President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to December 7, 1941- the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor- as “a date which will live in infamy.” This description has continued to be accurate, nearly 70 years after the attack on American soil. However, not many people have the same emotional connection to the events at Pearl Harbor, as does the former Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, the man who was in the position of “Commander-in-Chief” at Pearl Harbor. The events of this day caused his rank of “Admiral” to be removed.
Kimmel’s Military Background
Admiral Husband E. Kimmel grew up in Henderson, Kentucky as one of seven children, and graduated as valedictorian of his high school. Although it was originally his plan to attend West Point, he was not accepted, so he entered the United States Naval Academy in May 1900. Kimmel graduated from the Naval Academy on February 1, 1904 and was then sent to serve in the gunnery department on the battleship USS Kentucky. He continued to rise in rank in the years following, and then, in 1914, after being named lieutenant, he was named “the aide and fleet gunnery officer on the staff of the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet.” (pg 58, Betrayed). In World War I, Kimmel reached the rank of lieutenant commander, in addition to serving as a squadron gunnery officer, executive officer of the Arkansas, production officer of the Naval Gun Factory, and commander of the Destroyer Division 45. Kimmel was thought of very highly by his superiors, being described as “an all-around officer of great promise” and “a splendid officer of high character.” (Betrayed, 59). The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William V. Pratt even said of Kimmel, “He is a driver and a worker most effici...
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...Richardson, David Charles, Vice Admiral of US Navy. "A Critical Analysis of the
Report by the Department of Defense Dated December 1, 1995 Regarding
Advancement of Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Lieutenant General Walter
C. Short on the Retired List." 4 Aug. 1997. PDF file.
Stinnett, Robert B. Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor. New
York : Touchstone, 2000. Print.
United. Senate. "Report of the Commission Appointed by the President of the
United States to Investigate and Report Facts Relating to the Attack Made
by the Japanese Armed Forces Upon Pearl Harbor in the Territory of Hawaii
on December 7, 1941 ." Attack Upon Pearl Harbor by Japanese Armed Forces.
By Owen J. Roberts. N.p.: n.p., 1942. ibiblio. Web. 1 Dec. 2011.
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