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Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
U.S. Navy (USN) Chief of Naval Operations

Chester W. Nimitz was born on February 24, 1885 to parents Chester Bernhard Nimitz and Anna Josephine (Henke) in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Wartime History
On December 17, 1941 Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is appointed Commander Pacific Fleet. During the middle of 1942, Navy leadership met to discuss war plans in the Pacific. When arriving, PBY Catalina transporting Admiral Nimitz was lost landing and crashed into the sea with the pilot killed. Rescued by Lt. Sam Sherman who was the first to arrive at the scene of the crash and rescued Nimitz from the sea. Nimitz refused a blanket and a shot of brandy, and had Sherman to immediately order divers to recover his hat from the wreckage. Sherman thought this was strange, but followed his orders. When the hat was retrieved, Nimitz relaxed for the first time. Later on Guam, when Nimitz met then-Commander Sherman on Guam, he explained that his hat had a waterproof liner and inside were the top secret plans for the invasion of Guadalcanal.

On December 15, 1944, the rank of five star Fleet Admiral was established and the next day U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt promoted Nimitz. On December 19, 1944 the rank was officially bestowed during a ceremony.

Click For EnlargementOn September 2, 1945 at 8:43am General Douglas MacArthur and Fleet Admiral Nimitz boarded USS Missouri BB-63 for the official surrender ceremony. At 8:56am the Japanese representatives boarded led by Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu. At 9:02am General Douglas MacArthur stepped to to the microphones and began the twenty-three minute ceremony. Nimitz was one of the signers. At 9:30am the Japanese representatives departed followed by MacArthur and Nimitz then the senior officers.

The hotel owned by his grandfather is today the Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site at the National Museum of the Pacific War (Nimitz Museum).

Naval History and Heritage Command - Chester William Nimitz

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