SAN FRANCISCO -- FBI agents made their most extensive raids on enemy aliens in California today, operating on a 300-mile front from Redding in the north to Salinas in Monterey county in their campaign against fifth column and espionage activities.
More than 100 federal agents participated. They were assisted by several hundred local, county and state law enforcement officers.
Nat J.L. Pieper, chief FBI agent for northern California, said raids were made in Redding, Stockton, San Jose, Santa Cruz, east bay cities, San Francisco peninsula communities, Sacramento, Monterey, Watsonville, Santa Rosa, Castroville, Santa Cruz and Salinas.
The raids were directed against "potentially dangerous" Japanese, Italian and German nationals and against axis nationals who had failed to turn in contraband radios, cameras signaling devices and weapons.
The roundup was similar in objective to but much larger in scope than similar raids of the past two weeks in the Sacramento-Sacramento valley, Monterey county, Santa Maria valley, Vallejo, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco areas of California; the Bremerton navy yard section of Washington; and the Bonneville Dam and Portland waterfront areas of Oregon.
More cleanups expected
More extensive "cleanups" of dangerous nations and even of American citizens of axis blood are expected later in view of President Roosevelt's executive order, issued yesterday, permitting the army to clear both aliens and citizens from vital areas. Department of Justice spokesmen indicated the order would be used to clear second generation Japanese from much of the western defense zone.
The army and justice department have not as yet indicated when they would apply the sweeping authority given in the presidential order. For weeks the west coast, through city councils and city officials, patriotic organizations and civic groups, has been demanding all Japanese be removed from the coast as a safeguard against fifth column sabotage and invasion threats.
The Pacific coast groups welcomed the new order which would be applicable to approximately 60,000 second generation Japanese, American citizens, in the three western states.
Most in California
Census figures reported there were 112,353 persons of Japanese blood in Oregon, California and Washington in 1940, of whom 48,169 were aliens and the remainder citizens. California had the largest concentration, with 93,717 Japanese, of whom 40,869 were aliens. The order would also apply equally to Italian and German coastal residents but it was not believed it would be applied to them at this time. The coastal areas are worried principally about the Japanese menace.
"I think this is a wise decision," said Mayor Angelo Rossi of San Francisco. "The responsibility belongs to the army. We will co-operate in every way."
"It is undoubtedly a step in the right direction," Mayor Fletcher Bowron of Los Angeles said. "Whether it is entirely effective depends on the manner of its administration. It certainly places a great burden on the army, particularly in so thickly populated an area as Los Angeles, which has the largest concentration of Japanese in America."
The western defense command gave no indication of contemplated plans -- who may be affected, what areas will be restricted and what will be done with persons forced from their homes.
Justice department orders already issued are forcing clients to move from certain restricted zones and limiting their activities in other "curfew" areas.
Approximately 10,000 of 150,000 enemy aliens on the west coast were affected by the evacuation orders. The deadline for most of them expires at midnight Monday.