Thomas B. Hayward

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Thomas B. Hayward
ADM Hayward, Thomas B CNO Official Portrait.jpg
Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, 21st Chief of Naval Operations
Born (1924-05-03) May 3, 1924 (age 97)
Glendale, California, U.S.
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1942–1982
Commands heldChief of Naval Operations
United States Pacific Fleet
United States Seventh Fleet
USS America (CVA-66)
USS Graffias (AF-29)
Carrier Air Wing Ten
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3) with Combat V
Distinguished Flying Cross

Admiral Thomas Bibb Hayward (born May 3, 1924) was Chief of Naval Operations for the United States Navy from July 1, 1978, until June 30, 1982,[1] after which he retired from military service.

Naval career[edit]

Shortly after the commencement of World War II, Hayward enlisted in the U.S. Navy V-5 aviation program and was called to active duty as a naval aviation cadet in 1943, anticipating that he would shortly be flying combat in the South Pacific. However, when roughly halfway through the flight training syllabus, he competed for and was accepted to attend the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, to position himself for a career in the U.S. Navy at war's end.[2] He graduated from the Academy in July 1947, and was assigned to the USS Antietam (CV-36) as an engineering officer. In 1949, he returned to flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, and received his United States Naval Aviator wings in July 1950. The Korean War having begun, as a lieutenant junior grade, he reported to VF-51 and flew from the decks of the aircraft carriers USS Essex (CV-9) and USS Valley Forge (CV-45), flying 146 combat missions, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross,[3] seven Air Medals, and two Navy Commendation Medals with Combat "V" for Valor. One of Hayward's squadron mates in VF-51 was future astronaut Neil Armstrong, who became his lifelong friend.[4]

Following his Korean tour, Hayward became a Navy test pilot, a lead instructor in the forerunner to the Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as TOPGUN, and Commanding Officer of VF-103. He also attended the Naval War College in 1958. In 1959 he was one of the 32 finalists for NASA Astronaut Group 1, but ultimately was not selected.[4]

In 1965–66, as Commander Carrier Air Wing Ten (CW-10), Hayward flew 36 combat missions in Vietnam, flying from the deck of USS Intrepid (CV-11), receiving the Legion of Merit and three Air Medals. In 1967, he attended the National War College and obtained a master's degree in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University. As a captain, Hayward returned to Vietnam as Commanding Officer of the USS Graffias (AF-29) and later as Commanding Officer of the USS America (CVA-66),[1] for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Hayward then had tours of duty as commander of the United States Seventh Fleet from 1975 to 1976,[5] and then Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet from August 12, 1976 to May 9, 1978.[6]

As Chief of Naval Operations, Hayward is best remembered for his "Pride in the Navy" priority: the emphasis on rebuilding readiness of both active and reserve forces; restoring priority in mine warfare; and his success in the zero tolerance "Not in my Navy" drug program.

In 1981, he was awarded the Society of Experimental Test Pilots James H. Doolittle Award. In January 2007, the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association announced Admiral Thomas B. Hayward as one of four recipients of its 2007 Distinguished Graduate Award.

Corporate career and retirement[edit]

Since retirement from the Navy, his primary efforts have been in the field of education where he has helped co-found companies focused on reading and math solutions K-12, masters and doctorates in education, and both domestic and international distance learning for college and higher ed. He also serves on the board of advisors of the Code of Support Foundation, a nonprofit military services organization.[7]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Naval Aviator Badge.jpg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Combat Distinguishing Device.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
1 golden star.svgAward-star-silver-3d.pngAward numeral 3.png Combat Distinguishing Device.svg1 golden star.svg Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Bronze star
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.pngSilver-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
JPN Kyokujitsu-sho blank BAR.svg Order of the Cloud and Banner 2nd.gif Gugseon Security Medal Ribbon.png
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross, with palm.svg
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg
Naval Aviator Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with 1 bronze oak leaf cluster Navy Distinguished Service Medal with 1 gold award star
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit with Combat V and 2 award stars Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with one silver, one bronze award stars and bronze Strike/Flight numeral 3 Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V and award star Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze service stars
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation China Service Medal American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal Navy Occupation Service Medal National Defense Service Medal with 1 service star
Korean Service Medal with 4 service stars Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal with 8 service stars
Order of the Rising Sun, degree unknown (Japan) Order of the Cloud and Banner with Grand Cordon, 2nd Grade (Republic of China) Order of National Security Merit Gukseon Medal, 2nd Class (Republic of Korea)
National Order of Vietnam, Knight Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm Korean Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation United Nations Korea Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge


  1. ^ a b "Admiral Thomas B. Hayward". US Navy. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Thomas B. Hayward". US Naval Academy. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Thomas B. Hayward". Distinguished Flying Cross Society. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b Burgess, Colin (2011). Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts. Chichester, UK: Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 110–117. ISBN 978-1-4419-8404-3.
  5. ^ "History". Commander, U.S. 7th fleet. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  6. ^ "U.S. Pacific Fleet Commanders". US Pacific Fleet. Archived from the original on December 7, 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Code of Support Foundation advisory board". Retrieved 5 June 2017.
Military offices
Preceded by Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by