Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Professor Eric Roorda

Second Advisor

Professor Fedja Buric

Third Advisor

Professor Aaron Hoffman


Among the many larger than life and fascinating figures of the Second World War, one who is seldom spoken of is the late Vice Admiral Clifton A.F. "Ziggy" Sprague. A quiet man from New England, Admiral Sprague was an accomplished pilot, administrator, and commander. From service during the First World War to assisting in the testing of nuclear devices following the end of the Second World War, Sprague was a force behind the scenes. He was devoted to his profession and refused to play the political game those above him did, preferring that his actions speak greater volumes than any impassioned speech could. From his time as a student before he entered the United States Naval Academy through the famous Battle Off Samar in which he won a strategic victory against overwhelming odds and to his retirement, this thesis explores not only the heroics of quiet man that was Admiral Sprague, but also the kind of man he was.