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Vet 1163

SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

EDWARD L. BEACH (1163-1989)

United States Navy, Submarine Service

Beach3Most are aware of “Ned” BEACH and his exemplary combat career during World War Two, but what of the man himself? He was born into a naval family – his father served in the United States Navy during three wars from the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and World War One. Captain Beach Sr. ultimately commanded the battleship USS NEW YORK(BB 34), so it was understood that BEACH Jr. would go through the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Normally ramrod straight and no nonsense, NED‘ BEACH had a funny streak, although it was sometimes difficult to find. When he was a kid, he loved peanut butter on toast but spreading the cold peanut butter on the hot toast was cumbersome and tore the toast. He decided that he would put the peanut butter on the bread before toasting it – remember, in those days there were no toasters. The bread was put in the oven to toast it; so ‘NED‘ carefully spread the peanut butter on his bread and popped it in the oven. When he took it out of the oven, the peanut butter was spread so smoothly on his toast and he was pleased with his experiment. Then he took a big bite – and got 400º peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth! Good idea but not good results.

During a Sharkhunters Convention, Captain BEACHmet Oberleutnant zur See HANS-GEORG HESS(125-1985), Skipper of U-995, and the two men – former enemies; became good friends.
beach2During the time he was a lower classman at the Academy, he tuned in his radio to listen to the famous fright drama “War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells in which aliens from outer space landed on the American east coast and were killing people by the hundreds. This was a fictional story and the announcer broke infrequently to tell the listening audience that it was fiction – not real, and this attack was not happening.

‘NEDBEACHapparently missed that part and believed this story was real and that America was under attack from space aliens …so he dashed to the office of the Officer of the Deck and volunteered to lead a squad of cadets against the space invaders. The O.D. thanked him but explained that this was a fictional story and not real – then the O.D. asked ‘NED‘ why he was listening to the radio when he should have been studying, as lower classmen were not supposed to do anything but study in the evening.

beach1He was a submarine officer throughout World War Two and got his first command just before the Japanese surrender. He was highly decorated during the war with his highest award being Navy Cross he received for his role in the attack on Japanese shipping in Quelpart Harbor, Korea in which his boat USS TIRANTE(commanded by Captain GEORGE STREET 2448-1992). He commanded the post-war USS TRITON(SSN 586)for the first ever circumnavigation of the world submerged.

He served as the Naval Aide(seen here) to President Dwight Eisenhower. Captain BEACHwas a prolific writer and published many books, the most successful was “Run Silent; Run Deep!” which was made into a movie with an all-star cast including Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Jack Warden and Don Rickles who had served in the U.S. Navy during the war. My personal favorite, however, was his book “Submarine!” in which each chapter is a stand-alone chapter about a different American submarine. All our books entitled U-BOAT!” are similar in that each chapter is a separate story and Captain BEACHwrote an impressive forward for our books. ENDICOTT “CHUB” PEABODY (3252-1993) was decorated with the SILVER STAR while aboard USS TIRANTE with BEACH and he later became Governor of Massachusetts.

Captain BEACHserved ten years on our Sharkhunters Advisory Board and you can see the Board Members by clicking here TO THE ADVISORS PAGE.

BEACH was also a strong, supportive Member of Sharkhunters and a good friend. He hand signed some of our very rare fine art prints. Click here to see view them in the store.