Edward Randolph Beck 59, a retired Treasury Department computer expert and a decorated World War II bomber pilot, died of cancer yesterday at Holy Cross Hospital. He lived in Silver Spring.
Mr. Beck a native Washingtonian, joined the Treasury Department in 1936 as a messenger, and enlisted as a private in the Army in 1942. After passing in the Air Corps cadet examination, he was commissioned a first lieutenant and became a bomber pilot with the 8th Air Force in the European theater.
He was shot down over Germany on his 29th mission on Nov. 21, 1944, and held prisone, by the Germans for six months before his camp was liberated by Gen. George S. Patton's 3d Army.
He received the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the European Theater of Operations ribbon with three battle stars and the Purple Heart.
After World War II, Mr. Beck returned to the Treasury Department, and held many supervisory positions. From 1955 to 1966, he was involved in designing programming, testing and installing what he been described as the first computer system in the government devoted to fiscal operations. He later became chief of a programming, testing and installing what has been described as the first computer system in the government devoted to fiscal operations. He later became chief of a programming branch at the Treasury.
At his retirement in 1973, he was chief of the check accounting division. Mr. Beck received the Treasury Department's Albert Gallatin award.
In addition to his wige, Kathryn, survivors include a son, Edward Graham, also of the home.