Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vice Admiral Philip A. Beshany

I just learned of the passing of Vice Admiral Philip A. Beshany this past December.  VADM Beshany was the Commander of USTDC (COMUSTDC) during my time there.  It was his last assignment before retirement and he departed right around the same time I did in August, 1974.

A 1938 graduate of the Naval Academy, Admiral Beshany served in the new light cruiser Philadelphia before going into submarines. After duty in the S-14, he was executive officer of the fleet boat Scamp from 1942 to 1944, participating in seven war patrols. He was then exec of the Quillback during the Okinawa campaign and the occupation of Japan. He later commanded the submarines Billfish, Burrfish, and Amberjack.

Shore tours included postgraduate instruction at Annapolis, repair officer at the submarine base in New London, and duty as head of the prospective commanding officers' course for submarines.  While on the ComSubLant staff, he worked closely with the Navy's first nuclear-powered submarines. After graduation from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Admiral Beshany had a tour as commanding officer of the fleet oiler Salamonie.

He commanded Submarine Squadron 4 in the early 1960s during the transition from diesel to nuclear powered subs, served as chief of staff to Deputy Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet during the tragic period when Thresher was lost, and directed the setting up of facilities for U.S. Polaris submarines in Rota, Spain.

Subsequent duties included a staff position with Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe in the mid-1960s and Director of Submarine Warfare during the development phases of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine. In this position Admiral Beshany was in the thick of the ongoing technical versus operational argument being waged within the OpNav staff. His next duty as an amphibious group commander gave him a new appreciation of the importance of this special type of warfare and the complexity of joint exercises.

The 1970s found Admiral Beshany back at the Pentagon, first as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Operations and Readiness) and then during the reorganization of the OpNav staff he was made the first Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Submarine Warfare) over the objections of Admiral Rickover.

VADM Beshany's final tour was as Commander, U.S. Taiwan Defense Command, from he which retired in August, 1974.

His obituary is shown below.

Philip A. Beshany (Age 97), Vice Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) Passed away December 22, 2011 surrounded by his loving family. A true patriot and courageous leader - he embodied the best of the "greatest generation". He will be deeply missed, as he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend.
After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1938, he served over 42 years as a submariner. He was married for 62 years to his dear wife, Natalie (Gigi) until her death in 2005.
He is survived by his wife of 4 years, Beatrice; daughter, Ann Braniff (Earl Crouch); son, CAPT Philip Beshany, USN (Sunshine); granddaughters, Christy O'Hare (Steve), Stephanie Borchers (LT Jake Borchers, USN), and Madison Beshany; grandson, LCDR Ryan Beshany (Amanda); great grandchildren, Meghan, Luke and Casey O'Hare, and Carter Beshany; stepsons, Ed Gray (Becky), Alan Gray (Betsy), Patrick Gray (Marcie), and Stephen Gray (Liza).
Funeral service will be held at 10:45 a.m., Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in the Ft. Myers Chapel of Arlington National Cemetery followed by interment with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Mayo Outpatient Dialysis Center in the Roger Main Building: 4203 Belfort Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32216.

1 comment:

titojohn said...

Sailors Prayer
by Charles D. Williams

Sailors pray,
For fair winds and a following sea

The smell of salt in the air,
The feel of their skin as it's touched by the spray

An albatross soaring above,
Dolphins in the ship's wake at play

To witness a work of art that only God can create,
The sunset at the end of day

At night a million stars in the sky,
Safe anchorage in an islands lee

When the time comes to die as for all it must,
To awake in Sailors Heaven where nothing ever rusts

And always there would be,
Fair winds and a following sea

RIP Admiral