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Harris Laning Edit Profile

non-fiction writer , officer

Harris Laning, American naval officer. Decorated with Navy Distinguished Service Cross; campaign medals, Spanish-American War, Philippine Campaign, China Relief Expedition, Mexican Campaign, Dominican Campaign, World War (all United States); Order of Avis (Portugal); gold medal, as captain of the United States Rifle Team winning first place in the Olympic Games, Stockholm, 1912.


Laning, Harris was born on October 18, 1873 in Petersburg, Illinois, United States. Son of Caleb Barrett and Mary Esther (Harris) Laning.


Preparatory education, Peekskill Military Academy. Graduated from the United States Naval Academy, 1895.


He served in the Philippine Islands during the Philippine insurrection. His first command was the destroyer USS Cassin, which operated off Veracruz during the 1914 Mexican Campaign. As a rear admiral, he commanded a battleship division, and he was President of the Naval War College from 1930 to 1933.

As a vice admiral, he commanded Cruisers, Scouting Force. As an admiral, he commanded Battle Force, U.S. Fleet, from 1 April 1935 to 20 April 1936. He was Commandant, New York Navy Yard and 3rd Naval District from 20 April 1936 to 1 October 1937.

Laning retired from the Navy on 1 November 1937, then served as Governor of the Naval Home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until his death on 2 February 1941. He was buried in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery. The Naval War College published his memoirs in 1999.


  • He was the father of Caleb Barrett Laning, who also achieved that ranking. As Chief of Staff to Commander Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet in 1919 he supported the first successful transatlantic flight, made by Navy seaplane NC-4 in May.


Served on United States Ship Philadelphia, Oregon and Mohican, 1895-1898.


Married Mabel Clare Nixon, July 24, 1900.

Caleb Barrett Laning

Mary Esther (Harris) Laning

Mabel Clare Nixon