[ index | 1970 ]

Noel Gayler

NSA director: August 1, 1969 - August 24, 1972

Picked to become the sixth NSA director was Vice Admiral Noel Gayler, a handsome, salt-and-pepper-haired naval aviator. Born on Christmas Day, 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama, Gayler graduated from the Naval Academy and spent the better part of his career as a fighter pilot. During World War II he became the first person in history to be awarded three Navy Cross awards. In 1957 he was selected to be aide to Secretary of the Navy Thomas S. Gates, Jr., and in August 1960, after a tour as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger, he went to London as the naval attaché. After several other fleet and Pentagon assignments, Gayler became deputy director of the Joint Strategic Planning Staff at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, where his duties included selecting the targets for the strategic strike forces. From there he went to NSA. (pp.107-108)

On August 24, 1972, after three years as America's chief electronic spy master, Gayler was promoted to full admiral and awarded one of the choicest assignments in the military: Commander-in-Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC), based in Hawaii. (p.110)

-- James Bamford: THE PUZZLE PALACE, 1982.

[ index | 1969 ]