Ira Dye Captain USN (Ret.) December 8, 1918 - April 15, 2006 Ira Dye, 87, a retired US Naval officer, U.S. government official and university professor, passed away peaceably of natural causes on April 15, 2006 in San Francisco.
He was born in Cincinnati, OH, but was removed to Seattle, WA, as an infant. He attended public schools there and graduated from the University of Washington with as B.S. degree and a commission as a U.S. Naval Ensign. In 1941 he married Evelyn Lanckton Craig of Seattle. He served in the Navy from 1940 until 1967, primarily in submarines, retiring with the rank of Captain. During World War II he served on the submarine Cuttlefish, Wahoo and Drum, and on the Staff of Submarine Division 101.
He commanded the submarine Seafox during the Korean War and later served as Commander, Submarine Division 52, and on the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Pentagon. He joined the Maritime Administration as the Chief of the Office of Program Planning, and after the creation of the Department of Transportation, served as Director of Systems Analysis and later as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy.
In 1978 he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia as a Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering and later was appointed as Research Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Research Laboratories for the Engineering Sciences. He retired from active participation at the University in 1984 but continued as a Senior Research Fellow in Civil Engineering.
After retiring, Ira and Evelyn moved to Virginia Beach, and later to Mill Valley CA, to live with the family of his son, Scott. During his later years he pursued his research avocation, and intellectual passion, the social history of early American seafarers. In addition to a number of scholarly articles, he is the author of The Fatal Cruise of the Argus, for which he received the John Lyman Book Award for 1994 from the Naval Institute Press. He was able to finish and have published this fall (by the University of Florida Press) his last great project, a book, Uriah Levy, Reformer of the Antebellum Navy.
He was recently selected by the USS Constitution Museum in Boston as the 2006 recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for excellence in US Naval history. His wife, Evelyn, of 57 years died in San Francisco on September 18, 1998.
He is survived by three sons, Craig W. Dye, of St. Petersburg, FL, Scott F. Dye M.D. of Mill Valley, CA, and Cameron L. Dye of Virginia Beach, VA; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was an Episcopalian. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, alongside his wife Evelyn on May 10th.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 29, 2006
The obituary doesn’t mention his pioneer work on American pows held in the UK during the War of 1812. I had hope that his work would have been published. However it remains only in one volume in the UK archives. Though the original copies are with the rest of his archive held by the USS Constitution museum.