Text: S.J.Res.55 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/01/1998)

 
[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S.J. Res. 55 Introduced in Senate (IS)]







105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
S. J. RES. 55

 Requesting the President to advance the late Rear Admiral Husband E. 
  Kimmel on the retired list of the Navy to the highest grade held as 
 Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, during World War II, and to 
 advance the late Major General Walter C. Short on the retired list of 
  the Army to the highest grade held as Commanding General, Hawaiian 
    Department, during World War II, as was done under the Officer 
   Personnel Act of 1947 for all other senior officers who served in 
   positions of command during World War II, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

             September 1 (legislative day, August 31), 1998

Mr. Roth (for himself, Mr. Biden, Mr. Thurmond, Mr. Helms, Mr. Stevens, 
Mr. Cochran, Mr. Inouye, Mr. Hollings, Mr. Specter, Mr. Faircloth, Mr. 
Durbin, and Mr. Ford) introduced the following joint resolution; which 
     was read twice and referred to the Committee on Armed Services

_______________________________________________________________________

                            JOINT RESOLUTION


 
 Requesting the President to advance the late Rear Admiral Husband E. 
  Kimmel on the retired list of the Navy to the highest grade held as 
 Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, during World War II, and to 
 advance the late Major General Walter C. Short on the retired list of 
  the Army to the highest grade held as Commanding General, Hawaiian 
    Department, during World War II, as was done under the Officer 
   Personnel Act of 1947 for all other senior officers who served in 
   positions of command during World War II, and for other purposes.

Whereas Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, formerly the Commander in Chief of the 
        United States Fleet and the Commander in Chief, United States Pacific 
        Fleet, possessed an excellent and unassailable record throughout his 
        career in the United States Navy prior to the December 7, 1941 attack on 
        Pearl Harbor;
Whereas Major General Walter C. Short, formerly the Commander of the United 
        States Army Hawaiian Department, possessed an excellent and unassailable 
        record throughout his career in the United States Army prior to the 
        December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor;
Whereas numerous investigations following the attack on Pearl Harbor have 
        documented that Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short were not 
        provided with the necessary and critical intelligence available that 
        foretold of war with Japan, that warned of imminent attack, and that 
        would have alerted them to prepare for the attack, including such 
        essential communiques as the Japanese Pearl Harbor Bomb Plot message of 
        September 24, 1941, and the message sent from the Imperial Japanese 
        Foreign Ministry to the Japanese Ambassador in the United States from 
        December 6-7, 1941, known as the Fourteen-Part Message;
Whereas on December 16, 1941, Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short were 
        relieved of their commands and returned to their permanent ranks of rear 
        admiral and major general;
Whereas Admiral William Harrison Standley, who served as a member of the 
        investigating commission known as the Roberts Commission that accused 
        Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short of ``dereliction of duty'' 
        only six weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, later disavowed the 
        report maintaining that ``these two officers were martyred'' and ``if 
        they had been brought to trial, both would have been cleared of the 
        charge'';
Whereas on October 19, 1944, a Naval Court of Inquiry exonerated Admiral Kimmel 
        on the grounds that his military decisions and the disposition of his 
        forces at the time of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor were 
        proper ``by virtue of the information that Admiral Kimmel had at hand 
        which indicated neither the probability nor the imminence of an air 
        attack on Pearl Harbor''; criticized the higher command for not sharing 
        with Admiral Kimmel ``during the very critical period of 26 November to 
        7 December 1941, important information ... regarding the Japanese 
        situation''; and, concluded that the Japanese attack and its outcome was 
        attributable to no serious fault on the part of anyone in the naval 
        service;
Whereas on June 15, 1944, an investigation conducted by Admiral T. C. Hart at 
        the direction of the Secretary of the Navy produced evidence, 
        subsequently confirmed, that essential intelligence concerning Japanese 
        intentions and war plans was available in Washington but was not shared 
        with Admiral Kimmel;
Whereas on October 20, 1944, the Army Pearl Harbor Board of Investigation 
        determined that Lieutenant General Short had not been kept ``fully 
        advised of the growing tenseness of the Japanese situation which 
        indicated an increasing necessity for better preparation for war''; 
        detailed information and intelligence about Japanese intentions and war 
        plans were available in ``abundance'' but were not shared with the 
        General Short's Hawaii command; and General Short was not provided ``on 
        the evening of December 6th and the early morning of December 7th, the 
        critical information indicating an almost immediate break with Japan, 
        though there was ample time to have accomplished this'';
Whereas the reports by both the Naval Court of Inquiry and the Army Pearl Harbor 
        Board of Investigation were kept secret, and Rear Admiral Kimmel and 
        Major General Short were denied their requests to defend themselves 
        through trial by court-martial;
Whereas the joint committee of Congress that was established to investigate the 
        conduct of Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short issued, on May 
        23, 1946, a 1,075-page report which included the conclusions of the 
        committee that the two officers had not been guilty of dereliction of 
        duty;
Whereas the then Chief of Naval Personnel, Admiral J. L. Holloway, Jr., on April 
        27, 1954, recommended that Admiral Kimmel be advanced in rank in 
        accordance with the provisions of the Officer Personnel Act of 1947;
Whereas on November 13, 1991, a majority of the members of the Board for the 
        Correction of Military Records of the Department of the Army found that 
        Lieutenant General Short ``was unjustly held responsible for the Pearl 
        Harbor disaster'' and that ``it would be equitable and just'' to advance 
        him to the rank of lieutenant general on the retired list'';
Whereas in October 1994, the then Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Carlisle 
        Trost, withdrew his 1988 recommendation against the advancement of 
        Admiral Kimmel and recommended that the case of Admiral Kimmel be 
        reopened;
Whereas the Dorn Report, a report on the results of a Department of Defense 
        study that was issued on December 15, 1995, did not provide support for 
an advancement of Rear Admiral Kimmel or Major General Short in grade, 
it did set forth as a conclusion of the study that ``responsibility for 
the Pearl Harbor disaster should not fall solely on the shoulders of 
Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short, it should be broadly 
shared'';
Whereas the Dorn Report found that ``Army and Navy officials in Washington were 
        privy to intercepted Japanese diplomatic communications ... which 
        provided crucial confirmation of the imminence of war''; that ``the 
        evidence of the handling of these messages in Washington reveals some 
        ineptitude, some unwarranted assumptions and misestimations, limited 
        coordination, ambiguous language, and lack of clarification and follow-
        up at higher levels''; and, that ``together, these characteristics 
        resulted in failure ... to appreciate fully and to convey to the 
        commanders in Hawaii the sense of focus and urgency that these 
        intercepts should have engendered'';
Whereas, on July 21, 1997, Vice Admiral David C. Richardson (United States Navy, 
        retired) responded to the Dorn Report with his own study which confirmed 
        findings of the Naval Court of Inquiry and the Army Pearl Harbor Board 
        of Investigation and established, among other facts, that the war effort 
        in 1941 was undermined by a restrictive intelligence distribution 
        policy, and the degree to which the commanders of the United States 
        forces in Hawaii were not alerted about the impending attack on Hawaii 
        was directly attributable to the withholding of intelligence from 
        Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short;
Whereas the Officer Personnel Act of 1947, in establishing a promotion system 
        for the Navy and the Army, provided a legal basis for the President to 
        honor any officer of the Armed Forces of the United States who served 
        his country as a senior commander during World War II with a placement 
        of that officer, with the advice and consent of the Senate, on a retired 
        list with the highest grade held while on the active duty list;
Whereas Rear Admiral Kimmel and Major General Short are the only two eligible 
        officers from World War II who were excluded from the list of retired 
        officers presented for advancement on the retired lists to their highest 
        wartime ranks under the terms of the Officer Personnel Act of 1947;
Whereas this singular exclusion from advancement on the retired list serves only 
        to perpetuate the myth that the senior commanders in Hawaii were 
        derelict in their duty and responsible for the success of the attack on 
        Pearl Harbor, a distinct and unacceptable expression of dishonor toward 
        two of the finest officers who have served in the Armed Forces of the 
        United States;
Whereas Major General Walter Short died on September 23, 1949, and Rear Admiral 
        Husband Kimmel died on May 14, 1968, without the honor of having been 
        returned to their wartime ranks as were their fellow veterans of World 
        War II; and
Whereas the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, 
        the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, the Naval Academy Alumni Association, the 
        Retired Officers Association, and the Pearl Harbor Commemorative 
        Committee, and other associations and numerous retired military officers 
        have called for the rehabilitation of the reputations and honor of 
        Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short through their posthumous 
        advancement on the retired lists to their highest wartime grades: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. ADVANCEMENT OF REAR ADMIRAL KIMMEL AND MAJOR GENERAL SHORT 
              ON RETIRED LISTS.

    (a) Request.--The President is requested--
            (1) to advance the late Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel to 
        the grade of admiral on the retired list of the Navy; and
            (2) to advance the late Major General Walter C. Short to 
        the grade of lieutenant general on the retired list of the 
        Army.
    (b) Additional Benefits Not To Accrue.--Any advancement in grade on 
a retired list requested under subsection (a) shall not increase or 
change the compensation or benefits from the United States to which any 
person is now or may in the future be entitled based upon the military 
service of the officer advanced.

SEC. 2. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING THE PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE OF 
              ADMIRAL KIMMEL AND LIEUTENANT GENERAL SHORT.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the late Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel performed his 
        duties as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, 
        competently and professionally, and, therefore, the losses 
        incurred by the United States in the attacks on the naval base 
        at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and other targets on the island of 
        Oahu, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, were not a result of 
        dereliction in the performance of those duties by the then 
        Admiral Kimmel; and
            (2) the late Major General Walter C. Short performed his 
        duties as Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, competently 
        and professionally, and, therefore, the losses incurred by the 
        United States in the attacks on Hickam Army Air Field and 
        Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and other targets on the island of 
        Oahu, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, were not a result of 
        dereliction in the performance of those duties by the then 
        Lieutenant General Short.
                                 <all>

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