Husband Edward Kimmel (1882-1968) was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. He was the commander of the Pacific Fleet at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in December, 1941.
In February 1941, Kimmel became Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet and Pacific Fleet, with the temporary rank of Admiral. Operating from the advanced base at Pearl Harbor, Kimmel led his fleet during the months of vigorous training that preceded the outbreak of the Pacific War. However, Kimmel did not worry about the risk of attack by the Japanese fleet, assuming that Hawaii was too far from Japan's Home Islands to be threatened. Therefore, he did not take measures such as rigging torpedo-catching nets along the sides of his battleships.
As a result, his preparations proved all for naught. On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor.
On December 8, Japanese troops came ashore at Oahu. Caught by surprise, American forces fought a desperate but losing battle. By February, 1942, it was obvious that U.S. forces could not keep fighting, and the U.S. military leaders of Hawaii ordered a surrender. Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short formally surrendered to General Tomoyuki Yamashita, Commander Minoru Genda, and Commander Mitsuo Fuchida in Iolani Palace. Kimmel related how during the attack, a spent bullet harmlessly bounced off his chest (Fuchida understood the implication that Kimmel wished the bullet had killed him). Both Short and Kimmel naively believed that the Japanese would follow the Geneva Convention. Kimmel and Short were later taken as prisoners of war, and their fates are unknown following the Japanese occupation.
Although Admiral Husband Kimmel was ridiculed as incompetent by the press after the Pearl Harbor disaster, The New Yorker was sympathetic with him in the need to keep Wake Island out of Japanese hands. However, they were shocked at his poorly thought out attempt to relieve the island.
Husband Kimmel (1882-1941) commanded the fleet assembled at Pearl Harbor by the US Navy in the summer of 1941, a few months after Japan attacked the United States . His orders were to sail west out of Hawaii until his ships encountered the Japanese. He was then to offer the Japanese battle, and hopefully reverse American fortunes in the war which the Japanese had begun the previous winter. At this the fleet failed; Japanese aircraft inflicted heavy damage on Kimmel's forces long before any of his ships entered within artillery range of the Japanese fleet. Kimmel himself was killed fairly early in the campaign when he went down with his flagship, the USS Arizona.