Adm. Sir David Beatty

Beatty, who became commander in chief of Britain's Grand Fleet late in World War I, was quick to stress the importance of Allied strength, even in times of peace.

When he received his Distinguished Service Medal, Beatty urged Legionnaires to keep alive "the spirit of comradeship among the Allied nations developed in the war. Other nations fought in self-defense with the certainty of dissolution if they failed, but the United States had little to fear, whatever the outcome might be. Her entry into the war was brought about by a complete unselfish determination to see justice done and to show that it would not tolerate wanton aggression against free and peaceful people."

Beatty became a naval cadet at 13 and was promoted to captain by 29. At the end of the war, he accepted the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet. The next year, 1919, he was promoted to admiral and named 1st Earl Beatty.

"The one great lesson ... that we have learned through bitter experience and the sacrifices that have been freely made is the value of comradeship," Beatty said. "The American Legion, like its counterpart, the British Legion, is well equipped with knowledge and experience to press home the fundamental truth."

He died in London in 1936, at 65.

For more on Beatty, click here (


View more Distinguished Service Medal recipients