ADMIRAL'S WARNINGS UNHEEDED
By Skipper Steely
A Story of James Otto Richardson

        In the northwest portion of Paris, Texas, sits a two story late 1870s home listing drastically to the west. The roof leaks and its days are numbered. Few in the town of 24,000 realize it once housed a county school superintendent, his second wife who was also a teacher, and their children. J.J. Richardson had a mixed bag at his home in Paris. After he lost his first wife in 1879, four years later he married his late brother's second wife who had raised two step-children in nearby Ladonia. Together J.J. and Susan Richardson were watching future greatness develop though all the parents would die long before that news hit the stands.
        A nephew, Wilds Preston Richardson, left his northeast Texas home in 1880 at age 18 to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. Later, as a captain he had completed duty in the western United States and was a West Point tactical officer about the time his young cousin, James Otto Richardson, left Paris in 1898 to enter the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Even though J.J. Richardson had seen the success of his nephew, he warned his own son that it would be hard to compete with northern "fellows," that it seemed the Texas sun baked the brains of its native sons! But, in their own way each of the young Richardson men struck massive marks upon history that still bring about conversation.
        W.P. Richardson was assigned to Alaska in 1897 and during the next 20 years designed and led the construction of highways. Today the Richardson Trail from Valdez to Fairbanks reminds travelers and residents of his work. He was bull-headed and determined at his line of expertise, very often gaining the anger of the Alaskan delegate to Congress. Colonel Richardson was assigned in 1917 as commander of the 39th Division, which saw brief action in France. General J.J. Pershing then assigned newly promoted General Richardson to command forces in the short-lived invasion of northern Russia. He retired to Washington, D.C. in 1920 after 36 years of active service, and died seven years later.
        By that time J.O. Richardson, who fooled his father by graduating fifth in his Naval Academy class, had served 25 active years in the Navy, most being in the Asiatic Station roaming the seas. That first year, 1902, Richardson was on the gunboat Quiros, which had no electricity nor radio, when he first saw the Pearl Harbor location. The 719 acre, $58 million facility was in the initial construction phase.
        In 1909 he returned to Annapolis for two years study in mechanical engineering. In 1914 Lt. Richardson was assigned to the Bureau of Steam Engineering as an aide to the chief. During this tour he met an assistant to the Secretary of the Navy named Franklin D. Roosevelt. He gained a pretty solid idea of how to handle this up and coming future politician and received experience appearing before Congressional committees, a duty his cousin performed many times.
        During World War I Richardson did his only duty in the Atlantic, serving aboard the U.S.S. Nevada. He reported there as a lieutenant commander, visiting Scotland and Ireland but at the war's end he returned to Annapolis as head of the Department of Steam Engineering at the Naval Academy.
        Before 1928 Richardson served in the South China Sea patrol and as the commander of the gunboat Asheville. He bounced back to Washington as chief of the Bureau of Ordnance but soon returned to sea.
        At the age of 50, when most now contemplate retirement, Captain Richardson was director of personnel for the Bureau of Navigation, still hoping to return to sea duty. He did that in 1931 as commander of the heavy cruiser Augusta. This ship's first four commanders later wore a total of 15 stars!
        In mid-1933 Richardson attended the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island and by the next summer was assigned to the budget office in Washington where by now he had a permanent home in Georgetown. In December of 1934 he was promoted to rear admiral.
        Richardson was assigned to the Pacific Coast In June of 1935 where he commanded the cruiser division out of Bremerton, Washington. He was then ordered to work for Joseph M. "Bull" Reeves in charge of 38 destroyers. His experience was wide and extensive by now.
        Again the call came to move back to Washington where he would assist the Chief Naval Officer William D. Leahy. Richardson married a Paris sweetheart, May Dickens Fenet, and by the mid-thirties their Princeton graduate son was into a screen writing career in California. Unlike his mobile father, Joe Richardson would live in the same area, Beverly Hills, for almost an entire lifetime. He scripted many of the Lone Ranger episodes for Metro-Goldwin-Mayer. The Admiral's granddaughter lives in the home today.
        As president, in early 1938 Roosevelt appointed Richardson as chief of the Bureau of Navigation. Richardson, called "Jo" by FDR, tried to beg off the assignment. That was not to be granted by the president. The two developed a close relationship, though Richardson was not fond of the about face changes the president would make on decisions.
        The duty at sea tugged again. This may have been after he clashed with a Congressman over an autographed photo of King George VI hanging on the Richardson office wall. The Admiral had been assigned as an aide to the King and Queen of Great Britain when they visited the United States in 1939. The King later sent Richardson the framed photo as a personal gift but the Congressman saw otherwise! He viewed it as an illegal political gift. The flak eventually drifted on by, however.
        Richardson became commander in chief of the U.S. Fleet [CinCUS] in June of 1939. A ceremony was held at San Pedro, California. The third Texan to fit into the job during the previous ten years, he took over from Admiral Claude Charles Bloch and had George C. Dyer assigned as his aide. The news from Germany was viewed carefully each day and of course the threat from Japan was eyed closely during that year.
        Life Magazine ran a pictorial on Richardson January 22, 1940, showing him relaxing at his Long Beach home, pipe in hand and reading Sam Snead's "Quick Way To Better Golf". Behind the admiral was a photo of King George of England. The duty should have given him more time to play bridge and poker, cook his favorite goulash recipe and roam the golf course. However, in April of 1940 most of the U.S. fleet was sent from the west coast to Hawaii on what was to be a ten day stay at Pearl Harbor.
        Richardson, now 61 with 38 years of active service, was in charge but considerably helpless after he realized they were staying in Hawaii for an extended time. Though big and imposing, he had a sense of humor and was compassionate. He became pretty popular with sailors when in late 1940 he authorized the wearing of shorts! Many of them affectionately called him "Uncle Jo." All this time, however, he was insisting that intelligence gave the indication the Japanese might attack the west coast. Like another Parisian, General Sam Bell Maxey of the Civil War era, Richardson asked to be moved closer to home to protect that vulnerable territory first.
        Throughout 1940 various battle games were played but in July Richardson lunched with Roosevelt, Chief of Naval Operations [CNO] Harold R. Stark, and others at the White House. Like any good commander, Richardson asked for more personnel. The raids over Britain had begun, distracting Roosevelt. Besides, with war raging to the east and west of the United States, Roosevelt still was being met with citizen resistance to go help. Richardson also sternly and repeatedly pointed to the vulnerability of troops out in other Pacific locations. Many accounts say Richardson thought this meeting went smoothly.
        However, so distressed was Richardson after the meeting that he called his older sister Jessie Chambers in Paris to summarize the frustrations. She was fairly upset and called her husband's nephew Henry Chambers Somerville. So disturbed was he that Richardson might lose his job, he immediately contacted his son Henry Lee Somerville, then a student at Sam Houston State Teachers College. "It scared me a bit to get a late night call," says Somerville, a retired Army colonel. Sadly, all letters to the Texas kinfolks have been destroyed or lost.
        Richardson became more alarmed at the Pearl Harbor fleet location but was reluctant to return to an October meeting with the president. After a long direct flight he was exhausted but dived right into a series of meetings at the Navy Department. The next day, October 8, he lunched with Roosevelt. Leahy was there also, now in the capacity of being the President's military advisor. Richardson spent most of his conversation defending his position that the fleet should be moved out of Pearl Harbor.
        Pointedly he talked, then exasperatingly stated, "Mr. President. I feel I must tell you that the senior officers of the Navy do not have the trust and confidence in the civilian leadership of this country that is essential for the successful prosecution of a war in the Pacific."
        The next day, on the front page of the Washington Post, Richardson did not speak of his frustrations with Roosevelt. He did announce that he was taking several thousand sailors back to Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt simply said "the meeting was only a lesson in geography." He added that he, Leahy and Richardson had discussed the readiness of the fleet. Inside, apparently Roosevelt had plans antithesis to Richardson's desires.
        Nothing immediately changed except that despite the long relationship with Richardson, those words spoken on October 8 stung Roosevelt. Subsequently, Richardson began to feel as if the President and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox were hoping for a disaster, an excuse to declare war upon Japan. They most likely were. This has been the subject of researchers for over 48 years!
        Someone thought war was inevitable. Just reading the front page on October 9 reveals that. Wheat was cut off to Japan, United States citizens were advised to leave the Orient at once and even the president's son James was ordered to report to the Marines. That does not include the many stories about Nazi action in Europe. Probably few military leaders payed much attention to the Reds victory over Detroit in the final game of the World Series.
        The first peacetime draft began in September of 1940 and in a month 16 million men were registered. Later in October news articles suggested that Richardson was not ready to go to war. He continued to believe the fleet was not yet up to that level and should be training back off the west coast.
        Late in the year the Japanese ambassador Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura stopped over in Honolulu. Richardson knew him pretty well from duties in 1928 and probably back to the time Nomura first met Roosevelt in the assistant Secretary of the Navy's office. Richardson continued to warn the president and the Navy leaders about the tenuous situation at Pearl Harbor. Unknown to him and others, dispatches and decoded messages were in Washington being studied. As for Nomura, he swore to his death in 1964 that he had no knowledge of the exact plans of attack.
        Richardson's brash and to-the-point discussion with Roosevelt in October led to his release as fleet commander on Sunday, January 5, 1941. He did not expect it. Admiral Stark had told him the duty would last another year. Richardson's flag secretary Dyer brought the message to the golf course. Richardson simply commented after reading the orders, "My God. They can't do that to me." They had, however. There was no record of what he shot on the course that day but normally his score ranged in the 80s.
        On February 1, on board the flagship Pennsylvania, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel replaced Richardson. With the new titles of CinCUS and of commander in chief Pacific fleet [CinCPAC], he had the misfortune to live through the "day of infamy." Knox later told Richardson the removal was simply because "you hurt the feelings" of the President.
        Richardson took some time returning to Washington, he and May meeting in Paris to stay with her sister and sister-in-law on Church Street, many blocks south of the old Richardson place. He also visited and stayed with his sister Jessie Chambers, who lived in nearby Detroit.
        He told his story to some friends in Paris and probably discussed some things with Paris News editor A.W. "Sandy" Neville, a 77 year old J.J. Richardson neighbor who still lived two blocks to the west of the old home place. Most interested Parisians speculated on just when it would become public. "He was very quiet about the matter," says a grand step-niece Clareda Chambers Purser. "I can remember he had a gruff manner but did not scare us." She remembered that Jessie was prone to long blessings at meals and that the admiral would comment that the breakfast would be cold before the prayer was over.
        Moss Richardson, another of the admiral's sisters, was an outspoken teacher who did not have her contract renewed in Paris in the early part of the century. She wrote her brother from her new life where she taught at West Texas State Teachers College, hoping to encourage him in such a desolate moment. She related that her father said, "Mr. Wooten [the superintendent] has not done anything to you that you would not have done to him. You never have approved of him and I suppose he knows it. If you could, you would have dropped him." These wise words applied to Admiral Richardson, also, she thought. Moss went on to say how that event changed her life for the better. "You will be used," she wrote.
        Maybe that was why Richardson did not retire. There was more he could do. He came back to Washington and in March, 1941 became executive vice president of the Relief Society and an assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. He also was senior member of the Special Committee for Reorganization of National Defense. "I disagreed heartily with the report," he later wrote. It dealt with the possibility of merging the Army and Navy into a single department. Later he said the five final years were not mundane or trivial duty, but that "I worked among and with friends...and there is no work so rewarding as working with friends."
        While Stark was trying to contact the President to gain approval to relate decoded messages to Pearl Harbor indicating an imminent attack, on December 7, 1941, Richardson ironically said to his wife while at breakfast, ""We are on the verge of war which may break out any minute. About eight years ago while a student at the War College, I wrote a thesis on Japanese policy. After breakfast I shall find that thesis and read it to see if my opinions then expressed have changed." The paper was found, and read. Soon after lunch the telephone rang. Richardson picked it up and a voice said, "Jo, turn on your radio." The message from Washington to Kimmel was delayed and not sent until the attack was underway.
        When he arrived at the General Board room the next day, he listened while others sat around analyzing. When asked for his comments, he said "All I have to say is that every day from now on I am going to pray for two things: the first is for the success of our arms; the second is that I shall keep my mouth shut!"
        Knowing that he would most likely be called before a hearing panel, Richardson destroyed his personal notes just like Admiral Stark's aide later destroyed historically valuable wax cylinder recordings of phone conversations. In the meantime Kimmel was fighting public disdain and was making attempts to state his case. No less than ten investigations would follow. First there was a secret investigation done by the Army, then two delegates dispatched to Hawaii died on the way on December 12, delaying a bit a quick look at the situation. Then Secretary of the Navy Knox held his brief investigation before the Owen J. Roberts Commission was formed. There was an Army Board of Investigation, and then a Naval Court of Inquiry held July 13, 1944. Various admirals and generals held hearings and did research, including one conducted by Admiral T.C. Hart in 1944 when the Navy became concerned some of the senior officers involved may be killed in the war.
        Finally, in 1946 a Congressional hearing was underway. Richardson only testified in this one. He was asked to head the H. Kent Hewitt investigation but declined. Kimmel was not allowed to state his case except at the 1944 Naval Court of Inquiry where he was allowed to cross-examine witnesses. He was not allowed to be a part of the Hewitt hearings. All research into the matter turned political, Democrats trying to protect the party and the President while the Republicans dug to bring out the evidence.
        Richardson, however, still lived the military way, not wishing the public to know of his inner feelings about his president or fellow officers. Henry Lee Somerville, a Chambers family member, relates that the admiral took very serious his oath to obey the commander in chief and not to reveal personal feelings. The hearing came in November of 1945 and he was only slightly frank in his testimony. The Paris News ran articles each day that Richardson's name was mentioned and when he was questioned. "Congressional investigation of the Pearl Harbor attack may disclose the reason for a matter which has puzzled many Parisians since early 1941," the first installment began. "Admiral Richardson's story may illuminate Mr. Roosevelt's relationship to the events leading up to Pearl Harbor," the story quoted a press release.
        Richardson testified with a grim smile that in 1940 a state department advisor "was exercising greater influence over the disposition of the (Pacific) fleet than I was." He was referring to Stanley K. Hornbeck and called him "the strong man on the Far East." Richardson based his beliefs strongly on conversations he had with Hornbeck at a July 11, 1940 meeting in Washington. Of course, at that time Richardson was more antsy than ever to move the fleet back to the west coast.
        However, Richardson expressed at the end of his session that "I never bore any resentment toward President Roosevelt because of my detachment... He was the constitutional Commander of the Army and Navy. I was one of the senior subordinates; there was a difference of opinion; each of us frankly expressed his views; neither could induce the other to change his opinion." Working off his father's thoughts written to him by Moss, "Had I been constitutional Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I would have taken the same action."
        His work was not yet completed. He served as a witness of the United States Navy during the trial of the alleged Japanese war criminals. This was before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, sitting in Tokyo.
        Finally, on January 2, 1947, some 49 years after leaving Paris for Annapolis, he went to his Georgetown home as a civilian. He wrote the Lamar County Echo in Paris that "I can now vote for the first time," a privilege not then given to military personnel. He could catch up on golf, fishing and his favorite hobby--cooking. His wife fretted that he would take over the household operation with the same precision as he had run Naval operations! May let him think so.
        "When we visited him," commented Clareda Purser, "he took on what he called the 'royal tour' of D.C. He would pick cherries from the trees downtown as he showed us around and bring them back for the cook to use." She added that when she and a Virginia friend visited when in their twenties, "He sat us on the sun porch and ...served us a beer." That was impressive since his sister Jesse was so anti-alcohol. "It was a secret I never revealed to my relatives," laughed Mrs. Purser.
        Shortly after the Congressional hearings Admiral Richardson was approached by Admiral Dyer and the Naval Historical Division to reconstruct his career and view of events. It took almost five years of work. He did not allow its publication until 1973, after the death of Admiral Harold R. "Betty" Stark. Richardson had roundly criticized Stark. On The Treadmill To Pearl Harbor: The Memoirs Of Admiral James O. Richardson is not terribly well organized, but it arranges his career and publishes photos for the public to see. The Retrospect chapter at the end of the book is revealing, though he says "I am beyond rancor or any feeling of 'sour grapes.'
        He pulled no punches, however, and blasted Roosevelt for his treatment of Kimmel. Richardson was convinced that Admiral Stark and the Secretary of Navy Knox were also involved. "He was sure Stark could have "picked up the phone and given Kimmel a last minute alert on the morning of Pearl Harbor." Ned Kimmel believes the least his father and the Army could have "buttoned up the ships and prepared guns. "If Short had received a message he could have gotten some fighters up" and others moving. "Two, three and even four hours notice could have been given," he says. Short was married to May's first cousin from Paris. Therefore, Richardson had an insight to the general not held by others.
        Despite his pointed criticisms of Roosevelt, his comments on the ensuing Roberts Commission actions ["most... dishonest document ever printed by the Government Printing Office"] and his testimony before Congress, few books about Pearl Harbor other than At Dawn We Slept, Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History, and Infamy: Pearl Harbor And Its Aftermath have pulled deeply from Richardson's memoirs. Only Edward Miller's War Plan Orange spoke negative of Richardson.
        Almost each year after 1946 a new book has emerged on the subject. In 1947 George Morgenstern came out with Pearl Harbor: Story Of The Secret War. He was very anti-administration and discussed suppressed reports. Rear Admiral Robert A. Theobald wrote in 1954 in The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor: The Washington Contribution To The Japanese Attack that Roosevelt's plan included no word be sent to Hawaii. Many vital intercepts and decoding of what was called "magic" messages were not forwarded to Pearl Harbor.
        Kimmel came out with a small, un-indexed book in 1955. In it he said it was the summer of 1944 before he was allowed to review the Japanese messages, and only then. At the end of his testimony before the three man Naval Inquiry Court, he demanded they be produced into the record. He had first heard of them that previous January when Captain Laurence F. Safford called to the Connecticut Kimmel home and told the admiral about the intercepts. "At this point Dad stopped blaming himself and turned into a tiger!" Ned Kimmel relates. An entire eight-volume set of these messages is in print to study now. On September 6, Kimmel lost his son Manning, a submarine commander, during the Naval Court of Inquiry, compounding the hell he, his wife and other two sons were living.
        The Court of Inquiry moved on to Oahu for more testimony but Kimmel stayed at home with his wife. Twelve days after the Hawaii sessions began Richardson briefly appeared before the three admirals when court re-convened in Washington. He discussed mainly the air patrol system he used and summarized his objections of using Pearl Harbor as a base. Nothing was said about Richardson's October, 1940 meeting with Roosevelt.
        In 1958 Hans Louis Trefousse wrote What Happened At Pearl Harbor and made no mention of Richardson at all! However, it is a helpful compilation of testimony and letters. Five years later Roberta Wohlstetter came out with Pearl Harbor: Warning And Decision. In it she used Roosevelt papers at the library in Hyde Park but did no interview with Richardson. It must be remembered that Richardson said more than once he did not trust journalists. Therefore, most were probably rebuffed when they asked him for comments.
        Several books followed but one interesting work came out in 1977 by Marlin V. Melosi called The Shadow Of Pearl Harbor: Political Controversy Over The Surprise Attack. It said that in 1944 Congressman were calling for a hearing, one New Yorker saying that in it Admiral Richardson would reveal much. For years Gordon W. Prange studied the events but died before At Dawn We Slept was published. It was completed in 1981 by Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon and gives an excellent view of Richardson's part in the saga.
        Also in 1981 Paul Stillwell edited a fine book called Air Raid: Pearl Harbor. It is a compilation of personal accounts by participants. In it Dyer writes about Richardson's command and his thoughts. Richardson is mentioned by other former officials also in subsequent articles included in the work.
        In 1982 John Toland came out with Infamy. It went through four printings and is still easily available at even small libraries like in Paris. He revealed how stunned former chief of procurement and material Admiral Samuel Murray Robinson was when Admiral Johan E.M. Ranneft, former naval attaché of the Netherlands to Washington, informed him in 1960 of the successful effort to break the Japanese codes. Robinson was told that intelligent officers for the U.S. Navy showed Ranneft a chart on December 6, 1941 that revealed the location of the Japanese fleet. It was just 400 miles from Honolulu. So, Ranneft asked those many years later, how was it that articles and books still express that the Americans were taken by compete surprise?
        Shocked at the news, Robinson called Stark immediately, then phoned back Ranneft. He tersely said that Stark refused to comment on the matter! Ironically, Robinson's granddaughter also lived in Paris, Texas, for many years, just a few miles from the Richardson home.
        Toland was the only writer who interviewed Richardson's son Joe.
        The subject was not through being investigated! Kimmel's two remaining sons, Ned and Tom, continued the quest to recoup their father's reputation and two lost stars. In 1985 Frank Paul Mintz even wrote a book about the books, calling it Revisionism And The Origins Of Pearl Harbor.
        Goldstein and Dillon continued work on Prange's notes and manuscripts, resulting in a 1985 book Pearl Harbor: The Verdict Of History. It casually mentions Richardson on only six pages. Richardson's own book was little used in all these views of the Pearl Harbor disaster.
        In 1989 Benjamin Mitchell Simpson III had his book published called Admiral Harold R. Stark: Architect Of Victory 1939-1945. He wrote that Stark had been chosen over Richardson and several others for CNO in 1939, probably because Roosevelt thought the two could work better. Though some think there is little evidence indicating Richardson did not get along with Stark, the two disagreed on war plans and especially the permanent placement of the fleet at Pearl Harbor. But, Stark had the President's attention, not Richardson.
        Simpson went into a study of the tightrope Stark walked between the President and Richardson. Of course, despite Stark's 1940 attempt to persuade Roosevelt to move the fleet back to the west coast, the President prevailed and Roosevelt lost confidence in Richardson, not Stark. This would change in 1942 as far as Stark was concerned. Simpson says Stark pleaded Richardson's case but in the end all he was able to do was delay the orders for relief a few days so that Richardson's tour as CinCUS would be one year.
        As for any controversy caused by Richardson's comments that Stark could have at least called Kimmel before the Pearl Harbor attack, there is no discussion of this in the book. The last mention of Richardson is about his relief from CinCUS duty. There is detail about Stark's testimony to the Naval inquiry court in 1944. His recollections were somewhat lame. This court found that even if Stark had phoned Kimmel there was little that could have been done on December 7, contrary to Richardson's thoughts and those of Kimmel's family. The court also found that Stark should have transmitted other information to Kimmel.
        Ironically, Stark also got shot down by Roosevelt shortly after Pearl Harbor, on March 2,1942. Admiral Ernest J. King requested that Richardson and Walton R. Sexton write an order establishing into one office the commands of chief of Naval Operations and commander in chief of the United States fleet. "I asked King what was to become of Stark." King replied, "The President said that he did not give a damn what happened to Stark so long as he was gotten out of Washington as soon as practicable." Richardson then asked if Stark knew of the change. The answer was no and Richardson replied, "In all decency Stark should be informed. He was--in a two hour meeting with the President at the White House on a cold day. Stark was not retired, however, and was given the job of commander of Naval forces in Europe. It became a good fit, but Stark's relationship with Roosevelt was basically uncut.
        A little over a month after Richardson testified, on New Year's Eve, 1945 Stark took the stand for the Congressional hearing. He had studied hard the previous four months for this moment, going over any documents he could find. When he finished at the end of January, he had never pointed a finger of singular blame at anyone, not even at the Army. The hearing results further put blame at the foot of Kimmel and Pearl Harbor Army commander, General Walter Short. However, writings since that time have not been so kind to Stark. Dyer once concluded his thoughts by saying rather drastically, "The ultimate responsibility [for Pearl Harbor] has to rest with the President because he is the one who decided to get rid of Admiral Richardson." In reality, it was a system breakdown involving many others than just Admiral Richardson. It was deeper than a difference of opinion between an admiral and the President.
        Continuing the saga officially, on April 4, 1995 Ned Kimmel and his son Manning arranged a meeting with Senator Strom Thurmond and the tenth investigation began. Thurmond brought together the Kimmel families, department of defense and Navy representatives. Several historians were also present. A review was promised by the department of defense, led by Edwin S. Dorn. The report made it clear that a high degree of blame for the Pearl Harbor disaster was placed with both Admiral Stark and the Joint Chief of Staff, Army General George C. Marshall.
        Efforts are still in place to elevate Kimmel and Short, though Short's family resists research into his background. His papers remain basically unstudied at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
        Though Richardson outlived Stark by two years, his mind became disoriented at the end of his life. However, May took care of him at the house at Number 2708 35th Place NW. He quietly died in Georgetown in mid-1974 at the age of 95.
        As Admiral Kimmel's grandson Tom said, Richardson had the right to boast of the greatest "I told you so" in history. Instead, he wrote his memoirs1 and then lived the rest of life basically in silence.
    Return to : WW2 Home Page
    About this page: Richards -- A hometown magazine article about the Admiral who said that basing the fleet at Pearl Harbor was a mistake.
    Last updated on July 4, 2003
    URL: http://www.ww2pacific.com/richardson.html