World War II American General Officers' Project

 

 
 
 

A project dedicated to the study of the American General Officer and the preservation of their original uniforms, flags and medals.

Admiral Richard Ghormley 

When looking at the leaders of World War Two it  becomes evident just as in life, some men are meant to lead in the field, some are meant to plan, organize, or to act in all manners of diplomacy. Not all men were equipped to do all things. Admiral Robert Ghormley showed his ability as a diplomate and planner but was not successful in his ability to lead in the field. 

 

Ghormley had been a flag officer for four years, his posting as Commander, Naval Forces, Europe was his first operational command and he was in his element working with the British. Ghormley’s success in this posting lead to Roosevelt personally  demanding that Ghormley be given command of  the South Pacific Area.  This was an unfortunate appointment. 

Ghormley’s leadership in the South Pacific was uninspiring. He never really believed in the Guadalcanal operation and recommended its postponement. Though both Admiral Nimitz and Admiral King expected him to direct the operation personally, he chose to exercise general command from his headquarters at Noumea. Although Nimitz personally visited Guadalcanal in late September 1942, Ghormley never set foot on the island. Nimitz was reluctant to relieve his old friend, but concluded on 15 October 1942 that Ghormley was "too immersed in detail and not sufficiently bold and aggressive at the right time”.

Ghormley did serve in the critical early stages of the Guadalcanal campaign, though it was not a complete success it was America’s first entry in the war. This event gave rise to the need for aggressive leaders…Ghormley was relieved in the field by Admiral Halsey who went on to be one of the legendary names of WWII. 

Recognizing the strength of Admiral Ghormley, he was appointed Commandant of the 14th Naval District in Hawaii, then In December 1944, Vice Admiral Ghormley became Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Germany, and served in that position until December 1945.

 

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