1st Lieutenant Donald Lee Beals Name : Donald Lee Beals
Rank : 1st Lieutenant
Squadron : 494th Fighter Squadron
Group : 48th Fighter Group
Entered Service from : South Dakota
Date of Birth : 27 September 1922
Place of Birth : Brookings, SD
Date of Death : 17 April 1945
Place of Death : North of Dresden (G)
Remembered at Henri-Chap WOM
Awards : Disting.Fl.Cross
Air Medal 7 oakl.cl.
Purple Heart

Donald Beals' Story ...

On September 27,1922 Clara Ruth and Daniel Levi Beals had a son named Donald Lee Beals. His hometown was Brookings, S.D., and he attended Brookings schools and State College. Donald Beals played football, basketball, and baseball while in high school. He graduated from high school on May 22, 1941 and then attended the State College for engineering for a short period, before joining the U.S. Air Corps. Although Beals didnít marry, he had planned to marry his high school sweetheart, Pricilla Hill, after the war. According to his family and friends he was always happy and carefree.

the Baptist church in Brookings, SD

Beals enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on January 7, 1944. He trained in Kelly Field and at Foster Field, both in Texas. Some additional training he did was to become a fighter pilot. Beals rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the 494th Fighter Squadron, 48th fighter group SE. Lieutenant Beals was stationed at a Richmond, Virginia airbase, before he moved to an airbase in England, and finally to Belgium. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, was involved in armed reconnaissance missions, and strafing, when the fighter planes dove down and shot the enemy soldiers so the American infantry could advance.

Kelly Field, Texas early 1920's

Donald Lee Beals perished 46 miles north of Dresden, Germany. He flew a P-47 Thunderbolt, fighter plane, on a mission to Dresden, Germany, and on the way, they spotted enemy planes on the ground. They decided to advance. His fighter was neither seen nor contacted again. The army believes that anti-aircraft fire got him. Donald Beals was determined missing in action on April 17, 1945. There is a marker at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium with his name on it. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart.

a P47 Thunderbolt attacking

These days Donald Beals is remembered in the beautiful American Military Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle ... Donald's remains were never recoverd and he's still considered Missing in Action. In the years after the war the American Military declared those still Missing in Action, dead. He is remembered and honored by his entire family, by the people of the State of South Dakota, by every visitor of the Henri-Chapelle cemetery and by everyone who visits the In-Honored-Glory website.

The survivors at the time of Donaldís death were Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Beals, his mother and father, brother, Charles O. Beals, and sister, Meryl Tabner

the Walls of the Missing at Henri-Chapelle

Special thanks to Meryl B. Tabner sister to Donald Beals of Toledo, OH, Charles O. Beals brother to Donald Beals of Reseda, CA, Oscar Emly and Fern Otteson cousins of Donald. George Norby, of Images of the Past, Brookings, SD provided articles from the Brookings County Press, May 3, 1945 and Agust 2, 1945. Brookings resident Don Hind, also provided information.

Additional Thanks to Sheila Hansen and Kevin Hendricks of the WWII Memorial project of the Fallen Sons and Daughters of South Dakota ...

A link to the South Dakota WWII Memorial can be found under the links-section "Research & Information"

Henri-Chapelle American Military Cemetery
© www.In-Honored-Glory.info
published Februari 29, 2008