Layton, Edwin Thomas, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
183X-Special Duty Officer - Intelligence
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1956-1959, 163X, Naval Intelligence Training Course (NITC)
Service Years
1924 - 1959
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Layton, Edwin Thomas, RADM.
Contact Info
Home Town
Nauvoo, Illinois
Last Address
Carmel, California

Date of Passing
Apr 12, 1984
Location of Interment
Garden of Memories Memorial Park - Salinas, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Joint Chiefs of Staff Commander in Chief Pacific CINCPAC US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Edwin T. Layton was born in Nauvoo, Illinois, on April 7, 1903, son of George E. and Mary C. Layton. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1924 and served for the next five years in the Pacific Fleet in USS WEST VIRGINIA (BB-48) and USS CHASE (DD-323). In 1929, he was one of a small number of naval officers selected for Japanese language training. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Tokyo as a naval attache where he remained for three years, the last four months of which he spent in Peiping, China, as assistant naval attaché at the American Legation. His linguistic ability and fluency in Japanese proved to be assets as his career progressed and as World War II loomed on the horizon.

During the 1930s, Layton served two tours of duty in the Navy Department’s Office of
Intelligence, in 1933 and again in 1936–1937, and a three-year stint in the battleship PENNSYLVANIA where he received commendations for gunnery excellence. He returned to Tokyo in 1937 for a two-year period as assistant naval attache at the American Embassy there. A one-year tour of duty as Commanding Officer of USS BOGGS (AG-19) followed.

When war was declared on December 8, 1941, Layton was Combat Intelligence Officer on the staff of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet at Pearl Harbor. In this capacity, he was in charge of all intelligence in the Pacific Ocean area and, with his staff, evaluated Japanese naval, air, and sea capabilities and intentions. This information was vital in planning naval campaigns against the enemy and contributed to the success and ultimate victory of American fighting forces in the Pacific theater of war. He accompanied Admiral Nimitz to Tokyo Bay when the Japanese formally surrendered on September 2, 1945. Layton remained on the staff of the Pacific Fleet until February 1945 and then returned to the United States for a three-year tour of duty as Commander of the U.S. Naval Net Depot at Tiburon, California. Intelligence work beckoned again, this time a two-year assignment as the first Director of the Naval Intelligence School in Washington D.C.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Layton’s specialty in intelligence was again required, and he spent six months as Intelligence Officer on the staff of the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District in Hawaii. His evaluative skills and keen interpretation of events were vital during the early stages of the conflict. In 1951, he again assumed the position of Fleet Intelligence Officer on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific for a two-year period.

In 1953, with the war over, he was assigned to the staff of the Joint Chiefs where he was Assistant Director for Intelligence, then Deputy Director. His last duty before retirement was Director of the Naval Intelligence School at the Naval Receiving Station, Washington, D.C. He retired in 1959 with the rank of rear admiral and immediately joined the Northrup Corporation as Director of Far East Operations in Tokyo, Japan, 1959–1963. He retired from Northrup in 1964 and moved to Carmel, California. Layton died in 1984, a year before his book, And I Was There: Pearl Harbor and Midway—Breaking the Secrets, written with co-authors Roger Pineau and John Costello, was published by William Morrow and Company, Inc. Rear Admiral Layton’s medals and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal and Commendation Ribbon; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the United Nations Service Medal; and the Ribbon for the Navy Unit Commendation.

The Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, honored Layton in the 1960s by naming the
Chair of Naval Intelligence after him.

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Command at Sea

 Duty Stations
USS West Virginia (BB-48)US NavyNaval Support Unit (NSU)/State Department, Washington, DCOffice of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)USS Boggs (AG-19)Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)School Assignments - Staff
Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)School Assignments - Staff
  1924-1927, 000X, USS West Virginia (BB-48)
  1927-1929, 000X, USS Chase (DD-323)
  1929-1933, 161X, State Department, Washington, DC/United States Embassy
  1933-1933, 183X, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
  1933-1936, 183X, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)
  1936-1937, 163X, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
  1937-1939, 183X, State Department, Washington, DC/United States Embassy
  1939-1940, 183X, USS Boggs (AG-19)
  1940-1945, 163X, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
  1945-1948, 163X, Naval Net Depot Tiburon, CA
  1948-1950, 163X, Naval Intelligence Training Course (NITC)
  1950-1951, 163X, 14th Naval District/COMNAVBASE Pearl Harbor
  1951-1953, 183X, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
  1953-1956, 183X, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
  1956-1959, 163X, Naval Intelligence Training Course (NITC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1941-1945 World War II
  1945-1945 US Occupation of Japan
  1951-1953 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1920-1924, United States Naval Academy
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