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Harold H Beasley


Beasley's crew claimed to shoot down 4 German fighters on a mission over Paris on 4 April 1943, they then claimed a further fighter on a mission over Antwerp the following day.

Beasley was shot down on 17 April 1943 in B-17 42-5172 'Thunderbird' and killed in Action (KIA). His Plane was attacked by fighters and caught on fire. All other crew except pilots were able to bail out of the back of the plane and became Prisoner of War (POW)s.

Earlier Beasley flew as an observer on B-17F 41-24431 'The Saint'. Accident while taxiing on the runway on 12 February 1943 due to strong winds. All 7 crew members were safe.


Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 401st Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24431 The Saint

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-G] Bangor 27/8/42; Bassingbourn 11/10/42; detailed mechanical trip to Honington, Sfk. 16/2/43 but crashed on attempted t/o with Earl Riley, Co-pilot: Earl Dosier, Navigator: Roy Schwendiman, Bombardier: Edwin Bush, Flight...

  • 42-5172 Thunderbird

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 5/10/42; Salina 21/1/43; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-Z] Bassingbourn 26/3/43; Missing in Action 4m Bremen 17/4/43 with Harry Beasley, Co-pilot: Walt McLain (2 Killed in Action); Navigator: Harry Sipe, Bombardier: Matt Michaels, Radio...


  • VIII Bomber Command 49

    4 April 1943
    The Renault armament and motor works at Paris, France are the primary target of this mission. 97 B-17s are despached: 91BG (26); 303BG (23); 305BG (18); and 306BG (30). 85 of the 97 despatched are effective on the target. Fighter resistance is heavy...

  • VIII Bomber Command 50

    5 April 1943
    The industrial area of Antwerp, Belgium is the primary target of this mission. More specifically the Erla aircraft and engine factories are the highest priority. 79 B-17s are depatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (21); 305BG (18); 306BG (20). 64 of the 79 are...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents ( , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...


Event Location Date
Born Andalusia, USA
Killed in Action (KIA) Germany 17 April 1943


Date Contributor Update
10 October 2019 13:04:27 Emily Changes to biography and mission associations

Caption for FRE 686 confirms Beasley participated in missions on 4 & 5 April 1943, and that his aircraft claimed German fighters

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:12:05 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15521 / MACR 15521, Losses of the 8th and 9th Air Forces Vol. 1 pp 75 and 105 by Bishop and Hey, The Ragged Irregulars of Bassingborn p. 38 by Havelaar, WWII National Memorial / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database