Beerbower, Don Merril, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1065-Fighter Unit Commander
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, AAF MOS 1055, 354th Fighter Group
Service Years
1942 - 1944
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

32 kb

Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Beerbower, Don Merril, Maj.

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
Hill City, Minnesota
Last Address
Cricqueville-en-Bessin, France

Casualty Date
Aug 09, 1944
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial - Epinal, France
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot A, Row 30,Grave 42

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Air Ace American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenAir Force Memorial (AFM)
  2013, World War II Fallen
  2016, Air Force Memorial (AFM) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight School353rd Fighter Squadron354th Fighter Group
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 770, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1065, 353rd Fighter Squadron
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 1055, 354th Fighter Group
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Normandy Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
 Colleges Attended 
Iowa State University
  1940-1942, Iowa State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-39 Airacobra  P-51/F-51 Mustang  
  1943-1943, P-39 Airacobra
  1943-1944, P-51/F-51 Mustang5
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He was born in Davidson, Saskatchewan, Canada, and moved to Minnesota as an infant.
He was a triple ace credited with 15.5 aerial victories.
He was shot down and killed by intense enemy ground fire while strafing a German airdrome north of Reims, France.

His DSC citation:
Awarded posthumously for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Major (Air Corps) Don Merril Beerbower (ASN: 0-730341), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-51 Fighter Airplane in the 353d Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group, NINTH Air Force, in aerial combat against enemy forces on 9 August 1944, while leading his squadron on an armed reconnaissance mission in the European Theater of Operations. On that date, Major Beerbower located an enemy airfield on which many aircraft were parked. In order to test the ground defenses, Major Beerbower made an experimental pass at the field destroying an enemy plane and a gun emplacement. Then, while his squadron swept over the field from one direction, he fearlessly attacked from another quarter, boldly exposing himself to concentrated fire from all sides of the field and effectively screening his comrades from the intense ground fire. Major Beerbower's airplane was struck repeatedly and crashed into the ground. The outstanding heroism and devotion to duty displayed by Major Beerbower on this occasion reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Forces in Europe, General Orders No. 97 (December 11, 1944)

Action Date: 9-Aug-44

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Major

Company: 353d Fighter Squadron

Regiment: 354th Fighter Group

Division: 9th Air Force

Book: "The Oranges Are Sweet", by Paul Sailer, Loden Books, 2011.

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