Whew that was a close call

James  G.Y. Ho is a historian who spends the summers in Washington state and lives the remainder of the year in Honolulu.


In Honolulu he is the curator for the Hawaiian Chinese Multicultural Museum and Archives..


I met James and his late brother Stanley Ho at a Hawaiian music festival at Kalama in southwest Washington. I was  friend and worked with Stanley’s daughter Laurie Hoon economic development programs in the island of Kaua‘i.


James is the author of a series of books about Hawai’s unique and diverse culture. He is currently working on a book about his research on possible Japanese fifth column activities  on the West Coast in the WWII era.


In September 2012 James and his wife and friends from the Stanwood, Wa. area paid a visit to Forks.


James is in the possession of letters written by a U.S. Army intelligence officer that point to an early 1942 investigation into the possibility that the Japanese Army sought to invade the United States a location along the coast near Lake Ozette. His theory is that the Japanese Navy’s plan to attack Pearl Harbor was instead chosen for the attack on Pearl Harbor that launched World War II in December 1941.


In September James traveled to the West End to compare notes with Bob Bowlby of Clallam Bay. The two men are very close in age, within months of each other.


Bob and his wife June hosted James and his party to a luncheon at the Bowlby’s home. Over a lengthy conversation the facts the two men shared corresponded and backed up James’ theory.


Following is James take on what happened, or rather what didn’t happen at Lake Ozette.


“It was lucky for the United States that Japanese military leaders of the navy and army had different master plans for making war against the U.S.,” he wrote the Forks Forum in an email.


“The Japanese Army plan was to use Lake Ozette as the staging point and the Japanese navy under Admiral Yamamoto planned to attack Pearl Harbor.  The Japanese Naval plan was adopted, therefore, the Lake Ozette plan in Washington state was abandoned in 1941.”


James makes an observation in his email that brings up a controversial subject, that of involvement by Japanese nationals in spying and espionage plans “all over the Americas such as in California in collaboration with groups in Mexico, Central America and South America.”


He continued:

“Nazi Germany and Japan signed a partnership in 1940! Therefore we knew that Japan was the U.S. enemy.  Yet in spite of this the U.S. kept a political policy to please Japan in a peaceful manner. The most astonishing event was that while serious discussion were being made by both sides, Japan was planning for war against the U.S.!


“The most brilliant and ambitious plan that Japan came up with was the invasion of the U.S. Using the disguise plan of leasing thousands of acres from the U.S. to mine for gold in the state of Washington at a place called Lake Ozette.  Japan instead used this area as a (possible) staging point to invade the U.S.  Here Japan used the 12-mile-long Lake Ozette to land their huge four-engine long range sea planes to bring in men and materials.  During WWII they were identified as “Bettys”.  Seven buildings were constructed along the sea coast each about a mile apart.  These were used as landing sites for large barges to safely come to shore to unload heavy equipment and men to construct an aircraft landing strip. 

A landing strip for bombers and fighter planes along the ocean shore at Lake Ozette was also master-planned.  The plan was to invade the U.S. and to overwhelm its military forces by surprise with a huge army of thousands supported by tanks and aircrafts. The nearby entrance to the Strait of Juan De Fuca would be blockaded so no U.S. Navy ship could escape.  As brilliant as this plan was the discussion was changed to attack Pearl Harbor instead.  And therefore all personnel and equipment were taken away by the Japanese about November 1941.


“When Marietta’s husband, Henry Carsten who was with the 133 Engineer, Co B from Ft. Lewis, Washington and a party went there on December 6th, 1941 – at Lake Ozette – the place was emptied of any Japanese or heavy equipment.  However, food and sake and a still ticking alarm clock was found in a cabin.”


James said in his new book there will be a detailed account of the actions at Lake Ozette, and will “include a detailed story covering the ‘Lake Ozette’ master plan. Included also will be the letter written from Henry Carsten to his bride Marietta as a soldier at Ft. Lewis, Washington about his experience while stationed at Lake Ozette during 1942 and letters from Marietta  telling about her husband’s tour of the Lake Ozette December 6th 1941 and later in 1981 long after WWII at Lake Ozette.”
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