James Vincent Forrestal (February 15, 1892 May 22, 1949) was a Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense (September 17, 1947 March 28, 1949). He was a tremendous supporter of naval battle groups centered on aircraft carriers. The newly created Department of the Air Force opposed his plans to build new ones, claiming that operations could be accomplished from ground bases. The conflict between Forrestal and the Air Force was probably the foremost cause of his mental breakdown and ultimate suicide. One year after his suicide his ideas were vindicated by the Korean War, which showed an essential role for aircraft carriers in future wars. The Navy's first supercarrier, USS Forrestal was named in his honor..
Search Quotations Book