Beshany, Philip A., Vice Adm., USN (Ret.)

Beshany, Philip A., Vice Adm., USN (Ret.)

(1914–2011)

A 1938 graduate of the Naval Academy, Admiral Beshany served in the new light cruiser USS Philadelphia (CL-41) before going into submarines. After duty in the USS S-14 (SS-119), he was executive officer of the fleet boat USS Scamp (SS-277) from 1942 to 1944, participating in seven war patrols. He was then executive officer of the USS Quillback (SS-424) during the Okinawa campaign and the occupation of Japan. He later commanded the submarines USS Billfish (SS-286), USS Burrfish (SS-312), and USS Amberjack (SS-522). 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 USS Salamonie (AO-26).

In the concluding volume Admiral Beshany discusses his command of Submarine Squadron 4 in the early 1960s during the transition from diesel to nuclear powered subs, duty as chief of staff to Deputy Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet during the tragic period when USS Thresher (SSN-593) was lost, and the ground work involved in setting up 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 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 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. In discussing this period Beshany candidly assesses his boss, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt. Beshany's final tour was as Commander, U.S. Taiwan Defense Command, a position that gave him cause to question our politically motivated shunning of that country. Admiral Beshany served in this post until his retirement in August 1974.

 

Transcripts of this oral history are available in many formats including bound volumes, and digital copies.

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About Volume I

Based on nine interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., from February 1977 through November 1977. The volume contains 494 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1980 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the transcript requires the written permission of the interviewee to quote or cite in published works.

About Volume II

Based on nine interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., from November 1977 through January 1979. The volume contains 505 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1983 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the transcript requires the written permission of the interviewee to quote or cite in published works.