Edward Beach was born on April 20, 1918, in New York City. He graduated 2nd in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned in June 1939. Beach served aboard the heavy cruiser USS Chester (CA-27) and the destroyer USS Lea (DD-118) before attending the Submarine School at New London, Connecticut, where he graduated 1st in his class in December 1941. During World War II, Beach served aboard the submarines USS Trigger (SS-237) and USS Tirante (SS-420) before taking command of the USS Piper (SS-409) near the end of the war. He participated in 12 combat patrols that damaged or sank 45 enemy ships. After the war, Beach served as Aide to the Chief of the Bureau of Naval Personnel from December 1945 to March 1947, and then was attached to the Atomic Defense Section from March 1947 to May 1948. Beach next commanded the submarine USS Amberjack (SS-522) from May 1948 to August 1950, and then became Naval Aide to General of the Army Omar Bradley, where he served until March 1951. He then became commander of the submarine USS Trigger (SS-564), and served on her until 1953, when he was made Naval Aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Capt Beach served in this position until January 1957, and then he assumed command of the fleet replenishment oiler USS Salamonie (AO-26) in March 1957. He began training on atomic reactors in January 1958, and then took command of the nuclear submarine USS Triton (SSRN-586) in November 1959, serving as her captain until July 1961. Capt Beach next commanded Submarine Squadron Eight from July 1961 to August 1962, and then attended the National War College, graduating in July 1963. His final assignment was in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, where he served as a staff officer from July 1963 until his retirement from the Navy in 1966. After his retirement from the Navy, Beach served at the Naval War College, served as a staff director of the United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, and later served as chief of staff for Senator Jeremiah Denton of Alabama, from 1981 to 1982. Ed Beach married Ingrid Schenck in 1944 and they had four children; Inga-Marie, Edward, Hugh, and Ingrid Alice. He died on December 1, 2002.
His Navy Cross Citation reads:
The Navy Cross is presented to Edward Latimer Beach, Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy, for gallantry and intrepidity in action as Executive Officer, Navigator and Assistant Approach Officer on board the U.S.S. TIRANTE (SS-420) on the First War Patrol of that submarine during the period 3 March 1945 to 25 April 1945, in enemy controlled waters of the East China Sea. Lieutenant Commander Beach rendered valiant service to his commanding officer in penetrating mined and shoal-obstructed shallow waters in defiance of hostile shore-based radar stations and aircraft. By his excellent judgment and keen understanding of attack problems, he aided immeasurably in sending torpedoes into targets with deadly accuracy and contributed to the sinking of three Japanese cargo ships, one large transport, a hostile tanker, three patrol frigates, and one lugger, totaling 28,000 tons of shipping vital to the enemy's ability to prosecute the war. Through his experience and sound judgment he assisted in bringing his ship safely back to port. His conduct throughout was an inspiration to his officers and men and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.