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Military Personnel
    (February 26, 1882-May 14, 1968)
    Born in Henderson, Kentucky
    Rear Admiral
    Commander of the Pacific Fleet (February-December, 1941)
    After Pearl Harbor, the Roberts Commission found him in dereliction of duty.
    Although a warning 10 days before the attack ordered him to initiate defensive deployment of the fleet, he did not even put the crews on alert.
    After the Navy lost track of Japan's aircraft carriers, he did not send any air or naval patrols to find them.
    The army and navy in Hawaii did not share intelligence information or plan a joint defense.
    Many feel he and Army General Walter Short were scapegoats for intelligence failures higher up the chain of command.
    One member of the Roberts Commission, Admiral William Standley, disavowed the final report, saying, 'If they had been brought to trial, both would have been cleared of the charge.'
    The US Senate passed a non-binding resolution to exonerate him and Short (1999).
    As he watched the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a spent bullet crashed through the window and brushed against him. He said, 'It would have been merciful had it killed me.'
    His son died when his submarine was sunk by a Japanese mine (1944).

Credit: C. Fishel


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