|Born||3 Jul 1886|
|Died||13 Dec 1969|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
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.
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 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.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945