In 1940, Frank Knox contacted Ed Booz. As newly appointed secretary for the navy, he had a vision for a two-ocean navy, one that could win campaigns in both the Atlantic and Pacific. But the Navy was under-equipped. It did not have enough ships. Its headquarters were in a temporary building left over from World War I, and its telephone, internal mail, and intelligence systems were out of date.
“What’s our job?” Knox asked his admirals. “To double the Navy,” they replied. They estimated that it would take about 4 years. “We have only half that time,” Knox said. “It must be done by 1942.”