King, Admiral Ernest, 1878-1956

King was one of the giants of US strategic planning. When the USA entered the war, King was appointed Commander in Chief of Naval Forces and then in March 1942 took over the duties of Chief of Naval Operations, making him the most important figure in the US Navy. He was a member of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and also of the Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee with the British and never failed to expound his point of view. His constant theme was that the US Navy could win the war in the Pacific if it were given a greater share of resources. This often brought him into conflict with the British; he only received MARSHALL’s support if the British were dragging their feet over operations in Europe.

As Chief of Naval Operations King was behind NIMITZ and helped to make the fleet train system work. This system helped to keep carriers and battle cruisers at sea without needing to return to base for repairs or servicing. King stayed in Washington throughout the war leaving operational command to his subordinates, but he is remembered as the architect of the victory in the Pacific.

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