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In conjunction with the U.S. Navy's Submarine Centennial celebration, retired Navy captain Edward L. Beach, a World War II submariner and a best-selling author of naval history books, will give a lecture Thursday, April 13 at Old Dominion University. His talk is titled "The Influence of the Submarine on Seapower and History."

Beach will sign copies of his most recent book, "Salt and Steel: Reflections of a Submariner," 10-11 a.m. in front of the bookstore in Webb University Center. His talk will begin at 8 p.m. in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center. Both events are free and open to the public.

A 1939 graduate of the Naval Academy, Beach completed 12 submarine war patrols during World War II, beginning with the Battle of Midway and continuing until the end of the war. He earned 10 decorations for gallantry in combat, including the Navy's second highest decoration, the Navy Cross. In 1960, while in command of the nuclear submarine USS Triton, he circumnavigated the world entirely submerged, an epic 84-day, 41,000-mile voyage that still stands as the all-time record for submerged endurance.

From 1949 to 1951 Beach was assigned as naval assistant to Gen. Omar N. Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and from 1953 to 1957, he served as the naval aide to President Eisenhower. Beach occupied the Stephen B. Luce Chair of Naval Science at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and held the post of staff director of the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Beach is the author of three novels and 10 non-fiction books, four of which were national bestsellers. His books include "The Wreck of the Memphis," published in 1980; "Run Silent, Run Deep," published in 1988; and "Salt and Steel: Reflections of a Submariner," published last year.

Beach's civilian awards include the Navy League Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement, the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize, the Magellanic Premium of the American Philosophic Society, the Theodore Roosevelt Association Gold Medal for National Defense and Literary Achievement and the New York Commanders of the Naval Order of the United States Samuel Eliot Morison Award.

Beach's appearance at Old Dominion is part of a yearlong series of events celebrating 100 years of submarine force, which began with the commissioning of the USS Holland in 1900. The Atlantic Submarine Force is planning many centennial events throughout the upcoming year.

This article was posted on: March 24, 2000

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