Edward Metcalfe Peebles – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

Rear Admiral Edward Metcalfe Peebles died on 24 June 1991 at his home in Reston, Virginia after a long, gallant bout with cancer. A memorial service was held on 27 June 1991 at St. John Newman Church in Reston, Virginia followed by burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Born on 9 March 1932 in Denver, Colorado, he was raised in Colorado and entered the Naval Academy on a Presidential Appointment on 2 July 1951. Graduating with distinction with the Class of 1955, his early sea assignments included aircraft carrier and submarine duty. He was qualified in submarines. In June 1958 Ed began the three year program in Naval Construction and Engineering at MIT. Upon graduation, Ed became an Engineering Duty Officer and embarked on a career that embraced the engineering aspects of submarines and submarining, from maintenance to design to construction. He was selected for Commander and Captain ahead of his contemporaries and emerged as the program manager for the Trident Submarine. He was serving in this position when selected for Rear Admiral.

Ed culminated his career as Deputy Commander for Submarines, Naval Sea Systems Command, and retired from that position in 1983.

Desiring to continue to impart his wisdom and technical knowledge after his retirement, Ed opted to become a teacher. He taught physics at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia from 1983 until forced to retire for health reasons in 1989. His principal at O’Connell said, “He was a teacher extraordinaire.” His teaching reflected the same qualities that were hallmarks of his Naval career. Under Ed’s guidance, physics became one of the most popular courses in the curricula. The physics laboratory, designed by Ed. Will be named in his memory.

Additionally, he was a member of both the American Society of Naval Engineers and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Ed is survived by his wife of 32 years, Ellen (Moloney) Peebles and five children, John W. Peebles, Mary Ellen Peebles, Edward M. Peebles, Leslie Gilman, and Catherine Peebles who is presently serving with the Peace Corps in Poland. He is also survived by his mother, two brothers, a sister, and one grandson.

Shipmate Last Call September 1991

Rear Admiral Edward M., Peebles, USN, (Ret.) is a 1955 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

Before entering the Naval Academy he attended the University of Colorado. Early sea assignments included a aircraft carrier and submarine duty in the Pacific. This was followed by three years of graduate study in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The next ten years involved engineering duty in maintenance, design and construction of nuclear submarines and deep submergence vehicles. He was Project Officer in the Naval Ships Systems Command for NR-1 and the deep submergence vehicles SEA CLIFF and TURTLE.

He completed a management program at the Harvard Business School and returned to NAVSHIPS for duty with the TRIDENT Submarine Project as Assistant Project Manager for Characteristics Development for three years. He served as the Executive Assistant to Commander, NAVSHIPS during the transition to the Naval Sea Systems Command in 1973-74. Prior to selection to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1980 he served as the Acquisition Project Manager for the TRIDENT Submarine, Naval Sea Systems Commander for a period of six years. He bad been Deputy Commander for Submarines for three years when he retired from naval service in September, 1983.

Rear Admiral Peebles currently teaches Physics at Bishop O’Connell High School, Arlington, Virginia. During the past two years in this “second career”, physics enrollment has increased from 124 to 227 students, a new physics laboratory has been completed, and the class of 1985 won the American Association of Physics Teachers annual physics contest for Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Admiral Peebles has attended George Mason University and is currently certified to teach mathematics, chemistry and physics.

His professional associations have included membership in the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and service as the USN representative on the Submersible Safety Committee of the American Bureau of Shipping. He currently is an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Society of Naval Engineers.

Janet Ellen Moloney (from Boston and Cape Cod) and Lieutenant Peebles were married in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, in 1959. They have five children and reside in Reston, Virginia.

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