William Frederick Halsey, Jr.

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"There are no great men, there are only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet."

William Frederick Halsey, Jr., GBE (October 30, 1882August 16, 1959) (commonly referred to as "Bill" or "Bull" Halsey), was an American Fleet Admiral in the United States Navy. He commanded the South Pacific Area during the early stages of the Pacific War against Japan. Later he was commander of the Third Fleet through the duration of hostilities.

Quotes[edit]

  • Before we're through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell.
    • Remark in December 1941, after the attack of Pearl Harbor, as quoted in Roger Parkinson, Attack on Pearl Harbour (1973), p. 117; James Bradley, Flyboys (2004), p. 138.
  • I'll take it! If anything gets in my way, we'll shoot first and argue afterwards.
    • On taking responsibility for the war, as quoted in Joseph Bryan, Admiral Halsey's story (1947), p. 76.
  • There are no great men, there are only great challenges, which ordinary men like you and me are forced by circumstances to meet.
  • Missing the Battle of Midway has been the greatest disappointment of my career, but I am going back to the Pacific where I intend personally to have a crack at those yellow bellied sons of bitches and their carriers.
    • Speech at the Naval Academy, as quoted in James C. Bradford, Quarterdeck and Bridge: Two Centuries of American Naval Leaders (1997), p. 350.
  • Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs!
    • Reported in James Bradley, Flyboys (2004), p. 138; Thomas Evans, Sea of Thunder (2006), p. 1; Paul Fussell, Wartime (1990), p. 119.

Quotes about Halsey[edit]

Alphabetized by author
  • The only man in the class who can compete with General in the number of offices he has held. Started out in life to become a doctor and in the process gained several useful hints. Honorary member of the S.P.C.A. for having so many times saved Shutuby from persecution. A real old salt. Looks like a figurehead of Neptune. Strong sympathizer with the Y.M.C.A. movement. Everybody's friend and Brad's devoted better half.
    • Description of Halsey in Lucky Bag (1904), yearbook of the United States Naval Academy, p. 41

External links[edit]

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