Chuichi Nagumo was born in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. He graduated from the Imperial Japanese Navy Academy in 1908, being promoted to Commander in 1924 and to Vice-Admiral in 1939. Nagumo led Japan's main carrier fleet in offensives across the Pacific Ocean between December 1941 and June 1942, but he was not suited to their operations as his failure to call a third strike on the US Navy's carriers at Pearl Harbor in December 1941 was a major loss, and the Battle of Midway was another defeat. After the failure at the Battle of Guadalcanal, he was moved to command the garrison of Saipan. On 6 July 1944, Nagumo shot himself in the temple with a pistol when the Battle of Saipan was won by the United States, his last failure.