DSC02456Since we are about to send Fleet Admiral Nimitz off to Hawaii, we thought we would share some history of this remarkable man.

Fleet Admiral Nimitz enjoyed an illustrious Naval career. Born on February 24, 1885, in Fredericksburg, TX, he hoped to start his Army career by attending West Point. When this didn’t materialize, he tested for selection to Annapolis and was appointed. After graduation, he fulfilled his required two years of sea duty in the Far East and upon returning to the U. S., was ordered to submarine duty. ManyDSC02458 years later he returned to land duty where he was assigned to diesel engine training; then back to sea duty to set up a submarine base in Pearl Harbor. Following this, he was assigned to the Naval War College, where his varied expertise was put to good use studying Pacific Ocean war logistics.

At the height of World War II, he was promoted to Fleet Admiral—one among only four. When the Japanese surrendered on September  2, 1945, on board the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, Fleet Admiral Nimitz signed the surrender document on behalf of the United States.

Following the war, he became a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations and worked to repair relations with Japan by raising funds to restore the Japanese memorial ship, Mikasa, and encouraging the return of any ancestral Samurai swords that had been acquired during the war. He believed in the importance of turning “swords into plowshares”. Post World War II, he turned down his many offers of prestigious positions in consideration of “how the Gold Star Mothers might feel”.

Fleet Admiral Nimitz died at his home in San Francisco on February 20, 1966. He was the last surviving five-star admiral. If you’d like to learn more about Fleet Admiral Nimitz, click here.

Rip considers it an honor to have been selected to memorialize Fleet Admiral Nimitz in bronze. We invite you to join us as we celebrate the completion of this sculpture. Read more here about the planned festivities.