Chester Nimitz file photo [902]

Chester Nimitz

Given NameChester
Born24 Feb 1885
Died20 Feb 1966
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseChester Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg, Texas, on 24th February, 1885. He was of German descent on both sides of his family. He yearned to further his education, but due to the lack of money, he did what all young men in similar situations did: he looked to the military. Nimitz applied to the Military Academy at West Point, but the army turned him down due to a lack of vacancy. He then applied and was admitted into the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis; he graduated in 1905, seventh out of his class of 114, and joined the United States Navy.

ww2dbaseHe earned early experience serving in the Philippines as a gunboat, then a destroyer, skipper and in 1909 was assigned to underwater service. He became among the navy's authority in submarine warfare, travelling to Germany (he spoke German very well) to study the subject. Besides submarine warfare, he was also an expert in powerplants (he designed a new nautical diesel engine), in naval tactics (integrated carriers into task forces), and operations (invented a system to fuel ships on the move). During the First World War Nimitz was chief of staff in the Atlantic Submarine Force. He was an integral member of the team that set up the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of California after WW1, then he headed the destroyer base at San Diego. Other inter-war positions he held include captain of the cruiser Augusta and assistant chief of the Bureau of Navigation in Washington. He was promoted rear admiral in 1938, commanding a cruiser division then a battleship division. He also held the position of the head of the Bureau of Navigation for a short while.

ww2dbaseAfter the attack on Pearl Harbor, Nimitz was was placed in charge of the Pacific Fleet, replacing admiral Kimmel who shouldered most of the blame. Urged on by Admiral Ernest King, Commander-in-Chief of the US Fleet, Nimitz sent William Halsey to attack the Marshall Islands and Frank Fletcher to raid the Gilbert Islands, starting the early phases of his island hopping strategy. This strategy clashed with the strategies of the other Pacific region personalities, which includes MacArthur's wish to strike Philippines, and King's plan to take Taiwan as a forward base to control the Japanese advance in China.

ww2dbaseIn November 1945 Nimitz replaced King as Commander in Chief of the US Fleet, having previously named a five-star admiral. Nimitz retired from the United States Navy in 1947, and two years later became a good will ambassador for the United Nations. He passed away in 1966.

ww2dbaseSource: The Pacific Campaign

Famous Quote(s)

Chester Nimitz Timeline

24 Feb 1885 Chester Nimitz was born.
5 Jul 1919 Joseph Stilwell departed France.
25 Dec 1941 US Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
31 Dec 1941 Admiral Chester Nimitz assumed command of the US Navy Pacific Fleet; the ceremony was performed on board submarine Grayling at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
24 Mar 1942 Admiral Chester Nimitz was appointed the Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Theater.
3 Apr 1942 Admiral Chester Nimitz was confirmed as the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Area.
1 May 1942 Chester Nimitz departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii and later in the day arrived at Midway Atoll.
2 May 1942 Chester Nimitz inspected defenses on Sand Island and Eastern Island of Midway Atoll.
3 May 1942 Chester Nimitz departed Midway Atoll and returned to Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
12 May 1942 Chester Nimitz, based in Pearl Harbor in US Territory of Hawaii, received orders from Ernest King to withdraw William Halsey's carrier task force from areas near Japanese land-based aircraft, but Halsey was to remain in South Pacific region.
13 May 1942 Chester Nimitz, based in Pearl Harbor in US Territory of Hawaii, informed Ernest King that the next Japanese offensive would likely be aimed at Nauru and Ocean Islands, but it was also possible that the following offensive might be targeting the Hawaiian Islands or even the west coast of the United States, thus King should allow the two carriers currently in the South Pacific to move to the Central Pacific. In the evening, he secretly ordered William Halsey to conduct a show of force with his carrier force in the Tulagi, Solomon Islands area to deter the Japanese from moving against Nauru and Ocean Islands.
5 Sep 1942 Admiral Chester Nimitz requested the Marine Aircraft Wings, Pacific to be relocated from San Diego, California, United States to Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
28 Sep 1942 Chester Nimitz arrived at Nouméa, New Caledonia, which was his first stop in a front-line inspection tour of the Solomon Islands area.
28 Oct 1942 From his headquarters in Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, Chester Nimitz sent Ernest King a message protesting Joseph Rochefort's removal.
1 Jul 1943 Chester Nimitz submitted a tentative plan for operations against the Marshall Islands.
19 Dec 1944 Chester Nimitz was promoted to the rank of fleet admiral.
5 Oct 1945 A parade was held in Washington DC, United States in honor of Chester Nimitz.
20 Feb 1966 Chester Nimitz passed away on Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco, California, United States.


Admiral Chester Nimitz, circa 1942Portrait of Chester Nimitz, circa early 1900s; note signaturePortrait of Chester Nimitz, circa 1905Ensign Chester Nimitz aboard a US Navy training ship, circa 1907
See all 77 photographs of Chester Nimitz


Newsreel of Japanese signing formal instruments of surrender aboard USS MissouriRoosevelt, Nimitz, MacArthur, and Leahy at the Queen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. LaPrecious Doctor (803)556-4669 says:
7 May 2008 05:16:04 PM

i really trust that the information on this site is accurate because i am using as one of my sources for a class project.(counting 25% of my yearly grade)
2. Anonymous says:
2 Jan 2009 12:32:13 PM

you should put info about his family on there
3. Anonymous says:
13 Feb 2009 07:40:49 AM

very awsome website
4. Anonymous says:
10 Apr 2011 05:20:54 PM

How come the quote from him at the WW2 memorial isn't on here? Does anyone know it?
5. Sarah says:
28 Apr 2011 08:11:13 AM

His familey was 3 daughters and 1 son and a wife
6. Anonymous says:
28 Sep 2013 06:34:46 PM

For more information visit The national museum of the Pacific war is in his home town and his grandfathers hotel is part of that museum
7. we are anonymous says:
11 Nov 2015 01:29:02 PM

this was a helpful sight
8. P. Kimbro says:
16 Mar 2016 05:20:09 PM

A must see is the Admiral Chester Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg Texas. It is awesome. If you are a history buff, or are interested in WWII you wont be disappointed.
9. Jeremiah Bates says:
3 May 2016 10:35:21 AM

Extremely helpful, thank you Peter!
10. Alice Wood says:
25 Feb 2017 09:14:07 AM

Fredericksburg, Texas is a small town that is in central Texas. I think it's pretty funny such an accomplished Admiral came from a landlocked town! The town was settled by Germans before the Republic of Texas. The citizens still speak German, as well as English, and have newspapers published in German.

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More on Chester Nimitz
Event(s) Participated:
» Pacific Strategy Conference
» Japan's Surrender

Ship(s) Served:
» Arizona
» Holland

» Japanese Instrument of Surrender
» US Navy Report of Japanese Raid on Pearl Harbor

Chester Nimitz Photo Gallery
Admiral Chester Nimitz, circa 1942
See all 77 photographs of Chester Nimitz

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945