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Sgt Joseph R. Beyrle
Birth: Aug. 25, 1923
Muskegon County
Michigan, USA
Death: Dec. 12, 2004
Stephens County
Georgia, USA

American World War II Soldier who fought in both the American and Soviet Armies, considered possibly the only one to fight in both armies.

In September 1942, just after he graduated from high school, he joined the US Army, and requested assignment to the newly created Airborne. A member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, he was trained in explosives and communications, and was quickly promoted to the rank of Technical Sergeant. He parachuted twice into France, to deliver money and supplies to the French Resistance, prior to D-Day. During the Normandy Invasion of June 6, 1944, he parachuted with his regiment into France, and after blowing up a power station, he was captured by the Germans. His dogtags were found on another body, presumably a German agent, near Utah beach on June 10, 1944 and he was officially listed as killed in action. Four months later, he was allowed to send a post card to his parents, stating that he was a Prisoner of War. After two failed escape attempts, he succeeded in escaping from Stalag 3-C in Alt Drewitz, Germany, and headed east to join with the Russians, who were the closest allies to his camp. Reaching the Soviet Army, he joined with them, and used his demolition skills to blow up trees hindering the advance of the Soviet Army. Three weeks after joining up with them, he was wounded, and sent to a Soviet Field Hospital, and from there to Moscow, where he eventually contacted the American Embassy. After some effort to convince the American Embassy that he was who he said he was (he was still officially listed as killed in action), he returned home to Illinois. For his efforts, he was awarded several American, French and Russian medals. His experiences in combat are the subject of a book, "The Simple Sounds of Silence," by Thomas H. Taylor, which has been reprinted in paperback under the title, "Behind Hitler's Lines." After the war, he worked for 28 years for Brunswick Corporation, before retiring in 1981 as a shipping supervisor. He and his wife, JoAnne, had three children, Julie, Joseph Jr, and John. Joseph died in his sleep of heart failure, while visiting Toccoa, Georgia, where his division trained in World War II. (Bio by Kit and Morgan Benson)
Family links: 
  Joanne Beyrle (1925 - 2006)
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Record added: Dec 16, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 10128470
Sgt Joseph R. Beyrle
Added by: Richard Mullally
Sgt Joseph R. Beyrle
Added by: truchasnm
Sgt Joseph R. Beyrle
Added by: No Guts, No Glory
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Truly a member of The Greatest Generation~
- Theresa Bryant
 Added: Apr. 4, 2016
Rest In Peace Sgt Beyrle. Your story is a remarkable one, to say the very least. Thank you for your service!
- Amanda Bridges
 Added: Aug. 19, 2014
What a remarkable story. You were a hero of the human race.
- truchasnm
 Added: Mar. 6, 2012
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