FORREST P. SHERMAN, REAR ADMIRAL (1896-1951)

His signature appears on his right leg. Sherman is shown standing behind Fleet Admiral Nimitz and to the left of Admiral Halsey. The signature was written in black fluid ink on the signed surrender photograph.

Sherman was born on October 30, 1896 in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He graduated from the Naval Academy with honors in 1918. After serving in the Mediterranean during World War I, he reported for flight training in 1922. Various assignments in Naval Aviation and staff duty aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS SARATOGA produced the produced the background for being appointed as an instructor in the Department and Flight Tactics at the Naval Academy during the term 1930 to 1931.

At the outbreak of hostilities with Japan, Sherman was on staff duty at the War Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operation, Navy Department Washington D. C. During this assignment, he attended the Atlantic Conference in August of 1941. His next assignment was the command of the Aircraft Carrier USS WASP in May of 1942. Under his command she was sunk by enemy action in the Solomon Islands on September 15, 1942.

The following is from the Naval Historical Center's biography information on Sherman:

For "extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the USS WASP and Flag Captain to the Commander of a Task Force during the occupation of Tulagi-Guadalcanal and subsequent operations..."he was awarded the Navy Cross. The citation continues: "In addition to supervising plans for employment of aerial support to cover the initial landing, Captain Sherman, by his proficient skill and aggressive courage which enabled his group to destroy hostile opposition in the air and on the beach. His outstanding performance of duty was a decisive factor in the success of our forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." Sherman also received the Purple Heart Medal (awarded for wounds received aboard the USS WASP).

After the sinking of the USS WASP, Sherman was appointed Chief of Staff to Vice-Admiral Towers then Commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet. On November 10, 1943, he was transferred to duty as Deputy Chief of Staff to Fleet Admiral Nimitz. He remained in this assignment until September 2, 1945 receiving a Distinguished Service Medal. The citation points out: "Rear Admiral Sherman rendered distinguished service in the preparation of plans and the co-ordination of our campaigns to bring about the early capitulation of the Gilberts, Marshalls, Mariana, Western Carolines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, our final attacks on Japan, and the naval phases of the occupation of the defeated Empire. As head of the War Plans Division on the staff, he contributed essentially to the successful prosecution of the war in the Pacific and his unfailing efforts were of vital importance in forcing the enemy to surrender..."

Representing the Navy in the initial conferences with the Japanese at Manila in August 1945, he was present aboard the USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay when the formal surrender of the Japanese was signed on September 1, 1945 (EST).

In addition to the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal the Legion of Merit, and the Purple Heart Medal (awarded for wound received aboard the USS WASP), Admiral Sherman had the Victory Medal, Patrol Clasp; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; and the Navy Occupation Service Medal.

The Government of Great Britain made him an Honorary Companion of the Order of the Bath and warded him the Oak Leaf Emblem after Mention in Despatches. The King of Greece awarded him the grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix; the Government of Italy the Grand Cross of the Military Order of Italy; and the Government of France the degree of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor.