Apr 2

Impact of the Writings of Captain Edward L. Beach Sr.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 12:01 AM

By

Rear Admiral Walter C Ansel, USN (Ret.)

Rear Admiral Walter C Ansel, USN (Ret.)

 

In this excerpt from his oral history, Read Admiral Ansel tells of how he was profoundly influenced to attend the Naval Academy and pursue a naval career by the writings of Captain Edward L. Beach Sr. — who, along with his son and namesake, is whom the Naval Institute’s headquarters, Beach Hall, is named after. Both Captain Beach Sr. and son Ned Beach were inextricably linked to the Institute throughout its history, and both embodied the Naval Institute ideal encoded in its insignia: the pen and the sword.

A 1918 graduate of the Naval Academy, Admiral Ansel served on convoy escort duty in the closing months of World War I. He had a variety of duties in the interwar years, including study of amphibious warfare, service on board the cruiser USS Milwaukee (CL-5) and at the Naval Academy, and command of the destroyer USS Bulmer (DD-222) and Destroyer Division 14. During a tour in the War Plans Division of OpNav just prior to World War II, Ansel observed the poor state of U.S. Navy war planning. He was first CO of the oiler USS Winooski (AO-38), then had staff duty for the planning of the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and Southern France. In 1944-45, he commanded the light cruiser USS Philadelphia (CL-41), including support duty in the Mediterranean. Rear Admiral Ansel retired in 1949.

Captain Edward L. Beach Sr., USN

Captain Edward L. Beach Sr., USN

 

To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go to https://www.usni.org/press/oral-histories.