U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: Lloyd O. Johnson Papers, 1932-1941, 1991-1994

Manuscript Collection #677-021

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: Lloyd O. Johnson Papers
    Creator: Johnson, Lloyd O., (Lloyd Oliver), 1906-2005
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Scrapbook containing accounts of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, duty on USS Whitney (AD-4), and World War II mysteries of the code breakers. (undated)
    Extent: 0.155 Cubic feet, Scrapbook containing accounts of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, duty on USS Whitney (AD-4), and World War II mysteries of the code breakers.
  • Description

    Lloyd O. Johnson (b. 10 December 1906) began his naval career on the transport USS Henderson (AP-1, 1928-1932), served with Battleship Division Three (1932-1936), and attained the rank of chief yeoman (AA). Johnson was assigned to the destroyer tender USS Whitney (AD-4, 1939-1942) as a pay clerk and member of the ship's coding board; the small craft disbursing office, 14 Naval District (1942-1944); and to the destroyer tender USS Grand Canyon (AD-28, 1952-1954) as a supply and senior coding officer. Johnson retired as a lieutenant commander, Supply Corps (1961), worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City, and graduated from college in Staten Island, N.Y. (1972).

    The bulk of this scrapbook contains information detailing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941). Several narratives detail the attack, including Johnson's firsthand description of his and his crewmate's experiences on the USS Whitney. Other accounts come from Navy files, Congressional records, and other official sources. Also provided are timelines of Johnson's actions during the day; descriptions of the four phases of the Japanese attack; a chart of plane types used and at what time of day; copies of the Whitney's log with comments and statistics concerning the attack; lists of Japanese ships in the attack with the numbers of planes, their targets, and armament carried; and a list of American ships at Pearl Harbor with estimates of their condition after the bombing. A number of Pearl Harbor maps provide the positions of ships in the harbor, Johnson's path back to the Whitney during the attack, and several of the Japanese attack routes. Johnson also reminisces about his entire Navy career and includes correspondence andinformation about Whitney reunions. A copy of a letter from President Bill Clinton to a Pearl Harbor survivor concerning National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also included.

    The rest of the scrapbook is concerned with Johnson's suspicions concerning activities relating to codes, particularly the code-breaking operation ULTRA during World War II. Also referred to are the German code Enigma and descriptions of the Enigma keyboard; WAVE (Women in the U.S. Navy) participation in operation of the La Bomba code-breaking machines; information concerning the Purple and Magic codes; the locations of the main code-breaking stations; and the head of ULTRA operations, William Friedman. Also included is information concerning the chancellor of the Japanese Consulate in Honolulu, Takeo Yoshikawa, a spy who furnished the Japanese government with information about the Fleet at Pearl Harbor prior to the attack. Also furnished are excerpts from the books And I Was There, American Magic, and At Dawn We Slept, Johnson's main sources.

    Johnson also discusses his own experiences as a member of the Coding Board of the Whitney. These include the interception of a message that describes the shooting down of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto and decoding messages about the Japanese attacks on Midway and the Aleutians.

    Finally, the collection contains various newspaper clippings, copies of photographs, maps, charts, speeches and other miscellaneous items pertaining to Johnson's Navy career.

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    25 April 1995, 1 volume; Scrapbook containing accounts of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, duty on USS Whitney (AD-4), and World War II mysteries of the code breakers. Gift of Lt. Cmdr. (Ret) Lloyd O. Johnson, USN, Crystal River, Fla.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Lt. Cmdr. (Ret) Lloyd O. Johnson, USN

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation Collection: Lloyd O. Johnson Papers (#677-021), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

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Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

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