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Short Synopsis
This is the first-ever biography of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr., who served a key role during World War II in the Pacific. Recognizing the achievements and legacy of one of the war's top combat admirals has been long overdue until now.

Full Synopsis
Battleship Commander explores Lee's life from boyhood in Kentucky through his eventual service as commander of the fast battleships from 1942 to 1945. Said to be down to earth, modest, forgiving, friendly, and with a wry sense of humor, Lee eschewed the media and, to the extent possible, left administrative details to others. During his service in the Navy Department from 1939 to 1942, Lee prepared the U.S. Navy for war at sea, and was involved in inspecting designs for battleships, cruisers, aircraft carriers, and destroyers. He sent observers to Britain to report on Royal Navy operations during the war against Germany and made plans to send an action team to mainland China to observe conditions for possible later Allied landings there.

In 1942 Willis Lee became commander of the first division of fast battleships to operate in the Pacific. During that service, he commanded Task Force 64, which achieved a tide-turning victory in a night battle near Guadalcanal in November 1942.

Continuing his career of service near the end of the war, Lee, in the summer of 1945, directed anti-kamikaze research efforts in Casco Bay, Maine. While Lee's wartime successes and failures are compelling, what is here in this biography is a balanced look at the man and officer.

Battleship Commander

The Life of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr.

Author Paul Stillwell

Narrated by Walter Dixon

Publication date Dec 21, 2021

Running time 12 hrs

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