, US Maritime Commission. NARA, RG-248; Entry 19, Box 37 [Courtesy of Theron P. Snell]



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