Admiral Halsey's Story

Admiral Halsey's Story

Admiral Halsey's Story

Admiral Halsey's Story

Excerpt

Fleet Admiral Halsey was attending a reception in 1946 when a woman broke through the crowd around him, grasped his hand, and cried, "I feel as if I were touching the hand of God!"

On the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked, William Frederick Halsey, Jr., was a vice admiral with the signal number 41, which means that he ranked forty-first among the officers of the United States Navy. He had won the Navy Cross in World War I and also held the Mexican Service Medal and the Victory Medal with Destroyer Clasp. In addition, Greece had given him the Order of the Redeemer, and Chile, the Al Merito, Primera Classe. His vice admiral's stripes and his long years of diversified service had made him well known in the Navy, but although he was listed in "Who's Who," as are all naval officers above captains, few civilians had heard his name.

By the time of the reception, five years later, he had become not only the most famous man in the United States Navy but the most famous living naval man in the world. He had jumped from the obscure pages of the "Navy Register" to the front pages of the world's newspapers, and from there into the pages of history.

He had been promoted two grades, his signal number was 7, and his five decorations had increased to twenty-four. He had been awarded the Navy's Distinguished Service Medal with three Gold Stars, the Army's Distinguished Service Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation with star, the American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with twelve combat stars, the Philippine Liberation Campaign ribbon with two stars, the American Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. Great Britain had made him an Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire, and Guatemala, a Supreme Chief in the Order of the Quetzal. Chile had raised him to the Grand Cross of the Legion of Merit. Colombia had given him the Grand . . .

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