The World at War


Admiral Raymond Spruance

Raymond Spruance was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1886. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1906 served in a wide variety of posts before being promoted to rear admiral in 1939. Before and during World War I he was a naval expert on warship electrical mechanisms. When World War II began, Spruance was made commander of a cruiser division in the Pacific Fleet. At the crucial Battle of Midway in 1942, Spruance commanded the carrier task force that sank four Japanese carriers, dealing a crippling blow to Japan's naval air power from which she never recovered. Spruance was made a full admiral in 1944 and commanded the Fifth Fleet attacks on most of the major islands in the Pacific during the war. In the Battle of the Philippine Sea, on June 19-20, 1944, his fleet decimated Japan's remaining naval air power. After the war, Spruance became commander and was president of the Naval War College from 1946 to 1948, when he retired from the navy. From 1952 to 1955 he served as U.S. ambassador to the Philippines.

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