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klavinia
01-07-2005, 01:46 AM
I am writing my father's story. He was at Pearl after the bombing. He only recently gave me notebooks full of over 400 pages of letters he wrote during the war and a scrapbook full of all sorts of things. I never knew he had these. He kept them hidden. It seems he was broke the Katakana Code on submarines. I have done everything I can think of to get information on this. I've google'd using everything from katakana to intelligence. I encouraged my dad to send for his records, which he did. THey were terribly disappointing. It seems that most of the information has either not been declassified yet or the government is going to make it near impossible to get. I have read numerous oral histories online at the Oral History Project Site. I've contacted History professors. So here's my question; How can I put together information when it appears nothing has been written on this subject?

Incidentally, it's not that I don't believe my dad. He has a very sharp mind, always has. He can still break that code to this day. ANd he remembers each and every detail about his involvement in all of this. Keeping all of this a secret for over sixty years has taken it's toll on him. Revealing it has precipitated nightmares and even post-traumatic stress (though he refuses to see anyone). I believe that writing his story will be healing but I also believe that if I could find someone who knows about this, it would validate his experience and that is just as important as writing a book.

Thank you in advance, Lavinia

underthecity
01-07-2005, 02:39 AM
Lavinia,

You mentioned your project in a previous post, and I found it really engaging.

The best advice I can give you is to refer to my own book The Cincinnati Subway (http://www.allensedge.com/cincinnatisubway.html). Before I wrote this book, there was nothing written on the subject except for a few scant magazine or newspaper articles over the years. Now there are big webpages on it. That's OK, 'cause my book was first.

With my project, I had found a collection of early newspaper articles on the subway, official reports commissioned by the City during the 1910s and 1920s, files from City Hall, things people had told me, and as many mentions as I could find in other books on Cincinnati.

The newspaper and magazine articles I had read before just briefly mentioned the story, but I wanted more detail. My plan was to tell the entire story: the background of the city at the time, the political environment (a big part of the story), the many reasons rapid transit was needed, who was behind the project, the construction, why the project failed, who was behind its failure, and what's happened with the subway until today.

I did this by working chronologically, and included every detail I could find (editing would come later). And there were so many factors to discuss, that I just discussed them one-by-one--again, in as much detail as I could include.

It was the biggest research project I had ever done. In the end, it turned out well, and is still the most thorough work on the subject.

Putting all the information together was like assembling one big jigsaw puzzle. And that's what it is going to be like for you, too. Making all the pieces fit together into one big cohesive story. It's not that easy, but it is doable, and it is enjoyable and kinda fun.

You are very very lucky your father is still with you to help you on this project. Anyone connected with the subway is long gone, but you have your source right in front of you.

When your book is finished and published, it will be filling an important hole in the history of WWII, and I predict that it will go down as a much-needed and valuable piece of research--not only for historians and students, but probably the general public as well. Since I am kind of a history buff, I know I want to read it.

Thanks for sharing with us.

underthecity

underthecity
01-07-2005, 09:27 AM
Lavinia,
I have another suggestion.

You mentioned that you consulted the oral histories. Since the Katakana code existed, other people will remember it. I would suggest World War II message boards. Posting on one of these should yield someone knows about it.

<a href="http://mb.sparknotes.com/mb.epl?b=388" target="_new">World War II MB</a>

<a href="http://library.thinkquest.org/26742/" target="_new">Thinkquest WWII MB</a>

<a href="http://www.euronet.nl/users/wilfried/ww2/ww2.htm" target="_new">Military History WWII with forums</a>

Start with these boards. Good luck putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

underthecity

klavinia
01-08-2005, 03:56 AM
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. After spending so much time on this, I was getting pretty pessimistic about every being able to put it together. And you are so right. It is a puzzle.

I'll try the message boards right now. THanks again! Lavinia

triceretops
01-08-2005, 11:33 PM
klavinia--

Don't give up on your quest for research. I'm in the same boat as you and UndertheCity, cause I'm writing about prehistoric anmimals finds out here in my city. Believe you me,
I've email 150 sources, museums, paleontologists, geologist,
site diggers, currators, climatologists, and anybody under the sun who was in on this facinating find. After three months
I recieved four replies! Four frikkin replies! This, on the second largest pleistocen discovery since La Brea Tar pits.

The only thing ever written about this was a few flimsy newspaper accounts six years ago. Did that stop me? Heck, no. I just landed four, count em, four agents who want to see the book. Now I'm in mad dash for photos, permission to reprint, and all other sorts of nonsense. I will not give up.

Triceratops

historyman
06-07-2005, 04:27 AM
I am writing my father's story. He was at Pearl after the bombing. He only recently gave me notebooks full of over 400 pages of letters he wrote during the war and a scrapbook full of all sorts of things. I never knew he had these. He kept them hidden. It seems he was broke the Katakana Code on submarines. I have done everything I can think of to get information on this. I've google'd using everything from katakana to intelligence. I encouraged my dad to send for his records, which he did. THey were terribly disappointing. It seems that most of the information has either not been declassified yet or the government is going to make it near impossible to get. I have read numerous oral histories online at the Oral History Project Site. I've contacted History professors. So here's my question; How can I put together information when it appears nothing has been written on this subject?

Incidentally, it's not that I don't believe my dad. He has a very sharp mind, always has. He can still break that code to this day. ANd he remembers each and every detail about his involvement in all of this. Keeping all of this a secret for over sixty years has taken it's toll on him. Revealing it has precipitated nightmares and even post-traumatic stress (though he refuses to see anyone). I believe that writing his story will be healing but I also believe that if I could find someone who knows about this, it would validate his experience and that is just as important as writing a book.

Thank you in advance, Lavinia



I could put you in touch with some people. Just to be clear, in the Japanese language, there are katakana and hirigana characters. There are documents and books related to code breaking. Ask your dad some basic questions about where he was stationed, his duties, names of superiors, and key dates. Who used this information? Did it result in the interception of submarines? If your dad was the person responsible for breaking the submarine code it would be an important piece of history about the war against Japan.

Can I ask you to name his specific service branch? Naval Intelligence? Counter Intelligence Corps?


HM

BradyH1861
06-07-2005, 06:13 AM
I encouraged my dad to send for his records, which he did. THey were terribly disappointing. It seems that most of the information has either not been declassified yet or the government is going to make it near impossible to get.

Also, a large amount of personnel records from World War Two were lost in a fire in the 1970s. What they have left is pretty scant. My grandfather recently obtained partial copies of his service records, but the information and paperwork that he kept himself was much more complete than what the government had. Apparently the fire did quite a bit of damage.

Good luck with your quest.

Brady H.

BlueTexas
06-07-2005, 11:51 AM
You might try stopping in at the local VFW and talking to some of the men around your Dad's age. Some of them might know someone who might know, or at least point you in the right direction.

Have you tried locating his ship mates?

My granddad, three uncles and father were all on submarines. They're all very tight lipped about the details, too, but when you get just them together in a room, they start talking. I learned to be good at listening at doors!

Birol
06-07-2005, 12:51 PM
It looks like Klavina last posted in January, back when we were still on ezboard. I don't know if she has re-registered here or not, but just in case, I'm going to move this thread over to the new and focused Research forum.

JoniBGoode
06-07-2005, 07:00 PM
Many WWII divisions have annual reunions. You should be able to find your Father's group online. Get in touch with the reunion planners and they will be able to give you the names & addresses of people who served with your father.

If you are able to attend a reunion, it's an invaluable research opportunity. It might also benefit your father to spend time with others who share the same experiences.

historyman
06-07-2005, 10:25 PM
If Klavinia sees this, please contact me at edwardwest9@yahoo.com

I am a professional researcher specializing in World War II. I would be glad to help bring this story to light. My interest is academic, I do not charge for my assistance.



HM

Richard White
06-12-2005, 12:05 AM
Also, this person should contact the National Cryptologic Museum (http://www.nsa.gov/museum/index.cfm) at NSA/Ft. Meade. They have a lot of unclassified information from WWII available there (along with a ton of other cool stuff if you're into codes and ciphers like me).

Very friendly staff. They just finished putting out some new stuff about WWII and Midway the other day.

Lisamer
06-12-2005, 08:54 PM
When I was researching the 10th Mountain Division for a fiction piece, the folks on the Military.com forum were very helpful.

http://forums.military.com/eve/ubb.x/a/frm/f/828197221

Lavinia
07-04-2005, 02:58 AM
Wow! I had no idea people were still replying to my post. Thanks! Yes, I am still here and still looking for infomation. I will now follow through on the tips you all gave. Thank you so much. My father is doing well. But he is aging and time is not on my side. THanks so much and I will check back.


As for the book. I am writing it a chapter at a time. One chapter is his memory and words and the next is my words and my tying what happened during the war to the way I was raised. It's hard to explain. I am thinking that expected readership would be, not only WWII vets but also baby-boomers like me. I am also wanting to include info. on the oral history project to encourage children/grandchildren of WWII Vets to get the information down in writing.

Just some thoughts! THanks again! Blessings

Lavinia