Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Captain Edward L. Beach Jr.

In his book beneath the waves - The Life and Navy of CAPT. EDWARD L. BEACH JR., Edward F. Finch provides an excellent biography of one of the Navy's best submarine officers.  He also examines some of the probable explanations for the Captain's failure to be selected for promotion to Rear Admiral, despite an amazing career of remarkable achievement.  Captain Beach himself suggested that an individual he named "Joe Blunt" as the primary obstacle to his promotion.

Edward F. Finch offers the following:
There are those who do offer other rationales for why Ned was denied flag rank, and those possibilities cannot be totally discounted.

Five, in fact, can readily be discerned.  Not necessarily in order of probability, the reasons include: too much time in Washington during tours of duty not at sea; lack of desire to work the "good old boys" system; Ned's harsh criticism of his superiors over the Trigger II problems; inherent prejudice in the Navy against officers who theorize and write; and the very nature of the "silent service.
It is astounding to me that a man of his character and with Captain Beach's record achievement could not attain flag rank.  He harbored some bitterness over that failure.  But, he never lost faith in the Navy or the people who wear its uniform.

As Edward F. Finch says of Captain Beach's view, "The words 'Honor, Courage and Commitment' from the Sailor's Creed were not abstract ideals to be merely mouthed, they were to be lived, achieved - practiced in everyday life."

On 14 January 2003, Captain Beach's ashes were interred just below the crest of the hill on which Beach Hall stands, his final resting place among those honored in the U.S. Naval Academy's cemetery.


CDR Neil Jones said...

I served with Commander Beach. No finer man. No better submarine skipper. We miss you Ned.

MaryR said...

Wow, talk about serendipity - I saw Mrs. Beach today who dedicated a plaque to the Naval Institute - our office is Beach Hall. She had a great story about the plaque and it's final destination to the Spanish.

Would you like to speak with her? wonderful lady - spot on

Mike said...

Thank you Mary R.

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

This short segment about Captain Beach does not nearly tell what there is to know about Captain Beach other than he was a unique Navyman and an American Hero. He skippered more Submarines than most Sailors ever saw. He was Captain of the Triton (SSRN 586) and made the first circumnavigation of the world completely submerged on that Submarine. He generated extensive writings about submarine life both fact and fiction that are required reading at the Navy Academy. He was a true Navy hero to us submarine types.

If you are a Sailor and are unaware of the activities and accolades of CAPT. EDWARD L. BEACH JR, USN you owe it to yourself to goggle this Navy Officer.

Very Respectfully,