Account of Admiral Nimitz Visiting Palmyra

Dublin Core


Account of Admiral Nimitz Visiting Palmyra


This personal account is of Waitsell Leon GIvens, a Navy Radioman, 2nd Class who was stationed on Palmyra during World War 2. Throughout his life, he would often tell his family the attached story, as relayed by his daughter.

Confirmation of Admiral Nimitz's visit to Palmyra comes from the June 1943 War diary. One of the daily entries reads as follows (the page from this excerpt is also attached to this entry):

"June 18, 0834 - PB2Y3, NATS flight V2216, arrived from Canton. Admiral Nimitz, Commander-in-chief, Pacific Fleet, aboard as passengers."

We are very grateful to Givens' family for sharing this story with us.


Carolyn Givens




Public Domain

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My father was 21 years old at the time. He said that in a stopover in Palmyra, Admiral Nimitz wanted to go deep sea fishing since they were staying over for a day. My father, as the radio man, was sent out on one of the ships (a PT boat?) to be available in case any urgent messages needed to be relayed to the admiral. So my dad was down below all day while they were fishing. On the way back to Palmyra, it was getting dark and cold, so the admiral came down below to get out of the weather. He got to talking to my dad, who also happened to be from Texas (the admiral was from Fredericksburg, TX) and they had a nice chat. He said the admiral was a very kind man and he was definitely star-struck by him.



“Account of Admiral Nimitz Visiting Palmyra,” Palmyra Archive, accessed July 6, 2020,