Hawaii's Nimitz Highway, the main traffic artery that runs from the airport to Waikiki, was named for the man who helped build the submarine base at Pearl Harbor.
Naval officer Chester William Nimitz (1885-1966) was born on this day in Fredericksburg, Texas. An outstanding strategist, the famous Fleet Admiral was best known for leading World War II's Allied Navy to victory in the Pacific.
"If you're not making waves, you're not under weigh," he once said.
Nimitz graduated from the Annapolis Naval Academy in 1905, served quietly in the Philippines, then transferred to submarines where he quickly became an expert on those boats. In 1939, the distinguished officer headed the Bureau of Navigation in Washington D.C.
Everything changed after December 7, 1941.
Right after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Nimitz was promoted to Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. The astute leader helped rebuild the fleet after the surprise attack.
With aggressive preparation and planning, he directed the decisive and miraculous Battle at Midway in June 1942, the turning point of the war in the Pacific which led to the surrender of Japan.
Historian Samuel Eliot Morrison praised the five-star Fleet Admiral as "a realist of long views with an immense capacity for work, and an equal talent for obtaining the best work of others."
At the 1975 commissioning of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, President Gerald Ford said the Admiral was "a keen strategist who never forgot that he was dealing with human beings, on both sides of the conflict. He was aggressive in war without hate, audacious while never failing to weigh the risks."'
Hang tough. Hold on.