Official newsletter of the Battle of Midway Roundtable


"To promote awareness and understanding of the great battle and to honor the men who fought and won it."


21 May 2006....................Issue No. 2006-21......................Our 9th Year


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.............................................. AROUND THE TABLE ...............................................






1.  New Book on Joseph Rochefort


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    Ed. note:  I'm pleased to report that one of our members has undertaken a very serious book project, a biography of CDR Joseph Rochefort, the mastermind of the Combat Intelligence Unit at Pearl Harbor that gave Admiral Nimitz the Japanese operations plan for their Midway assault.  I'm unaware of any in-depth writings on the life and wartime accomplishments of Rochefort, one of the two most important men responsible for victory at Midway (the other being Nimitz himself, per a 2003 Roundtable survey).  For that reason,I think the entire Roundtable and everyone with an interest in the history of U.S. naval intelligence will await Elliott Carlson's new book with eager anticipation.


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19 May 2006

From:  Elliott Carlson


     Iíve been a newspaper-magazine writer and editor for 40-plus years, retiring in 2004.  I decided then to indulge my long-time hobby:  the Pacific War, inspired in part by my old college professor, Paul Dull, and two years in Honolulu working as an editorial writer on the Honolulu Advertiser.  I think I really got bit by the bug in Honolulu.

    Rochefort struck me as a natural subject and I was amazed nobody had written his biography.  Since embarking on this project two-plus years ago, Iíve received enormous help from Navy people, scholars, and family members.  Rochefortís daughter, Janet Elerding, loaned me all his remaining papers, not to mention a scrapbook of photos that havenít appeared anywhere else.

    The Rochefort collection is modest.  Rochefort destroyed many of his papers after the war.  His remaining papers fit in a strong box he maintained for years.  But Janet essentially gave me the strong box to use as I see fit.  And sheís granted me a half-dozen interviews on her father.

    Besides my good fortune in meeting Mac Showers and making contact with Phil Jacobsen, Iíve interviewed Tex Biard (I flew out to Dallas for our conversation) and about a dozen yeomen and radiomen who either worked in the basement with Rochefort or in the Station H network during 1941-42 (that is, Heeia and Lualualei).  And one gentleman from Station Cast, Duane Whitlock (who else!).  And Iíve interviewed a couple of dozen historians and experts of one kind or another.  Of course, I have many more to go.

    In addition, Iíve gone through dozens of letters and papers of the foreign language officers at the Boulder archives, the Safford-Hiles material at Laramie, and Edwin Laytonís papers at the Naval War College, to mention just some of the collections Iíve pursued.

    In the course of all this Iíve come up with some fascinating material on Rochefort.  Iím finding he was a whole lot more complicated than popular depictions make him out to be.  Happily, Iím also finding him an endlessly absorbing character, not an easy man to capture on paper but never boring.  I hope you find the resulting manuscript worth the wait--I obviously have a great deal more to do.

    I greatly appreciate your interest.  Iíll stay in touch.

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................................................. NOW HEAR THIS! ..................................................






--Final Muster for Dan Kaseberg

--Forum Notes

--TV This Week


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    With deep regret, I announce the passing of another of our Roundtable BOM veterans.  Willis D. (Dan) Kaseberg, a former Y3/c (yeoman, or squadron clerk) with VT-3 aboard the Yorktown, departed on his final sortie on Sunday, May 7th.  Dan was one of the Roundtable's most active and energetic contributors from its earliest days nearly nine years ago.  He developed his own comprehensive Midway and Yorktown web sites long before we had one of our own, and you can still find them at.....


    They are also linked at the bottom of our Roundtable home page,

If you haven't reviewed those pages lately, perhaps now is an especially good time.  There are many resources worth downloading, and you may not have the chance much longer.

    Also, Chris Hawkinson's Midway web site has a very fine wartime biography of Dan.  Please check it out at...


    Fair winds and following seas to our good friend and Yorktown shipmate, Dan Kaseberg.  His name has been added to the honored remembrance list on our Roundtable Veterans Roster,


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~    Welcome aboard to new member Ron Harrison, who resides in Florida.  Ron advises that his father, G. C. Harrison, was a crewman aboard ENS Gaylord Propst's PBY (24-P-11), one of the four that made the night torpedo attack on the occupation force on 3 June 1942.  And note that Ron is the 299th current member of the Roundtable--we've grown a lot in the past year.


~    My apologies to all for the brevity of this issue, but work on the 64th anniversary event on June 3rd plus some compelling family matters have used up most of my available time in recent days.  My wife will be undergoing major surgery next Friday, which will further complicate my calendar.  Nonetheless, I expect a more normal Forum will be out to all at this time next week.


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    Here are television listings of possible interest for the period of May 22 - 29 (eight days).  The times shown below may not be the same in your area--be sure to check your local guide.



  AMC = American Movie Classics

  DC = Discovery Channel

  HC = History Channel

  FNC = Fox News Channel

  PBS = Public Broadcasting System

  TCM = Turner Classic Movies


Note:  "12:00 AM" means midnight at the start of the indicated date (0000 hours).  "12:00 PM" means noon.


Tuesday, May 23


    12:00 PM   (HC)   Battle History of the Navy: Fire and Water


    6:00 PM   (HC)   Battle History of the Navy: Fire and Water  (repeated)


Thursday, May 25


    12:00 PM   (HC)   Battle History of the U.S. Marines: Tragedy to Triumph


    6:00 PM   (HC)   Battle History of the U.S. Marines: Tragedy to Triumph  (repeated)


    11:00 PM   (HC)   Codes   (All about communications encryption, including a little re WWII)


Friday, May 26


    3:00 AM   (HC)   Codes  (repeated, see above)


    12:00 PM   (HC)   The Fighting "I" - the Story of the USS Intrepid


    6:00 PM   (HC)   The Fighting "I" - the Story of the USS Intrepid  (repeated)


Saturday, May 27


    12:30 PM   (TCM)  Stand By For Action  (1942)


    2:30 PM   (TCM)  Torpedo Run  (1958)


    4:15 PM    (TCM)  The Fighting SeaBees  (1944)


Sunday, May 28


    12:30 AM   (TCM)  The Bridges at Toko-Ri  (1954)


    4:00 AM   (TCM)   Men of the Fighting Lady  (1954)


    9:30 AM   (TCM)   They Were Expendable   (1945)


    11:45 AM   (AMC)   Guadalcanal Diary   (1943)


    1:45 PM   (AMC)  A Wing and a Prayer  (1944)   Note:  great wartime BOM film.


    2:30 PM   (TCM)   Task Force  (1949)   Note:  excellent BOM segment.


    8:00 PM   (TCM)   The Flying Leathernecks  (1951)


    10:00 PM   (TCM)   The Flying Tigers  (1942)


Monday, May 29


    4:15 AM   (AMC)   A Wing and a Prayer  (1944)  Note:  see the review on our web site.


    8:00 AM   (HC)   The Color of War: Into the Breach   (early WWII military training)


    8:15 AM   (TCM)   Bataan   (1943)


    10:15 AM   (TCM)   Back to Bataan   (1945)


    2:00 PM   (HC)   The Color of War: Into the Breach   (repeated, see above)


    5:00 PM   (TCM)   In Harm's Way  (1965)


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    For a glossary of abbreviations, acronyms, and terms used in The Roundtable Forum, click the following URL or go to our home page and click "The Roundtable Glossary" link.




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