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Kimmel Grandson Intends To Restore His Grandfather's Honor

December 9, 2004 - Thomas Kimmel is a grandson to one of the most famous scapegoats in American history. His grandfather, Adm. H.E. Kimmel, commanded the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor when Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes attacked Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The admiral, who was blamed for not properly defending the island, was demoted and relieved of command 10 days after the attack. He died in 1968, never having had his honor or rank restored by the U.S. government.
His grandson is trying to fix that.

Kimmel, himself a retired U.S. Naval officer and a former FBI agent, told about 400 people about the injustice Tuesday night during EAA's commemoration of Pearl Harbor at the EAA's AirVenture Museum Eagle Hangar. Scores more of EAA members tuned into the live webcast through the EAA Members only site.

America's success in decrypting Japanese codes prior to December 7, 1941, Kimmel noted, meant that we had plenty of information regarding the attack But Adm. Kimmel and Army Gen. Short were kept in the dark, even though its been confirmed that the information was available in Washington, Manila, and London.

Those facts and others led the U.S. Congress to vote to exonerate Admiral Kimmel and restore his rank in 2000. That remains a hollow victory until the Bush Administration endorses it, which it has yet to do.

"My grandfather has been humiliated, disgraced, and a scapegoat for 63 years," Kimmel said. "He even contemplated suicide at one point. It's unfair and unjust."

Kimmel adds that the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association is in favor of restoring Adm. Kimmel's rank. "The people most affected by Pearl Harbor agree that my grandfather was not responsible for the attack."

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