Friday, August 9, 2013

National Museum of the Pacific War

Japanese Seaplane, NMPW
Photo Courtesy: Jim Hooper
In Fredericksburg Texas you can find an extraordinary museum dedicated to World War II in the Pacific theatre.  The National Museum of the Pacific War ( is located in the hometown of Admiral Chester Nimitz who was born and raised in the Texas hill country.  Fredericksburg was founded by German immigrants and Nimitz' grandfather was a hotelier in the town.

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz 1885 - 1966
NMPW, Fredericksburg TX
Photo Courtesy: Jim Hooper
Nimitz' father was a frail man who died before his son's birth.  Chester Nimitz was. therefore, raised by his mother Anna and his grandfather.  Chester Nimitz' grandfather "Charles served briefly in the Texas Rangers, but in 1852 he started the Nimitz Hotel on the east end of Fredericksburg's Main Street."  The Admirals, Walter Borneman.  Nimitz father, Chester Bernard Nimitz, was a weak lad with a frail constitution who died five months after his wedding and before his son was born.  Young Chester was raised by his mother Anna and his grandfather.  He did not graduate from high school but managed to be accepted into the Naval academy.  In 1908 Nimitz became one of the U.S. Navy's first submariners.

On March 20, 1912 while on board the Skipjack, a fireman second class lost his footing and slipped overboard.  Chester Nimitz, like the fictional Jack Aubrey, jumped into the water and rescued the sailor.    Nimitz wrote, "I had to go swimming yesterday, it was awfully, awfully cold."  Source: The Admirals, Walter Borneman, 2012
American Sea Leadership
Chester Nimitz later rose to become a Fleet Admiral in the U.S. Navy.  He assumed command of the US naval forces in the Pacific shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack.  He led US Naval forces at Midway and throughout the Pacific campaign.  The USS Texas was, for a time, his flagship in World War II  (see earlier post...  He is buried in San Francisco.

Commander K. + Japanese Mini-sub, NMPW
Photo Courtesy: Jim Hooper
The Pacific War Museum has a Japanese submarine that was used to launch the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Australian Tank, NMPW
A section of the Museum is devoted to the campaign in Burma.

Jeeps were used by American and Allied forces throughout the war.  About 600,000 were built. (See earlier post...

"Fat Boy", NMPW
Photo: Courtesy Jim Hooper
The museum concludes with a discussion of the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  For my full discussion please see...

Japanese Garden, NMPW
Step outside the museum and you will find a peaceful Japanese garden that is a gift from the Japanese people.  Nimitz attended Admiral Togo's funeral in 1934.

Cheers from Texas!
Auslander Restaurant, Fredericksburg
If you are fortunate to make it to Fredericksburg you should also try having lunch or dinner at the Auslander --  Be sure to sample the authentic German food and beers!

Special thanks to my friend Jim Hooper for being my guide to the Museum of the Pacific War.

You can now purchase Commander Kelly's 
first book, America Invades or on

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