William Frederick Halsey, Jr. (Bull)

"Five star U.S. Navy admiral in World War II. He was a fleet commander in the South Pacific whose motto was ""Hit hard, hit fast, hit often."" " William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr. was born on October 30, 1882 in Elizabeth New Jersey, the son of Captain William F. Halsey, Sr. He was appointed to the Naval Academy by President McKinley in 1900 and graduated in 1904. "Bull" Halsey is best known for victories against the Japanese in the Second World War. During the First World War, he commanded destroyers that escorted convoys across the Atlantic, which was regularly patrolled by German U-Boats. In 1934, at the advanced age of 52, he became a naval aviator, and became an important advocate of carrier warfare. He was quickly assigned successive commands of carrier divisions during the late 1930s and early 1940s. His success in each subsequent assignment earned him promotions. He was promoted to vice admiral in 1940. Halsey was assigned to the USS Enterprise, which was at sea when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After the Japanese attack, Halsey's task force was virtually the only operational battle group left in the Pacific. Halsey bought time, while the United States rebuilt its fleet. He directed surprise raids on Japanese-held islands in the Marshalls and Gilberts as well as on Wake Island. He also aided in the first major U.S. retaliation, the famous April 18, 1942 "Doolittle Raid" on Tokyo. The following October, Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed Halsey Commander, South Pacific forces and South Pacific area. His command of the forces that captured Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and other key islands in the Solomon Island Chain made Halsey famous. During the next two months, he played a key role in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands and the naval Battle of Guadalcanal (November 12'15, 1943) and was promoted to admiral. In October 1944, Halsey was Nimitz's tactical commander for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. That action helped destroy the Japanese Navy. As the war in the Pacific drew to a close, Halsey's fleet participated in the final naval operations around Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands from May 28, 1945 until the Japanese surrender on August 14th. He lent his flagship, the USS Missouri, as the platform for Japan's formal surrender on September 2nd. Halsey was appointed fleet admiral on December 11, 1945. He was the fourth and last officer to hold that rank. He retired from the navy on March 1, 1947, and held the position of President of International Telecommunications Labs, Inc. until 1957. He died at Fishers Island Country Club, Conneticut, on August 16, 1959 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, next to his father.

Birth Location: 
Elizabeth, New Jersey, US
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Death Location: 
Fishers Island, New York, US
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