On December 1, 2002, the
submarine community lost a great friend and shipmate. Captain
"Ned" Beach, known to the general public perhaps more for his
books and frequent appearances in submarine documentaries, stood tall in
the upper echelon of the submarine family.
submariners, he was a superb Naval Officer who is arguably best known for
his command of the USS Triton during her monumental circumnavigation of
the oceans. Other shipmates may say that it was his influence via the
book Run Silent, Run Deep that pointed them in the direction of
service in submarines. Still others will note his contributions to the
preservation of submarine history through tireless appearances in numerous
submarine documentaries following his retirement.
Surprisingly to some, Captain
Beach, while proud of his book, was not a fan of the motion picture Run
Silent Run Deep. In an interview for All Hands magazine,
Beach was asked: "How involved were you
in the making of the movie? Did you have any input in that?"
Beach responded, "None whatsoever. I was
unhappy with the movie. If you read the book and look at the movie
carefully - one right after the other - you'll see that the movie has
little resemblance to Run Silent, Run Deep. I mean, I think they had the
script pretty well written before they even read the book. They only
wanted the title - they simply bought the book for the title. Now, Ingrid,
that's my wife, says I shouldn't talk like this. She thinks I should say
"Oh, it was a great movie. Go see it!" Because the more they see
the movie, the more they'll want to buy the book. But I really can't say
that, because it's not true to the Navy that I saw and tried to describe."
In that same interview, Beach was
asked, "Besides your father, whom do you think
has most influenced you?"
Beach responded, "I
would put it to four people. Perhaps the first is my skipper on this old
destroyer, USS Lea (DD 118). His name was Clarence Broussard, and he could
run a ship beautifully. I became kind of a son to him and he a father
figure to me. I had no idea he was a submariner, but when I left the ship
to report to submarine school, he appeared in full uniform with a
submarine pin on his jacket -- for me.
Another was my
skipper aboard the submarine USS Trigger (SS 564). CDR Roy Benson was his
name, and I really did like him. He was known as 'Pigboat Benny.' Terrific
The third was the
man who relieved Benson, after four excellent patrols. This was Robert E.
"Dusty" Dornan, the most capable, hardest-fighting submariner in
the force. I was his exec, and it was from him that I really learned the
was ADM Chester Nimitz himself."
The entire text of the interview
WWII Service Highlights:
- USS Trigger: Damage Control Assistant, Chief
Engineer, and Executive Officer
- USS Tirante: Executive Officer, awarded the
- USS Piper: Commanding Officer, one war patrol
Post WWII Service Highlights:
- USS Amberjack: Commanding Officer
- USS Trigger II: Commanding Officer
- USS Triton (SSN-586): Commanding Officer, world's largest submarine,
84 day circumnavigation of the earth
|Captain Edward L. Beach plots the
USS Triton's submerged position in the Canary Islands. The
crossing lines of the submarine's course mark the location where
the underwater circumnavigation of the world was completed on
April 25, 1960.
(Photo courtesy of US Naval Institute)
"DEX" Armstrong has a way with words as they say. In
fact, it's down-right risky to print a "DEXterism" on your
printer as it may just clog up with salt. I asked DEX if he would put
together a few words for this tribute to Captain Beach and he was kind
enough to offer the following:
Capt. Edward L. Beach United States
Navy....A man who Qualified before a lot of us were born. A man who rode
submarines against his nations enemies and had sterling credentials to
prove it, along with what, in the trade we call a FULLY LOADED Submarine
Combat Patrol Pin. He was a man who served President Eisenhower as a
Naval Aid and went on to become the first Submarine Commander to
circumnavigate the globe submerged.....when he commanded TRITON.
But above all he was a
storyteller...a wonderful storyteller who could weave the words that
found root in the souls of adventurous youth and grew until some of them
stepped down from buses in front of Dealy Center and dropped their
seabags next to the steps leading up to the doors of The Basic Enlisted
Submarine School... New London.
The dropping of those seabags was
the culmination of a trip that began in the pages of squirreled away
paperback books with titles like SUBMARINES and RUN SILENT RUN DEEP.
Once Capt. Ned Beach tossed his harpoon in your heart, you were hooked.
The pages of what this Naval icon penned dripped saltwater and
adventure. You could read a page or two...close your eyes and be
transported magically to Control Rooms of imaginary boats and hear the
commands, picture the activity and smell the sweat of undersea warriors
going about the business of sinking enemy ships. He was that good. No
recruiting program roped in adventurous young lads and hauled them of to
Sub School like Beach's books. He got me.....A gift, I once had the
opportunity to thank him for.
But above all, Capt. Edward L.
Beach NEVER stopped giving of himself to the Submarine Service he so
ably served and to the men who were once boys, that he so dearly loved.
They say that the only true immortality is what you leave behind in the
minds and hearts of men who actually knew you...If so, Ned Beach left a
legacy that will long endure....and when all of us who knew, loved and
respected him have likewise tossed our earthly gear on that Big Silver
Pier in the sky.....Young boys will still be hiding RUN SILENT RUN DEEP
behind book covers reading LOGARITHMIC SCALES and mentally slipping away
to match wits with Bungo Pete.
Capt. Beach if you had not passed
this way, a lot of us would have never worn faded dungarees and
hydraulic oil stained raghats and gone to sea in submersible scrap yard
cheaters...missing what for many of us, were by far the best times of
Tell me, how in the hell do you
thank a man for that? I hope that wherever he is, he understands....Did
anyone pipe...TRITON, DEPARTING? They damn well should have. Bye sir...DEX
|Captain Edward L. Beach receives a welcome home
from wife Ingrid following the submerged circumnavigation of the
globe on the USS Triton. Captain Beach was the first commanding
officer of the Triton, the only submarine powered by two nuclear
reactors. (Photo courtesy of US Naval Institute)
The various submarine bulletin boards had many posts related to the
loss of Captain Beach. What follows is a sampling of those messages:
- Mike Brood: Upon hearing about the Captain, our Abe Kern sent
Ned Beach was a Submariner that we are all proud of and mourn his
My last image of him was rather inglorious. It is overlooked by his
I saw him sitting in the conning tower hatch of the 2nd Triger with a
"hang dog "look peering into the open hole dejected over yet
another engine failure on that f*&%<> EB built sea going
sewer pipe. The Trout and Wahoo were no better.
- Jim Fox (Bull Nuke): I had the privilge of meeting and having
the Capt. sign "Dust On the Sea" his new book, when I was a
wee 2nd class and stationed in Groton. What a gracious and nice man,
both my wife and I were enriched from the encounter. Godspeed, May the
wind be at your back and your journey calm.
- Elmer Olmstead: Commander (at that time) Beach is the man who convinced me to join the Submarine Navy. I was in radio school at the time. He stopped by to give a talk to the students. I, along with several others, was convinced. I immediately volunteered. Rest Your Oar Sailor.
- George Folta: When I was a Plebe at the Naval Academy, Ned
was a first classman. During his first class year he was the
Regimental Commander of the midshipmen for one term. (I don't
remember if there were two or three terms per year). Anyhow, while Ned
was the Regimental Commander, Orson wells had his radio program,
"The war Between the Worlds." It was at night, and it
was realistic. Those heavenly invaders were spreading out from
New Jersey (I believe it was), and Ned must have consulted with some
of the Academy Officers because soon the bells started ringing in
Bancroft Hall (where we lived) and we all fell-in in the Inside
Parade. We were to go to the Armory and pick up weapons to fight the
invaders. However, before we did, it was apparently discovered that it
was just a radio program and we stood down from the Parade and
returned to bed. He received some ribbing for that, but at least it
showed him to be a man of action.
- John Bay: I mailed a letter to CDR Beach the other day, in
which I told him that he had changed my life. I know now, and regret
that he did not get it.
I saw "Run Silent, Run Deep" in Gawd only knows what year as
I was an ankle biter. I remember being in the third
grade, with Mrs. Kluge letting us put up a huge piece of newsprint
against the wall and letting us draw on it. I drew submarines.
That was just about the time the Nautilus was launched....
After "Run Silent. Run Deep" (maybe not after, but about
that time- maybe before- CRS sets in) I became aware of Admiral
Dykstra and the Silent Service. (frankly, I do not remember which came
I Do remember sitting with my fat ass glued to the livingroom floor
watching both of those shows. They are welded in my memory, and are
the reason that you guys have to hear from me today!
- Don Gentry: Few have done more to inspire young men to go into submarines. Few have done more to tell their stories and to perpetuate our collective history.
He was one of the "John Waynes" of submarines and like Wayne, will live on via his many books and appearances in documentaries.
A sad day in submarine history indeed.
Thank you Captain Beach for all your contributions and inspiration!
Sailor, rest your oar...
- RC: Most of us will leave this life and be forgotten. Captain
Beach will be remembered as long as men venture forth on the salt
seas. I can hear his voice as he joins shipmates like Morton and
O'Kane, "I Have The Con!"
- Pat Householder: Words fail me. God bless you, CAPT Beach.
And thank you for all you did for us.
- Dick Dent: With all due respect to you and yours Mrs. Beach.
Your husband is the man of "steel" that we would all
His duty to his country will be long remembered and "your"
duty to his "sacrifice" will be cherished.
There is more truth than fiction to the line behind every good man
lies a good woman.
Without the love and devotion of our Submarine Wives we amy not have
ever been the hero's that we were in WWII and today.
To "Ned" and you and yours..."Hand Salute".
"Sailor Rest Your Oar"
In deepest sympathy,
a boat sailor..
- John "Steamer" Long: A great man has left ahead of us but we will all
join him in time.
RIP Captain......we have the watch.
Thanks for your Tribute to Captain Beach.
It was a sad day here in the Northwest and all over the world when
one of the icons of our service departed. The history of our Submarine
Service is not over and I only hope that there are others out there
that will continue his great works for Freedom.
- Morris H. Vincent: Men like you who came to the aid of our
country in it's hour of need will always be remembered. You and the
other submariners of that era who volunteered to serve will always
have my admiration. Your bravery may never be matched
- Steven B. Rigdon: To me "ned" Beach was a true
American HERO, I'm glad he was on our side, and not the enemies.
He made a great contribution to the U.S.A., and the entire Submarine
He will be sorely missed.
I wish the very best for his family, and our nation.
- George Gambel: As far as my limited knowldge goes, he is the
first one to write about submarine operations in the Pacific. He
brought recognition to a little known but powerful submarine service.
- Mike Ostlund: Captain Beach spent 1-2 hours with me on the
phone several months ago. I am amazed and honored that he would do so,
now knowing that he was very ill.
We talked mainly of Dusty Dornin, and the other submariners he knew.
Especially those associated with the USS GUDGEON. He had a million
As we talked he told me that he was very pleased to say that he has
another book coming out soon. Actually it is his dad's work, I believe
it is his memoirs, or his diary from his career. Though I would have
to check my notes to see for certain.
But, you all may want to keep your eyes open for it. He seemed excited
My condolences to the family, and thanks to Captain Beach for all he
has done for this country!
- Neal: Captain Beach was one of the great heros of our age.
From his exploits in WW II to the sucessful transition to nuclear
power. His career covered decades of submarine service and technology
His ability to put words to paper brought entertainment and
understanding of submarine operations to many. He served, he served
well, and he was able to say what he needed to and reach an audience.
Farewell Captain, run silent and deep.
- Bob Spide: May God be with you Captain. It was one of my
greatest pleasures to meet you at the Dedication of the Submarine
Sculpture at the Naval Academy. May you meet those Shipmates you
honored so much in your writings. My condolences to your family.
- Doc Gardner: He inspired a lot of us to join the Navy,
especially the Submarine Navy.
Rest Your Oars Captain.
- Dave Stoops: America was the richer for courageous men like
Capt. Beach. What a man and what an example he set.
Thank you, Captain for your service and to your leadership! I salute
- Mike Hemming: Like a lot of us Capt Beach's heroism and
simple but great story telling led me to the submarine service. Which
helped to change an immature 18 year old into a man that learn to take
responsibility and realized he could do most anything he wanted.
Last May when I thanked Capt Beach for what he had done for me, he
said, "Dont thank me, You did it, and I thank you for your
I was a little stunned him thanking me I never did anything that could
remotely compare to his contribution. But his saying that goes to show
what a fantastic man and leader of men he was.
Capt Beach, the world is a lesser place upon your passing. May your
family know that you were loved and respected by many men.
Thank you Sir.
Park Dallis: My brother and I had the privilege
of meeting Capt. Beach at the commissioning of the USS O'Kane.
We shared the above photograph with him and he told us
of visiting Cdr. O'Kane at the hospital in Guam before returning to
the states. He was surprised that O'Kane was standing in this photo
because he was so near death from his POW experiences. He was
evidently much more frail than he appears in the photo although he is
wearing a jacket and everyone one else is in shorts and shirtsleeves.
Run silent, run deep Captain Beach.
(More about this photo)
Ron Martini: One evening I received an email from a guy in
Iceland. He said that he and Capt. Beach were sitting there reading
every post on this [Ron Martini's] BBS and enjoying it immensely. So
in a way he knows you all.
Capt. Beach later called me and asked if I would help him search
for copies of his father's books. He had given his copies to the new
Beach Hall at Annapolis and wanted to replace them in his own library.
I think I found 4 of the 7 he needed.
John Ackerman: I never met the good Captain, but his
reputation preceeded him throughout the submarine force. Like many of
us, that reputation caused me to read his books, some of them more
What a gentleman.
Now a legend is gone, but he's got to be in a better place and in
very good company.
Farewell Captain! God be with you always.
Tommy Cox: Just wanted to add my humble salute with my prayer
that the legendary Captain can now rest his oar.
Robin White: Some people say submarines are just machines of
war, that they're nothing but cold, dead instruments of destruction.
Ned Beach's words told the world a different story. That when
dedication, high purpose and service are poured into a steel hull,
when good men stand together against an enemy more powerful, more
patient and a hell of a lot craftier than any nation, something new,
something very nearly alive, is created. Something that could almost
be called a soul. Ned Beach taught us that lesson and I hope we never
let ourselves forget it.
John "Gumba: Carcioppolo: I had the pleasure of meeting
him last May as well. I enjoyed his speech although I had to keep
telling him to talk into the microphone because the folks in the back
couldn't hear him. He kept calling me COB ... "Thanks COB for
inviting me here to Groton" ... "Thanks COB for helping me
with that damneed Microphone. Never did like those things." In
his speech I remember how he talked about single handedly winning
WWII, and how he pushed the NAUTILUS down the ways. He was amusing,
yet he was also living history.
It may be a sad day here on earth for us Submariners, but heaven is
just a little bit better today as there's another dolphin wearer
amongst the Angels. Everyone knows tht "there ain't no
Submariners down in hell"!
Rest your oars Ned Beach. Sail in peace, and thank you for your
John Wynn: "Godspeed, Captain, I was honored to meet and
talk with you in New London earlier this year."
|The instant this picture was taken, Captain
Beach had just said, "Get those goddamed TEETH off the TORSK!!" - I was saying,
- John Wynn
You and me both Cowboy.....
We should all thank Richard (Guns) Mendelson for making the initial
arrangements that brought Capt'n Beach to our USSVI 38th Anniversary
in New London last May..
Thank you Guns and our prayers are with the family of Captain
Jim "Red" Lawton: SAILOR REST YOUR OAR!
And may I add Thanks for your service to your country.
Ron "Warshot" Smith: I was with him at last years
Naval Submarine League Symposium. He was the guest of honor, good
thing they didn't wait another year to honor him.
I feel proud to have met you.
I feel like I should say something else but I just can't find the
right words to say when the Submarine service loses a great hero like
I was also with him at the Naval Monument in DC were he bought a
copy of my book and sort of apologized for "Those remarks about
A true gentleman and a true American.
Peter Maas was there too as the main speaker. He introduced Capt.
Beach by saying "Without this guy Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster
would have just been two more pretty faces".
Billy Bob / Launcher Larry: Thank you Captain Beach, to meet
you and Captain Street before your passing just adds to my respect for
you WWII warriors, all submariners should have skippers such as you.
Being friends with Warshot, John Maniulow and others that parked
several thousands tons of JAP sea going vessels on the ocean bottom
has made me a wealthier man, far beyond what mere words cans say.
Peter Maas just passed away a few months ago too.
Thank you sir for your service and for continuing with improvements
for future submarine sailors,
Sailor rest your oar, Hand salute, Ready...two
John J. Patterson: Sailor rest your oars. Thank you for your
service and the inspiration to join the Submarine Force that you gave
to many of us.
John "Steamboat" Fulton: The country is indeed a
poorer place with the loss of a true hero of WWII and one who kept the
memory alive of the truely heroic exploits of the Submarine veterans.
It is hard to express how much we loved and admired Ned Beach.
Sailor Rest Your Oars.
Bob "Flapper" Parker: I first read of your
leadership in Around the World Submerged. This was one of the keys to
my entry into the Navy and the Silent Service.
Then while attending Submarine School I read Run Silent, Run Deep,
which instilled in me the lore of my forebears in undersea warfare
before the down of nuclear power.
I and all my shipmates salute you as the exemplar of the sort of man
we all strove to become - and certainly the kind of skipper we all
wished we could serve under!
May your memory live on in the annals of United States Submarine
History. Lift a tall one with our departed shipmates in the tavern in
Captain George Folta: (upon hearing from me on Ned's
passing) Thanks for the update. I received your previous message about NED, and I was formulating a letter to him in my mind. Obviously, I am late.
If ever an officer was "screwed" by a more senior officer, it was Ned. Ned should not only have been an Admiral, but a perfect choice for Chief of Naval Operations.
I know of several other outstanding officers who outshined their bosses and,
consequently, didn't make Admiral.
I worked with Ned from time to time in the Pentagon shortly before I retired. He was always polite and helped me when I was in the "Shipbuilding and Conversion" group.
I remember when we met him on the New Jersey turnpike on a hot summer's day. He was sweating and explained that his car was overheating so to keep the engine from burning up, he ran the car heater on the "full heat" setting with full fan setting. This kept the cooling water just below the RED mark.
Yes, it is a sad day.
John D. Lichoff (RM3 57-59): I served with Capt. Beach as one of his radiomen on board the USS SALAMONIE AO-26.
Captain Beach was a mentor to me for what he had instilled in the mind and ways of a young boy from Ohio.
I have tried to pattern my life as a responsible man in all that I had endeavored from his teachings and leader ship.
It was a great honor to have served and known "MY" friend, Captain Edward L. Beach.
Mark Bonner (Chief of Staff, Office of Enforcement, US Treasury
Department): Capt. Beach was my father's (RADM Emmett P. Bonner)
roommate at Annapolis, and a friend of our family since before I was
born in 1947 (at which point he and my Dad had been friends for 12
years). Strong, brave, audacious, intelligent, hard-working,
loyal, kind: all were exemplified by these two Navy men. Capt.
Beach had "the right stuff" in abundance. It was a
privilege to have known him. May God raise up more men like
these to guide the Navy and our country.
CMDCM/SS Bob Cooley: Ned Beach, one of
the greatest Americans that has ever lived. A true American hero.
Jeff Porteous: I'm not a shipmate of his, nor even a submariner, merely a wannabe of sorts -- a lifelong fan and devotee of the Service to which he so successfully dedicated his life. There is no doubt it was his books which had much to do
with my adopting this passion. As a young teen in the early '70s, for instance, my starry-eyed "fan letters" to this most gracious gentleman brought not only responses but real correspondence: we exchanged several missives in those days, and a few others many years later as well, and he always took great care to answer my no-doubt nuisance questions with total aplomb.
In 1972, I was even lucky enough to meet the man during a book signing appearance he made at the Detroit Public Library, while touring nationally to promote his then newly published "Dust on the Sea" sequel to his famous "Run Silent, Run Deep." What a thrill it was for this young fan to shake his hand and chat for a moment, and how I will always treasure the kind, personal and inspirational words he inscribed in my copy of that exciting, yet deeply affecting book.
Clearly, this is why I'm writing and sending these words today -- simply to remind all who might chance to see them that Captain Beach was not only a war hero, a submariner's submariner, a wonderful resource for the Navy, and an inspiration and delight to all who met him, but an exemplary author too; a writer who managed to turn what in lesser hands might potentially be dismissed as mere genre fiction into true literature of the highest caliber. In fact, it is indeed his talent with words that I'm thinking of and missing today.
Which leads me to this final statement: Honor the good Captain by reading -- or for most of us, rereading -- those wonderful words. Revisit his world, and be awed all over again with his command -- in all respects -- of the submarine realm. I am. And I sense there is no better way he'd like to be remembered.
So long, Captain Beach. And calm seas to you, old friend.
And this last post by Paul Farace, curator of the USS Cod deserves
to stand alone:
It's no secret that a big part of the satisfaction of working on
USS COD is seeing the reaction of the guys who lived and fought the
fleet boats when they climb down COD's forward torpedo room ladder. It's
like the biggest Christmas bonus you ever got except with more warm and
fuzzy feelings and no IRS liability.
It was a big disappointment when I missed the Grand COD tour with
Admiral Fluckey a few years ago... I was making final arrangements at
the banquet hall for his reception and he was supposed to check into the
hotel. That is until he "ordered" COD's skipper to belay the
stop at the hotel and get directly to "the mighty COD" (his
words). So be it... it's not the biggest disappointment of my life, but
it ranks in the top three.
Now Capt. Ned Beach is gone.
His wife said he will be cremated and the ashes kept in his
Georgetown home until after the holidays when the family will gather at
the Naval Academy for a memorial program.
Walking through COD with Capt. Beach would have been like winning
the lottery. He saw COD decades ago before she was restored. He had no
interest in coming aboard because in his words "she sat way too
high in the water... no batteries aboard... she could not dive..."
He went to say he had seen several other memorial boats and they
were nothing like the boats he fought aboard. Over the years I had the
opportunity to talk with him several times. I mailed him every COD
newsletter, made sure he saw our website, sent him copies of photographs
of the interior and exterior restoration milestones... everything short
of getting him aboard.
It's not that we didn't try... he was a busy guy, with a travel
schedule that rivaled Henry Kissenger in his diplomatic heyday. Trips to
Sweden and visits with his children booked up the whole summer... and
the few short open spots he had for the trip to COD that we were trying
to schedule were nixed by his lovely and dear wife who said "he
can't come unless I can be with him... I want to see the COD too!"
Well that is not to be.
We had to let the 2001 book signing go by the wayside because of
the scheduling problems, then just after our visit to his home in March
we learned of his terminal illness. I wanted to ask him to come for a
visit anyway, but I didn't know how to make such an offer.
He was a very emotional man... during our visit to his home he was
almost in tears several times, talking about his father, his early days
in the Navy, and his lost shipmates. He was a rich man in many ways, his
life so blessed with loving family, friends, and admirers. I just knew
that when he met fellow submariners he felt that they were his cloase
He spent a lot of time writing in his basement office. It is
easier to find Batman's secret batcave under Wayne Manor than it is to
find this subterrainian submarine museum in his Gerogetown house. At
night he slept in his den/office/bedroom on the second floor. Through a
private hall was his wife's bedroom. The Captain slept in a simple twin
bed... not much bigger than the bunk in his submarine stateroom. A well
worn bedspread and a single pillow on the mattress was all he needed. He
told me he stayed up late into the night reading and writing. The walls
of his bedroom would rival the Naval Academy Museum for all of the ship
models, sub models and other naval artificats hanging there. I guess
that is similar to all Navy men... just that in his case, the goodies on
his wall would make you drool.
I sure a hell would have loved following Ned around COD. Just to
see his reaction to the memories that would flood his mind. It would
have been my way of saying "thank you" to a guy who was a hero
of mine ever since I began to read about submarines as a little boy.
Sure I sent him every COD fridge magnet, sweatshirt, coffee mug in the
inventory, but I don't think that compares to giving an old man an
opportunity to touch, to visit, even if for a short time, a long lost
That extra special bonus paycheck will go uncashed. Ned Beach
never got to see COD in her glory... and I will have to live with the
But maybe I am wrong. Maybe the COD has a visitor right now. Sure
the boat is locked tight and the gates and parking lot entrances are
secured... but I will bet (and hope) that there is someone taking a
long-delayed tour of the boat right now at the ungodly hour of 1:30 a.m.
Cleveland time. Or even more likely, that special visitor is exploring
COD with some old shipmates in tow... guys that he has not seen in 60
years, guys that he didn't know he loved until it was too late to say
anything to them... Yea, that's the way I am going to leave it... we
have some very special visitors aboard at this late hour of the night...
ones that I'll never greet or join for a tour... but in my mind and
heart I know they're enjoying a very special reunion aboard... hell,
maybe even laughing about the ironing board set up in the forward
To Ned and his shipmates: I hope you think our work aboard COD is
worthy of you... if so... then that is one hell of a bonus, just in time
God bless you Ned...
Emails Received Since the Original Publishing:
- Frank Lakat: Dear Sirs, Thank you for your tribute
page to Capt. Beach, a personal hero of mine. RSRD was one of the first
submarine genre books I remember reading, the battle of the Bungo Suido
and O'l Bungo Pete remain etched in my memory. I'm touched that so many
others feel the way I do. Capt. Beach influenced many lives beyond those
he afftected in uniform. Rest easy Sailor. Third star to the right and
straight on 'till morning.
[I appreciated Frank's message
and asked to hear a little more about him - this was his
Dear Mr. Gentry, Thank you for your reply, and
please do add my comments to the page. I truly feel honored to have my
name anywhere on Captain Beach's tribute page. The bulletin board posts
by all of the men who sent in their remembrances of Capt. Beach,
including your own, convey honor to his memory and service with greater
eloquence than I could hope to. As a young man I had always been drawn
to biographies and accounts of men with leadership, courage and grace
under pressure (no pun intended). These qualities by definition are
those that set Submarine Veterans of the U.S. Navy apart. For every hero
of mine, Cmdr. Ernest Evans, Cmdr. Sam Dealey, Col. Donald Cook &
Captain Beach, there were hundreds of less noted by name but just as
important sailors, submariners and soldiers who performed their jobs and
kept to the highest traditions of our country's service. I'd like to
think that in honoring and remembering them we can make small
compensation for the price they have paid.
The quote from Mr.
Walker on the one liners page is terrific - "Again I ask, who really are
our heroes? They are the men who have, since the first day of our great
country, left their families and friends and gone to war asking for
nothing and giving all."
As the lyrics of a song once said:
"That's why we call them heroes,
that's why we know
and once you've heard their stories
quite the same
that's why we call them heroes
the best thing
they ever do
is point to the best in us all
and say "If I can,
you can too"
Well, I'm certainly glad I was much more brief
in my post on Captain Beach's tribute page. Thank you for the
opportunity to reflect and remember how lucky I am and we all truly are
to live in the greatest country in the world. Keep up the good work at
subsailor.com! Very truly yours, Frank Lakat, Brooklyn.
|Captain Edward L. Beach is hoisted into a
helicopter after being summoned to the White House for a debrief
at the conclusion of his historic underwater circumnavigation of
the globe in the USS Triton, April 25, 1960.
(Photo courtesy of US Naval Institute)
Please also read "New
Duty Station" by Mike Hemming and visit Sid
Harrison's Honors site.
Vice Admiral Grossenbacher's message
to SUBPAC and SUBLANT announcing the death of Captain Beach. (Adobe
Acrobat reader required)
Naval Institute Magazine Interview with Captain Beach.
|Captain Edward L. Beach Jr. stands in front of
Beach Hall after the ceremony dedicating the building on his
behalf of that of his father, Captain Edward Beach Sr.in April
1999. (Photo courtesy of US Naval Institute)
Tommy Cox: Tom was so inspired by the outpouring of emotions
about the loss of Ned, he composed a new song - to be included on his
next album. Tom was kind enough to offer the lyrics to the song
for inclusion on this tribute page (please respect Tom's copyright -
RUN SILENT RUN DEEP
RUN SILENT RUN DEEP
CAPTAIN EDWARD L. BEACH
THIS TIGER DON'T SLEEP
RUN SILENT RUN DEEP
NED BEACH IS A LEADER,
COULD MESMORIZE A READER
A HUMBLE MAN OF COURAGE, SKILL, AND PRIDE
HE LOVED THE SILENT SERVICE
PROFESSION WITH A PURPOSE
ON DECEMBER 1, OH 2, THIS HERO DIED
HE LAUNCHED THE NUKE SUB NAUTILUS,
SET STANDARDS FOR ALL OF US
AND TOOK THE MIGHTY TRITON 'ROUND THE WORLD
FOUGHT THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY
NAVY CROSS FROM TIRANTE
MADE A DOZEN WAR PATROLS OUT OF PEARL
HE WAS NAVAL AIDE FOR IKE
A JOB HE REALLY LIKED
A MAN FOR WHOM HE HAD SO MUCH RESPECT
STEEL SHIPS AND IRON MEN
LONG TO TAKE HER DEEP AGAIN
THEIR MISSION TO DEFEND AND TO PROTECT
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HIS FATHER
HE DID BECOME AN AUTHOR
AND WROTE ABOUT BELOVED SUBMARINES
BEACH HALL IS THEIR HONOR
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VALOR
THE DID THEIR PART TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY FREE
© Copyright 2002, Tommy Cox
and Bobby Reed, EDCO Records
(from the Wall Street Opinion Journal, Wednesday,
December 4, 2002)
He Lived What He Wrote
In memoriam: Ned Beach, warrior and
BY TOM CLANCY
Wednesday, December 4, 2002 12:01 a.m. EST
It's been said that the World War II generation is dying off at the
rate of a thousand souls a day. Fortunately, the history they made lives
with us every day. Edward Latimer Beach Jr., who died Sunday at 84, was
one such man. Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was the son of a
distinguished naval officer and went on, like him, to write his own
reputation both in words and deeds.
It is as a writer that I first got to know Ned Beach. In 1983, I wanted
to speak with Ned, the author of 1955's "Run Silent, Run Deep"
and other works, about the publication of my own first novel, "The
Hunt for Red October," which had not yet found its publisher. But
first I had a question I just had to ask. In his novel "Dust on the
Sea," Ned talked about how, in World War II, depth charges going off
close to a U.S. Navy submarine could make it appear that the sub's hull
would spring in and out from the transient shockwave. At the time it was
thought that this was an optical illusion, but after the war engineering
tests established that, indeed, a near-fatal depth-charging could make the
hull spring in and out.
"Did you ever see that happen?" I asked.
"Yes." He nodded. "Several times."
"My God, what was it like?"
"It's unpleasant," he said evenly. Such was the measure of
the man that understatement covered what must have been like seeing the
cold hand of Death himself reaching for him and his crew. Besides, that
was not the most frightening thing he'd ever seen, he said, before
launching into another story.
It's a union rule for sailors that they must tell sea stories. But in
this case, there was no exaggeration necessary to make the storyteller's
point. Everything Ned Beach spoke, he'd seen and done. He worked his way
up the line, first on USS Trigger; won a Navy Cross (America's
second-highest decoration) on USS Tirante; then commanded his own fleet
boat, USS Piper. The war ended just as Piper entered Japanese waters.
He always spoke with affection, authority and respect of his World War
II comrades, the men of the Silent Service who stung the Imperial Japanese
Navy so grievously from 1941 to 1945.
It's worth remembering how lonely their task was. Submarines went into
action mostly alone, a single chess piece containing 90 officers and men,
crowded into a steel culvert pipe, seeking out crowds of enemy ships so
that they might sink the most valuable of them, then make their escape to
sting another day.
How dangerous was it? Well, the torpedoes they fired were mainly loosed
from distance of 1,000 yards--often less--the distance a man might walk in
four or five minutes or drive in 30 seconds. They penetrated an enemy
formation to the point that numerous enemy ships whose only purpose was
submarine-killing were both ahead and behind them. Their job was to be
surrounded by their enemies, and only then to announce their presence with
a spout of fire and water and death.
I doubt that Ned ever enjoyed it, but neither did he once shrink from
it. It was his job, the one he'd sworn to do, for his country and her
citizens, going in Harm's Way, which was and remains the creed of his
Navy. I am sure that he was often frightened--he told me as much--but like
the firemen in the Twin Towers, he ran toward the danger because that was
what they paid him for.
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.
Ned's first book, "Run Silent, Run Deep," was in fact a
compilation of his own experiences told as few others could have told the
tale, in a way that let the reader smell the oil-scented air inside the
boats, noting that the stress of combat cannot be borne indefinitely, even
among the courageous. Though Ned was always gracious toward my own works
of fiction, he knew the subject matter better than I could ever hope to
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.
But now he's gone. Or is he? It's a custom in the U.S. Navy to name its
warships for those who have graced the uniform with their service. So, one
can hope, in not too long a time, there will be a USS Beach carrying our
battle ensign around the world, and Ned will again be at sea, looking
after the nation he served so well in life. Fair winds, Skipper.
One final note: As I come close to finishing this page, I find
it sadly fitting that next to me, on my desk, is a turkey sandwich -
partially eaten - one of several made from this Thanksgiving's leftovers -
a truly American holiday that we continue to enjoy - and
unquestionably made possible by men like Beach - who walked the decks
Ned, you will be truly missed, but never forgotten
Please take a moment of silence to honor another of our fallen brothers.
Sailor rest your oars.
In loving memory of an honored shipmate
by his shipmates and friends