Nimitz, Chester

Nimitz, Chester (William)

(1885–1966) naval officer; born in Fredericksburg, Texas. He supervised the construction of the navy's first diesel ship engine (1913–16). He was chief of staff to the commander of the Atlantic fleet submarine division in World War I. He was chief of the Bureau of Navigation (1939–41) and became commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet after Pearl Harbor (1941). In 1942 he was named commander of all land, sea, and air forces in the Pacific. He refused to attack until U.S. forces were fully ready, in spite of pressure from Congress and the newspapers. He developed much of the strategy of "island hopping" while leading the fleet to many victories. He signed for the U.S.A. at the Japanese surrender ceremonies, which took place aboard his flagship, the USS Missouri, in 1945. He served as chief of naval operations after the war (1945–47).