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Society Member Tom Kimmel Urges Action on Fox and Friends, June 28, 2014
Tom has been working on behalf of his family and the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association (PHSA) to support the posthumous advancement in rank of his grandfather, Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel (Retired-Deceased). Admiral Kimmel was a four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy and Commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was removed from that command after the attack and was reduced to the two-star rank of rear admiral. He retired with that rank. He and Major General Walter Short were made scapegoats for the government's inability to prevent the attack.
At PHSA's urging, Congress passed a law in 2000, sponsored by then Senator Joe Biden, recommending that the President advance Kimmel and Short on the retired list. He said then, “The Kimmel and Short matter is the most tragic injustice in American military history.” Then Senators Biden, Chuck Hagel, and John Kerry all voted for it. No action has been taken to date. Biden's office recently advised that the matter rests with the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD’s inaction is perceived by many as obstructing the will of the Congress, and the PHSA, who began this advancement initiative in 1984. Today, as Vice President, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, many believe they can and should do something about it. An urgent effort is underway by Tom and others to end this historical injustice by recommending to the President that he honor the will of the Congress and the PHSA by nominating Kimmel and Short for advancement.
The giants of WW II—Nimitz, Halsey, King, Spruance, Kinkaid, Burke, and a host of others have repeatedly expressed support for Admiral Kimmel. Six former Chiefs of Naval Operations (CNO), two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Director of Central Intelligence—Crowe, Moorer, Burke, Hayward, Holloway, Trost, Zumwalt, Turner—in addition to 26 other four-star admirals have supported this action in writing. The only tribunal that accorded Rear Admiral Kimmel the opportunity to defend himself, the Naval Court of Inquiry, essentially exonerated him. There is abundant new information since 1946, most never known to Rear Admiral Kimmel, or to investigators, that further justifies this action. The requested relief—posthumous advancement—is modest, but serves to overcome the last, official stigma on this honorable man.
If you want to help, please contact Tom Kimmel and check out his website for ways to act now.