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Fleet Admiral William F 'Bill' Halsey

"Kennedy [ John F. Kennedy - then (1943) a junior officer in the US Navy] ready to disembark after more than a month at sea, was standing at the rail off Tulagi, reflecting on a large billboard that Admiral Halsey had ordered to be erected on the commanding hillside.  The message fairly screamed at Kennedy and other newcomers - "
You will help to kill the yellow bastards
  if you do your job well "
 [From  "PT 109 - The Wartime Adventures of President John F. Kennedy" by Robert J. Donovan]

. . . our ships searched east of Samar for other stragglers and for our airmen who had ditched the day before. We found no Jap ships, but Japanese swimmers were as thick as water bugs.

I was having breakfast when Bill Kitchell burst in and cried, "My God Almighty, Admiral, the little bastards are all over the place! Are we going to stop and pick 'em up?"

I told him "Not until we've picked up our own boys."

. . . when we had recovered all the Americans, I ordered our destroyers "Bring in cooperative Nip flotsam for an intelligence sample. Noncooperators would probably like to rejoin their ancestors and should be accommodated." (I didn't want to risk their getting ashore, where they could reinforce the garrison.)  The destroyers brought in six.

[From 'Admiral Halsey's Story' by Halsey & Bryan]

"Halsey's bellicose slogan was 'Kill Japs, Kill Japs, Kill more Japs.'  His 'bloodthirstiness' was not just a put-on to gain headlines.  He strongly believed that by denigrating the enemy he was counteracting the myth of Japanese martial superiority . . . '

"Halsey's racial slurs made him a symbol of combative leadership, a vocal Japanese-hater . . . "

"Halsey was not an intellectual.  His official reports were written in commonplace language.  His speeches and private correspondence reveal that he often thought in cliches, that his vocabulary was narrow and that he had difficulty with syntax.  His letters confirm his contempt for the Japanese in locker-room jargon . . . "

"Halsey had the knack of appointing extremely intelligent officers to his staff,  on whom he relied for decision- making.  On only rare occasions did he overrule them.  'Admiral Halsey's strongest point,' wrote a staff officer,  'was his superb leadership. While always the true professional and exacting professional performance from all subordinates, he had a charismatic effect on them which was like being touched by a a magic wand.  Anyone so touched was determined to excel."

[From "Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey Jr" by James E. Merrill]

"The difference between the two commanders [Halsey and Admiral Spruance] amazed those who worked under them.  One officer said that in working for Halsey 'you never knew what you were going to do in the next five minutes or how you were going to do it . . . '

'I have never met a commander who did not prefer working under the methodical Spruance . . . '

'My feeling was one of confidence when Spruance was there and one of concern when Halsey was there.' "

[From "Admiral Raymond A. Spruance" by John F. Wukovits]


[ Message from Admiral Nimitz,  C-in-C Pacific Fleet, to Halsey during the crisis off Samar in the Battle for Leyte Gulf,  25 October 1944 ]

The Halsey Decision to leave San Bernadino unguarded

Below  -  The Four-Star Admiral with his flag

Admiral William F. Halsey with his four-star flag