Admiral William F. Halsey and Vice Admiral John S. McCain on board USS Missouri (BB-63) shortly after the conclusion of the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945. The new Pacific Fleet commander quickly learned who was motivated. On the afternoon of the twenty-fourth, scouts from Task Force 34 found Vice Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa’s four carriers off the northeast end of Luzon. Subsequently Halsey became the first practitioner of the bypass strategy. Toward that end, in mid-1944, Nimitz established two huge and “separate but equal” fleets: the Third under Halsey and the Fifth under Spruance. Then from May onward Halsey presided over the final naval campaign, steering his fleet into another typhoon on June 5.
Miles Browning, an egotistical airman who had lost touch with advancing technology. The combined surface and air action proved costly for both sides: nine American warships and thirty-six aircraft versus two Japanese battleships, four other warships, eleven transports, and sixty-four aircraft. A The end result was a delay of hours, when minutes counted. Kill Japs! The Japanese evacuated their remaining troops from Guadalcanal in February 1943, permitting the Allies to consolidate their hold in the Solomons. Meanwhile, Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid’s Seventh Fleet supported MacArthur’s amphibious operations.In June 1944 the Fifth Fleet seized the Marianas, putting B-29s within range of Tokyo.
Spruance, a nonaviator, relied on Halsey’s staff for aviation expertise and was not well served. A
Nimitz apparently felt a lingering loyalty to the Bull of 1942, and whereas King was notably unsentimental, he refused to hand the army a talking point when the postwar political climate clearly showed more feuds over budgets, roles, and missions.Today, the dwindling number of men who sailed under Halsey remain divided in their opinion of the leader, if not the man.
Halsey detested the Japanese Empire and seldom missed an opportunity to excoriate the enemy while encouraging his men to slay the foe in increasing numbers. Frustrated beyond reckoning, he was “beached” in Hawaii.Nimitz’s code breakers learned that month of Japan’s plan to seize Midway Atoll, only 1,100 miles from Oahu, making a counterstroke essential. It was perhaps the best example that he could be more than an instinctual fighter.Halsey remained at the helm of the South Pacific theater until early 1944, occasionally coordinating with MacArthur’s adjoining Southwest Pacific theater.
Historians still ponder the what-ifs of his career: the ailment that prevented him from commanding during the battle at Midway, the lapses that led to unnecessary losses at Leyte Gulf and “Halsey’s Typhoon,” the December 1944 storm that sank three destroyers and wrecked much of his Third Fleet.Halsey was born into a navy family and, like so many navy juniors, followed the same path as his father, graduating the Naval Academy in 1904, forty-second in a class of sixty-two. As South Pacific commander he had disposed of perhaps three carriers and two battleships at a time: now he had four task groups, each with that many ships or more. He could not lead a fleet because he could not control himself. Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance replaced him as commander of Task Force 16. Designed & Developed by JME International Ltd The next day when He meant it from his core. He saw the war as a gut-level conflict and ordered his priorities accordingly. Served with John McCain, Sr., grandfather of Senator The slugfest known as the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was fought and won on November 12–15. In the years to follow he accumulated an enormous amount of seagoing experience. By continuing to browse or by clicking “Accept All Cookies,” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts Chester Nimitz, a gentleman to his core, had seemingly jabbed Bill Halsey with a bitterly sarcastic rebuke.Meanwhile, Seventh Fleet waited three hours for clarification that Halsey’s battleships were charging northward to engage Ozawa. “The Battle off Samar was for a time the victory whose name the navy dared not speak,” Historian Jim Hornfischer noted.