His signature appears directly behind the left shoulder of Rear Admiral Forrest P. Sherman who was standing next to Admiral Halsey. Tower' signature has faded more than any of the other seven signatures on the signed surrender photograph. A fluid black ink pen was used.
Towers was born in Rome, Georgia on January 30, 1885. He completed the required courses at the Naval Academy in 1906. By 1911, he was one of the first three Naval Officers assigned to aviation duty. The Pioneer Aviator Glen Curtiss gave him his flight training. As one of the earliest Naval Aviators, he participated in the development of new aviation technology, and the application of air-power as a part of the surface fleet. By the time World War II was over Admiral Towers was the senior surviving Aviator of the Navy.
In 1910, the Navy was producing the first dreadnoughts that carried main batteries that could shell over the horizon. Tower, then a chief gunfire spotter, recognized the usefulness of aviation. Towers later commented that:
"It was clear that ordnance had outgrown the ability of the personnel to use it. We couldn't get high enough in the ship to see where we hit. That was the real beginning of my interest in aviation."
By 1939, he was Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics. The following is quoted directly from the Official Naval History on Admiral Towers:
"As Chief of the bureau of Aeronautics he organized the Navy's mass production program for all types of planes, increasing the total naval aircraft from 2,000 to more than 39,000 during is tenure of office. He was responsible for the pilot training program, which began with rigorous athletic conditioning and admitted no compromise with quality even in urgent wartime expansion. He pushed forward a program for training a large corps of reserve specialists to provide capable ground officers without taking time for flight training. In the training program, started during his administration, total personnel assigned to Naval Aviation reached approximately three quarters of a million."
On October 6, 1942, he became Commander Air Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet, with the rank of Vice Admiral. In that command he supervised the development, organization, training and supply of the growing carrier fleet as well as land-based Naval and Marine aviation. Later, as Deputy Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, this jurisdiction extended to the whole fleet, as well as to Army commands. In this later assignment, his functions were largely logistical and administrative, but he shared in the development of the strategy of the Pacific campaign. He particularly helped to build up the tactics by which air and sea defenses were neutralized in a million square miles of invasion areas even while new landings were taking place. The carrier thus took the offensive role visualized in early Tower's theory, destroying the enemy attack at its source.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal "For exceptionally meritorious service to the Government of the United States....from February 1944 to July 1945. An able administrator, (he) demonstrated outstanding professional ability, sound judgment and an unusual knowledge of the complex details of military and naval operations in the discharge of his heavy responsibility for the provision of personnel, equipment, supplies, shipping and the general logistic support of the combatant units in all services during the fiercely fought campaigns resulting in the capture and development of bases in the Marshalls, Marianas, Carolines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and the Pacific Fleet operations which decisively supported the recapture of the Philippines...."