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Raymond Ames Spruance (Baltimore, Maryland, United States, July 3, 1886-Pebble Beach, California, December 13, 1969) was an admiral of the United States Navy, an engineer electric, and ambassador. Spruance led the victory to the US naval units at the Battle of Midway. In addition, he also participated in the battle of the Philippine Sea and in the naval planning of the invasion of Iwo Jima.
Raymond Ames Spruance was born in 1886 in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Alexander and Annie Spruance, and grew up in Indianapolis. In 1903, when he was 17 years old, he joined the Naval Academy of Annapolis where he graduated in 1907. His first service vessels were the USS Iowa and the USS Minnesota, in whose service he made his first round the world.
In 1909 he took a course in Electrical Engineering at General Electric in New York and returned to the service, in 1910 at the USS Connecticut, as a senior machine officer. In 1913 he assumed his first command as a lieutenant captain in the USS Bainbridge and in 1914 he served as Inspector of Machinery in a shipyard and dry dock of the Navy in Newsport, Virginia.
During the First World War he was a technical officer in the modernization of the USS Pennsylvania and also contributed to his commissioning in 1916, serving in 1917. At the end of the war he was assigned as an engineer and assistant director in the New Naval Shipyard. York, specializing in the UK in fire control.
In the interwar period he was assigned to the Navy Engineering Division contributing in technical aspects of the USS Aaron Ward and the USS Percival. In 1922 he assumed command of the USS Dale and the USS Osborne and the USS Missisippi. Between 1926 and 1927 he studied at the Naval War College and in June 1932 he reached the rank of Captain. He commanded several destroyers and served in command of the USS Raleigh between 1933 and 1935.
World War II
In 1939 he reached the rank of Rear Admiral and took command of several battleships and cruisers, commanding the 5th Cruise Division by hoisting flags in the USS Norhampton and commanding this unit when the United States suffered the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Spruance led its division in the bombings of Wotje, Maloelap, Wake Island and the Marcus Islands under Japanese rule. Later, he accompanied Commander Halsey in the Doolittle Raid in February 1942.
On the eve of the Battle of Midway, in June 1942, Admiral William F. Halsey became seriously ill and in a meeting with Nimitz at the hospital to consider such a delicate situation, Halsey recommended Spruance to take the aircraft carrier force to intercept the Japanese, Nimitz approved the replacement assigning him as commander of the aircraft carrier Task Force 16.
Both Halsey and Nimitz had him in the highest regard. For them, Spruance, with a calm personality, immutable and introverted; He was a very intelligent man, with exceptional skills as a planner and skilful strategist, and they were not mistaken, as his decisions were always considered as very wise.
During the Battle of Midway, Spruance had only three Yorktown-class aircraft carriers and, faced with a much superior enemy in both the artillery and the number, displayed a rare mixture of courage, cunning, intuition and intelligence, skilfully leading their forces to detect, attack and sink the main aircraft carrier force commanded by Admiral Chuichi Nagumo of the Imperial Japanese Navy at the expense of the loss of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. After the victory, Nimitz appointed him Chief of Staff of the Pacific Fleet with the rank of Admiral and participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
At the end of 1943, Spruance was named Commander-in-Chief of the 5th Cruise Fleet hoisting its flagship in the USS Indianapolis commanded by Rear Admiral Charles Butler McVay III. He planned the naval strategy for the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, to February 1945 when the cruise was touched by a kamikaze seriously damaging during the battle of Okinawa. He went in March 1945 in the USS New Mexico battleship and planned in Pearl Harbor the Olympic Operation, whose objective was the invasion of Japanese insular territory and that involved the loss of one million American soldiers and millions of Japanese. The nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki canceled the costly military operation and Japan surrendered in August 1945, ending the Second World War.
Spruance after the war served as Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC). Along with Admiral Chester Nimitz, he defended Rear Admiral Charles Butler McVay III and reinstated him to his degree in 1946. He was named President of the Naval War Academy where he retired from service in 1948. He served as Ambassador to the Philippines between 1952 and 1955 .
Raymond Spruance died in the town of Pebble Beach, California on Saturday, December 13, 1969 and was buried in San Bruno, at the Golden Gate Cementery, along with Admirals Nimitz, Richmond Kelly Turner and Charles Andrews Lockwood Jr., who They were your great friends in life.
The destroyer USS Spruance (DD-963) was named in his honor.
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