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Adapted from "Kenneth E. BeLieu, Under Secretary of the Navy" [biography, dated 25 March 1965] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

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  • nhhc-topics:awards and medals
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  • nhhc-document-types:Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • nhhc-wars-conflicts:korean-conflict
  • nhhc-wars-conflicts:world-war-ii
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  • nhhc-location-of-archival-materials:NHHC-Library

Kenneth E. BeLieu

10 February 1914 – 10 February 2001

Mr. BeLieu was born in Portland, Oregon, on February 10, 1914. He is the son of Mrs. Ila Jean BeLieu, who now resides in Parkdale, Oregon and the late Perry G. Belieu.  

He attended the public schools in Portland, and then was graduated from the University of Oregon in 1937 with a degree in Business Administration. He also attended the Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Program, 1955). 

After three years in business in Portland, in 1940 Mr. BeLieu volunteered for active duty with the United States Army and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry. His World War II service carried him from the Normandy landings through the campaigns in France, the Battle of the Bulge, and into Germany and Czechoslovakia. He was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action. He was discharged from the Army in 1945 in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 

Shortly after returning to civil life, he was offered a commission in the Regular Army, which he accepted in July 1946. He was ordered to Washington, DC, where he served in various assignments in the Department of the Army Headquarters. In July 1950, he volunteered for action in Korea and, while there, lost his left leg below the knee in November of 1950 and was returned to the United States. While in Korea, Mr. BeLieu was decorated by both the United States and Korean Governments. From the spring of 1951 until his retirement in October of 1955, he served as Executive Officer to two Secretaries of the Army.

In November 1955, Mr Belieu became a professional staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In this capacity, he was responsible for making reviews, analyses, and recommendations on defense problems to the Chairman and other Committee Members. He was also responsible for staff supervision and action relative to the annual Military Construction Bill, and the coordination of hearings, writing and issuance of reports, and legislative drafting incident to essential enabling legislation in the latter field. 

In January of 1959, Mr. BeLieu assumed two principal responsibilities, which he held until he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Material). First, he became Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences – the Committee which has jurisdiction to survey and review all aeronautical and United States space activities and analyze all legislation dealing with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Mr. BeLieu was responsible, under the direction of the Committee Chairman and the Committee Members, for the planning and execution of the necessary hearings, investigations, and issuance of reports of the Committee. 

Second, Mr. BeLieu became Staff Director of the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Armed Forces. This committee has broad authority to review, investigate, and make recommendations on all aspects of the Nation’s military policies, programs, and operations. His duties required him to maintain continued analysis and review of major defense policies and programs. 

He took the oath of office as Assistant Secretary of Navy (Material) on February 7, 1961, and on February 16, that year, his title was changed to Assistant Secretary of Navy (Installations & Logistics). In February 1965, he was appointed by the President to succeed Paul B. Fay as Under Secretary of the Navy, and on February 26, 1965 was sworn into that position.

He died February 10, 2001. 

END 

Published: Wed Nov 06 11:52:53 EST 2019