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Admiral Halsey's Story

Fleet Admiral
William F. Halsey,  USN
and
Lieutenant Commander
J. Bryan III, USNR

The Book and the Authors

For Adm. Halsey himself, the book of course is his own biography; for those in a hurry, a biographical sketch at The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia, although somewhat hostile, provides a good overview of his career.

Lt. Cdr. Joseph Bryan, III (properly, Joseph St. George Bryan, b. April 30, 1904 in Henrico County, VA, † April 3, 1993 in Richmond, VA) came from a family of journalists and wrote a number of books on various historical and military subjects. In the course of his career, he served in the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, and the CIA as head of its psychological warfare division. A rather full, formal biographical sketch at Encyclopedia Virginiana omits one of the more interesting chapters of his life, though: in 1969 he became Acting President of NICAP, a UFO organization which had been prominent in the preceding decades; he was brought in to clean up its financial mismanagement, and is still suspected by some to have been a government mole whose purpose was to discredit NICAP and disband it.

His son C. D. B. Bryan became a well-known journalist and author as well; some of the family's interesting inner history may be found scattered thru several entries in the blog of a grandson, "Boxes in the Attic".

A preliminary version of the book first appeared serialized in eight installments in the Saturday Evening Post.

The printed book includes neither Table of Contents nor Table of Illustrations, nor do the chapters bear titles.

Contents

Foreword vii
Introduction ix
1
15
27
41
56
75
108
124
136
153
173
194
210
228
248
274

Illustrations

The printed edition includes 79 photographs: except for the frontispiece, they are gathered in three glossy signatures following page 34, page 130, and page 242. In addition, there are 14 maps, all line drawings.

The page numbers below indicate the placement of the illustrations in these three signatures: 34D, for example, is the 4th photograph (or set of photographs) in the group following p34. In this Web transcription, not being constrained by print limitations, I've moved the illustrations to appropriate locations in the text.

The captions of the photographs given below are for the most part as printed, or close adaptations or abridgments; when altogether my own, they're shown in a different-colored font. Similarly, I've supplied captions for the maps; in the printed book only the first is captioned.

Fleet Admiral Halsey

Frontispiece

Father, as a naval cadet, 1873

34A

Mother, my sister Deborah, and I, 1888

34B

At school, 1894

34C

As a plebe, 1900

34D

Two U. S. S. Missouri's: "Mizzy" and "Mighty Mo"

34E

U. S. S. Don Juan de Austria, 1906

34F

My first command, U. S. S. Dupont, 1909

34G

Cabinet Secretaries on board Lt. Halsey's ship, 1913

34H

U. S. S. Benham, 1918

34I

Skipper of the U. S. S. Shaw, 1918

34J

A T4M circling to come aboard the U. S. S. Saratoga, 1935

34K

At Pensacola, 1935

34L

The Sara's worst day, when she took seven hits off Iwo Jima, 1945

34M

"The Big E, the galloping ghost of the Oahu coast" (U. S. S. Enterprise, 1942

130A

A portrait of Admiral Halsey in four frames

130B

A Japanese model of Pearl Harbor, showing "Battleship Row"

130C

Some members of my staff

130D

Bougainville, 1943

130E

South Pacific Commanders

130F

Task force and task group commanders of the Third Fleet, and Ray Spruance, Commander Fifth Fleet

130G

A Japanese carrier of the Zuiho class, afire and her flight deck buckled, at the Battle for Leyte Gulf, October 25, 1944

130H

A kamikaze crashes the U. S. S. Essex, November 25, 1944

130I

At the White House, March 1945, with my wife

130J

The Third Fleet maneuvers off Japan, August 17, 1945

242A

The attack on the Japanese warships at Kure, July 28, 1945

242B

The heavy cruiser Tone, after the attack of July 28

242C

The Third Fleet's first night in Sagami Bay, August 27, 1945, when the sun seemed to sink directly into Fujiyama's crater

242D

The surrender ceremony, aboard my flagship U. S. S. Missouri, September 2, 1945

242E

The White Horse

242F

My flagship, the U. S. S. South Dakota, leads TG 30.2 under Golden Gate Bridge, October 1945

242G

The end of my sea duty. I am piped over the side for the last time

242H

Home again

242I

I receive my fifth star, December 11, 1945.

242J

The Authors: Adm. Halsey and Lt. Cdr. Bryant

rear jacket

Maps

Early Raids of the Enterprise

86

Feb. 1, 1942: Raid on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands

91

October 1942: South Pacific Area

110

August-November, 1942: Guadalcanal

118

May 1943: Solomon Islands

156

May 1943: New Georgia

162

August-November, 1943: Bougainville

178

November, 1943: Battle of New Britain

182

December 1944: Typhoon Cobra

January 1945: South China Sea Raid

196

October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf

212

October 1944: Battle of Leyte Gulf — Oldendorf & McCain's attacks

213

April-June 1945: Okinawa

252

Japan: The End of the War

256

Technical Details

Edition Used

These webpages transcribe my copy of the original 1947 edition, Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. (hardback). It is marked

Copyright, 1947, by William F. Halsey
Copyright, 1947, by The Curtis Publishing Company

but is now in the public domain because neither copyright was renewed in 1957 or 1958 as then required by law: details here on the copyright law involved.

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line); p57  these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the authors' own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

Proofreading

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

My transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents below, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; a red background would mean that the page had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was remarkably well proofread. The inevitable typographical errors were very few, and almost all trivial: I marked them with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the underscored words to read the variant. One correction didn't lend itself to that treatment because it conflicted with HTML: it is marked with a bullet like this.º Similarly, glide your cursor over bullets before measurements: they provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

A number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic ‑‑> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked. They are also few.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.



[image ALT: A small head-and‑shoulders photograph of a man in late middle age, in a military uniform, wearing a garrison cap, looking straight into the camera. He is Admiral William F. Halsey; the image serves as the icon on this site for his autobiography \'Admiral Halsey\'s Story\'.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is essentially a cropped version of the book's front jacket.


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Site updated: 4 Jul 17