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Sherman, Forrest

Sherman, Forrest (1896–1951), naval officer.One of the most intellectually gifted and effective military leaders of his generation, Sherman spent most of his career in naval aviation. After participating in the Atlantic Charter Conference of August 1941, he was captain of the aircraft carrier Wasp during World War II until she was sunk in the Guadalcanal campaign in September 1942. He played such a major role in forging Pacific Fleet aviation doctrine as chief of staff to its air commander, Adm. John H. Towers, that he was transferred to the staff of Adm. Chester Nimitz, Pacific Fleet commander, late in 1943. Promoted to rear admiral and deputy chief of staff for planning, Sherman functioned as Nimitz's alter ego in helping direct the Central Pacific offensive that defeated Japan.

After Nimitz's appointment as chief of naval operations (CNO), Sherman, now a vice admiral, served as deputy CNO for operations during 1945–47. He helped devise early U.S. Cold War strategy and was the navy's representative in hammering out the compromise that unified the armed forces in 1947. He commanded U.S. naval forces in the Mediterranean until called upon in the wake of “the Revolt of the Admirals” to be CNO in the rank of admiral in November 1949. Sherman restored navy morale and mobilized the navy for the Korean War and Cold War rearmament. He died on active duty while engaged in a diplomatic mission to strengthen the new North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO.
[See also Navy, U.S.: 1899–1945; Navy, U.S.: Since 1946; Navy Combat Branches: Naval Air Forces; World War II, U.S. Naval Operations in: The Pacific.]


Clark G. Reynolds , Forrest Percival Sherman, in Robert William Love, ed., The Chiefs of Naval Operations, 1980.
Michael A. Palmer , Origins of the Maritime Strategy: American Naval Strategy in the First Postwar Decade, 1988.
Clark G. Reynolds , Admiral John H. Towers: The Struggle for Naval Air Supremacy, 1991.

Clark G. Reynolds

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