Spruance file photo [995]

Raymond Spruance

Given NameRaymond
Born3 Jul 1886
Died13 Dec 1969
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseRaymond Ames Spruance was described by Dan van der Vat as "sensitive, honest, and self-effacing and one of the fastest thinkers in uniform". Spruance was born in Baltimore, Maryland, United States in 1886. His career in the United States Navy was marked by a train of steady promotion based on his capable leadership skills and dedication to his posts after graduating the naval academy in 1906, despite his unfortunate tendency to become seasick often. His seagoing career was extensive, including command of five destroyers and the battleship Mississippi. Spruance also held several engineering, intelligence, staff and Naval War College positions up to the 1940s. In 1940-41, he was in command of the Tenth Naval District and Caribbean Sea Frontier. He was known to spend little time on the job outside his regularly-called-for hours (maintaining his own mental and physical health was his top agenda at all times), however his superiors could never reprimand on that, as his work ethics had him finishing all his tasks on-time and finishing them well, hence never needing the overtime to get work done.

ww2dbaseSpruance's most notable victory in his career was the Battle of Midway, where his critical thinking ultimately led to the destruction of four Japanese fleet carriers. His conservative tactics had been criticized by some, but it only reflected conflicting orders he had going into battle; he was in a difficult position, in fact. "I am one of those commanders who have two sets of orders", he said.

I have written orders to meet and defeat the Japanese. My oral orders are not to lose my force. If things go bacdly, I am to withdraw and let them have the place because they can't hold it and we will get it back.

ww2dbaseSpruance commanded the Pacific Fleet in late 1945 and early 1946, after which he was appointed the President of the Naval War College. He held that post until his Jul 1948 retirement. He returned to the Pacific region between 1952 and 1955 as the US Ambassador to the Philippines.

ww2dbaseSpruance passed away in Pebble Beach, California, United States in 1969. The US Navy named DD-963 in his honor.

ww2dbaseSources: Midway Dauntless Victory, the Pacific Campaign, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2005

Raymond Spruance Interactive Map


Flag officers aboard USS Enterprise being welcomed back to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 5 Feb 1942 after the Marshalls-Gilberts Raids. VAdm William Halsey (center) with RAdm’s Aubrey Fitch and Raymond Spruance at each end.Raymond Spruance, Chester Nimitz, and Holland Smith at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, Oct 1943Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance awarding Purple Heart to USMC Corporal John K. Galuszka aboard a hospital ship, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 17 Dec 1943. Corporal Galuszka had been wounded during the Gilberts Operation.Admiral Raymond Spruance and Admiral Chester Nimitiz aboard USS New Jersey, date unknown, photo 1 of 4
See all 26 photographs of Raymond Spruance

Raymond Spruance Timeline

3 Jul 1886 Raymond Spruance was born.
26 May 1942 US Navy Rear Admiral Spruance took over the responsibilities of Vice Admiral Halsey.
5 Aug 1943 US Navy Admiral Raymond Spruance, formerly the chief of staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Ocean Area, was named the commanding officer of the Central Pacific Area and the commanding officer of the Fifth Fleet.
13 Dec 1969 Raymond Spruance passed away.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
23 Apr 2020 02:34:47 PM

‘If a man is not inclined to risk his life for his country he should look elsewhere until he finds a country he will risk his life for. ‘ – Admiral Raymond Spruance (1886-1969)

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB
More on Raymond Spruance
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Okinawa Campaign

Ship(s) Served:
» Enterprise
» Indianapolis
» New Jersey
» New Mexico

Raymond Spruance Photo Gallery
Flag officers aboard USS Enterprise being welcomed back to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 5 Feb 1942 after the Marshalls-Gilberts Raids. VAdm William Halsey (center) with RAdm’s Aubrey Fitch and Raymond Spruance at each end.
See all 26 photographs of Raymond Spruance

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!