Pearl Harbor and the Japanese Spy Family Part 2

About the attack on Pearl Harbor and the family in Hawaii the Bernard Kuhns who worked as spies for Japan, their history and biography.

The 8-Eyed Spy: The Family That Gave You Pearl Harbor

Dr. Kuhn quickly accepted Goebbels's proposal, and on August 15, 1935, the Kuhns landed in Honolulu. Only an elder son, Leopold, had been left behind. The family included Dr. Kuhn, a pleasant scholarly man of 41; his wife, Friedel; attractive Susie Ruth; and her half-brother, Hans Joachim, sometimes called Eberhard, aged 6. Kuhn bought a house in Pearl City and a cottage in Kalama very close to the ocean--overlooking Pearl Harbor, in fact. For his cover he had a number of stories. To some he claimed to be a retired doctor with a large inheritance; to others he was a student of Hawaiian history; to still others he posed as an inventor. None of the friends who visited his well-appointed house, filled with fine paintings and sculpture, ever suspected his real profession, not even when Mrs. Kuhn journeyed to Japan twice, returning the 2nd time with $16,000 that she deposited in a growing bank account. In fact, large sums were mysteriously transferred to the Kuhn account over the years from a Swiss bank, until it swelled to some $100,000. But whenever there were any questions, Dr. Kuhn would simply explain that he had made successful investments abroad.

In the meantime, the Kuhns were collecting and transmitting secret military information on an almost unprecedented scale--each and every member of the family. By 1939 they had been instructed to obtain all intelligence possible about U.S. ships in the Pacific--especially those in Hawaii--for the Japanese were already training to implement Admiral Yamamoto's daring plan to cripple America at Pearl Harbor.

No pair of the "8-eyes" was more valuable than any other. Beautiful Ruth Kuhn obtained information in several ways. At 1st she dated military personnel. An excellent dancer, tennis player, and swimmer, this gregarious, outgoing girl found it easy to extract information from her dates about their assignments, ships, or bases. When she became engaged to a young navy officer, her task was made all the simpler. But the beauty parlor she opened in Pearl Harbor turned into her most important source of valuable information. Ruth made it a policy to give her customers the best and cheapest service on the island, for they were the wives of high-ranking military personnel whose loose tongues revealed secrets that surpassed Ruth's expectations, even irritating her a bit. "They talked so much," she would later say, "that it was a relief when they left the place."

So much information leaked into the beauty parlor that Ruth's mother had to come downtown on certain days to help monitor the conversations. It was Friedel's specific job to record all intelligence that the family obtained. Frau Kuhn, a heavy, bespectacled woman who looked like everybody's favorite aunt, also accompanied her husband on the "historical expeditions" he made into the mountains to further his "Hawaiian studies." She purchased and often used the 18-power binoculars with which they spied on ships in the harbor and military installations below. Sometimes Friedel and the doctor sailed his little sailboat around Pearl Harbor itself, smiling at the crews aboard the big ships while mentally taking notes of everything they saw.

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