For historians and World War II buffs alike, the phrase “THE WORLD WONDERS”—from one of millions of U.S. Navy radio messages—is a fabled part of the lore of the Pacific war. With perhaps the exception of the electrifying “AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NO DRILL” dispatch sent by Commander Logan C. Ramsey at the beginning of the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941, “THE WORLD WONDERS” is the best-known message of the entire war, but unlike Ramsey’s radio broadcast, it is embroiled in controversy. No account of the epic Battle of Leyte Gulf can neglect the message and its consequences. But shrouded in this voluminous literature is a tantalizing mystery: Who drafted the fateful “THE WORLD WONDERS” phrase?
‘The World Wonders’
Now we know who wrote the phrase that became part of the most controversial U.S. Navy message of World War II.
By Richard B. Frank