Chester Nimitz to Stevenson, July 16, 1942
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander of the Pacific fleet in World War II, was a native of Fredericksburg, Texas. An expert on submarine warfare, Nimitz was serving as chief of the Navy's Bureau of Navigation on December 7, 1941. On Christmas Day, he replaced Admiral Husband Kimmel as commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet.
Admiral Nimitz was determined that the nation and the military should not focus on the mistakes that had led to the debacle at Pearl Harbor, but on the tasks necessary for victory. Nimitz moved quickly to restore the public confidence in the Navy with the daring Doolittle raids on the Japanese homeland in April 1942 and with victories in the Coral Sea and at Midway. Nimitz coordinated the island-hopping offensive that eventually culminated in the unconditional surrender of the Japanese on September 2, 1945. It was Nimitz who signed the peace treaty that day on behalf of the United States aboard the Battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
July 22, 1942, was Chester W. Nimitz Day in Texas. Governor Coke Stevenson led a rally in Dallas' Fair Park to recruit for the Navy and encourage the purchase of war bonds. In this letter, Nimitz expresses his appreciation on behalf of all Texans in the fleet.
Chester Nimitz to Stevenson, July 16, 1942, Records of Coke R. Stevenson, Texas Office of the Governor, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.