Posted by: arbeam | February 26, 2014

Celebrating A Legacy: USS Nimitz’ Namesake

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) — The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is celebrating the life of its namesake, Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, during the week of Feb. 24 – 28.

Bronze Statue of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz in front of the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Bronze Statue of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz in front of the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Chester Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg, Texas, Feb. 24, 1885. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1905, he served at various commands that led up to his selection to admiral. He played a huge role in the success of the U.S. in the war in the Pacific during World War II when he consequently received his promotion to fleet admiral Dec. 19, 1944. Adm. Nimitz would go on to act as the U.S. signatory to the Japanese surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay the following year.

During his long and successful career he developed an incomparable leadership style that continued long after the war ended. He passed away Feb. 20, 1966, just days shy of his 81st birthday, and two years later the construction began of the first in a new class of super-carriers to bear his name.

“We are so proud to share a legacy with such an admirable leader,” said Capt. Jeff Ruth, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. “While it sets the bar high, the ship and its crew continue to perform as leaders in the carrier community, honorably paving the way as the first in its class.”

Sailors on board celebrated in a few ways including sharing various unique multimedia products with the world, a message over the ship’s announcement system, and a cake-cutting on the mess decks.

Adm. Nimitz’ grandson Chet Lay, son of Catherine Nimitz Lay, provided products and a noteworthy interview over the phone.

The fleet admiral’s eldest daughter Catherine smashed the champagne bottle on the aircraft carrier’s bow May 13, 1972 christening USS Nimitz. Since that day she has continued to share a special bond with the ship, one that she has passed down to her children as well. “She wants to thank all of you for keeping the country so strong and so safe,” Chet Lay said on behalf of his mother during the interview. “And she feels that Nimitz is her ship and always will be and she is very proud of all of you.”

Other Sailors are just as eager to participate in the significant celebration.

“This is a great day in history,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Kendra Bellinger at the Feb. 24 cake-cutting ceremony. “It’s the birth of one of the greatest admirals in history and we are celebrating his hard work and life today.”

Feb. 24 the ship posted a link to a set of never-before published photos of Adm. Nimitz with family and friends provided by Chet Lay. Feb. 25 will bring an audio interview, providing a unique look into Nimitz’ personal life. Feb. 26, viewers can expect to see a photo album containing the rare photos along with caption information. Feb. 27 the ship will publish a special edition of its weekly publication “Nimitz News” with a more in-depth history of Adm. Nimitz’ leadership techniques and accomplishments.

Feb. 28, Nimitz will post the link to Fleet Adm. Nimitz’ “Gray Book,” digitized and published by the Naval War College. The book, named simply for the color of its cover, is a collection of communications between Nimitz and other commanders during World War II. The journal, originally classified as top secret, was declassified in 1972 and provides an in-depth look into U.S. strategies and actions during the war.

Those interested can celebrate with Nimitz by checking the ship’s Facebook page every day to see the new products and information.

By Mass Communication Specialsit 2nd Class Jacquelyn D. Childs, USS Nimitz Public Affairs



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