Categories: United States Navy Admirals, World War II | United States Naval Academy | Gillespie County, Texas | This Day In History February 20 | This Day In History February 24 | American Notables | Navy Distinguished Service Medal | Distinguished Service Medal | Silver Lifesaving Medal | World War I Victory Medal | Navy Commendation Star | American Defense Service Medal | Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal | World War II Victory Medal | National Defense Service Medal | Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath | Pacific Star | Grands-croix de la Légion d'honneur | Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California | Grand Crosses of the Order of George I | Order of Abdon Calderon First Class | Philippine Liberation Medal.
Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy (5 stars). He played a major role in the Naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet (CinCPac).
Nimitz, a German Texan, was born the son of Anna Josephine (Henke) and Chester Bernhard Nimitz on 24 February 1885 in Fredericksburg, Texas, where his grandfather's hotel is now the Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site. His frail, rheumatic father had died six months earlier, on 14 August 1884. He was significantly influenced by his German-born paternal grandfather, Charles Henry Nimitz, a former seaman in the German Merchant Marine.
He was appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Texas's 12th congressional district in 1901, and he graduated with distinction on 30 January 1905, seventh in a class of 114. Ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 he was selected as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT), with the rank of Admiral. Nimitz shifted to the offensive and defeated the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the pivotal Battle of Midway, and in the Solomon Islands Campaign.
Nimitz married Catherine Vance Freeman (22 March 1892 - 1 February 1979) on 9 April 1913 in Wollaston, Massachusetts. Nimitz and his wife had four children:
Nimitz suffered a stroke, complicated by pneumonia, in late 1965. In January 1966 he left the U.S. Naval Hospital (Oak Knoll) in Oakland to return home to his naval quarters. He died on the evening of 20 February 1966 at Quarters One on Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay. He was buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California on 24 February 1966.
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