L to R in Photo
First Row: Dr. Mark Moats, Ken Christopher, Tom Kimmel, Manning Kimmel, Darrel Littrell, Tom Davis
Second Row: Mac Neel, Ed Bremer, Jim Smith, Jim Hanley, Charlie Crabtree
The Henderson War Memorial Foundation unveiled a bronze statue of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel to honor his incredible service to the United States. Louisville-based and world famous sculptor Raymond Graf was charged with the project. The statue honors Kimmel as a Henderson native, but also serves as apart of an effort to see a 75 year old wrong corrected and the Admiral restored to his four star rank. Admiral Kimmel’s legacy has been riddled with false accusations and incorrect information since the advent of America’s entry into World War II at the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Now, at the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the people of Henderson have helped in that quest by honoring Admiral Husband E. Kimmel with the unveiling of a statue to ensure a visible commemoration in the place he was born and raised.
Kimmel was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 – the Day of Infamy. After the attack, the four-star admiral was relieved of command of the United States Pacific Fleet and forced into retirement with only two stars. He was one of only two World War II flag officers not to be retired at their highest rank held during the war.
Though he and Lieutenant General Walter Short were exonerated by Congress in 1999, Kimmel and Short have yet to be cleared by any president and restored to their full status.
At Saturday’s Kimmel statue dedication ceremony on the riverfront in Downtown Henderson, Thomas Kimmel Jr., a grandson of the admiral and a resident of Florida, recounted his grandfather’s experience on that fateful day 75 years ago. 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, said Thomas Kimmel. 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.
The statue is placed amidst the Four Flags Monument on the Ohio River. Placed on a half-foot platform, the statue stands at Kimmel’s full five feet and 10 inches height. The bronze statue holds a pair of binoculars, and displays Admiral Kimmel with his correct four-star rank. The pedestal also displays a replication of Kimmel’s actual signature.
The total cost of the project was over $125,000.