Future admiral never heard of naval academy

By Bartee Haile
 
Six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Chester William Nimitz barely survived the crash of a seaplane in San Francisco Bay on Jun. 30, 1942. If an ancestor had mended his free- spending ways, the future architect of the American victory in the Pacific might well have served with distinction in a European navy. But great-grandfather Karl Heinrich Nimitz spent money like there was no tomorrow and ended up a destitute aristocrat. 
 
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