During WWII, the US Navy gave birth to some of its top admirals.  The role of these Admirals in the war against Japan and in the wars against Germany and Italy was critical.  Listed in below – in alphabetical order – are some of the top US Navy Admirals of World War II.


Admiral Frank Fletcher – Though known for his participation in the Battle of Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, Fletcher is especially known as the first commander of a carrier-vs-carrier battle.  The carriers were never in sight of each other as the planes they launched engaged in fighting.  Fletcher participated in continuous combat in the Pacific theater from December 7, 1941 to September 30, 1942.



Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr. – During WWII, Halsey was commander of the South Pacific Area (1942-44).  From 1944-45, he was commander of the United States Third Fleet.  His participation and leadership in the Solomon Islands Campaign, the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Battle of Leyte Gulf earned him a place on this list.




Fleet Admiral Ernest King – King was the United States Chief of Naval Operations during World War II.  In this position, he directed all US Navy’s operations.  Having previously been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet (December, 1941), he was the only person to hold both commands simultaneously.




Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz – This WWII naval officer also held dual commands when he took command of the Pacific Ocean Area along with his position as Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet.  Fleet Admiral Nimitz was the leading authority on submarines for the US Navy.  He is accredited for his role in the Battle of Midway, which many felt was instrumental in turning the tide for the United States.




Admiral Raymond Spruance – Admiral Spruance commanded two of WWIIs most significant battles – the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Philippine Sea.  An official Navy historian accredited Spruance for his role in the Battle of Midway stating his “performance was superb”.


While the information provided on these Navy Admirals is brief, it is not a reflection on their incredible commitments.  Their involvement in the war is far more complex than the information presented here.  Throughout their WWII careers, these men maintained high standards of leadership, a standard which earned them their place on the list of top US Navy Admirals of WWII.


7 Responses to Top US Navy Admirals of WWII

  1. Mark Watson says:

    Question to your staff regarding the USS Mississippi (BB-41)

    I recently saw a photo of the USS Mississippi entering dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard about 1940 or so. High on the front of the superstructure of the battleship is what I took at first to be a large clockface, but the numbers around the face only go to ten. The hand(s) are at the top on zero or ten. Was this a timer? If so, was it for timing for hands manning posts on deck, or for the firing of the guns, or something else entirely? Is it on your model of the warship? Can you tell me the purpose?. Was it common on other ships, or unique to the USS Mississippi? I will appreciate anything you can tell me. Thanks.

    Mark Watson

    • alon2392 says:

      Hi Mark: First thanks for visiting our web-site and posting your question. I will present it to our historian and post a reply as soon as I have one. I’ll be interested to learn this myself.

    • alon2392 says:

      Hi Mark: Our historian would love to see the photo if you can locate it. Send it to me at kathy@armedforcesmuseum.com. Without the photo, he is unable to accurately identify the item in question.

  2. Mark says:

    The Clock looking device is just that. In the days before radar they used a range clock to target the guns. That is the device of which you speak.

  3. Mark Roberts says:

    An addendum to my earlier comment, yes it was common on all battleships of that era prior to the advent of radar. A good photo
    graphic source is:

  4. Mark Roberts says:

    The device Mark Watson is speaking of on the Mississippi was called a range clock used on all battleships of the era. It was used to site the guns on a target before the advent of radar made it obsolete.

  5. Lawrence C. Betzler says:

    Could You Help Me ??

    I am looking for a Rear Admiral….first name FRANK, who was at Bizerte, Tunisia in 1943.

    Thanks, Larry.

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