Sgt Lawrence William Beecroft


Sgt Lawrence William Beecroft

Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Death 21 Jul 1945 (aged 28)
Osaka, Osaka-shi, Osaka, Japan
Burial Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Q 810
Memorial ID 103940130 View Source
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Lawrence served as a Sergeant and Tail Gunner on B-29 #42-65348, 869th Bomber Squadron, 497th Bomber Group, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided in Ocean County, New Jersey prior to the war.

He enlisted in the Army on March 13, 1941, prior to the war, in Trenton, New Jersey. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as an Electrician and also as Single, without dependents.

B-29 # 42-65348 took off, with a crew of 11, from Saipan on a bombing mission over Osaka, Japan. Near the target they were hit by ground anti-aircraft fire which destroyed their #1 engine. They were last seen losing altitude and heading out to sea by other aircraft in the formation. They were not seen again by the other aircraft.

A later Japanese historian noted that after heading out to sea with their engine damaged they were attacked by Japanese Fighter Aircraft and shot down and crashed south of Osaka in the Nara Region of Japan. " 7 " members of the crew were killed in the crash and " 4 " crew members became POW's of the Japanese Army.

The " 4 " captured included 1st Lt. Wittee, T/Sgt Hart, Sgt. Lawrence W. Beecroft and S/Sgt Strong. All four were eventually "executed" by the Japanese Army.

1st Lt. Wittee and T/Sgt Hart were executed immediately upon capture. Sgt. Lawrence W. Beecroft was executed on July 21, 1945 and S/Sgt Strong was executed on the last day of the war - August 15, 1945.

Lawrence was "Executed" by the Japanese Army about 2 months after his B-29 crashed during the war.

He was awarded the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart.

Service # 32069587

He was originally interred in the Yokohama Cemetery #1 and was later repatriated here on October 27, 1949.

Lawrence was also on B-29 "Pacific Union" #42-24595 when it crashed at sea on January 14, 1945 and was "originally" noted as "Killed In Action" in this crash. However it was later discovered the he did indeed survive that crash.
" Click Here " for more information on that crash.

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

Special thanks to: " Jeff Hall "
for submitting this record for bio updates!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Airmen who perished on B-29 # 42-65348:

Angell, Robert B. ~ S/Sgt, Radio Operator, IL
Beck, George A., Jr. ~ S/Sgt, Left Gunner, IA
Beecroft, Lawrence W. ~ Sgt, Tail Gunner, NJ ~ Executed
Crowe, Franklin W. ~ 1st Lt, Commander, MD
Hart, Alvin R. ~ T/Sgt, CEC, WA ~ Executed
Isley, William H. ~ Corp, Right Gunner, NC
Jorstad, Oswald J. ~ 1st Lt, Engineer, ND
Manning, John V. ~ 1st Lt, Navigator, LA
Strong, Russell W. ~ S/Sgt, Radar Operator, CT ~ Executed
Wittee, Harrison K. ~ 1st Lt, Bombardier, IL ~ Executed
Young, Millard M. ~ 2nd Lt, Pilot, FL

( Crew Report by: Russ Pickett )

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