Spruance, Raymond Ames (sprōˈəns) [key], 1886–1969, American admiral, b. Baltimore. Commissioned in the navy in 1908, he reached the rank of rear admiral in 1939. In World War II he distinguished himself at the battle of Midway (1942) and became chief of staff to Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. As head of the fleet in the central Pacific (later the 5th Fleet), he commanded (1943–44) the forces that invaded the Gilbert and Marshall Islands and was made a full admiral. He was (1945–46) commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet and retired from the navy in 1948. He served as ambassador to the Philippines (1952–55).
See biography by T. B. Buell (1974).