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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

Last Major Revision: Mar 2005

Famous Quote(s)

Chester Nimitz Interactive Map


Admiral Chester Nimitz, circa 1942Portrait of Chester Nimitz, circa early 1900s; note signature
See all 98 photographs of Chester Nimitz


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

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.
18 May 1942 At Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, Edwin Layton informed Joseph Rochefort that while Chester Nimitz would like to receive further evidence that Midway Atoll was indeed the next Japanese target. Meanwhile, Chester Nimitz ordered William Halsey to bring his carrier group back to the Hawaiian Islands as a precaution.
27 May 1942 Jack Kleiss was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal by Admiral Chester Nimitz aboard USS Enterprise.
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 NoumĂ©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.
14 Apr 1943 US Navy Fleet Radio Unit Pacific Fleet decoded a intercepted Japanese Navy message, which allowed the US to learn that Yamamoto was planning on an inspection of three front-line bases on and near Bougainville Island. The decrypted message was immediately forwarded to Admiral Chester Nimitz at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.
1 Jul 1943 Chester Nimitz submitted a tentative plan for operations against the Marshall Islands.
24 Aug 1943 Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander US Pacific Fleet, personally inspected the torpedo damage to USS Honolulu's bow in DryDock #1 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
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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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 www.pacificwarmuseum.org. 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.
22 May 2018 01:10:33 AM

I am happy to find this site. I want to get information about my late husbands time spent during WWII with Admiral Nimitz when he was n the secret "cave" where the red phone to President Roosevelt was. He was sent to Pearl Harbor in 1942 and I understand it was called CINCPAC and was in a small mountain and was a secret until after the War was over. My husband was there from age 19 to age 23 in Oct 1945 when I met him when he returned. Admiral Nimitz treated him with the respect of a good worker and almost as a family member. When it was time to return back home to Seattle, Wa. at the end of WWII, he gave him a box of pictures of interest of and about the area & duties he worked in, to take home for his rememberance, non confidential photos. Sad to say his home burned down the following April and he lost everything but the clothes he was wearing. I tell you all this as I am doing pages of his genealogy for his children and want them to know the job he was able to do for our country even though he couldn't pass the tests to join the Navy as he had been hit by and drug behind the bumper of a car as a teen and injured & scarred up his whole back. He was still strong and was even Bobo Olson's sparring partner in the gym, if you are old enough to know who that is. :-) Can anyone help me with where I can find any pictures of that old CINCPAC secret "cave"? I don't care if it is all grown over with berry vines or what ever. I just want to share his interesting story of what he was proud to have done to help out during WWII. Thank you & God Bless.
12. Paul Kautto says:
14 Nov 2018 07:56:31 AM

For more information on Admiral Nimitz, and the other WW2 5-star admirals, see the reference in the comment posted 14 Nov 2018 at [ https://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=27534 ].
13. Jamie Tinley says:
19 Mar 2020 11:09:52 AM

I'm looking for a picture or at least an entry in a diary or calendar event for Nov 9, 1945 or maybe slightly before or after. My father, Captain John Tinley, got it eagle scout from Admiral Nimitz in 1945. The official eagle scout was printed on Nov 9th but I'm not sure if that was the ceremony day or not. He lived down the street from him on 71 Santa Barbara Drive. Nimitz was on 728 Santa Barbara Drive. Again, any picture, Diary, Calendar event although I'm sure he was too busy to record such a day it would be great if he did.
14. Jamie Tinley says:
19 Mar 2020 11:25:42 AM

I would think adding this important date below would be important to have on this page too:
Sept 2, 1945 Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, and Pacific Ocean Areas, signs the Instrument of Surrender as United States representative, during the surrender ceremonies on board USS Missouri (BB-63),
15. Anonymous says:
18 Mar 2021 10:01:44 AM

My Father in-law was one of Nimitz’s Marine guards in Hawaii. He has long passed. He had tossed his Garrison hat at my father in-law so it’s in our family and we have some photos of Nimitz as well. Anyone know if there are many others garrison hats of the Admiral Nimitz out there?

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More on Chester Nimitz
Event(s) Participated:
» Operation Vengeance
» 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 1942Portrait of Chester Nimitz, circa early 1900s; note signature
See all 98 photographs of Chester Nimitz

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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