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Chester William Nimitz (February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) was a fleet admiral of the United States Navy. He played a major role in the naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet (CinCPac), for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas (CinCPOA), for U.S. and Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War II.
Nimitz was the leading U.S. Navy authority on submarines. Qualified in submarines during his early years, he later oversaw the conversion of these vessels' propulsion from gasoline to diesel, and then later was key in acquiring approval to build the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, whose propulsion system later completely superseded diesel-powered submarines in the U.S. The chief of the Navy's Bureau of Navigation in 1939, Nimitz served as Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) from 1945 until 1947. He was the United States' last surviving officer who served in the rank of Fleet Admiral.