Veteran of the Day graphic by Tenzin Chomphel.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran George Layton. George served during World War II.
George was drafted into the United States Navy in 1943 and received basic training in Pensacola, Florida. After completing basic training, George was assigned to a clothing store on an Air Force base in Florida, where he served for six months before requesting a transfer.
After being approved for a transfer, George was sent to the Naval Amphibious Base at Little Creek, Virginia and assigned to serve aboard the USS Landing Ship Medium 208. There, he received gunnery training and was responsible for operating one of the ships 40mm guns. Following their training, George and his fellow sailors departed from Norfolk, Virginia for San Francisco. While en route, George and the LSM 208 encountered a bad storm, causing substantial damage to the ship.
After arriving in San Francisco, George and his crew made repairs to the ship before departing for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There, they prepared for the US invasion of Okinawa, in which they were responsible for landing the 713th Flame Throwing Tank Battalion on the beach. Upon reaching Okinawa, George manned the ships 40mm bow gun and assisted his crew in defending the ship from Japanese attacks. Despite fierce Japanese resistance, George and his fellow sailors managed to reach the coast and successfully deployed the 713th Flame Throwing Tank Battalion.
After the Battle of Okinawa, George and the LSM 208 were sent to Guam where they prepared for an invasion of Japan. When Japanese forces surrendered in Sep. 1945, George and the LSM 208 were reassigned to transport men and supplies around Japan for the US occupation.
During this time, George and his fellow crewmen transported over 400 American prisoners of war from Sendai, Japan to the USS Rescue hospital ship. After serving a year in Japan, George returned to the United States. He was discharged in Bainbridge, Maryland at the rank of seaman first class and returned to his home in Bayard, West Virginia. After returning home, George worked several different jobs before beginning a career as a railroad worker.
More of his story can be found at: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.10693/
Thank you for your service, George!
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic designer: Tenzin Chomphel
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Editor: Kaylee Hogsed