Chester W. Nimitz Fact Sheet: Who was Chester W. Nimitz? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Chester W. Nimitz.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact File: Lifespan: 1885 - 1966 *** Full Name: Chester W. Nimitz *** Occupation: United States Fleet Admiral *** Date of Birth: Chester W. Nimitz was born on February 24th 1885 *** Place of Birth: Chester W. Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg, Texas, USA *** Family background: His father was Chester Berhard Nimitz whose family ties went back to Germany and his mother was Anna Josephine Henke. His father, a frail man, died six months before his birth. Although he was fatherless, he did however have his paternal grandfather, German born, Charles Henry Nimitz who played a very influential part in his life. As a German Merchant Marine he was a hard taskmaster but who taught him “the sea – like life itself – is a stern taskmaster. The best way to get along with either is to learn all you can, then do your best and don’t worry – especially about things over which you have no control.” *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Texas around his grandfather who would become a Texas Ranger in the Texas Mounted Volunteers in 1851 and later served as captain in the Gillespie Rifles Company during the Civil War on the side of the Confederate States *** Education: Chester W. Nimitz began his education at home but much later had decided to become an Army officer and so applied to West Point but there no appointments vacant. Instead James L Slayden, his congressman, advised him that there was one position left for the United States Naval Academy and the highest qualifying candidate would be accepted. He joined the United States Naval Academy from Texas’ 12th congressional district in 1901 and would graduate with a distinction seventh in his class of 114 in January 1905 ***
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 1: Chester W. Nimitz was born on February 24th 1885 during the 19th century period in history.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 2: He began his carrier on the battleship Ohio out of San Francisco and set sail for the Far East.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 3: The following year, in 1906 he transferred to the USS Baltimore a cruiser on which he served for the next two years as a warrant officer he would then become commissioned as an ensign.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 4: Over the next couple of years he served on various vessels namely the gunboat Panay, a destroyer Decatur and a cruiser Denver. While in command of the Decatur he ran aground and although the ship was freed the following day he was, nevertheless court-martialed and found guilty of neglect of duty. His punishment, a letter of reprimand. On board the USS Ranger he return to the United States and in January of 1909 began training in the First Submarine Flotilla.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 5: He would be given command of his first flotilla in May of 1909 with command of the USS Plunger. His next vessel was the USS Snapper and after that in November 1910 he assumed command of the USS Narwhal under which he also carried responsibility for being the Commander 3rd Submarine Division Atlantic Torpedo Fleet in 1911.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 6: Chester W. Nimitz would be put in command of the Atlantic Submarine Flotilla between May 1912 and March 1913. He would also be ordered to oversee the diesel engines being built for the oil tanker fleet Maumee which was being constructed at the New London Ship and Engine Company in Groton, Connecticut.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 7: In 1913 he was sent to Nuremberg in Germany to study diesel engines at their plant. Speaking German was a particular bonus and from there he visited Ghent in Belgium before returning to New York Navy Yard where he became an engineering officer and executive for the Maumee as she was commissioned in October of 1916.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 8: As the United States declared war on German in April of 1917 he was aboard the Maumee while it served as a refueling ship for the US Navy destroyers, first squadron, to cross the Atlantic to take up the fight.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 9: By February of 1918 he was appointed chief of staff and had been awarded a Letter of Commendation for meritorious service as COMSUBLANT’s chief of staff and in September that year he reported for duty to the Office of the chief of Naval Operations and in October was given the additional duty as Senior Member, Board of Submarine Design.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 10: After the war he returned home spending three years as assistant chief of the Bureau of Navigation before being given command of Cruiser Division 2, Battle Force and in September of 1938 he was given command of Battleship Division 1, Battle Force and in June of 1939 he would be appointed chief of the Bureau of Navigation.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 11: It was ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbor that he would be chosen as command in chief, United States Pacific Fleet and promoted to the rank of admiral.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 12: He could not have been given such a command at a more crucial time, every battle ship that was at Pearl Harbor was either damaged or sunk, there was a massive shortage of supplies, planes and ships but Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was still able organize his forces to stop the Japanese advances.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 13: In March of 1942 the recently formed US-British Combined Chiefs of Staff gave a directive that the Pacific theater would come directly under American purview.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 14: The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff then decided that it would be prudent to split this area into three further areas creating a Pacific Ocean Area, the Southwest Pacific Area and the Southeast Pacific area and Nimitz was given overall control over all of the Allied Units, land, sea and air.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 15: The more man power and equipment that became available the more the battle became one of offensive and the Japanese were defeated in such conflicts as the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Solomon Islands campaign and the crucial Battle of Midway.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 16: Under and Act of Congress, the highest grade given within the Navy, Fleet Admiral, was approved in December of 1944 and the President, Franklin Roosevelt awarded it to Admiral Nimitz.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 17: The closing stages of the Pacific War came with an attack on the Mariana Islands and the winning of the Battle of the Philippine Sea defeating the Japanese and culminated by successful amphibious assaults on Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 18: The Pacific Fleet headquarters was moved from Pearl Harbor to Guam until the end of the war and Japan formally surrendered to the USA in Tokyo Bay on board the Missouri with Fleet Admiral Nimitz signing on behalf of the US on October the 5th 1945.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 19: Chester W. Nimitz was nominated as chief of Naval Operations in December 1945 to serve a term of only 2 years. He retired from active duty on December 15th 1947 but he would continue to attend ceremonial post as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy.
Chester W. Nimitz Fact 20: On February 20th 1966, having suffered a stroke with complications due to pneumonia Chester W. Nimitz died in his home in San Francisco Bay. He remains were laid to rest, with full military honors, at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.
Influence and Legacy: “Nimitz’s greatest legacy as CNO is arguably his support of Admiral Hyman Richolver’s effort to convert the submarine fleet from diesel to nuclear propulsion.”
List of Awards present to Chester W. Nimitz:
*** Navy Distinguished Service Medal (4) *** Army Distinguished Service Medal *** Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom) *** Legion of Honor (France) ***
Short Facts about Chester W. Nimitz for Kids
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