I didn’t know about this — here is Victor Davis Hanson writing about Carl Vinson at National Review:
His monumental contributions to American security are largely unknown to Americans today.
Seventy-six years ago on Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese fleet surprise-attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the home port of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Japanese carrier planes killed 2,403 Americans. They sunk or submerged 19 ships (including eight battleships destroyed or disabled) and damaged or destroyed more than 300 planes.
In an amazing feat of seamanship, the huge Japanese carrier fleet had steamed nearly 3,500 miles in midwinter high seas. The armada had refueled more than 20 major ships while observing radio silence before arriving undetected about 220 miles from Hawaii.
The surprise attack started the Pacific War. It was followed a few hours later by a Japanese assault on the Philippines.
More importantly, Pearl Harbor ushered in a new phase of World War II, as the conflict expanded to the Pacific. It became truly a global war when, four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.
The Japanese fleet had missed the three absent American carriers of the Pacific Fleet. Nonetheless, Japanese admirals were certain that the United States was so crippled after the attack that it would not be able to go on the offensive against the Japanese Pacific empire for years, if at all. Surely the wounded Americans would sue for peace, or at least concentrate on Europe and keep out of the Japanese-held Pacific.
That was a fatal miscalculation.
The Japanese warlords had known little of the tireless efforts of one Democratic congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson.
For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.
Read more: National Review