NIMITZ, Chester William (1885-1966), American naval officer,
born in Fredericksburg, Tex., and educated at the U.S. Naval Academy. During World War I he was chief of staff to the commander of the submarine force of the Atlantic Fleet. In 1938, after advancing
through the ranks, he was appointed rear admiral. In December 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the U.S. into World War II, Nimitz was appointed commander in chief of the Pacific
Fleet, with the rank of four-star admiral. He was advanced to the position of fleet admiral in 1944. Nimitz's accomplished planning of strategy, bold tactics (as in the Battle of Midway), and brilliant use of his
staff and forces were largely responsible for the successes of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater during the war. He was chief of naval operations from December 1945 to December 1947, when he retired.