The Naval Order of the United States has selected the Battleship Missouri Memorial as the permanent home of the Admiral Nimitz Sculpture. Crafted by Oregon artist Rip Caswell, the 8-foot, 600-pound bronze statue pays tribute to the legendary World War II admiral, Chester William Nimitz. The statue is scheduled to be unveiled in conjunction with the Battleship Missouri Memorial's annual End of World War II ceremony on Sept. 2.
Ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Nimitz was selected as commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, with the rank of admiral. Nimitz, despite the losses from the attack on Pearl Harbor and the shortage of ships, planes and supplies, successfully organized his forces to halt the Japanese advance. As resources returned, Nimitz commanded the defeat of the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway and in the Solomon Islands.
Later, Congress created the grade of fleet admiral of the United States Navy – the highest grade in the Navy. Nimitz took the oath of that office Dec. 19, 1944.
"We are honored and thrilled to host the statue and are sure that it will be a focal point for many years to come," Michael A. Carr, president and chief operating officer of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, said in a news release. "(Fleet Admiral) Nimitz was the United States' signatory at the historic World War II surrender ceremony on the decks of the USS Missouri (BB-63). The reunion of these two icons of American history is a fitting homage to the day that peace was restored to the world."
The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during June, July and August. General admission, which includes choice of a guided tour, is $22 per adult and $11 per child, ages 4-12. Military, kamaaina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For more information or for reservations, call toll-free (877) 644-4896 or visit www.USSMissouri.org .