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Introduction

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Admiral Halsey's Story

by
Fleet Admiral
William F. Halsey, USN


published by
McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
New York : London
1947

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

next:

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Chapter 2
This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p1  
[image ALT: 5 five-pointed stars arranged in a pentagon]

1

My life reached its climax on August 29, 1945. I can fix even the minute, 9:25 A.M., because my log for the forenoon watch that day contains this entry: "Steaming into Tokyo Bay, COMTHIRDFLEET in Missouri. Anchored at 0925 in berth F71." For forty-five years my career in the United States Navy had been building toward that moment. Now those years were fulfilled and justified.

Still, I don't want to be remembered as "Bull" Halsey, who was going to ride the White Horse. "Bull" is a tag the newspapers tied to me. I was named for my father, so I started out as "Young Bill"; then I became plain "Bill"; and more recently I suppose it is inevitable for my juniors to think of me, a fleet admiral and five times a grandfather, as "Old Bill." Now that I am sitting down to my autobiography, it is Bill Halsey whom I want to get on paper, not the fake, flamboyant "Bull."

Correction: This will not be an autobiography, but a report. Reports are the only things I know how to write, since half my time in the Navy has gone to preparing them. Although I intend for this once to throw in as many stories as I like, rattle some skeletons, and offer some apologies and second guesses — amusements which official reports discourage — I don't intend to discard the official form completely. This report will be as clear and true as I can make it; it will contain all the pertinent facts I can remember, whether they are to my credit or not; it will avoid fields like philosophy and politics, where I am easily lost; and it will be consecutive, beginning with my ancestors and ending with my retirement from active duty.

 p2  When I filter the old Halseys whose records or traditions survive, I find that most of them were seafarers and adventurers, big, violent men, impatient of the law, and prone to strong drink and strong language. The most famous sailorman among us was Capt. John Halsey, whom the Governor of Massachusetts commissioned as a privateer in 1704. Captain John's interpretation of his commission is implicit in the title of a book which describes his exploits, "A History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates." I enjoy reading how his little brigantine once took on four ships together and captured two of them, with $250,000 in booty; but the most moving passage tells how he died of a fever on Madagascar in 1716 and how he was buried there. Part of it is worth quoting:

The prayers of the Church of England were read over him, colours were flying, and his sword and pistol laid on his coffin, which was covered with a ship's jack; as many minute guns fired as he was years old, viz.: 46, and three English volley and one French volley of small arms. He was brave in his person, courteous to all his prisoners, lived beloved and died regretted by his own people. His grave was made in a garden of water melons, and fenced in with pallisades to prevent his being rooted up by wild hogs, of which there are plenty in those parts.

The seafaring strain in the Halseys now ran underground for a century, then emerged for good. In 1815, Capt. Eliphalet Halsey, sailing out of Sag Harbor, took the first Long Island whaler around the Horn. In the next forty or fifty years, a dozen other Halsey whaling masters sailed in his course. Following them, my father went into the Navy; I followed him, and my son followed me.

My father entered the Naval Academy in 1869, with the class of 1873. He pitched on the baseball team — underhand, in those days — and had the reputation of being nimble with his fists. One of his classmates told me that just before they graduated, he and my father "Frenched out" (went into town without permission) and were spotted by a master-at‑arms as they were returning. Both were up to the limit in demerits and knew they would be dismissed if they were reported. So my father took a big chance; he rushed the "jimmylegs" and knocked him out before he could recognize them.

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 p3  Father and Mother were married in 1880. She was Anne Masters Brewster, one of fourteen children of James Drew Brewster, of New York City, and Deborah Grant Smith, of Philadelphia. I was born in my grandfather Brewster's house in Elizabeth, New Jersey, at 134 West Jersey Street, on October 30, 1882, and there I spent my early childhood. (The house is now a tearoom, "Polly's Elizabeth Inn.")a

Dad had been ordered to sea shortly after his marriage, and when he finally returned ashore, to duty at the Hydrographic Office in New York, I was two and a half years old. His first sight of me must have given him a shock. To my joy, and to Mother's anguish, he hustled me down to a barber and had my long yellow curls chopped off. He was shrewd enough to preserve them, though, and whenever I misbehaved, he could always bring me to heel with a threat to paste them on again.

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My young sister Deborah and I had the usual childhoods of "Navy juniors." We lived in six cities before I reached my teens. In the fall of 1895 I went to Swarthmore Grammar School, near Philadelphia. At the end of my second year there — the first time I had spent two consecutive years at the same school — Dad returned to the Naval Academy, as an instructor in physics and chemistry.

[image ALT: zzz. He is William F. Halsey, age 12.]

I had always intended going into the Navy and I was now approaching fifteen, the lowest age for a naval cadet, so we began looking about for an appointment. We wrote to every politician we knew and to many we didn't knew. I had already written even to President McKinley.

Editor's Note:

Admiral Halsey's letter was recently discovered in the National Archives at Washington:

Swarthmore Grammar School

Swarthmore, Pa.

Jan. 26. '97

Major William McKinley,

Dear Sir; —

I do not suppose you remember the note some of the boys of school sent you. If you do I wish to say that my note is not of the same character. It may not be as nice to you as theirs was; although I hope sincerely it  p4 will be. I want to ask you, if you have not already promised all your appointments to the Naval Academy that you will give me one. My father is a Naval officer, and is at present navigator on the U. S. S. Montgomery. As you know as a general rule Naval officers have not much influence, and the presidents are generally willing to give their appointments to a naval officer's son if he has not promised all of his appointments. I know people do not like to give important positions such as this is away without knowing the person they are giving them to. But then you know that a naval officer would not keep his position long if he were not the right kind of a man. I know plenty of respectable people who would testify to my good character. My father was appointed by Secretary Robinson [Robeson] of the Navy, who had been law partner of my grandfather. I have been with my father on shore and on ship board a great deal, and have always wanted to enter the Navy. My parents encouraged me in this desire and gave me their consent to enter if I could get the appointment. I do not know any congressman, and the appointment from the district where I live which is Elizabeth, N. J., is at present filled. I have lived three years at the Naval Academy where my father was instructor in English. I am at present a borderº of this school and am in the class that graduates in 1898. I was fourteen last October, the thirtieth. My father is now senior lieutenant about 95 on the list for promotion. It is almost needless to congratulate you on your grand victory which every good American sees is for the best. It has been told you so many times by men it is hardly worth while for us boys to say it.

Yours respectively,º

W. F. Halsey, Jr.

I received no answer, but we were so confident of an eventual appointment that Dad entered me at Professor Wilmer's prep school for the Academy. A year passed, and still the appointment didn't come through. When the second year failed us, I decided that if I couldn't get into the Navy as a cadet, I could as a doctor, and Dad agreed to let me study medicine at the University of Virginia.

I picked Virginia because my closest friend, Karl Osterhaus, was going there. I didn't learn much, but I joined Delta Psi — I still wear its emblem on my watch chain — and I had a wonderful time. My natural disinclination to study was abetted by my growing passion for football. I wasn't good enough to make the varsity, but I was occasionally allowed to play on the scrubs, at left end. In our last practice before the important Georgetown game, a play came toward me, and when it was untangled, the star quarterback  p5 had a broken leg. I was in the same fix as many a military man in many a campaign — they didn't know whether to give me a Medal of Honor or a court-martial. The student body would have been happy to hang me, but the coach took me to Washington with the team. Most stories like this end with the despised scrub redeeming himself by the winning touchdown. My story is an exception. I didn't even get into the game.

The following spring, Congress authorized five additional appointments to the Academy, and Mother camped in McKinley's office until he promised her one for me. I had to cram like the devil to pass the entrance examinations, but I managed it and was sworn in on July 7, 1900.

The class of 1904 has several distinctions: we were the last to enter the Academy with less than 100 men, the last to be designated "naval cadets" instead of "midshipmen," and the last that never lived in Bancroft Hall, the present dormitory. On the other hand, we were the first whose senior cadet officer was a five-striper. My first year at the Academy — my plebe, or fourth-class year — the cadet body totaled only 238, or enough for a battalion, which was commanded by a four-striper; but by my first-class year we totaled more than 600, enough for a regiment, and the cadet commander sprouted another stripe. I was not he. I never had more than the two stripes that went with my duties as adjutant of the second battalion.

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The Annapolis-West Point system of marks is unique, as far as I know: 4.0 is perfect, and 2.5 is barely passing. If you average 3.4 or better, you are entitled to wear a star behind the anchor on your collar. Although I broke into the top half of the class my final year, my average was usually closer to "bilging" than to a star. In fact, at the end of my first month of theoretical mechanics, I had a 2.28, and Dad strongly advised my dropping football. When I told him I had rather bilge, he was furious. Fortunately for me, a good many other men were rated unsatisfactory in the same subject, so we arranged for the bright members of the class to tutor us for the next examination and to dope out the questions for us.

When the exam was over, I went to Dad's quarters for lunch. He met me at the door and asked if the marks had been posted.

 p6  "Yes, sir."

"What did you make?"

"I got 3.98, sir."

Dad stared at me for a full minute. "Sir," he finally asked, "have you been drinking?"

My football was confined to the scrubs, the "Hustlers," for the first two years, but just before the opening game of the 1902 season, the regular fullback was badly injured and I was put in. I kept the job that season and the next, my last. Here is as good a place as any to state that those two teams were probably the poorest that the Academy ever produced, but poor as they were, they were no poorer than their fullback.

More than forty years later, General of the Army Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Eisenhower, whom I had never met before, came up to me in Fleet Admiral King's office in Washington. His first remark was not, "I'm glad to meet you," or, "How are you?" but, "Admiral, they tell me you claim to be the worst fullback that ever went to the Naval Academy."

I wasn't sure what this was leading to, so my answer was a bit truculent. "Yes. That's true. What about it?"

Eisenhower laughed and stuck out his hand. "I want you to meet the worst fullback that ever went to the Military Academy!"

Army beat us 22 to 8 in 102 and 40 to 5 in 1903, the stiffest beating in our rivalry. As one of the two men who played the entire game, I was thoroughly beaten myself. Each of those aches and bruises came back to me one day in 1943, when I was Commander of the South Pacific, and Maj. Gen. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles F. Thompson flew over from Fiji for a conference. I told him, "General, the last time I saw you, you were rubbing my nose all over Franklin Field."

"Big Charlie grinned. "How did I know you were going to become COMSOPAC?"

So much for the bitterness supposed to grow from inter-Academy sports!

Editor's Note:

Following is an extract from The Philadelphia Public Ledger for November 29, 1903:

 p7  "Early in the second half little Halsey electrified the Navy contingent by making the longest run of the game. Catching the ball from a kick off on his 4 yard mark he sprinted straight up the field, dodging and eluding half a dozen West Point tackles until he reached the 43 yard line, where he was brought to earth."

Next to studies and football, my strongest recollections from my Academy days are of parades and summer cruises. Parades were our bane, but hardly a moment of our three cruises was less than a delight. This opinion was held, of course, by the poor wretches who had a tendency toward seasickness. I am lucky, I have never been seasick in my life. (Many of my shipmates on the old Kansas were made even queasier, during a North Atlantic gale, by watching me guzzle a large Camembert cheese.) I have been slightly deaf since youth, but if I had to choose between deafness and a delicate stomach, I would keep the status quo.

Our transition from salty-talking landlubbers to real sailormen began on these cruises. Half of each we spent on a steamship, such as the old battleship Indiana, and half on a windjammer, usually the Chesapeake, a steel square-rigger. I was a royal yardman on my third-class cruise on the Chesapeake. Two years later, I had worked up to port captain of the maintop, the second most responsible job in our class. I was doubly pleased with my promotion; Dad had been navigator of the cruiser Newark during the Spanish-American War and was now not only head of the Department of Seamanship but captain of the Chesapeake, and I wanted to show him that I might become the fine all‑around sailorman that he was. The folly of my ambition was impressed on me when the Academy's chief master-at‑arms told me at graduation, "I wish you all the luck in the world, Mr. Halsey, but" — he shook his head sadly — "you'll never be as good as a naval officer as your father!"

When we were on the Indiana our third-class year, several of us decided to get tattooed, as a certificate of sea‑dogginess. Some artist among us drew the sign — a foul anchor in blue, with its chain forming an "04," and a red "USNA" on the crown — and a coal passer who was in the brig for drunkenness engraved it on our shoulders. It was hard to tell which was filthier, he or his instruments, and Lord knows why we all didn't die of blood poisoning. However, the risk passed, but the tattoo remains, to my frequent  p8 embarrassment. Dad had been tattooed four times and had advised me against such foolishness, but as usual I was too headstrong to listen.

The Navy underwent a great expansion during Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. In order to furnish officers for the new ships, the Academy course was slightly shortened, and the class of 1904 was graduated on February 2 instead of in June. Sixty‑two survived from the original ninety-three. My final standing was only forty-third, but that didn't matter; what mattered was that I was now Passed Midshipman Halsey.

Editor's Note:

Every year the first-classmen at the Naval Academy publish a classbook called The Lucky Bag. The 1904 Lucky Bag had this to say about Admiral Halsey:

"Willie," "Pudge." Lucky Bag Staff. Class Supper Committee (2). Class Crest Committee (4). Christmas Card Committee (4). Hustlers (4). Football team (2,1). Graduation Ball Committee (2). President Athletic Association (2,1). Class German Committee (1).

"It's my opinion there's nothing 'e don't know. All the wickedness in the world is print to him." — Dickens.

The only man in the class who can compete with General [a classmate, Arthur Gill Caffee] in the number of offices he has held. Started out in life to become a doctor and gained in the process several useful hints. . . . A real old salt. Looks like a figurehead of Neptune. Strong sympathizer with the YMCA movement. Everybody's friend and Brad's [his roommate, Bradford Barnette] devoted better half.

The Lucky Bag neglects to mention that he also was the winner of the Thompson Trophy Cup, awarded annually to the first-classman "who has done most during the year for the promotion of athletics at the Naval Academy."

All this was long ago. Nearly two‑thirds of my classmates are dead, and not one of us is left on active duty. But there might be one if a close friend of mine received his justice. I refer, and will refer again, to Husband E. Kimmel.

New graduates of the Naval Academy were usually granted one month's leave. I wasn't. I had requested duty on the battleship  p9 Missouri, and when my orders came through, I found that I had only five days before she sailed for Guantánamo, for winter training. It is a curious coincidence that my seagoing career began on one Missouri, the "Mizzy," and ended on another, the "Mighty Mo." Although each, at the time, was the most modern battleship in the Navy, the forty years between them brought some interesting changes:

Mizzy Mighty Mo
Main battery four 12‑inch nine 16‑inch
Tonnage 12,500 45,000
Speed 18 knots 32.5 knots
Over‑all length 388 feet 887 feet
Beam 72 feet 108 feet
Complement 652 2,640

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From Guantánamo we moved up to Pensacola for the fleet's annual target practice. I was watching it from our bridge one morning when I heard a heavy blast and saw a geyser of flame spout 400 feet from top hatch of our after 12‑inch turret. Almost immediately there was a second, sharper blast. Four 90‑pound bags of powder had caught fire in the turret, and sparks had spattered down into the handling room, igniting a dozen more bags. Twenty‑six enlisted men and five officers were roasted alive.b The date of the disaster, April 13, 1904, still looms monstrous in my memory. Indeed, it has cast a shadow over the rest of my life. I dread the thirteenth of every month, and if it falls on Friday, my apprehension almost paralyzes me.

That autumn I was detached from the Missouri for temporary duty at the Academy as assistant backfield coach under Paul Dashiell, who had been given the job in the hope that he would pull our teams out of the slough where professional coaches had left them. Although Army beat us 11 to 0 that year, we tied them in 1905, when I was assigned to the same duty; and in 1906 we licked them, for the first time in seven years.

Shortly after the 1905 season, I left the Missouri for good, with orders to the Don Juan de Austria, a former Spanish gunboat which had been salvaged from the bottom of Manila Bay and was now about to be commissioned. Someone said that she had been designed  p10 as a yacht for the Dowager Queen of Spain, when Alfonso XIII was in the offing; certainly our quarters, which occupied the after third of the ship, were as luxurious as a liner's.

[image ALT: missingALT.]

We took the Don Juan to the Caribbean and began a tour of duty that was stupefying in its monotony. Our job was helping to police Santo Domingo and backing up the customs collectors in a couple of ports. Our only amusement was the comic-opera revolutions, and our only excitement the weekly mail steamer from the States.

No, I had one other excitement. On February 2, 1906, exactly two years after my graduation, I received my first commission in the Navy, that of ensign. A passed midshipman was not a commissioned officer but an appointed officer, and an appointed officer received no retirement benefits for a disability incurred in the line of duty. Now I had not only this protection, but a substantial increase in my base pay, and a refulgent gold stripe on my cuff. Lord, how proud I was of that stripe! When I became a five-star fleet admiral, my broad stripe and four single ones cost more than the rest of the uniform. Our three Admirals of the Navy, Farragut, Porter, and Dewey, must have had independent incomes to dress up to the demands of their rank.

In March, 1907, I reported aboard our newest battleship, the Kansas, which was being rushed to completion for President Roosevelt's Round-the‑World cruise. Sailormen believe that a ship should have a bottle of the vest vintage champagne broken across her prow when she slides down the ways; there is an old superstition that christening one with water is as unlucky as drinking a toast in water. We knew that Kansas was a dry state, but we were enraged to discover that our ship had been christened with a bottle of Château Kansas River. When the official party visited us to present a silver service, we retaliated by offering them only lemonade.

Roosevelt's big‑Navy policy made it hard to find crews for all the new ships. However, we filled our complement eventually, and late in the fall we sailed from Hampton Roads — sixteen battleships and five destroyers, under Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans, Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet.c

We spent Christmas in Port of Spain, Trinidad, then ran down to Rio de Janeiro and on to Punta Arenas, Chile; continued  p11 through the Straits of Magellan and stood north toward Valparaiso; then on to Callao, Magdalena Bay, and San Diego. Here we paraded, and Ensign Halsey, strutting at the head of his company, saw an urchin point at him and heard a yell, "Hey, pipe the guy with a face like a bulldog!"

Something happened in San Francisco that I would have given a month's pay to see. The Kansas' skipper, Capt. Charles E. Vreeland, had gone east on a short leave. The train that brought him back also brought half a dozen passed midshipmen, freshly graduated and coming out to join the fleet. Captain Vreeland was in mufti, so they sized him up as a credulous civilian and proceeded on that basis. They described the hazards of Navy life, the importance of their duties, the high esteem in which Admiral Evans held them. They loaded their conversion with Navy jargon, much of it spurious. And with winks and nudges, they explained the function of the "mail buoy," the "water-cooled sextant," and other imaginary devices.

Captain Vreeland listened to it all, outwardly grave, inwardly rejoicing. When the train reached San Francisco, he thanked them for their company and expressed the hope that he would have the pleasure soon again. He had it in less than an hour, at the fleet landing. The youngsters couldn't imagine what business would bring a civilian there and were even more surprised when he asked if he could be of service.

They laughed, "Not unless you can take us out to our ships."

"Delighted," the "civilian" said, "My gig here is at your disposal."

It must have been a glum ride for the young devils, particularly for the one who was reporting aboard the Kansas. . . .

San Francisco was a strenuous round of parties and parades. So were Honolulu, Auckland, and Sydney. We needed the stretches at sea to rest from the hospitality ashore. Melbourne was as gay as the others, but I remember it chiefly because of an incident when I was officer of the deck. Our liberty boat came alongside, and as the party swarmed aboard, I noticed a package left on the floor boards and called down to the last man, "Lad, bring that package up with you!"

His reply took me full aback — a breezy "Right you are, sir!"

 p12  He seemed sober, so when he made the deck, I questioned him and found that he was an Australian whom a bluejacket had persuaded to swap clothes and countries. We took the uniform away and turned him over to the police, but we never caught his accomplice. In fact, the fleet left a large number of stragglers in Melbourne. I have heard that some of them became prominent citizens.

Our course from Melbourne to Manila lay through Lombok Strait and the Straits of Makassar, then through the Celebes Sea into the Sulu Sea. By now the fleet had attained such efficiency that a cherished wish of mine was fulfilled: between the time I relieved the watch one morning and the time I was relieved, four hours later, I kept the Kansas in perfect station without once speeding up or slowing down — the only time in my naval career that I have been able to do so.

From Manila we stood up to Yokohama. Despite the entertainments and the tuneless singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the shouts of Banzai! (May you live ten thousand years!), I felt that the Japs meant none of their welcome, that they actually disliked us. Nor was I any more convinced of their sincerity when they presented us with medals confirming the "good will" existing between the two governments. I don't know what became of my medal, but a number of cruisemates sent me theirs after Pearl Harbor, with a request that I return them to Japan at my earliest opportunity. When I took Task Force 16 toward Tokyo in April, 1942, I deputized Jimmy Doolittle to complete delivery for me. He did it with a bang.

Of the many parties we attended in both Yokohama and Tokyo, one stands out with special vividness — a party on the battleship Mikasa, the flagship of Adm. Count Heihachiro Togo, who had commanded the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Tsushima Straits, where the Russian fleet was almost annihilated. Before war had been declared, Togo had made a treacherous torpedo attack on the Russians in Port Arthur; and before that, in 1894, as captain of the cruiser Nariwa, he had sunk without warning the Chinese troopship Kowshing thus precipitating war with China. Yet when this national characteristic of deceit was redisplayed at Pearl Harbor, some Americans were naïve enough to be shocked!

My dignitaries were present on the Mikasa, including our  p13 ambassador, Thomas J. O'Brien. When the party reached its climax, our hosts insisted on paying their highest compliment to Mr. O'Brien and Rear Adm. Charles S. Sperry, who had relieved "Fighting Bob" Evans. We were alarmed when the Japs laid hands on them, as both men were tall, thin, and delicate, but all they got was three gentle tosses accompanied by banzais. Naturally, we had to return the compliment to Admiral Togo. We were big, and he was a shrimp, so instead of tossing him gently, we gave him three real heaves. If we had known what the future held, we wouldn't have caught him after the third one.

The next time I stepped on board the Mikasa, history had made some radical changes: she was no longer afloat, but was reverently preserved in concrete at the Yokosuka Naval Base, near Tokyo;d and I, I was the commander of a conquering fleet. Although thirty-seven years had passed, I easily identified the spot where we missed our chance that evening.

Christmas, 1908, found us steaming up the Red Sea, toward liberty in Cairo. All hands had dreamed about it and all had been promised it: half to go from Suez, at the Red Sea end of the canal, and the other half, including me, from Port Said, at the Mediterranean end. The first half came back with such wonderful tales that we squared away to make the transit in record time. Alas, just as we started through, we received word that an earthquake had razed Messina, and that we were to rush there at best possible speed. Cairo is still on my rubberneck list.

We could do little for Messina beyond leaving it the Connecticut, with all the fleet's medical personnel. The rest of our ships scattered to various French and North African ports and reassembled at Gibraltar, where we found a number of British warships and a few Russians, some of which were survivors of Tsushima. Each British ship took an American and a Russian under her wing. Our sponsor, the cruiser Devonshire, we shared with the battleship Sevastopol. At the Devonshire's opening dinner, the chief engineer of the Sevastopol was seated between our chief, Lt. Edward C. Kalbfus, and his assistant, a Lieutenant Vincent. "Dutch" Kalbfus fancied himself a linguist, and wishing to bring the silent Vincent into the conversation, pointed toward him and explained to the Russian, "Mon premier assistant."

 p14  Vincent bowed and made his only remark of the meal, "Oui, Monsieur. What's more, je suis le plus belº premier assistant dans le whole goddam United States Navy!"

Gibraltar to Hampton Roads was the last leg of the cruise. We ploughed through a North Atlantic gale and arrived home on Washington's Birthday, 1909, to pass in review before President Roosevelt on the Mayflower. I have another reason for remembering this review: the Kansas' newest sister ship, the New Hampshire, took part, painted gray instead of the usual white. I recall how startled I was by her low visibility and how I speculated on its advantages in a battleship duel. I should have saved my wits. Now that radar has been invented, it makes little difference if a ship is painted like a circus poster.

The Round-the‑World Cruise, in my opinion — the opinion of a young and inexperienced officer — was a success by every standard. Navally, it brought the fleet to the peak of perfection. Nationally, it increased the prestige of the United States in every country where we showed our flag. And diplomatically, it is not inconceivable that our appearance in Japanese waters at this time prevented a war, or at least postponed it. Japan was fuming over our intervention between her and Russia and was looking for an excuse for trouble. The cruise was one of President Roosevelt's "big sticks." He brandished it in Yokohama and Tokyo, and the Japs piped down.


Thayer's Notes:

a Since Adm. Halsey wrote, it appears the house has been torn down and replaced by a small apartment building, to judge from this GoogleMap view.

[decorative delimiter]

b Details of the Missouri disaster and the investigation are given by G. C. O'Gara, Theodore Roosevelt and the Modern Navy, pp61‑64. As noted there, the number of casualties is variously given as thirty to thirty-eight.

[decorative delimiter]

c Many accounts of the Round-the‑World Cruise will be found online; the most detailed one on my site is "The World Cruise of the American Battleship Fleet, 1907‑1909" (Pacific Historical Review, I:389‑423), in my notes to which will be found links to the other significant accounts onsite.

[decorative delimiter]

d The official site, Mikasa Historic Memorial Warship, has photographs and much good information.


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Page updated: 4 Jul 17