(fig. 2-14). General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
signed as Supreme Commander for the Allied powers;
Fleet Admiral Nimitz signed as representative for the
On 11 December 1944, Congress had authorized
the establishment of the grades of Fleet Admiral and
General of the Army (the highest grades ever). The
establishment of these grades contained the proviso
that four Navy and four Army officers could be
elevated to those five-star grades. The President
immediately recommended Admirals Nimitz; William
D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the President; and Ernest
J. King, Commander-in- Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS)
for the grade of Fleet Admiral. (An interesting
sidelight to this title was that King thought the
original abbreviation CINCUSwas hardly
appropriate in view of the successful raid on Pearl
Harbor. Consequently, he changed the acronym to
COMINCH. During World War II, COMINCH was
changed to the title of Chief of Naval Operations
[CNO].) Congress approved the recommendations,
and Nimitz took his oath of office on 19 December.
Admiral Halsey, the fourth Navy recipient of the new
grade, received his promotion the following year.
Following the surrender of Japan, Fleet Admiral
Nimitz took over the top naval post of Chief of Naval
Operations (CNO). He relieved Fleet Admiral King of
his post as CNO on 15 December 1945.
Figure 2-14.-Day aboard the USS Missouri. Fleet Admiral Nimitz signs the Japanese surrender
document on 2 September 1945.