Kenneth Richard BeebyMilitary
Ken Beeby started training on Course 11 at Falcon Field on 20 September 1942 and graduated on Course 12 (the gap caused by a broken arm) on 8 April 1943.
He was born and raised in Stanmore, Middlesex, England and lost his father at an early age. Now without any income, his mother lost their home and had to send him and one of his brothers to a boarding school, where he learned many life skills. Ken joined the Royal Air Force at 18 as an armorer and worked his way into a pilot slot. England sent many pilots to the United States for training and in 1942 he found himself at #4 BTFS Falcon Field.
Besides hundreds of hours in Stearmans, Vultees and AT-6 Texans, once back in England he then flew Tiger Moths, Typhoons, Lancaster bombers and Spitfires. He was an instructor and then Ken was stationed in Kristiansand, Norway (where he flew with Ian Smith, former prime minister of Rhodesia) in 130 SQDN.
After World War II and 10 years in the RAF, he left the service as a Flight Lieutenant and returned to Tempe, Arizona where he met his wife Doris and her 3 small children (Alex, Geoff and Bonnie). In the mid-1950s, their daughter Anne was born.
Ken worked at Passey Bond Insurance Agency in Mesa for many, many years. They lived in several houses near downtown Tempe and, in 1961, moved to Shalimar Country Club. Ken and Doris were one of the founding members of The Church of the Epiphany in Tempe, and he was also involved in Kiwanis of Mesa. In 1992, they moved to Leisure World of Mesa, where he was involved in many activities until 2011.
After his wife Doris died in 2011, Ken moved to Friendship Village where he made many new friends and connected with old ones. Again he participated in Kiwanis and began volunteering at their skilled nursing center.
Ken was very involved with running the annual memorial service in Mesa for the RAF pilots who were killed during training at Falcon Field. He participated in many programs with the Commemorative Air Force of Arizona and was instrumental in having the CAF take over the RAF Memorial Service, as more of the WWII survivors passed on. Now Wings of Flight Foundation has taken over the Memorial Service.
He helped many people with projects about the RAF, including a book called "Images of America: Falcon Field" by Daryl Mallett and an ongoing movie project by the National Documentary Film Alliance named "Patriot Skies."
Ken loved Arizona and he became a citizen as soon as he could. He was a vibrant, kind person and a friend to many; his stories are legendary. He had 4 children Anne, Bonnie, Geoff and Alex, 8 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great grandchildren.
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Units served with
|Falcon Field||1942-09-20 - 1943-04-08||Falcon Field 4BFTS|
|Kristiansand, Norway||Kristiansand, Norway|
|Tempe, Arizona||Tempe, Arizona|
|Mesa, Arizona||Mesa, Arizona|
Daughter and Obituary
Daughter and obituary
Daughter and Obituary