Delving into the Legendary Nimitz Graybook
It’s been called the Holy Grail of Pacific war research—seven large volumes of “Command Summary” documents, which originally were bound in gray-colored binders. They present a record of what Admiral Chester Nimitz, Pacific Fleet Commander-in-Chief, knew and the information he based his decisions on during World War II.
At the 22 September symposium “The Nimitz Graybook: Chronicles of the Pacific War,” more than 250 attendees were treated to accounts of wartime operations as seen through the lens of the Graybook. Historians Craig Symonds, John Lundstrom, Timothy Orr, Richard Frank, Walter Borneman, and James Hornfischer wove in documents from the volumes to support their accounts and analyses of the Pacific conflict.
Also at the Fredericksburg, Texas, event hosted by the Nimitz Foundation and the Museum of the Pacific War, retired Navy Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, discussed the fragile original Graybook volumes, which are under the Command’s care at the Washington Navy Yard. As a special treat, attendees received their own flash-drive copies of the Graybook.