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Chester William Nimitz
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Nimitz  received  some  15  decorations  and  awards from  foreign  governments.   After   his   release   from active  duty,  he  served  for  8  years  as  Regent  for  the University    of    California.    He    received    honorary degrees  from  19  universities  and  colleges,  including Notre   Dame,   Columbia,   Northwestern,   Syracuse, Tulane, Harvard, and Princeton. WILLIAM FREDERICK HALSEY, JR Admiral  Nimitz  was  fortunate  to  have  under  his command   many   extremely   resourceful,   intelligent, dedicated, and courageous officers. Among these were such commanders as Raymond A. Spruance, Thomas C. Kinkaid, Marc A.  Mitscher,  John  S.  McCain,  and R.   K.   Turner.   Probably   the   most   famous   leader, however, was Admiral William F. (Bill) Halsey (fig. 2- 15).    (Although    reporters    tagged    him    with    the nickname “Bull,” Halsey disliked it because it seemed flamboyant.) His determination to succeed earned 134.133 Figure 2-15.-Admiral Halsey was an exceptional commander. Although he had a flair for doing the spectacular in a dashing way, his valor and audacity were tempered by tactical discretion. Admiral Nimitz, then CINPAC, once said of him, "He...can calculate to a cat's whisker the risk involved." him the designation of naval aviator at the age of 52, a  prerequisite  to   being   assigned   a   captain   of   an aircraft carrier. During  the  attack  on  Pearl  Harbor,  Halsey  was about  200  miles  at  sea.  He  was  returning  to  Pearl Harbor  in  his  flagship  Enterprise  from  Wake  Island where  he  had  delivered  Marine  Fighter  Squadron 221.  He  took  no  part  in  the  action  except  to  launch aircraft in a fruitless search for the enemy. Early  in  1942  Admiral  Nimitz  chose  Halsey  to conduct the first offensive raid in the central Pacific. Halsey’s   forces   of   2   carriers,   5   cruisers,   and   10 destroyers made a bold attack beginning 1 February against   the   Japanese-held   Gilbert   and   Marshall Islands.  They  bombed  and  bombarded  enemy  bases on   nine   separate   islands.   During   the   action,   the heavy  cruiser  Chester  took  one  bomb  hit,  and  the flagship Enterprise was grazed on the flight deck by a suicide pilot; no other ships were damaged during the entire   operation.   Among   other   benefits,   the   raid reestablished the offensive spirit within the Navy and answered a question being asked at home—“Where is the Navy?” Four  months  after  the  “Day  of  Infamy”  (Pearl Harbor),   Halsey’s   forces   conducted   a   unique   and dangerous carrier operation. They transported 16  B- 25 Army bombers across an ocean and launched them 650 miles off enemy shores. The squadron of planes, led  by  Lieutenant  Colonel  James  Doolittle,  took  off from the Hornet to bomb Tokyo. That attack boosted American morale, which at that time was very low. Halsey’s  flagship,  the  Enterprise,  was  the  first carrier awarded a Presidential Unit Citation in World War  II.  The  citation  was  presented  for  consistently outstanding performance and distinguished achievements     during     repeated     action     against Japanese   forces.   The   Enterprise,   under   Halsey’s leadership,  took  part  in  nearly  every  major  carrier engagement in the first year of the war. Exclusive of the    damage    and    destruction    of    hostile    shore installations  throughout  the  battle  area,  it  sank  or damaged 35 enemy ships and shot down 185 aircraft. The Enterprise was reported sunk by the Japanese so many times it became known as “the galloping ghost of the Oahu coast. ” On    18    October    1942    Halsey    was    appointed Commander  of  the  South  Pacific  Force  and  South Pacific  area.  Starting  with  the  decisive   American victory in November  at  Guadalcanal,  Halsey’s  forces stopped the Japanese advance in the South 2-19

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