- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) - Days before the 75th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, a Kentucky community has unveiled a statue in honor of the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The Gleaner (https://bit.ly/2h8cl6n ) reports the bronze statue of Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel was dedicated Saturday along the riverfront in his hometown of Henderson.

After the Dec. 7, 1941 attack, the four-star admiral was relieved of command and forced into retirement. He died in 1968.

Kimmel and his Army counterpart at Pearl Harbor, Maj. Gen. Walter Short, were the only officers who were not allowed to retire at their highest rank held during World War II. Military officials found them to be derelict for failing to prepare for the attack on the Hawaiian base. Family members and veterans groups have fought for their vindication.

The Henderson War Memorial Foundation commissioned the statue at a cost of $125,000. It was made by Louisville-based sculptor Raymond Graf. The statue holds a pair of binoculars while looking toward the water.

Kimmel’s grandson, Thomas Kimmel Jr., recounted his grandfather’s experience on Dec. 7, 1941.

“All around him his men were dying - more than two thousand of them - dozens of them drowning in the filthy oil-slick on the harbor, much of it on fire,” Thomas Kimmel said. “In the days that followed, when all around was human suffering, the admiral was to be seen, desperately weary, his uniform covered in mud, visiting virtually every ship’s crew in the harbor.”

Thomas Kimmel and a cousin, Manning Kimmel, recently wrote to President Barack Obama asking him to promote Husband Kimmel and Short to their full ranks.

“Restoring Admiral Kimmel’s rank borders on a vainglorious exercise,” Thomas Kimmel said. “In my view, (the admiral) probably would not encourage us to go through this exercise. But I’m certain he would encourage us to bring the facts, the full story of the Pearl Harbor attack to the American public.”

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Information from: The Gleaner, https://www.thegleaner.com/

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