|Born||24 Feb 1885|
|Died||20 Feb 1966|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
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
Last Major Revision: Mar 2005
- "Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
» 16 Mar 1945
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 NoumÃ©a, 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.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945