Recordings of David T Leighton, Sr.
January 21, 1925 - January 6, 2017
The following are two recordings related to my father, David Leighton, who served for many years as one of Admiral H. G. Rickover's top assistants in the development of the Nuclear Navy. For his services, first as an active duty officer in the USN, and later as a civilian working for Naval Reactors, he was recognized by the top awards offered by the Department of the Navy, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. Included below is the award citation given by the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird upon his receiving the DOD Distinguished Civil Service Award in 1970. The second recording is much more interesting, as it is the only recording we have of his giving a speech (although he gave many over the years). This was an invited lecture given to the Golden Gate Chapter of the American Society of Materials in Oakland CA in January of 1961 which they recorded and gave him a copy. The subject of the talk was on the Nuclear Navy, and provides a fascinating account of both the history and difficulties encountered in the development of nuclear power for the Navy, with particular emphasis on submarines. At the time, then Cdr. Leighton was the Naval Nuclear Power Superintendent of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard.