Short, Walter Campbell, MG

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Last Rank
Major General
Last Service Branch
Primary Unit
1941-1941, US Army Hawaii, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)
Service Years
1902 - 1942


Major General

Three Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by LTC Bob Thompson to remember Short, Walter Campbell, MG USA(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Alton, Illinois
Last Address
Dallas, Texas

Date of Passing
Mar 09, 1949
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 30, Lot 1091

 Official Badges 

Army Staff Identification Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
United States Army General. In December 1941, he was the commanding general of United States Army Forces in Hawaii, during the Pearl Harbor attack. Born in Fillmore, Illinois, he attended the University of Illinois, graduating there in 1901, and receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. Prior to his assignment as Army Commander, Hawaii Department, in February 1941, he had several important assignments over his 40 year career. During World War I, he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, to the Third Army. Ten days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was suspended from command pending an investigation into the Japanese attack, and in 1942, both he and Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel (senior Navy officer at Pearl Harbor) were found guilty of dereliction of duty by a Presidential Board of Investigation, and forcibly retired from the service. The Roberts Commission, established to look into the attack by President Franklin Roosevelt, determined that Short had failed in his duties by lining up the aircraft wingtip-to-wingtip, thus allowing Japanese planes an easy target, and had taken no specific actions to ward off an attack despite a "war warning" telegram sent to him and Kimmel two weeks before the attack. The two men were not allowed to testify, were not allowed to cross-examine any witnesses, and were not allowed to call any witnesses for their defense; legal experts stated that the Commission had but one goal, and that was to convict the two men of gross negligence in their duties. Both men did admit that sabotage by the large resident Japanese population then living in Hawaii was their primary concern and that the likelihood of a Japanese bombing attack was extremely remote. Kimmel was retired at the rank of Rear Admiral (two ranks reduced), and Short was retired as a Major General (one rank reduced). Following his forced retirement, Short then worked for the Ford Motor Company, and died at his home in Dallas, Texas. On May 25, 1999, the United States Senate passed a resolution exonerating both Kimmel and Short, noting that both men had been denied intelligence about a pending Japanese attack and had been made scapegoats for the military's failure to be prepared. While both men have been nominated several times for a presidential pardon, no president has acted on the request.
Other Comments:
Not Specified
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
USAG Presidio of San Francisco25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)12th Infantry Division16th Infantry
1st Infantry Division3rd Army6th Infantry DivisionUnited States Department of War
Army War College (Staff)Command and General Staff College (CGSC) CourseInfantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA1st Division (Big Red One)
1st Brigade, 1st Infantry DivisionUS Army Hawaii, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)
  1902-1903, USAG Presidio of San Francisco
  1903-1908, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1914-1916, 12th Infantry Division
  1916-1917, HHC, 16th Infantry
  1917-1918, 1st Infantry Division
  1918-1919, 3rd Army
  1920-1921, 6th Infantry Division
  1921-1923, United States Department of War
  1923-1924, Army War College (Staff)
  1928-1930, Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Course
  1936-1938, Headquarters, US Army Infantry School
  1938-1938, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Division (Big Red One)
  1938-1939, HHC, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
  1939-1940, 1st Infantry Division
  1941-1941, US Army Hawaii, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1899-1913 Moro Rebellion (Philippines)
  1911-1919 Mexican Service Campaign (1911-1919)
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1941 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941
 Colleges Attended 
University of Illinois at Chicago
  1897-1901, University of Illinois at Chicago
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