Duane Willard Beeson

Military

Object Number - UPL 13474 - Lt. Colonel Duane Willard Beeson.

Duane W Beeson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941, by February 1942 he had completed over 200 hours of flying and was transferred to Britain to join No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron, RAF 24 days later he joined the 4th Fighter Group in September 1942. By October 1942 Beeson had become the first Ace of the 4th Fighter Group. He was shot down during a mission on 5 April 1944 and taken Prisoner of war. He was liberated in April 1945, and on his return to the United States sought transfer to the Pacific Theatre of Operations, but the war in the Pacific came to an end before he was assigned. Following the War Beeson was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and based in Sarasota, Florida where he met his wife- Tracey Waters, whom he married in 1946. In 1947, aged 25 Beeson died after contracting a brain tumor. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Flew 240 hours with RAF. Transferred to 8th AF September 1942. Second highest scoring pilot in ETO before being shot down. Crashed near Brandenburg on 5 Apr 44 in P-51 'Boise Bee' Prisoner of War (POW). Credited with 24 enemy aircraft destroyed.

Awards: DSC, DFC (6OLC) SS, AM (5OLC), Croix de Guerre, PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

17.33

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 495th Fighter Training Group 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron 551st Fighter Training Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Boise bee
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Nicknames: Bee
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 334th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Unit: 4th Fighter Group 335th Fighter Squadron No 121 'Eagle' Squadron

Places

  • Site type: Prisoner of war camp
  • Known as: Dulag Luft Grosstychow Dulag 12
Prisoners of war, including Colonel Hubert Zemke of the 479th Fighter Group at Stalag Luft I.
  • Site type: Prisoner of war camp
  • Known as: Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Boise, Idaho, USA 1922-06-06

Died

Washington, DC 1947-02-13

Other

Prisoner of War (POW)

Barth, Germany 1944-04-05 - 1945-04-19 Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag Luft I. POW No. 436819.

Enlisted

Vancouver, BC, Canada 1941-06-23 Royal Canadian Air Force

Buried

Arlington National Cemetery Arlington County, Virgina Section 11, Grave 34

Based

Kirton-in-Lindsey Assigned to 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF.

Based

Debden 1944-04-05 Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF.

Revisions

Date24 Nov 2020 10:19:23
ContributorAl_Skiff
Date20 Nov 2020 20:53:19
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added a connection to Stalag Luft 1 per WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date20 Nov 2020 20:51:30
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added POW camp info to the POW event from WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date11 May 2016 22:03:04
ContributorWD-C Mustang
Sources

Associated media already in DB

Date3 Oct 2015 18:28:30
ContributorAl_Skiff
Sources

AAM DB entry.

Date21 Mar 2015 19:23:34
Contributorapollo11
Sources

Personal research & 'The Debden Warbirds' by Frank Speer.

Date3 Mar 2015 19:32:48
Contributorapollo11
Sources

Personal research & 'Eight-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date3 Oct 2014 14:26:46
ContributorEmily
Sources

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Freeman, The Mighty Eighth, p. 276

Date27 Sep 2014 18:07:49
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Fighter Aces of the U. S. A. and Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force; Who's Who in the Eighth Air Force and/or Biographical Directory Command & Staff Officers Eighth Air Force 1942-45 MACR 3606 / MACR 3606 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Duane Willard Beeson: Gallery (23 items)