WINNER! Guess This Former Naval Officer's IdentityUPDATE: Winner is UQNM's own MT1(SS); Answer (confirmed by trr) is Lt. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, a prolific American author and the controversial founder of Dianetics and Scientology.
Not Lt. Jimmy Carter.
Submarine saga: Hubbard received anti-submarine warfare training. Upon graduating, he commanded subchaser USS PC-815 (in Oregon). When his crew detected what he believed to be two Japanese submarines near the mouth of the Columbia, Lt. Hubbard attacked the area with 37 depth charges, after which he claimed at least one Japanese submarine had been sunk. The Navy's subsequent investigation concluded Hubbard's vessel had in fact been attacking a "known magnetic deposit" on the seabed, and postwar casualty assessments found no Japanese submarines had been anywhere near the Columbia River at the time. Lt. Hubbard mustered off active duty in 1945. He resigned his commission in 1950.
Degree of difficulty: Moderate (only first answer from each reader will be considered).
Hints: He was an Eagle Scout. Prior to the Navy his studies included Atomic Physics. He held desk jobs before convincing the Navy of his future value as a commanding officer. His aborted naval career included an episode wherein Navy blimps aided an unsuccesssful hunt for submarines. This man achieved national notoriety in the 1970s. The photo was obviously taken later, in civilian life.
First correct answer: Wins ME's Honorary Naval Historian distinction for 2006, joining Submandave, winner of 2005's contest.