WORLD WAR II
Nimitz was in Washington DC serving as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation when the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt picked Nimitz from among 28 flag officers senior to him to relieve Admiral Kimmel at Pearl Harbor.
As Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, Admiral Nimitz proved to be the right man at the right time. He restored morale to a shattered Pacific Fleet by building an aggressive combat team and brilliantly, instinctively making the right moves in the Battle of Midway. To this day, Midway is considered the U.S. Navy’s greatest victory. In 1944, Nimitz was promoted to Fleet Admiral — he was one of only four during this time: William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, William “Bull” Halsey, and Nimitz.
The atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced the Empire of Japan to admit defeat. On September 2, 1945, on board the battleship Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay, Fleet Admiral Nimitz signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the United States. A few weeks later he relinquished his command at Pearl Harbor as he had accepted it, aboard a submarine. Appointed Chief of Naval Operations, he then began to demobilize all but a fraction of the most powerful Navy in history.