The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 brought the United States into World War II. The Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, was blamed for the defeat, demoted for dereliction of duty and forced into retirement, along with his army counterpart, Gen. Walter Short. In 1944, the first of 10 investigations and hearings into the Pearl Harbor defeat effectively exonerated Kimmel, but his rank was not restored because the war was on.
75 years later, the rank has yet to be restored, and Kimmel’s grandsons are following their father’s efforts to correct this stain on their grandfather’s name. Manning Kimmel of Rock Hill says even after Congress approved the rank restoration, the Navy and War departments have met their appeals with silence. Two historians have produced a new book, “A Matter of Honor,” which provides new information about the Pearl Harbor attack and its effects on Kimmel and Short in the years since the war. Manning Kimmel and his cousin Tom Kimmel say that over and above the restoration of rank for Short and their grandfather, they want the public to know the full story of Pearl Harbor.