graduate

Sherman, Forrest Percival (1896-1951)


Photograph of Forrest P. Sherman

Naval History and Heritage Command #NH 58253

Forrest Sherman was born in New Hampshire and studied at MIT before being accepted to the Naval Academy (class of 1914). He graduated second in his class. After serving in Europe during the First World War, he took flight training in 1922, graduated from the Naval War College in 1927, and served in aviation-related staff and sea postings. While serving in the War Plans Division, he attended the Atlantic Conference.

Sherman was still serving with the War Plans Division when war broke out. In February 1942 he took command of Wasp, where he served as Noyes' de facto chief of staff. However, he pleaded in vain for Noyes to authorize air strikes against the retreating Japanese following the disaster at Savo Island: Noyes did not even pass his request along to Fletcher. When Wasp was torpedoed in the Solomons, Sherman was exonerated by the Board of Inquiry and became chief of staff to Admiral Towers, Nimitz' air deputy, where he proved highly effective. He was promoted to rear admiral in April 1943 and subsequently served as  Nimitz' plans officer. He helped plan the operations at Truk, the Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

Sherman was the Navy representative at the debriefings of Japanese staff officers at Manila on 20 August 1945 that laid the groundwork for the formal surrender. He was notably kind to these Japanese officers as they carried out the unpleasant task of identifying Japanese military installations in the home islands for their former enemies. Sherman was also present at the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay.

Postwar Sherman helped draft the National Security Act of 1947, commanded the Mediterranean Fleet, and became Chief of Naval Operations with rank of full admiral. He died suddenly while attending a conference on European security in Italy.

Sherman was considered one of the most brilliant aviator admirals in the Navy and was equally accomplished at navigating bureaucracies. As as result, he became one of Nimitz' most trusted advisors in the final years of the war, and did not receive a sea command until the war was practically over.

Service record

1896-10-30    

Born at Merrimack, New Hampshire
1917-6

Graduates from Naval Academy, standing second in a class of 199. Assigned to PG Nashville.
1918

DD Murray
1919

BB Utah
1920

DD Reid
1921
Lieutenant
Commander, DD Barry
1922

Flight training
1922-12

VF-2
1924

Flight instructor, Pensacola
1926

Naval War College
1927

CV Lexington
1929

CV Saratoga
1930
Lieutenant commander     
Instructor, Naval Academy
1931

CV Saratoga
1933

Chief of Aviation Ordnance, Bureau of Ordnance
1936

CV Ranger
1937
Commander
Aviation officer, U.S. Fleet
1940

War Plans Division
1942-5-31   
Captain     
Commander, CV Wasp
1942-9-15

Chief of staff, Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet
1943-4
Rear admiral     

1943-11

Deputy chief of staff, Pacific Fleet
1944-6

War plans officer, Pacific Fleet
1945-8

Commander, Carrier Division 1
1945-12
Vice admiral
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations
1948-1

Commander, Naval Forces in the Mediterranean
1948-6

Commander, 6 Fleet
1949-11-2
Admiral
Chief of Naval Operations
1951-7-22

Dies in the line of duty

References

Arlington National Cemetery Website (accessed 2008-3-12)

Boatner (1996)

Craig (1967)

Dupuy et al. (1992)

Lundstrom (2006)

Naval Historical Center (accessed 2008-3-10)
Pettibone (2006)
Tuohy (2007)


 
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