Talk:Frank Jack Fletcher

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January - April, 1942[edit]

The section makes it sound as if Fletcher, with no carrier experience, was chosen over more senior admirals with carrier experience. This is not so. Carrier doctrine was too new and carrier duty not seen as a plum assignment for career-minded naval officers. There were very few general officers who had experience with carriers. The middle ranks, though, were filling out and many of Fletcher's aviation officers resented Fletcher's command because he was a "surface fleet admiral". This needs to be rewritten and made more historically accurate. For example, WHY was Fletcher actually "chosen over more senior officers"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Midway and Guadalcanal[edit]

There has been some controversy regarding Admiral Fletcher's conduct at these two battles. At Midway he seemed to leave the running of the battle to Raymond Spruance, a junior man. At Guadalcanal he dropped the Marines on the beach and decamped rather quickly. He did not hold another major fleet command after the end of 1942. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cranston lamont (talkcontribs) 22:09 UTC, May 16, 2006

  • Do you have any references regarding this "controversy"? —ERcheck @ 22:28, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Butcher, M.E. “Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher, Pioneer Warrior or Gross Sinner?” Naval War College Review 40:69-79 Winter 1987.

The enigma of Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher CDR (rtd) Harold L Buell Naval History February 2003 Vol. 17 Number 1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cranston lamont (talkcontribs) 02:49, 17 May 2006

"Reviews the mixed verdict that historians and analysts have reached regarding the competence of Adm Fletcher as a carrier task group commander in the Pacific during 1942." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cranston lamont (talkcontribs) 02:43, 17 May 2006

Note: At Midway Fletcher "passed the conn" to Spruance for the entirely valid reason that USS Yorktown (Fletcher's flagship) was knocked out of action and eventually sank. Unable to communicate effectively, Fletcher made the only reasonable decision and subordinated himself to Spruance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:09, 8 July 2006

+   Fletcher commanded the entire Battle of Midway on June 4th in which all four enemy carriers were sunk. His flagsip was badly damaged in the engagement and he passed command to Spruance at dusk as the US fleet retired for the night. The next day Spruance sank a lingering cruiser as Fletcher tried to salvage Yorktown. Alas, a submarine put her under and Fletcher's shutout game became a 4:1 victory. -- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 6:19, 21 October 2006

Off Guadalcanal, Fletcher decided to preserve the Pacific Fleet's remaining carriers. Three generations of marines have damned him for that decision. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:09, 8 July 2006

+   The marines had landed unopposed on Guadalcanal. After providing close air support for the landing, Fletcher's carriers were subjected to land based torpedo attack, so he moved over the horizon, but kept close to Guadalcanal. When the Japanese sent an invasion fleet to retake The Canal two weeks later, Fletcher repulsed the attack in the Battle of Eastern Solomons and sank another Japanese carrier. As a warrior, Fletcher sank six enemy carriers as the most sucessful Admiral of the 20th Century. In doing so, he lost two. His sucessors in the next two months lost two more carriers and sank no enemy carriers. Ref : Black Shoe Carrier Admiral by John Lundstrum —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:09, 8 July 2006

"Three generations of marines have damned him for that decision". Yep- for good reason. He pulled out without all of their supplies (food, ammo, etc.) being offloaded. --Purpleslog 04:31, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

    Marines speak much about Guadalcanal; it was their first victory, The big picture is that it was a battle at sea. While 1,592 US marines and army died on land, 48 warships went down – half ours, half enemy : 3 carriers, 2 battleships, 12 cruisers, 25 destroyers, 6 subs. The total lives lost at sea remains unknown. We know 1,270 Allied sailors died in the first of six great sea battles there, more than the total marine count in six months of fighting. Marines are noted for bravery. They may not have had all the typewriters and cheese they would have liked, but 11,000 marines clearly outnumbered one thousand Imperial construction workers. The Allies were outnumbered 10 carriers to 4, 12 battleships to 8, yet they kept reinforcements from overwhelming the marines. Three generations of criticism for providing that protection becomes tedious. After Guadalcanal, both navies had to rebuild; the Axis built ten new carriers, the U.S. built 119. Admiral Fletcher held the line when it was most needed. --~~User:Manorborn 22:25, 17 October 2006

Perhaps at least a "Controversy" section or some such thing could be added? A biographical entry should at least perform the service of letting its readers know that there is not general acceptance one way or the other w/r/t his legacy. EPM —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:22, 24 March 2007

Lord! Are guys serious? Have any of you actually read anything about Guadalcanal, or done any worthwhile research? I assume whoever claimed Guadalcanal was the Marine's 'first victory' meant in the Pacific Theater of WWII. Maybe that's overly generous, perhaps he/she is unfamiliar with the 'Great War', or anything that preceded WWII. Until August 1942 the U.S. had suffered defeat piled upon defeat at the hands of the Japanese (Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, the Phillipines) with the notable exception of Midway. Until the victory at Guadalcanal many in the U.S. believed Japanese infantryman were virtually superhuman and, as a result, the nation was captivated by the Marines' struggle. 'Marines speak much of Guadalcanal'? I served in the Marines and heard more talk of Tarawa and Iwo Jima. Historians and jounalists speak much about Guadalcanal, the American people elevated it to iconic preeminence. If the image conjured by the word 'Guadalcanal' is that of a hollow-eyed, emaciated, grimy Marine, it hasn't stopped historians and scholars from spilling buckets of ink discussing the Naval battles attendant to the campaign. If you think you've discovered some carefully concealed information, you're flattering yourself. And although the 1st Marine Division was, and remains, justifiably proud of its achievement, for the Marine Corps, it was just the first of many more horrific fights for blood-soaked, desolate islands.

When Fletcher bailed on Admiral Turner's transports and the 1st Marine Division on Aug. 8th, he did so according to his original deployment plan, discussed during a meeting on July 26 off Koro Island in the Fijis, not after being 'subjected to land based torpedo attack'(??). When Turner (Commander of the Assault Force) answered "5 days" to Fletcher's question regarding how long it would take to off-load the transports, Fletcher responded that he'd withdraw the carriers after 2 days. Following a few pointed words from 1st Marine Division Commanding General Archer Vandergrift, Fletcher extended carrier support to 3 days. As for Fletcher's carriers being 'subjected to land based torpedo attack', they weren't. The threat of potential attack via land-based aircraft (Betty's from Rabaul) carrying torpedos was used by Fletcher to justify withdrawal of carrier forces on Aug. 8th! (Hey, in case you didn't know, the Marines landed on Guadalcanal, code name: Cactus, on the 7th.) When he informed Turner of his intentions, Turner pleaded for at least one more day of air cover for his relatively helpless, and incredibly valuable transports (I assume we all understand the value of military sealift capapability.) Fletcher declined. Turner, on the other hand, risked one more day of off-loading without air support from the carriers! And yes, I understand the value of carriers, the thing is, in order for a weapons system to fulfill its' potential, it has to be used. Merely preserving its' integrity doesn't help you win the war!

The 1,000 'Imperial' construction workers (too much Star Wars and not enough reading perhaps?) - the garrison was actually 3,457 strong. It included Naval Construction Units (11th, 13th, 14th, etc.) as well as members of the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Forces. See, when you talk about operation Watchtower, it includes Guadalcanal, Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo. The North Group, under 1st MarDiv assistant commander General Rupertus, fought for Tulagi and Gavutu-Tanambogo for 4 days, sustaing 157 casualties, and inflicting 863 on the Japanese. On Guadalcanal, 1st Marine Division planners figured the main Japanese garrison was located at Lunga Point, with a detachment at Koli Point, and chose to land where they believed they could avoid a contested landing. It worked. Hence the 'unopposed' landing. Which is not the same as landing on an 'unoccupied' island. 3rd Kure Special Landing Forces, and Construction Units, were on Guadalcanal too, and soon engaged the Marines. And then the Ichiki detachment and a bunch of other Japanese joined the party. Yeah, those slackers in the 1st MarDiv had a lot of company after awhile!

As for the notion that an outnumbered U.S. Naval force of 4 carriers and 8 battleships 'kept (Japanese) reinforcements from overwhelming the marines' (sic) - well, I suppose the Cactus Air Force, and the Marines for that matter, didn't have much to do with it, eh? I guess I missed the part about the Navy dragging the Saratoga up Edson's Ridge to fight off that determined Japanese assault against Henderson Field. I suppose the transport inefficiencies imposed on the Japanese Army, primarily by the Cactus Air Force, such as using destroyers as troop transports, and submarines as supply ships, had little to do with it? In fact, the biggest 'brake' on Japanese reinforcements to Guadalcanal, was Japanese commanders. Due to a delusional sense of superiority, chronic underestimates of U.S. forces on the islands, and irrationally exhuberant reports of success during disasterous assaults against the Marine perimeter, Japanese planners consistently fed in reinforcements in a 'piecemeal' fashion, until the cause was irretrievably lost.

'Typewriters and cheese', right... and barbed wire, mines, 1,800 riflemen (primarily 2nd Marines stuck onboard Turner's transports), heavy equipment (Guadalcanal was all about the airfield, which the Marines were expected to complete), and a few other odds and ends. Hey, at least they had food though, right? Yeah, enough for 2 squares (well not really, mostly just rice) a day, a diet which started on Aug. 12th and lasted for several months... Mmmmmmm! Nothing like a nutritious diet to help you fight off the lovely diseases and parasites so helpfully distributed by Guadalcanal's teeming insect life!

Look, Admiral Fletcher was once awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, his courage is beyond question. However, many of his decisions as Expeditionary Force Commander for operation Watchtower continue to be the subject of controversy among legitimate historians and scholars (check out the referenced book by Richard Frank for details.) If you wish to defend him because you think you can judge success on the battlefield solely by comparing how many ships you brought back from the fight intact (like some kind of box-score obsessed baseball-stat freak), because you're a squid, or just because you admire his nifty slicked-back doo so much, fine. But don't dare to impugn the reputation or contributions of the Marines, the See-Bees, the submariners, the coast-watchers, radio intelligence personnel, among many others, who brought a discouraged nation a great victory in the Solomons. Particularily if, in doing so, you put your pitiful ignorance of history on display. This is supposed to be some kind of 'encyclopedia', isn't it? This is supposed to be an article about an historical figure, right?


   Richard B. Frank, 'Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle', Penguin Books
   Ed Gilbert, 'US Marine Corps Raider 1942-1943', Osprey Publishing
   John W. Dower, 'War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War', Pantheon Books

DresdenBarber (talk) 08:45, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

The post above is a good one. It was not 1,000 construction workers. You have been reading to much WEB Griffin and other histori-fiction. Talk to someone who was there. The US Marines were put on Guadalcanal without support, rations and equipment and that battle was won by a marine with a rifle and not the US Navy. That battle centered around who owned the airfield.

-10/24/09 - chip2492 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chip2494 (talkcontribs) 21:48, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

11,000 marines attacked 1,000 construction workers on Guadalcanal in an uncontested landing. Across Syklark Channel BGen Ruperts led an assault with an ADDITIONAL 5,000 Marines against Florida Island (again, uncontested) and Tuluga, contested and taken the next day. Gavutu was attacked that day and was taken the next. The reserve afloat, 2nd Marines with an ADDITIONAL 1,400 men, were not landed because they were not needed and were to occupy Ndeni Island on the third day (cancelled, occupied by tender McFarland). The Marine landings was a success, no word was sent that unloading cargo was a problem (after all, some of the marines would have helped if needed, but, "Vandergrif felt he could not spare men from the line to clear the beach [of piles up supplies]. The Marines managed the unloading badly, and they would pay later for this failure." - U.S. Marine Corps Story by Moskin. Those marines had personally combat loaded their ships; (N.Z. stevedores would only work a 5-day week) ammo on top, typewriters below.

Very learned information above. One small point. I hope Fletcher's defense does not rest solely on his Medal of Honor at Veracruz. This was (in retrospect) a sorry chapter in Naval History having something as yet not understood, to do with politics than with honor. Both Frank and his uncle and a lot of others were put in for Medals for this brief engagement. In some cases (maybe most) lots were drawn to see who would get them. In retrospect, not a pretty sight and one we have not seen before or (mercifully) since. I'm not suggesting he performed less than honorably at Veracruz, nor others with similiar awards there. Just that their reputation for valor should probably not depend solely on that one (protracted) battle and occupation.
Carriers are worth a lot. Because they were gone at Pearl, Americans continue to speak English, not Japanese! They proved the day at Midway. They were "nursed" throughout the war, as they should be. It's possible that, with the advantage of hindsight, that Fletcher was too careful.
The only comparable example I can think of is the invasion of Normandy when it became obvious, for many reasons, that the invasion was failing, destroyers were ordered to sail as close as possible to the beach and "do everything possible" to support the invasion. This is one of the few times I can remember an admiral suggesting that a ship be sacrificed to save soldiers. For a short space of time, this tradeoff seemed reasonable and stands the test of time. Their support at a critical time ensured the success of the invasion. Yes, a lot of brave soldiers were killed. As opposed to a few sailors and no destroyers.

Gross error -- Guadalcanal was a battle at sea. More sailors were killed in the first days defending the beachhead than marines in the entire 6-month battle. While 1,592 US marines and army died on land, 48 warships went down – half ours, half enemy : 3 carriers, 2 battleships, 12 cruisers, 25 destroyers, 6 subs. The total lives lost at sea remains unknown (to me). We do know 1,270 Allied sailors died in only the first of six great sea battles there.

Once the army had a foothold (late in the war and against a force with virtually no navy outside a u-boat fleet) the navy was out of there. That's the way navies work. Logistics and air strikes from a safe distance.
Did the marines need better support in this case after gaining a foothold? Probably. Did that mean Fletcher was wrong? Maybe not. A lucky Japanese sub or two could jeopardize the entire campaign it seems to me.
Unlike Africa and Europe where the army depended on the navy mostly for logistics, everything depended on the navy in the Pacific. No navy, no war. A couple of carriers down, and the US would be out of the picture for quite a while. I don't want to see a navy generally losing a lot of ships in an army vs navy situation with the slight window of exception for a key moment in the Normandy invasion where the navy wasn't quite a vulnerable to start with. Student7 (talk) 00:30, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Morison and Fletcher[edit]

Some confusion over the "controversy" stems from Morison's bias. Fletcher did the best he could; nobody blames Spruance for being cautious. 23:57, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Fletcher had retired and did not agree to gather his papers and interview with Morison as other admirals did. Thus Fletcher received no courtesy in the books. Lesser authors followed Morison as authorative. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:56, 21 October 2006

Fletcher's legacy[edit]

Fletcher usually isn't treated very well in most historian's accounts of the Pacific War. He's usually described as too cautious and timid and for his supposed preference for "fueling rather than fighting." Lundstrom is an exception to this prevailing opinion, stating that the criticisms are mostly unfair and hypocritical. The discussion of Fletcher's legacy and both sides of the issue deserve to be discussed in the article. Cla68 08:27, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Playing what-if games after the events has no place in an encyclopedia which purpose is to present facts. Or is wikipedia to act as a discussion board and gossip column speculating about people and events with innuendo. If so, we would devote half of WW2 discussing that Spruance was put forward by Halsey because he was his in-law. That Mitscher’s ineptitude with Hornet allowed the loss of Yorktown. That McCain’s failure to find Mikawa allowed the disaster at Salvo. That Turner’s talk was bigger than his ability to perform. That Morison was incompetent at math, as well as petty. Halsey was dramatic, but reckless. That King made the biggest mistake in the Pacific War by not returning Fletcher because the successors lost two carriers with nothing to show for them. That if Fletcher had returned, perhaps he could have wiped out another six carriers and ended the war in another eight months. Fletcher struck a near perfect balance between aggression and caution that resulted in stopping the unstoppable Japanese Navy. Meanwhile American industry had time to built dozens of carriers to allow the others to make grand victories. Lets keep to the facts : Fletcher stopped a rampaging enemy and allowed time for eventual victory.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:15, 23 February 2007

This repeated reference to Fletcher stopping a rampaging enemy, both here and in the article, needs to conform to wiki standards. Fletcher was not the only "fighting admiral" during the timeframe from Pearl to Midway. The bias towards Fletcher is ridiculous, particularly in the face of such controversy. Insulting Spruance, Mitscher, McCain, Turner, King, Morison, et al to bolster the argument for Fletcher does not deserve to be here, regardless of one's personal opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

During the first months of WW2, when we were losing the war, the Japanese Combined Fleet had defeated the US Battle Feet, US Asiatic Fleet, British Far East Fleet, and Netherlands East Indies Fleet in attacks from Hawaii to India, Alaska to Australia without loss of any ship larger than a submarine or auxiliary destroyer. What other word would be used to say this was a rampaging enemy? They were later defeated by overwhelming American industrial might; we built 119 carriers during the war; they built ten. That story of victory can be read on other pages. But, with the remnants of a depression era fleet, Fletcher was the most successful of our Admirals in stopping them -- three times, always with a smaller force. These successes allowed the U.S. to mobilize.

There were other fighting admirals during these painful times -– Adm Pye had to refloat his battleships ; VAdm Brown had to retreat from Rabaul, attacked New Guinea with Fletcher, no kills; RAdm Fitch, Fletcher's air advisor at Coral Sea, lost Lexington; VAdm Halsey, in hospital during this period. RAdm Kinkaid, new boy under Fletcher in Solomons, no kills. RAdm Mitscher, sent ashore for poor handling of Hornet, no kills. RAdm Murray, promoted, aggressive, lost Hornet, no kills. RAdm Spruance, with Halsey's staff, was under Fletcher at Midway, (Note, the win belongs to the man in charge and giving the orders -- To Spruance, 0607: "Proceed southwesterly and attack enemy carriers as soon as definitely located."). RAdm Noyes, arrived and lost Wasp in ten weeks with no kills. VAdm Fletcher, Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons, lost Yorktown, six kills. Would you say he did an admirable job? Perhaps with a near perfect balance of aggression and caution? Others performed well during this difficult period, but this is Fletcher's page, and he was the most successful.

The Japanese rampaged through the Pacific until they met Fletcher. -- "The Days of Fletcher", Manuscript, ISBN 978-987-05-3967-4

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Is there someone who would like to defend the assertion in the last sentence under Legacy? Given the reference to official USN history about Spruance's command independence and that a National War College Review article ( that clearly identifies that USN carrier tactics and operations were developed in the 20s and 30s (and does not even list Fletcher), I am tempted to just delete the whole paragraph. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

As someone who wandered into the Frank Jack Fletcher article while browsing, I can heartily agree that it needs to be re-written.

The detailed arguments about the admiral’s record are best left to another venue. This is an encyclopedia, after all, a reference work, not a debate forum. Because the articles are a reference for the casual reader, they should show the consensus view of the subject, or at least the dominant viewpoint among scholars and experts, with controversies considered and noted when important.

In several decades of reading about the history of the first year of the Pacific War in many books and articles, this is the first piece I have ever seen defend him in this fashion. Even before considering the details of the argument, this should set off an alarm for any Wiki editor. By presenting a viewpoint shared only by a small cadre of Fletcher defenders as though it were a widely held opinion, the author, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER HE CAN BE JUDGED RIGHT OR WRONG ABOUT THE TOPIC, has falsified the reference.

The classic example in another frame is the Creationism vs Evolution debate as it might be presented in public school science classes. In the scientific community, the issue in question was resolved more than a century ago. The Creationist position is a religious and political one, and until its followers can present enough evidence to win a foothold among scholars—which some of them are trying to do--that is ALL it is. A junior high science textbook cannot present every view and argument in any every field of science. It has no more room for this than a Wiki article. It certainly has no business devoting valuable time to trivial disputes on the fringes of scholarship. Again, creationism vs evolution IS a major POLITICAL issue in the United States, just not a major of serious scientific dispute. “Teaching the controversy” in this case would be deceptive to the students, assigning a fringe theory a status it does not have in the scientific community.

Per Admiral Fletcher’s reputation, I have never been convinced by his defenders. The limited excuse he has for his actions in August of 1942 is that, first, planning amphibious invasions was a new science, and second, it was still possible to believe that a fleet of transports and surface ships could successfully operate anywhere without control of the air. At any time later in the war, if a task force commander assigned to protect an invasion fleet had turned away and left them to the mercies of enemy air and sea power, he would most likely have been relieved of command immediately and possibly court-martialed for cowardice and dereliction of duty. Fletcher’s job after that convoy left port for Guadalcanal was to protect it. He chose to abandon that task before it was completed.

For the rest of the events of 1941-1942, Fletcher reminds me of the Confederate general Joe Johnston. Johnston wasn’t a ‘’bad’’ general. He was actually better at keeping an army in hand and laying out a battle then most of the generals on either side. However, he wasn’t nearly as good as he needed to be. Fletcher, like Johnston, was so concerned about not losing a battle he kept making decisions that preventing him from winning them, or from doing as well as he could have. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Lt. Biard's Problem[edit]

The radio intercept officer on Yorktown had a personality clash with the Admiral. Layton, as a supervisor, should support Lt. Biard's career and get him another assignment. Lawton, as author of And I Was There, continued to defend his man which colors everything he says concerning Fletcher in an otherwise valuable book. The trivia in the section about the Coral Sea has been replaced with material about the battle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Manorborn1 (talkcontribs) 05:38, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

POV tag discussion[edit]

On 3 January 2008 23:22 (UTC), IP editor (talk · contribs) added a {{pov}} tag to the top of the article and added the comment above. Quoting:

Please include any discussion relevant to this comment below. Thanks. — ERcheck (talk) 00:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC) Addendum: The comments to-date on this talk page raise a number of issues that may need to be addressed to clear the {{pov}} tag. — ERcheck (talk) 00:36, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

The comments about Fletcher's legacy is grossly misleading. He was not the only fighting admiral and of the three carriers in the Pacific on December 8, none of them were his future flagship, the Yorktown. It did not arrive in San Diego from Atlantic duties in Norfolk until December 30, 1941 ( Fletcher was a cruiser commander at the time with no more carrier experience than the "inexperienced" Spruance at the time of Midway. Fletcher did not take command of a carrier until January 1, 1942. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:45, 4 January 2008

Change it. Please footnote with a scholarly citation. The trouble with a lot of these bios and sometimes articles is people get into heated discussions, change things and leave no paper trail. The article changes wind up looking like someone's opinion. Also, if Morrison can't be quoted for some good reason, this should be documented as well. He is usually considered a scholarly source. Student7 (talk) 22:41, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Note: Please remember to sign your posts to this (and any talk page). This can be done by typing ~~~~ (four tildes) at the end of your post. Your username and time will automatically be added when you "Save page". — ERcheck (talk) 00:46, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Please make sure that Wikipedia policies are followed
As I see it, the key Wikipedia policies that need to be followed are and Verifiability. I note that the recent additions (Morrison and Legacy) to the article do not have citations. While Morison is considered a scholarly source, readers of the article have not been introduced to him and unless they are military scholars/historians, they will not have the necessary context. As suggested by , a footnote with citation should be added. I've tagged the article as such. — ERcheck (talk) 02:14, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I feel this article requires more than adding citations and verifiable sources. I am new to Wikipedia, but I think this entry needs a complete rewrite. Some sections, e.g. the Battle of Midway, should not be a synopsis of the actual battle as there is another entry for that, but highlight Fletcher's actions and contributions to that Battle. Instead, what I read seems to be an attempt to paint Fletcher as the 'true architect' of the victory rather than Spruance. (I'm not saying that Spruance completely deserves this title either).

As this entry stands, to someone encountering it for the first time, I think it offers a somewhat biased and inflated opinion of Fletcher's achievements and glosses over the controversial issues regarding his command actions during WWII. Whether you like it or not, the 'controversy' over Fletcher is part of the historical record, and has been a long-standing issue, whether deserved or not. Wikipedia, in my opinion, should not try to take sides on this controversial issue - (talk) 23:17, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Per Wiki policy, do not arbitrarily delete sections without discussion. Out of respect for other points of view, I have not deleted sections without attempting to engage in discussion. Please show the same respect, whether you are new to wiki or not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:21, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Please do not use the "edit summary" line for discussion. As stated above, "Please include any discussion relevant to this comment below (in the POV discussion section)." As far as the blog cite goes, yeah you're right. I am checking the comprehensive citations that this WWII veteran himself supplies. It is temporary, but it has value given the context of the POV controversy. My set of Morison's History is in storage. Give me a little time to get to the library on my time off. I would also appreciate more help with content and a little less grammer school. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:18, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Hard to argue with Morison. On the other hand, he is a bit derivative himself. He quotes "both sides agree" but fails to say who. Clearly some mention of the failure to close properly at Midway should be mentioned (and is). I guess I didn't like the section headers which I have changed and the funny sentence which stared it off even if it is from Morison.Student7 (talk) 16:21, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
It definitely needs a lot of work. I had put in the Controversy as a separate section only as a temporary solution. It needs to be more summary, supported by facts in previous sections. But I agree with a comment somewhere that said battle operations belong in the articles about specifici battles. Need to find a balance somewhere. As the section stands, it is awkward. I am reluctant to touch the original Legacy paragraph until the author has an opportunity to pipe in, but the contradictions are becoming glaring. I have issues with giving Fletcher credit for developing carrier tactics and sinking six Japanese carriers (four at Midway). It was Spruance's calculated risk, operating forward of Fletcher and launching against the Japanese carriers earlier than he intended, that left the J. carriers exposed for followup attacks. Spruance was also operating effectively on his own. His decisions were his, not Fletcher's. Trying to find some good source info before I go that far in the article, though.

No June week?[edit]

Just noticed that Fletcher graduated in February 1906. I realize things were different then. He wasn't commissioned until later. But did the class not graduate together? Was there no "June week?" Not during wartime, so this seems puzzling. Any ideas? Student7 (talk) 03:42, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


"The biography of Adm Frank Jack Fletcher", P17. "A student's class ranking forever established him as senior to those below him. Ranking 30th of 116, Fletcher was very good at seamanship ... and low on modern language. ... During his final year ... Fletcher was Cadet Junior Lieutenant [4th officer]... "Frank Jack Fletcher and his friends graduated on February 12, 1906, and awaited orders for a sea assignment. His first orders were for the USS Rhode Island (BB 17)" [commissioned 19 February 1906], then Ohio (BB 12), then Eagle IV (PY) in Haiti.

Passed Midshipmen had to serve two years at varying duties with good fitness reports and take a final exam before commissioning. (talk) 19:14, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


Morison says in Volumn 15, Supplement (1962), Cumulative Errata, p132. "Admiral Fletcher was ordered by Cincpac [Pye] to fuel when and where he did, because it was then hoped to have Adm Brown's task force [Lexington] join him, and Brown had to know where to find him." Yet Morison did not rewrite the text and perpetuates his criticism of Fletcher's failure to "press on" in the loss of Wake Island in reprints to this day. With his initial refueling bias, Morison repeats that theme at other battles, again without a rewrite in later reprints and continuing the false impression. But, hey, who reads cumulative errata?

Morison continues the error in "Two Ocean Navy (1963)," the one volume version that most people read, with a line in the story of Wake Island, p138, "... the fault of Admiral Fletcher, who wasted time on unnecessary fueling, when he should have pressed on to relieve Wake." Note that Morison knew better by this date. But hey, who does this kind of research or questions Morison's intentions? No wonder later writers seek fault in Fletcher.

Relating battles[edit]

I think that since this is a bio of Fletcher, his orders to commanders and to him are germane. I don't think that it is essential to recount battle particulars that don't seem to involve him specifically. If he was responsible for the action, it should read "Fletcher (or his task force or whatever) sank the carrier." It shouldn't read that Joe Smith sank it and radioed back "xxxx." It's not about them. We have a specific account in the Battle article which readers can go to if they are interested. Either Fletcher did it (or omitted it) or it shouldn't be in here. Student7 (talk) 01:10, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree. I was getting ready to post this very question when I saw this. However, it has been 9 years with no reply. If I don't see any objections in the next week I will be paring the article of this unnecessary information.Pennsy22 (talk) 08:37, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Mistaken identity[edit]

Mistaken Identity???? Could it be that some of these characters have blended their history to combine elements of Spruance with elements of Fletcher? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wmlschlotterer (talkcontribs) 20:25, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Don't quite understand the question. What characters or events are you questioning?
At one time there was (somehow) two Frank Fletcher articles which I guess got merged around the start of 2007, if I remember correctly. There was also Frank Fletcher's uncle, an admiral whose exploits mostly preceded Frank's except when they overlapped at Veracruz. Student7 (talk) 00:11, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the two articles contain the same MOH citation wording (except of rank). I think that the elder Fletcher (FJF's uncle, Frank Friday Fletcher) was the only one to be awarded the MOH. His photo in the article shows him wearing it. Can someone please verify? --rogerd (talk) 18:36, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
No, they're both listed on The similarity in wording is boilerplate.
—WWoods (talk) 19:23, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

FLETCHER SANK 6 JAP CARRIERS IN 1942! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC) I have always though Fletcher got a raw deal from the press. Who doesn't. However, Fletcher's commands sank 6 Jap carriers in 1942. The Japs won every battle til they tangled with Fletcher. No other Admiral can match that record. -Tim Hardin, 7/7/09

In 2009 you still use the word "Jap?" What's wrong with you, Tim Hardin? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

FLETCHER WAS THERE WHEN 6 CARRIERS WERE SUNK! But I would not credit it all to him. He also is responsible for leaving US Marines stranded on Guadalcanal while letting most of their equipment and rations leave with the ships on the bugout. The reason that Fletcher is not treated fairly by history is because he was more concerned with not losing ships than taking the battle to the enemy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chip2494 (talkcontribs) 21:39, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

FOCUSING ON THE "SIX CARRIERS" Fletcher was THERE for six carriers, yes. But he was only in COMMAND for two of them, at Coral Sea and the Eastern Solomons. At Midway after Yorktown was crippled, he transferred command of that battle to Spruance, who had two undamaged carriers, plus the communications with Nimitz, and the staff on hand (aboard Enterprise) to fight the battle. Fletcher had none of these things, so passing command to Spruance was a gracious move. But he had little or nothing to do with the actual outcome of that battle. ~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
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Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 15:13, 15 June 2013 (UTC)