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Edwin T. Layton

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And I Was There: Pearl Harbor and Midway Breaking the Secrets
Edwin T. Layton  More Info

The Library Journal said of “And I Was There”: Pearl Harbor And Midway Breaking the Secrets, “According to Admiral Layton, the Japanese succeeded at Pearl Harbor because of audacious planning plus a dramatic breakdown in our intelligence service. This failure was caused by feuding among high-level officers for control of the intelligence and radio intercept divisions. Six months after Pearl Harbor, self-serving petty jealousy at naval headquarters almost caused us to lose the decisive battle of Midway. Layton reveals the full details of this deplorable situation and vigorously defends Admiral H.E. Kimmel, naval commander at Pearl Harbor, who was blamed for the disasters. Layton accuses instead some high-ranking naval officers in Washington who failed to pass along the latest intelligence intercepts. There is much new information here. Primarily for specialists with some knowledge of cryptography and intelligence operations, this is essential for comprehensive World War II collections.”

Read Admiral Edwin T. Layton, USN (ret.) 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). During the 1930s, Edwin T. Layton served two tours of duty in the Navy Department’s Office of Naval Intelligence, in 1933 and again in 1936–1937, but he also saw sea duty. He had a three-year stint in the battleship Pennsylvania where he received commendations for gunnery excellence. In 1937, he returned to Tokyo for two years as assistant naval attaché at the American Embassy. This was followed by a one-year tour of duty as Commanding Officer of USS Boggs (AG-19).


Exactly one year to the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Edwin T. Layton became Combat Intelligence Officer on the staff of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet, which had recently been moved from its base in San Pedro, California to Pearl Harbor.  Edwin T. Layton was in charge of all intelligence in the Pacific Ocean area. Layton remained on the staff of the Pacific Fleet until February 1945, followed by a three-year tour of duty as Commander of the U.S. Naval Net Depot at Tiburon, California.


Starting in 1950, Edwin T. Layton spent six months as Intelligence Officer on the staff of the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District in Hawaii. In 1951, for a two-year period, he assumed his old position of Fleet Intelligence Officer on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. 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. Edwin T. Layton retired in 1959 with the rank of Rear Admiral. He went to work for the Northrup Corporation as Director of Far East Operations in Tokyo. Edwin T. Layton is a co-author of And I Was There” Pearl Harbor and Midway Breaking the Secrets.

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