That day 14 crewmembers died in the fire. 48 more were injured. Some of them were taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville. 4 jets were destroyed, including the one that crashed. 16 others were damaged.
This incident stuck with me through the years. I was excited to find out that the namesake of that carrier had a museum in his hometown of Fredericksburg, Texas. Chester W. Nimitz was a World War II Pacific fleet commander, who was the Navy’s third fleet admiral.
Chester W. Nimitz grandfather was a German immigrant who moved to Fredericksburg and built the Nimitz Hotel. Locals referred to it as the Steamboat Hotel because of the ship’s bow front. The hotel had its own saloon and brewery, a ballroom that doubled as a theatre, a smokehouse and a bath house.
|Nimitz Steamboat Hotel|
|Chester W. Nimitz|
The Nimitz Hotel now houses a museum, which is dedicated to Chester and his life in the United States Navy. I found him to be a very interesting man and hope to learn even more about him. The museum also covers six acres and is dedicated to the Pacific battles of World War II
visited the Pacific Combat Zone. It’s a
re-creation of the Pacific Island battlefield.
That area was outside and totally surrounded by bamboo forests. We saw a Quonset hut hospital, a PT boat and
base, Japanese tank, palm trees and machine gun placements. They do re-enactments throughout the year.
|Admiral Richard with his big gun.|
|Pacific Battle Zone.|
My friend Jeannie is what I consider an expert on World War II. For years she has entertained and awed me with the stories and facts of that time in US history. My Dad was stationed in the Pacific (Philippines). This is such a complete museum and well displayed. For a lot of the vignettes, Jeannie could add other facts.
One of the things she taught me was that Japan had been planning their attack on Pearl Harbor since the late 1890’s and continued until December 7, 1941, a day declared by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as “a date that will live in infamy.” It was then the president declared war on Japan.
There is way too much for me to tell about here, but if you ever get to Fredericksburg, Texas, plan to spend a couple of days. There is much to see and do.