Black Shoe Carrier Admiral: Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway & Guadalcanal
An abundance of new evidence demanded this reevaluation of Frank Jack Fletcher, the ?black shoe? admiral who won his battles at sea but lost the war of public opinion. A surface warrior?in contrast to a ?brown shoe? naval aviator--Fletcher led the carrier forces that won against all odds at Coral Sea, Midway, and the Eastern Solomons. These and other early carrier victories decided the Pacific War not only because they inflicted crippling losses but also because they denied Japan key strategic positions in the region. Despite these successes, by 1950 Fletcher had become one of the most controversial figures in U.S. naval history and portrayed as a timid bungler who failed to relieve Wake Island in December 1941 and who deliberately abandoned the Marines at Guadalcanal.
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