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The First Victory

Shortly before midnight on December 12, 1941, not yet a week since the surprise Japanese attack on America’s naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Judge Mortimer W. Byers asked jury foreman, Edward Logan, to rise and read the verdict. Only a day before, in Berlin’s Reichstag, Adolf Hitler had announced to the world that Germany would join with Japan in making war against America.

Standing before a packed Brooklyn, New York court room, a somber Logan pronounced fourteen defendants arrayed before him guilty of espionage against the United States. Added to the nineteen who had already pleaded guilty, Logan had unknowingly sealed the fate of German espionage in the United States for the remainder of the war. It was, as one author recorded, “the first US victory of World War II.”