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William Frederick Halsey Jr. was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on October 30, 1882, and grew in the family of a U.S. Navy Captain.

Following his father's steps, he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1904 and was assigned to the USS Missouri. 

After his first promotion to lieutenant, Halsey settled on his long journey of naval assignments aboard torpedo boats and destroyers beginning with USS DuPont. 

This legendary admiral had a remarkable life yet full of hard and controversial decisions. Here are some interesting events and notable facts from his biography.


  • In 1907 he was assigned to the USS Kansas and took part in the world cruise "Great White Fleet" on board of that battleship.
  • For his distinguished service as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. O'Brien and the U.S.S. SHAW Halsey was awarded the Navy Cross. 
  • Halsey served as the US Naval Attaché in Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
  • Straightforward and tough Halsey was known under the nickname "Bull", however, his friends and colleagues still called him "Bill".
  • Participated in both World Wars.
  • At the start of WWII Halsey was one of very few US Admirals who were also pilots, earning his wings at age 52. 
  • At the beginning of the War in the Pacific Halsey commanded the task force centered on the carrier USS Enterprise in a series of raids against Japanese-held targets.
  • He took part in the Battle for Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of the WWII and, by some criteria, the largest naval battle in history.
  • After the war, he returned to the US and was posted to the Office of Secretary of the Navy. 
  • On Dec. 11, 1945, he was promoted to Fleet Admiral. Halsey was the fourth, and last, officer to hold that rank.
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