Article appearing in The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, February 11, 1987.
Reproduced with the goal of maintaining the spelling, grammar and punctuation as it appeared in the original newspaper article.
Radar Pioneer to Visit Kahuku Site That Flashed Warning
The Armed Forces
By Harold Morse
A radar site that picked up signals detecting approaching Japanese planes about to attack Pearl Harbor will receive special attention tomorrow when retired Col. Wilfred H. Tetley, a radar pioneer, visits the Opana site near Kahuku.
Tetley, who now lives in Carmel, Calif., was a captain assigned to the Aircraft Warning Service, Hawaii Department, at the time of Pearl Harbor.
Two Army privates relayed their radar findings to Fort Shafter, where a young lieutenant told them to forget about it, since the radar signals probably were caused by a flight of American B-17 bombers expected to arrive that day from the Mainland.
Tetley and another radar veteran, Stephen L. Johnston, stress that the equipment worked, that the failure was human.
Johnston, who worked with the same kind of equipment later in the war, said he talked with Joseph L. Lockard, one of the Army privates at the Opana site that fateful day, who now lives in Harrisburg, Pa.
Although the two privates were supposed to turn off the radar at 7 a.m., they kept it on a little longer and thus picked up the signals giving away the approach of the Japanese planes.
The young Army officer they reached at Fort Shafter was there in a training capacity. The duty officer was unavailable. Also, the Navy normally had a duty officer there, but the Navy officer wasn't on duty at the time.
Johnston said he recently learned the serial number of the other Army private on duty that day at Opana, a man named George Elliot. He hopes to locate him, Johnston said.
Tetley and Johnston want the site to be designated a National Historic Site. The two radar veterans believe lives would have been saved during the Pearl Harbor attack had the radar warning been heeded, also that damage from the attack would have been much less.