Pacific. (However, sporadic action on or near
Guadalcanal continued into the following
February.) Halsey conducted brilliantly planned
and consistently sustained offensives through
December 1943. Halseys forces secured the South
Pacific area by driving the enemy steadily
northward while occupying strategic positions
throughout the Solomons.
After Halsey led his forces to victory at
Guadalcanal, President Roosevelt nominated him
for the unheard of fourth star. Having more than
four full admirals on active duty in the Navy was
unheard of, and we already had themKing,
Nimitz, Stark, and Ingersoll. A grateful Congress
approved the nomination anyhow.
In June 1944 Halsey assumed command of the
Third Fleet. Beginning in August, his forces left
a trail of enemy ruin and destruction. Starting at
Palau (a small group of islands north of New
Guinea) and the south China Sea, they went up
through the Philippines, Formosa, and Okinawa.
They inflicted greater loss on the Japanese navy
than had ever before been suffered by any fleet.
In a magnificent sweep into enemy waters between
August 1944 and January 1945, the Third Fleet
destroyed 4,370 enemy aircraft and sank 82
combatant ships and 327 auxiliaries. That was a
sharp contrast to the United States loss of 449
aircraft and the light cruiser Princeton.
After the Okinawa campaign, Halsey headed
for Tokyo to conduct preinvasion operations. His
fast carrier task force was the greatest mass of
sea power ever assembled. It included three task
groups, each consisting of five carriers and a
battleship-cruiser-destroyer screen. Units of the
British Pacific Fleet joined his forces in July, with
Halsey in overall command. The ships and planes
of Task Force 38 blasted every industry and
resource that enabled Japan to make war. They
knocked out remnants of the once mighty
Japanese fleet, found hiding in camouflage nets
throughout the length of the Honshu Island.
When the cease-fire order was flashed on 15
August 1945, Halseys forces had destroyed or
damaged nearly 3,000 aircraft and sunk or
disabled 1,650 combatant and merchant ships.
Halseys actions were characteristically
audacious and brilliantly planned, exemplifying
his slogan to Hit hard, hit fast, hit often!
In recognition of his exceptional war record,
Admiral Halsey was nominated for the grade of
Fleet Admiral in November 1945. After the Senate
confirmed his nomination, he took the oath as
Fleet Admiral on 11 December 1945. He became
the fourth, and last, officer to hold that grade.
After his return to the United States in
October 1945, Halsey served as a goodwill
ambassador on a 6-week trip through Central and
South America. He was given numerous awards
in the form of parades, reviews, gifts, and military
At his own request, Halsey retired from the
Navy on 1 March 1947.
SEAMAN JOHNNIE HUTCHINS
In 1943 Seaman Johnnie Hutchins took his
place among the tradition makers of the United
States Navy. At that time the LST 473, carrying
men, tanks, and supplies, was part of a landing
force heading for a Japanese position on New
Guinea. The ship met stiff opposition as it
advanced, with shells dropping in the water close
aboard. Suddenly a Japanese torpedo plane dived
low out of the sky and launched its torpedo
directly at the LST. In the pilothouse the
steersman saw the torpedo coming, as did Seaman
Hutchins who stood at his battle station nearby.
Before the steersman could swing the ship out of
the torpedos path, he was killed by a bomb that
hit the pilot house. Although Hutchins was fatally
wounded, he summoned enough strength to
stagger to the wheel and turn the ship clear of the
torpedo. The ship was saved, but Hutchins died
a short time later. In the face of death, this mans
last thought was not of himself, but of others.
GUNNERS MATE THIRD CLASS
PAUL HENRY CARR
On 25 October 1944 USS Samuel B. Roberts
(DE-413) was surrounded on three sides by
Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. The
men aboard the Roberts were unaware the battle
off Samar had begun. The thin-skinned destroyer
escort, with its 5-inch guns, was no match for the
18-inch guns of these Japanese heavyweights.
Even so, on it sailed, closing to within 4,000 yards
of a heavy cruiser and unleashing a spread of
Serving as a gun captain on Roberts aft
5"/38-caliber gun mount was a farm boy from
eastern Oklahoma. Carr, who was only 20 years
old, had never seen the ocean before he joined
the Navy in 1943. Now he was in the middle of
one of the most important naval battles of World
The only son in a family of nine children, Carr
grew upon a farm in Checotah, Oklahoma. Paul
learned responsibility at an early age. He always