Halsey, William, born 30-10-1882 in Elisabeth, New Jersey.
Halsey explained about his ancestors in his memoirs, “Most were seafarers and adventurers, big, violent men, imptient of the law, and prone to strong drink and strong language.” [Halsey and Bryan] The sea ran in William’s blood. One ancestor was even a pirate–or at least arivateer–Captain. Jack Halsey. But it was not as deep as he portrayed. His parental grandfather was a rather ordinary Episcopal minister who plunged to his death when he got dizzy looking out the rectory window. His father was an Anapolis graduate, Captain William F. Halsey. He pursued a succesful career in the Navy, but one without great destinction. Of course without a major war there were few opportunities for destinctive service. He graduated in 1904 from the Naval Academy
with several athletic honors and he spent his early service years in battleships and torpedo boats, beginning with USS Du Pont in 1909. Lieutenant Commander Halsey’s World War I service, including command of USS Shaw in 1918, was sufficiently distinguished to earn a Navy Cross.
From 1922 through 1925, Halsey served as Naval Attaché in Berlin, Germany. Captain Halsey was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1938, commanding Carrier Divisions for the next three years, and as a Vice Admiral, also serving as the USN overall Commander of the Aircraft Battle Force. Vice Admiral Halsey was at sea in his flagship, USS Enterprise,
during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
and he was rumored to have remarked, “Before we’re through with ’em, the Japanese language will only be spoken in hell”. Just before the Battle of Midway he was beached by an irritating skin disease and Rear Admiral, Raymond Spruance
who, under the overall command of Rear Admiral, Chester Fletcher
led the American carrier forces to a victory against the Japanese Combined Fleet. Halsey took command in the South Pacific Area in mid-October 1942, at a critical stage of the Guadalcanal Campaign.
Admiral Halsey left the South Pacific in May 1944, as the war surged toward the Philippines and Japan. From September 1944 to January 1945, he led the U.S. Third Fleet
during campaigns to take the Palaus, Leyte and Luzon.
Halsey’s Third Fleet was assigned to cover and support Seventh Fleet operations around Leyte. This operation was to bring about the Battle for Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of the Second World War and, by some criteria, the largest naval battle in history, (see Did you know
). In early June 1945 Halsey here with admiral John McCain
again sailed the fleet into the path of a typhoon, and while ships sustained crippling damage, none were lost. Six lives were lost and 75 planes were lost or destroyed, with almost 70 badly damaged. A Navy court of inquiry was convened, and it suggested that Halsey be reassigned, but Admiral, Chester William Nimitz
recommended otherwise due to Halsey’s prior service. He was present when Japan formally surrendered on the deck of his flagship, USS Missouri, on 02-09-1945.
Halsey was promoted to Fleet Admiral in December 1945 and retired from active duty in March 1947. His daughter Margaret Bradford Halsey Fulweiler
died December 1979 (aged 69). His son was William Fredrick Halsey III (Sept 8, 1915, to Sept 23-2003).
Death and burial ground of Halsey, William Frederick “Bull”.
Halsey died on 16-08-1959 of a heart attack, on Fishers Island, New York and was interred with his wife Francis, born Grandy, who died age 81 in 1967, on Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2.
Close by in Section 2, the graves of General, Commander 92nd “ Negro Division” , Edward Almond
, Major General, Commander 8th Bomber Command Europe, Frederick Anderson
, Rear Admiral, Commander Destroyer Greyson, Frederic Bell
, Navy Admiral, “Operation Crossroads”, William Blandy
, General, Commander 32nd Infantry Division, Clovis Byers
Navy Admiral. Battle of the Leyte Gulf, Robert Carney
, Air Force General Lieutenant
, Claire Chennault
, Lieutenant General, Commander 4th Corps, Italy Campaign, Willis Crittenberger
, Brigadier General, First African-American General, Benjamin Davis
, Quartermaster Lieutenant General, John Lesesne De Witt
, Major General and Head OSS, William “Wild Bill” Donovan
, Brigadier General, Speck Easley
, Marine Corps Major General, Commander 1st Raider Battalion, Merrit “Red Mike”Edson
, Lieutenant General, VIII Army, Robert Eichelberger
, Navy Admiral, Commander Nord Pacific Fleet, Frank Fletscher
and Navy Admiral, Commander VII Forces, William Fechteler
, Lieutenant General, Commander 86th Infantry Division, Ridegley Gaither
, Major General, Commander 29th Infantry Division, D-Day, Charles Gerhardt