Short, Walter Campbell

Short, Walter Campbell

(1880–1949) soldier; born in Fillmore, Ill. Commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1902, he served on the Mexican punitive expedition (1916–17) and in France during World War I. Between the wars he rose in rank and reputation and in February 1941 was named commander of the army's Hawaiian Department. He was relieved of command for failing to take adequate action against the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and he retired from the army in February 1942. He offered his own defense before a congressional committee in 1946 and historians generally came to agree that his failings were only part of a larger pattern among American leaders at the time.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.