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Vice Admiral Donald Bradford Beary
United States Navy Admiral. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1910 and was awarded the Navy Cross for convoy duty in World War I. At the outbreak of World War II, he was Commander of the Fleet Operational Training Command in the Atlantic theater. In the Pacific battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa 1944, he was Commander of ServRon 6, assigned the task of providing at-sea support to the 3rd and 5th fleets during specific operations. ServRon 6 was the first underway group replenishing warships with munitions and stores to provide the fleet with the ability to maintain an aggressive, around-the-clock offensive against Japan. At the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945, he served as a dignitary on the staff of General Douglas MacAuthur. After the war he was President of the War College in Newport, Rhode Island and retired in 1950. The Knox-class frigate "USS Beary" (FF-1085), was named in his honor.
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Donald Bradford Beary was born 4 December, 1888, in Helena, Montana. After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1910, he completed a Master of Sciences degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. During World War I, he earned the Navy Cross for distinguished service in command of a patrol yacht and destroyer engaged in convoy duty and anti-submarine warfare.
During World War II, Vice Admiral Beary (then Captain) was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in military operations against the enemy in the Pacific and Indian Oceans areas while in command of the troop transport MOUNT VERNON (AP 22) and head of Transport Division Nineteen. He was especially cited for his conspicuous professional ability, leadership, and organization in landing desperately needed reinforcements at Singapore and the evacuation of refugees from that city despite repeated air raids in the area.
In 1942, Vice Admiral Beary (then Rear Admiral) became Commandant of Naval Operations Base Iceland. At his command, warships were organized and expeditiously developed into a high state of battle proficiency.
On 14 March 1943 the Fleet Operational Training Command, Atlantic Fleet was formally established, with Rear Admiral Donald B. Beary in command. Beary, known as "Red" to his fellow Naval Academy graduates of the Class of 1910, came to the new assignment from a seventh-month stint as Commandant of the Naval Operating Base in Iceland. He was the perfect choice for this exacting job. A member of the Navy's Gun Club who had earned a PG degree in electrical engineering at Columbia, he had been known since his Midshipman days as a man who possessed drive above all else.
During the year-and-a-half he served as COTCLANT, Beary successfully administered the creation and operation of a wide variety of training facilities along the U.S. East Coast, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and on Culebra Island, Puerto Rico. These included such esoteric facilities as Anti-Aircraft Training Centers and the Anti-Aircraft Training Afloat program on board U.S.S. Wyoming, the Combat Information Center, Group Training Center in Norfolk, the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Norfolk, the Fleet Sonar School in Key West, and the Minecraft Training Center in Little Creek, Virginia. In all during his time in command, Admiral Beary directed the training of more than 1,000,000 officers and men of the United States Fleet and supervised the shakedown or refresher training of some 5,000 vessels.
It is not surprising, therefore, that in the citation for the Distinguished Service Medal he was awarded in February 1945 for his accomplishments, he was singled out as a "resourceful and aggressive administrator" who was responsible for "the high state of battle proficiency and readiness for action maintained by the vessels under his command."
In 1944, Rear Admiral Beary took command of Service Squadron Six, a revolutionary new mobile underway replenishment support force. Service Squadron Six, under Beary's leadership, overcame the problems of tremendous distances involved in the Pacific War. With his replenishment forces at sea, the Fleet could choose its rendevous points, retire a few hundred miles for rearming, refueling, and reprovisioning, and strike again without delay.
The achievement of underway replenishment was a decisive factor in shortening the war. His genius for maintaining logistic support to Admiral Spruance's Fifth Fleet and Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet was recognized by two awards of the Legion of Merit for exceptional and meritorious conduct as Commander, Service Squadron Six.
After World War II, Rear Admiral Beary served as Administrator of the U.S. Naval Shipping Control Authority, Commandant of the Twelfth Naval District, Commander, Naval Base San Francisco, Commander, Western Sea frontier, and Commander, Pacific Reserve Fleet. In 1948, having attained the rank of Vice Admiral, he became the President of the Naval War college at Newport, RI, until his retirement in 1950.
Awards and Citations
Awarded for actions during the World War I
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Donald Bradford Beary, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. REMLIK and the U.S.S. LAMSON, engaged in the important, exacting, and hazardous duty of patrolling the waters infested by enemy submarines and mines, protecting vitally important convoys of troops and supplies through these waters, and in offensive and defensive action, vigorously and unremittingly prosecuted against all forms of enemy naval activity during World War I.
Action Date: World War I
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Remlik & U.S.S. Lamson
Navy Cross - 1918; Navy Distinguished Service Medal - 1945; Legion of Merit - 1945; second Legion of Merit - 1945; Bronze Star - 1943; American Defense Service Medal - 1941; American Campaign Medal - 1941; Europe/African/Middle Eastern Campaign - 1942; Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Medal - 1944; World War II Victory Medal - 1945; Navy Distinguished Marksman (pre-1959) - 1940; Navy Distinguished Pistol Shot (pre-1959) - 1940; WWI Victory Medal - 1918; Nicaragua Service - 1927; Yangtze River Service - 1931