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 Duane W Beeson

Duane W Beeson

Birth
Boise, Ada County, Idaho, USA
Death 13 Feb 1947 (aged 25)
Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 11, Lot 34
Memorial ID 2208 · View Source
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United States World War II Flying Ace. He was born in Boise, Idaho, graduating from Boise High School in 1939. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. He transferred to the Royal Air Force as a member of the American Eagle Squadron in England in April 1942. He had over 300 flying hours when he transferred to the American Army Air Forces in September 1942, joining the Fourth Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force. There he was fellow pilot Don Gentile's rival in the Eighth Air Force's first 'Ace Race' aiming at beating the World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker's record of 26 enemy aircraft downed. Among the many types of planes he flew were the Hurricanes, Spitfires, Thunderbolts and Mustangs. All of his planes except one was called the "BOISE BEE". He was promoted to CO of the 334th Squadron on March 15, 1944. He was credited officially with downing 25 enemy aircraft. After flying 150 missions, he was the second ranking ace at the time of his being shot down over Germany on April 5, 1944. He was imprisoned in Stalag No. 1 prison camp at Barth, Germany for 13 months. He was liberated by the Russian Army at the end of the war on April 19, 1945. He returned to the United States, training in a new mode of flight, the jet aircraft. Sadly he developed a brain tumor and was told he needed to go to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. for an operation. Unfortunately as the plane that was carrying him was landing at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington D.C., he died. He had intended to remain in the service of his country with the new branch of the service, the United States Air Force. He had already been issued a commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, POW Medal, Europe-Africa-Mid Eastern Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Distinguished Unit Citation. He also earned several Allied citations. In November 1993, the city of Boise honored her native son by naming the Duane W. Beeson Air Terminal building after Idaho's top WW II Ace. His memorabilia is on display in the terminal.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2208
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Duane W Beeson (6 Jul 1921–13 Feb 1947), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2208, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .