Source: Naval History and Heritage Command


Source: Naval History and Heritage Command

Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga after modernization in the mid-1930s.

The stern of the Kaga circa 1941.

sequently, the island reported in the plain

language that the sea water processing

equipment suffered from the explosion and

the drinking water supplies will last for two

weeks only. The message was intercepted

by the Japanese station on Kwajalein and

sent it to the higher command. A couple

of hours later commander of the air group

scheduled to occupy AF sent the request to

the headquarters for the emergency water

supplies. This confirmed the identity of the


All these analytical successes were not for

free. During the month of May 1942, when

any piece of informational was invaluable,

for days Rochefort did not leave his bunker

and worked for more than 12 hous a day. He

did not follow the military rules and regulations but applied his own methods which

were successful. While at work he wore

the bathing robe and flippers. One can easily picture the image of Captain Benjamin

“Hawkeye” Pierce from MASH series played

by Alan Alda. Rochefort was lucky as well.

In the very end of May 1942, the Japanese

ceased to use JN-25 code and replaced it

with another. That would have been broken from the scratch – however all that

was important for the battle of Midway the

American cryptanalytics had already found

out. Nimitz wanted to reward Rochefort’s

efforts and proposed his decoration with

Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Nimitz’s

superior, Admiral Ernest King refused it.

He considered Rochefort the officer with

the least military look he has ever met. After some other officers from Washington

complained about him, he was transferred

to San Francisco and put in charge of a dry

dock and was no longer involved in crypto analytics until the end of war. Despite

King’s objections he was awarded Legion

of Merit at the end of war. He passed away

in 1976 and received a real award for his

work only after his death. In 1985 he was

awarded long denied Navy Distinguished

Service Medal and in 1986 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Source: Naval History and Heritage Command

Disastrous losses

Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu during training cruises in January 1938.


INFO Eduard

The result of the Battle of Midway is well

known. Japan deployed four large aircraft

carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Hiryū and Soryū) and

lost all four of them. In addition, Japan lost

a heavy cruiser. US Navy sent three aircraft

carriers to a battle (Enterprise, Hornet,

Yorktown) and lost one of them including

a destroyer. What contributed to the catastrophic Japanese defeat was the fact that

the Americans knew their plan and that this

plan was extremely complicated. Japanese

fleet was divided into several independent

groups with different tasks and moving far

January 2023