Beals, Donald L., 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1055-Pilot, Single-Engine Fighter
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, AAF MOS 1055, 494th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
Service Years
1944 - 1945
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
South Dakota
South Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Doug Tabner-Family to remember Beals, Donald L., 1st Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Ibsley, England

Casualty Date
Apr 17, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Walls of the Missing

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

 Tributes from Members  
From Doug Tabner posted by 700 Short, Diane (TWS Admin) 582

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight School494th Fighter-Bomber Squadron48th Fighter Group
  1944-1944, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 770, 494th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 1055, 48th Fighter Group
  1944-1945, AAF MOS 1055, 494th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 Colleges Attended 
South Dakota State University
  1941-1944, South Dakota State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)  
  1944-1945, P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug)
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Donald Lee Beals was born on September 27, 1923 in Brookings, South Dakota, the son of Daniel Levi and Clara Ruth Beals. He had 1 brother and 1 sister. He graduated from Brookings High School in 1941, and then attended State University studying engineering until he left school and enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps on January 7, 1944.

He was accepted into the Aviation Cadet program, and took his flight training at Kelly and Foster Fields in Texas. He was then assigned to Richmond, Virginia for advanced training. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron and given additional flying tactics at Walterboro, South Carolina.

Beals deployed to England in 1944 where he was assigned to the 48th Fighter Group of the Ninth Air Force. He was then designated as a replacement pilot to the 494th Fighter Squadron again, and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. The 48th Fighter Group moved to France after D-Day.

He flew approximately 40 combat missions in the P-47 aircraft, usually in the ground-attack role. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge, dropping bombs and strafing enemy positions. On April 17, 1945, he was on a fighter sweep mission around Dresden, Germany, strafing aircraft on the ground  when his aircraft was hit by flak. He had become separated from his wingman, and was never seen again. His body or the aircraft wreckage were never located, although the crash site has been given as 40 miles North of Dresden. He is remembered today on the Walls of the Missing at Henri-Chappelle American Cemetery in Belgium.

NOTE: Information receivd from his family on June 22, 2016 indicates the remains were found, recovered, and identified in 2015. Expectations are that he will be buried in Arlington Natiional Cemetery.
http:// fallennotforgotten.htm



Lt Beals was flying P-47D # 42-28372, unnamed,assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 14387 was issued.

Family history records that he planned to marry Pricilla Hill after the war.
News reports regarding Lt. Beals' recovery can be found here:

Service photo source:

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