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Kenneth Richard Beeby

Military

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.

Service

Units served with

  • 4 British Flight Training School

    4 British Flight Training School

    School
    The 'Arnold Scheme' (1941-43) and the British Flying Training Schools (1941-45), with the co-operation of Squadron Leader Mills DFC and President Roosevelt, enabled the setting up of flight training in the USA for RAF pilots to train alongside American...

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born Stanmore, Middlesex
Based Falcon Field 20 September 1942 – 8 April 1943

Falcon Field 4BFTS

Lived in Kristiansand, Norway

Kristiansand, Norway

Lived in Tempe, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Lived in Mesa, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2021 22:45:16 Tink AZ Changes to events
Sources

Daughter and Obituary

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2021 22:41:39 Tink AZ Changes to biography and events
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Daughter and obituary

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2021 22:36:40 Tink AZ Changes to biography
Sources

Daughter and Obituary

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2021 22:30:54 Tink AZ Changes to middlename, firstname and nickname
Sources

Daughter

Date Contributor Update
09 April 2021 07:47:54 Kathryn_4BFTS Changes to service number
Sources

Anne Beeby

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2021 09:50:31 Kathryn_4BFTS Changes to events
Sources

Daughter Anne Beeby

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2021 09:48:35 Kathryn_4BFTS Changes to events
Sources

Daughter Anne Beeby

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2021 09:37:26 Kathryn_4BFTS Created entry with surname, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, unit associations, place associations and media associations
Sources

Daughter Anne Beeby

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