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Chester W. Nimitz

" . . . do the best you can on every assignment or undertaking—and do not worry

over matters over which you have no control or influence"

Chester William Nimitz, 1885-1966. American Fleet Admiral; Commander In Chief of Pacific Naval Forces in World War II. Autographed Letter Signed, C. W. Nimitz, one page, 8" x 10½", on imprinted personal stationery, San Francisco, California, November 8, 1962.

This is a desirable letter from one of the United States' greatest naval commanders. Nimitz emphatically denies reports that he intends to write his memoirs and gives a guideline for success. He writes, in part: “Any report that I am writing my memoirs is in error—as I do not plan such a project—because the historians have covered the subject very thoroughly. / I do not have any fixed rules for attaining success—but a good working rule is to do the best you can on every assignment or undertaking—and do not worry over matters over which you have no control or influence.” Nimitz also says that he is sending a signed photograph (not present) under separate cover.

Ten days after Japan attacked and destroyed virtually all of the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, Nimitz was promoted to admiral and named Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet. He thus drew the daunting task of assembling 1,000 ships and 2,000,000 sailors to face the Japanese Imperial Navy. Nimitz carefully deployed the cruisers and carriers that remained, and despite the shortage of ships, airplanes, and supplies, he succeeded in halting the Japanese advance. Nimitz not only took command of the Pacific Fleet but was designated Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, which gave him operational control over all of the allied air, land, and sea forces in that sector. As ships became available, he went on the offensive. In a series of victories at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, the Solomon Islands campaign, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle for Leyte Gulf, Nimitz pounded the Japanese. He was promoted to Fleet Admiral on December 19, 1944. His forces' subsequent successful amphibious assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa drove the Japanese back to their home islands.

When Japan formally surrendered on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, Fleet Admiral Nimitz signed the instrument of surrender for the United States.

Nimitz was the third of four Americans given the rank of Fleet Admiral during World War II. The others were William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, and William F. Halsey, Jr. Nimitz was the last survivor of the group. The rank is reserved for wartime, but despite American conflicts since World War II, there has been no Fleet Admiral since Nimitz's death.

Nimitz has penned and signed this letter in gray-black ink. The letter has two horizontal mailing folds, but neither affects the text. It is lightly age toned, and there is an old dealer pencil notation on the back. It is in fine condition.




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