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First Name: Edward

Last Name: Beach

Birthplace: New York City, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)

Rating:

Middle Name: Latimer



Date of Birth: 20 April 1918

Date of Death: 01 December 2002

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
Edward Latimer Beach, Jr.
'Ned'

   
Engagements:
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)

Biography:

Edward Latimer "Ned" Beach, Jr.
Captain, U.S. Navy

Edward Latimer Beach was born on 20 April 1918 in New York City and raised in Palo Alto, CA. He was the son of Captain Edward L. Beach, Sr., and Alice Fouché Beach.

Beach was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935 by Senator Hiram Johnson of California. Beach served as a regimental commander in his first class year. Beach was named as the midshipman who had done the most to promote naval spirit and loyalty in his regiment when he graduated second out of 576 men in his class in 1939.

He was initially assigned to the heavy cruiser USS Chester (CA-27), before joining the newly-re-commissioned destroyer USS Lea (DD-118), which participated in the neutrality patrol in the Atlantic, the escort of the German passenger liner Columbus, the initial American occupation of Iceland, and convoy duty in the North Atlantic.

He was detached from the USS Lea in September 1941 to undergo accelerated training at the Submarine Training School at the New London Submarine Base in Connecticut. He completed training, graduating first in his class, in December 1941 shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

World War II

Beach served aboard the USS Trigger (SS-237) and USS Tirante (SS-420), and took command of the USS Piper (SS-409) just as the Pacific War was ending.

He participated in the Battle of Midway and 12 war patrols that damaged or sank 45 enemy vessels. He held several shipboard positions, including communications officer, engineering officer, navigator, co-approach officer, and executive officer. (Aboard the USS Tirante, he was Executive Officer to Captain George L. Street, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for a combat action during the Tirante's first war patrol.)

Post-World War II

In December 1945, Beach reported to the Department of the Navy to serve as the personal aide to Vice Admiral Louis E. Denfeld, Chief of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. In March 1947, he was attached to the Atomic Defense Section (OPNAV 36) under Rear Admiral William S. Parsons.

USS Amberjack

In May 1948, he was given command of the USS Amberjack (SS-522), a GUPPY II modified submarine. The Amberjack gained the nickname "Anglejack" because of its pioneering use of steep diving and surfacing angles, which was immortalized in the January 1950 edition of the National Geographic magazine. During war games, Amberjack photographed the opposing task force's flagship through its periscope and sent the admiral a copy inscribed with "Regards from Ned Beach and the Amberjack."

Joint Chiefs of Staff

His tour as skipper of Amberjack was abbreviated as he was called to Washington to serve as Naval Aide to Army General Omar Bradley, the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in August 1951. In that post, Beach witnessed firsthand the events surrounding the Revolt of the Admirals.

USS Trigger

Upon completing his tour of duty as Bradley's aide in March 1951, Beach was named Prospective Commanding Officer of the new USS Trigger (SS-564), then under construction. Upon commissioning of Trigger II, which was named for the USS Trigger (SS-237) lost during World War II, he became commanding officer of the first submarine to be completed in a new class after World War II.

The White House

From 1953-57, Beach was Naval Aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. As Naval Aide, Beach was responsible for the management of Camp David, the White House Mess, and for the presidential yacht USS Williamsburg. Because Eisenhower had made a campaign promise to get rid of the presidential yacht, neither the efforts of Beach nor those of Mrs. Eisenhower were successful in dissuading him from that course of action. The elimination of Williamsburg proved to be a bureaucratic hassle for Beach and the Navy Department since Williamsburg was the funnel for all budgets and personnel for Camp David and the White House Mess. While working the White House, Beach volunteered to be the coordinator on the White House staff for all plans to protect the President in case of nuclear attack. Since the Secret Service in 1953 did not deem helicopter travel as safe, evacuating the President on short notice was planned by Beach via the Potomac River, several PT (patrol torpedo) boats and a high speed race down river to meet up with a waiting Navy ship. It was Beach who spearheaded the effort to get First Lady Mamie Eisenhower to christen the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, in 1954.

Beach was advanced to the rank of Captain on 1 October 1956.

USS Salamonie

Beach left the White House in January 1957, and assumed command of the USS Salamonie (AO-26), a Cimarron-class fleet replenishment oiler, on 15 March. He completed a deployment to the U.S. Sixth Fleet, operating in the Mediterranean Sea, in December 1957.

USS Triton

In January 1958, he attended the Navy's training program for atomic reactors in order to qualify for his next command, the USS Triton (SSRN-586), the nation's fifth nuclear powered submarine.

In November 1959, Beach took command of the USS Triton, the first and only American nuclear-powered submarine to be equipped with two nuclear reactors. Departing New London on what was supposed to have been a "shake-down" cruise in February 1960, Triton began a 1960 circumnavigation of the earth in 84 days without surfacing, covering over 41,000 statute miles, an unprecedented feat. The route of Triton followed roughly that of Ferdinand Magellan in 1519-1522. The scientific and military significance of the Triton voyage was overshadowed by the U-2 Incident which broke just as the USS Triton was returning.

For successfully completing its mission, Triton was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. At a special White House ceremony, Captain Beach was presented the Legion of Merit by President Eisenhower. Beach wrote about the Triton's voyage in his book Around the World Submerged: The Voyage of the Triton, published in 1962.

Following her post-shakedown availability, Triton deployed to European waters with the Second Fleet to participate in NATO exercises against British naval forces led by the aircraft carriers Ark Royal and Hermes under the command of Rear Admiral Sir Charles Madden. This deployment was culminated with a port visit to Bremerhaven, West Germany, the first visit by a nuclear-powered ship to a European port.

Subron 8, National War College and OpNav

After his tour in command of Triton, Beach commanded Submarine Squadron Eight from July 1961 to August 1962. He was next a student at the National War College, where he completed a course of study in July 1963. At the same time he earned a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from George Washington University. From July 1963 to December 1966, Beach served in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OpNav) preparing annual budget reports for Congress and preparing the Secretary of the Navy (Fred Korth, Paul B. Fay, and Paul H. Nitze) and the Chief of Naval Operations (George W. Anderson Jr. and David L. McDonald) for hearings before Congressional committees.

Beach retired from active duty after 27 years in 1966 with the rank of Captain.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross
Silver Star Medal (2 Awards)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device (2 Awards)
Letter of Commendation Ribbon with Combat "Valor" Device (2 Awards)
Presidential Unit Citation (2 Awards)
Navy Unit Commendation
American Defense Service Medal with Atlantic Fleet Clasp
American Campaign Meda
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 3 Service Stars
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal (2 Awards)

Naval War College and Capitol Hill

After his retirement, Beach was appointed as the Stephen B. Luce Chair of Naval Science at the Naval War College in Newport, RI - the first person to hold that position. During his tenure he was the editor of the Naval War College Review.

Subsequently Beach served for seven years as Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, and for one year as Chief of Staff for Senator Jeremiah Denton (R-Alabama).

Author

After World War II, Beach wrote extensively in his spare time following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a career naval officer and author. His first book Submarine! (1952) was a compilation of accounts of several wartime patrols made by his own, as well as other submarines, which TIME magazine called "the liveliest and most authentic account of undersea combat to come out of World War II."

Beach published thirteen books but is best known for his first novel, Run Silent, Run Deep (1955), which appeared on The New York Times Book Review bestseller list for several months. A movie of the same name, based loosely on the novel and starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, was released by United Artists in 1958. Beach penned two sequels to Run Silent, Run Deep: Dust on the Sea (1972), relating in detail a war patrol by Eel leading a wolfpack, and Cold is the Sea (1978), set in 1961 aboard a nuclear submarine.

In addition to Submarine!, Beach wrote several more books on naval history, including The Wreck of the Memphis (1966); United States Navy: 200 Years (1986), a general history of the Navy; Scapegoats: A Defense of Kimmel and Short at Pearl Harbor (1995); and Salt and Steel: Reflections of a Submariner (1999). Keepers of the Sea (1983) is a pictorial record of the modern navy with photography by Fred J. Maroon. For a number of years Beach was co-editor of Naval Terms Dictionary as that standard reference work passed through several editions. His last work, completed shortly before his death, was to prepare for publication his father's manuscript of his own distinguished service in the navy. That book, From Annapolis to Scapa Flow: The Autobiography of Edward L. Beach, Sr (2003), is Captain Beach, Sr.'s personal account of the Navy from the age of sail to the age of steam.

In addition to his books, Beach was a prolific author of articles and book reviews for periodicals ranging from Blue Book Magazine to National Geographic, and Naval History to American Heritage.

Personal

Beach married Ingrid Schenck, daughter of Stanford University professor Hubert G. Schenck and Inga Bergström Schenck, in Palo Alto in 1944. They had four children: Inga-Marie (1945-48), Edward A. (b. 1948), Hugh S. (b. 1949) and Ingrid Alice (b. 1952).

Honors

Sword of the Class of 1897 from the U.S. Naval Academy upon Beach's graduation in 1939.

Giant of Adventure Award (1960) from the popular men's magazine Argosy, which dubbed Beach the "Magellan of the Deep" for the submerged circumnavigation by the USS Triton.

Honorary Doctor of Science (Sc.D) from the American International College.

Magellanic Premium (1961) from the American Philosophical Society in recognition of the first submerged circumnavigation by the Triton.

Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize in Naval History (1987) from the New York Council of the Navy League, in cooperation with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Theodore Roosevelt Association, for his book The United States Navy: 200 Years (Henry Holt, 1986).

Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement (1980; 2000) from the Navy League.

The Naval Historical Foundation History Prize has been renamed The Captain Edward L. Beach Prize.

The Beach Award for non-technical writing or documentation that promotes personal submarines presented by the Personal Submersible Organization (PSUBS.ORG) is named in Captain Beach's honor.

Beach Hall, the U.S. Naval Institute's headquarters on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, is named in honor of both Captains Beach. Captain Beach, Jr., is buried in front of the entrance to Beach Hall, close to the bank of the Severn River of Maryland.

Legacy

Perhaps author Tom Clancy best summarized Beach's many accomplishments and contributions when he wrote:

"Ned loved the Navy as a man might love his own family. For the Navy was his family, the junior officers he trained and the enlisted men who did so much of the hand-labor in the boats. He served with distinction approaching perfection and, like his father, would then write about the things he'd seen and done... More than once I spoke with him about the psychological aspects of combat, and every time he told me what I needed to know, always from his own rich experiences. Ned was a serious student of history -- he wrote several splendid books on this subject -- and of human nature. What he didn't know had never happened."

And it is Ed Offley of DefenseWatch who wrote:

Beach once told an interviewer, "What is there about the Navy? To me, it's always been a tremendous feeling that I am part of an organization that's much bigger than I am." The submariner was inaccurate. It is sailors like Capt. Edward L. Beach Jr. who make institutions like the Navy bigger and greater than they otherwise would be.

Death and Burial

Captain Edward Latimer Beach died on 1 December 2002. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.



Honoree ID: 2228   Created by: MHOH

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