2015 Beach Award Winners Chronicle Battle off Samar

Midshipman First Class Philip Youngberg (left) and Midshipman First Class Dana Petersen (Right) pose for pictures with Mrs. Ingrid Beach at the 2015 Awards Ceremony.

Midshipman First Class Philip Youngberg (left) and Midshipman First Class Dana Petersen (Right) pose for pictures with Mrs. Ingrid Beach at the 2015 Awards Ceremony.


Executive Director Captain Todd Creekman joined Ingrid Beach, wife of the late Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr., a naval historian, author, and long-time NHF board member, to present Midshipman Dana Petersen and Midshipman Philip Youngberg with the Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr. Naval History Award at the United States Naval Academy’s annual History Department Awards Ceremony.

Petersen and Youngberg were two of twelve First Class Midshipmen to visit the Taffy 3 70th Reunion in San Diego, CA in October of last year. They were present to interact with survivors of the epic Battle off Samar during the Leyte Gulf campaign in October 1944 and record the veterans’ histories of service during the Second World War. For three days, more than two dozen veterans provided oral histories of their involvement in Taffy 3. The thirteen ships comprising Taffy 3, also known as Escort Carrier Task Force 77.4.3, are best known for their engagement with the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Center Force when their audacity turned back the Japanese battleships and preserved the landing forces.

LCDR Tom Cutler, USN (Ret.), U.S. Naval Institute; CAPT Todd Creekman, USN (Ret.), NHF; Mrs. Ingrid Beach; Midshipman First Class Philip Youngberg; Midshipman First Class Dana Petersen; CAPT Craig Felker, USN, History Department Chairman; COL Paul Montanus, Humanities and Social Sciences Division Director; Dr. Andrew Phillips, Academic Dean

LCDR Tom Cutler, USN (Ret.), U.S. Naval Institute; CAPT Todd Creekman, USN (Ret.), NHF; Mrs. Ingrid Beach; Midshipman First Class Philip Youngberg; Midshipman First Class Dana Petersen; CAPT Craig Felker, USN, History Department Chairman; COL Paul Montanus, Humanities and Social Sciences Division Director; Dr. Andrew Phillips, Academic Dean


Their documentation of the reunion provided the basis for NHF to honor them with the Beach Award. The genesis of the project came out of the midshipman’s participation in the Pacific War history research seminar last fall. The interviews gathered in San Diego last fall will be compiled and provide primary source information for future senior capstone research papers and other scholarship.

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4 Responses to 2015 Beach Award Winners Chronicle Battle off Samar

  1. Alfred P.White says:

    Dana Petersen was one of the Midshipmen that interviewed Taffy Three at San Diego in 2014. I sent her books to aid her paper on Kamikazes. Is it possible to read her winning paper? I know she did a good job-she won. Sincerely Alfred P.White

  2. Alfred P.White says:

    Commander Chris Rentfrow at (rentfrow@usna.edu).I am trying to contact you about Dana’sTerm Paper.

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