RADM Miles Hopkins Imlay, United States Coast Guard, was born on 22 November 1902, at Washington, D.C. He received his early education in the E.V. Brown School, Chevy Chase, Maryland, and was graduated from Central High School in Washington in 1921. After attending Brown University for one and one-half years, he entered the Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut, as a cadet in May, 1923.
He graduated and was commissioned Ensign on 15 May 1926, he was subsequently promoted in rank as follows: Lieutenant (Junior Grade) - 15 May 1928; Lieutenant - 15 May 1930; Lieutenant Commander – 1 March 1938; Commander – 1 December 1942; and Captain, 15 August 1943. After his retirement on 1 May 1956 he received a “tombstone” promotion 11 May 1956 on the retired list to Rear Admiral “by reason of combat commendation.”
His first assignment upon graduation from the Coast Guard Academy was aboard the cutter Seminole, from which he was detached in July, 1926 to serve on the Coast Guard destroyer Henley. While still assigned to the Henley, he performed temporary duty on the CG destroyer Argus, and at Section Base 9, New York City. During the latter assignment he designed and supervised the building of three small bore rifle ranges for the New York Division and later was commended for efficiency shown in performance of duty connected with this work.
From November, 1928 to early 1930, he was attached to the USS Ericsson, and during that time was designated Coast Guard observer at Navy Target Practice at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1929. In March, 1930, he was assigned to line duty aboard the cutter Mendota, and from September of that year until May, 1933, served at the Coast Guard Academy as an instructor and assistant football coast. While at the Academy, he participated in two cadet practice cruises, on the cutter Mendota during the summer of 1931, and on the cutter Saranac in 1932.
His next assignment was aboard the cutter Tallapossa in Alaskan waters, as navigator, executive officer and then as commanding officer. He was detached in October, 1936 to take command of the cutter Nemesis. Then-LCDR Imlay returned to the Academy in June, 1938, to assume his former post, and was additionally assigned duty as instructor in physics and seamanship. He was placed in temporary command of the cutter Galatea during the 1939 cadet cruise, and served as commander of the 30-day practice squadron during the training cruise of 1940. In October, 1941, he was designated head of the seamanship department at the Academy.