It has been over 75 years since Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, USNA ’04, USN was Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, when on December 7, 1941, the Imperial Forces of Japan attacked the US Armed Forces in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After the Roberts Commission investigated the events surrounding the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Admiral Kimmel was reduced in rank to Rear Admiral, and was subsequently Honorably Discharged in that grade.
Of the nine official investigations of the surprise attack by the Imperial Forces of Japan on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Roberts Commission was the only investigation that charged Admiral Kimmel with “dereliction of duty.” Indeed, several of the other investigations made specific findings to the contrary. Recent writings on the subject of the Imperial Forces of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor indicate an increasing awareness, that it was patently unfair to place the full responsibility for the losses in Pearl Harbor solely on the shoulders of the US Naval and US Army Air Force Commanders in Hawaii on the date of the attack.
The general public, Veterans of WWII, and members of the US Armed Forces have never fully accepted the official findings of the Roberts Commission. The lingering question is why the US military forces in Hawaii were not provided with the most current intelligence available to the Navy Department in Washington, DC about the potential of an impending attack by the Imperial Forces of Japan on Pearl Harbor.
Indeed, with every new book, with the new information brought to light by responsible historians, and with a continuing list of new facts brought into focus by investigators of the events leading up to the attack on December 7, 1941—it is apparent that Admiral Kimmel and the Commander of the US Army Air Force in Hawaii were both unfairly blamed for the US losses of ships, aircraft, facilities, and lives in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Admiral James Holloway, Jr. recommended the advancement of Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel to his four star rank in his April 27, 1954 memorandum.
Admiral Arleigh Burke wrote in 1991, that “This matter is important not because of the importance to the Kimmel family, but because of the importance to the Navy as an institution.”
In the interest of justice, after seventy-five years, the US Navy, the US Congress, and Office of the President of the United States should review the attached submission to The Bureau For Correction Of Naval Records in The Case of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, USN (Ret). Corrective action should be taken, in order to set the record straight, and reverse the inherent injustice of blaming the Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet in Hawaii for the loses inflicted by the Imperial Forces of Japan on the US Armed Forces in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Prior to the surprise attack, Admiral Kimmel did not receive the most current intelligence that Naval Intelligence in Washington, DC had been alerted to prior to the attack; that inherent injustice should be exposed to clear his name. Last December, on the seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor surprise attack, the Henderson, Kentucky War Memorial Association dedicated a statue to honor Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, which speaks directly to how the people of Henderson feel about the injustice suffered by him.
Please review the attachment, an application to the Bureau For The Corrections Of Naval Records, submitted by Admiral Kimmel’s eldest grandson, Special Agent Thomas Kinkaid Kimmel, Jr., FBI (Ret) who retired from the FBI after 25 years of honorable service; he is a US Naval Academy graduate who served in three US Naval destroyers during the Vietnam Conflict. By this Op Ed, we are trying to mobilize support for Special Agent Kimmel’s quest to restore Admiral Husband E. Kimmel’s honor, reputation, and rank; we encourage each of you who receive this to do what you can to help right this wrong; you can communicate directly with Special Agent Kimmel by contacting him directly at the above listed E-mail address.
Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Capt., USN(Ret)/Former FBI
Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC
San Diego, CA