Dwight Edward Beach
Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1932
Engagements: • World War II (1941 - 1945)• Korean War (1950 - 1953)
Dwight Edward Beach
Dwight Edward Beach, the first child of D. Edward and Amanda Luick Beach, was born on the Beach Farm in Lima Township (Chelsea), Washtenaw County, MI, on 20 July 1908.
Beach attended the University of Michigan for two years before transferring to the U.S. Military Academy. After graduating with the Class of 1932, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery and detailed to the Army Air Corps. Prior to World War II he served with various horse-drawn field artillery units.
World War II
After Pearl Harbor and the beginning of WWII, Beach was transferred to the Southwest Pacific where he organized and commanded the 167th Field Artillery Battalion, using wild horses purchased in Australia to draw the artillery. After converting to tractor-drawn artillery, his unit in the 41st Infantry Division participated in campaigns in the Southwest Pacific area from Australia, through New Guinea, to the Philippines and Japan. In the Philippines he became Executive Officer of the 24th Division Artillery. Beach participated in four amphibious assaults at Aitape, Maffin Bay, Wakde' and Palawan, also in the follow-up phase of amphibious operations in Biak and Zamboango. He also participated in overland operation at Davao.
In Korea, Beach commanded the artillery of the 11th Airborne Division; artillery of the 45th Infantry Division; and served as Artillery officer and Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Combat Operations, Eighth U.S. Army. In November 1954, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Eighth U.S. Army in Korea.
Following Korea, Gen. Beach was assigned to the U.S. Continental Army Command as the Director of the Office of Special Weapons Development at Fort Bliss, TX. He was then assigned to the Department of the Army in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations as the Director of Guided Missiles. During Beach's tour at the Pentagon, the U.S. Army placed the first free-world satellite (Explorer I) in orbit in January 1958, and accomplished the first missile intercept of very low attitude aircraft in May 1958. Beach commanded the 82nd Airborne Division from July 1959 to April 1961.
In May 1961, Beach became the Deputy Chief of Research and Development, Department of the Army in Washington, DC. During the escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, he served as Commanding General for the U.S. Army Combat Developments Command in Fort Belvoir, VA. From 1965-66, he served as Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command; Commander of U.S. Forces in Korea; and Commanding General of the Eighth Army in Korea. General Beach's final assignment was as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army, Pacific, from September 1966 to July 1968. He retired from the Army on 1 August 1968.
During his service, Beach attended the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College. He also served as an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy (Tactics); the Field Artillery School; the Command and General Staff College; and the Army War College.
Medals and Awards
Army Distinguished Service Medal
The Dwight E. Beach Middle School, in Chelsea, Michigan, is named for him.
After his retirement from the Army, General Beach returned to the Beach Family Farm in Michigan, where he remained until his death.
At the beginning of his military career in 1932, Dwight Beach married Florence Eileen Clem, originally of San Antonio, TX, and they had five children. After 62 years of marriage, Florence preceded Dwight in death on 5 January 1995.
Dwight Beach's brother, Captain Kenneth O. Beach, was on Bataan and survived the horrific 'Bataan Death March.' He was a prisoner of the Japanese for 33 months. Captain Beach died of his wounds on 28 January 1945 and was buried at sea in the Pacific Ocean, near Okinawa.
Death and Burial
General Dwight Edward Beach died on 22 July 2000. He is buried at Lima Center Cemetery in Lima Center, Washtenaw County, MI.
|Honoree ID: 186||Created by: MHOH|