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Lieutenant-General Short, Walter C.

Walter Short was born on 30 March 1880 in Fillmore, Illinois. He was commissioned in 1901 and served with the American Expeditionary Force in France in World War I as a training officer. On 8 February 1941 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and given command of the Hawaiian Department of the US Army. His relationship with the Navy and Admiral Husband E. Kimmel's (Kimmel, Husband E.) headquarters, CinCPAC, was cordial but not close. He felt secure from attack because of the Navy's presence while Kimmel was content that the Army would prevent air attack or invasion of the Hawaiian Islands. Short's chief concern was security against sabotage by the ethnic Japanese in Hawaii, the nisei. When he received a war warning from Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall (Marshall, George C.) on 27 November, he interpreted it in a limited fashion and set guards to watch over aircraft. This involved parking the planes in tight blocks, and thus making them excellent targets from the air. After the attack on Pearl Harbor he was relieved of his command and reverted to the rank of major-general. He retired from the army in February 1942 and went to work for Ford in Dallas. An investigation into Pearl Harbor found him, with Kimmel, guilty of errors of judgement, but he never got the court martial he felt would vindicate him. He died on 3 September 1949.

See also: CinCPAC; Hawaiian Islands; Kimmel, Husband E.; Marshall, George C.; nisei; Pearl Harbor; radar; war warning

You can find out more about Lieutenant-General Walter C. Short in the following Osprey book:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941