Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class James R. Layton, 22, of Riverbank, Calif., was killed in an ambush Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense announced his death Thursday, Sept. 10. The department said Layton died in Kunar Province. He was assigned to an embedded training team with Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanistan.
Layton's death was described by McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Jonathan Landay, who was embedded with a group of Marines and pinned down by heavy fire in a rugged section of Kunar. The story appeared on the front page of The Modesto Bee on Wednesday:
"The Marines were cut down as they sought cover in a trench at the base of the village's first layer cake-style stone house. Much of their ammunition was gone. One Marine (later determined to be Layton) was bending over a second, tending his wounds, when both were killed, said Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, 21, of Greensburg, Ky., who retrieved their bodies."
Layton is the 28th soldier or Marine from the Northern San Joaquin Valley and foothills killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the first from Riverbank.
Published in the Modesto Bee from Sept. 10 to Oct. 1, 2009