Beeson, Duane William, born 16-07-1922 in Boise, Idaho, was a World War War II fighter pilot and flying ace. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941, assigned to RAF 71st “Eagle” Squadron, later transferred to 334th Squadron, 4th FG/8th USAAF. Nicknamed “Bee”, he decorated his aircraft as “Boise Bee.” Beeson was one of the few 4th FG pilots to achieve real success in the P-47, scoring 12 victories in the Thunderbolt. He was promoted to CO of the 334th Squadron on 15-03-1944. During World War II, the 334th had a total of 395 kills against the German Luftwaffe ; 210 kills in the air and 185 on the ground. Beeson scored his remaining kills in a P-51 Mustang. Like Richard Dick Bong Beeson was a consistent fighter pilot, scoring single, or double, victories many times. Beeson was one of ten United States Army Air Force pilots who became an ace in two different types of fighter aircraft. Beeson was made commanding officer of B Flight, at the age of 22.
six aces Blakeslee commanded. (Clockwise from lower left) Lieutenant Colonel. Duane Beeson, CO, 334th FS; Captain. Nick “Cowboy” Megura; 1st Lieutenant John Trevor Godfrey; Major James A. Goodson, CO, 336th FS; (center) Captain Don Gentile
. Between them, they scored over 100 victories. From 18-05-1943 through 05-05-1944 Major Beeson shot down German planes on 15 different occasions, scoring most heavily in early 1944 over Germany itself. All but one of his kills were against single-engine fighters, Focke Wulffs and Messerschmitts. On 08-10-1943 Beeson shot down two more Bf 109s over the Netherlands. (see About) On April 5 he was brought down by German fire from the ground and captured. In a prisoner of war camp Beeson passed the time boxing, reading, and studying. The camp was liberated by Soviet Forces on 29-04-1945. It took Beeson nearly a month to make it back to Debden. While a prisoner of war, Beeson had been promoted to major and had received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with five oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal, most of which were presented to his parents at Gowen Field. He returned to Boise in June 1945 and made every effort to get reassigned to the Pacific theatre, but the Pacific war soon ended.
Death and burial ground of Beeson, Duane William.
He came back home and married, but soon afterward Beeson became violently ill. Doctors diagnosed a brain tumor. He died before the operation could be performed at the age of 25, on 13-02-1947. Duane Beeson is buried on the Arlington Cemetery, Virginia USA, Section 11, In Section 11, next to WWII Brigade General, Commander 106th Infantry Division, Ardennes Offensive, Alan Jones. His close neighbours are the Lieutenant General, Commanding General, Normandy, Henry Aurand, Lieutenant Colonel and the flyer Ace, Brigade General, Evans Carlson, Commander of the 10th Mountain Division , After the first three days of intense combat, the division lost 850 casualties to include 195 dead. The 10th had captured over 1.000 prisoners. Also buried here, Georg Hays, and General, Vogues Forests, 36th Infantry Division, he arrested Goering
, John Dahlquist, and 1* Major General, Commanding General 7th Armored Division Lindsay McDonald Silvester. During its service during World War II, the 7th Division captured and destroyed a disproportionate number of enemy vehicles and took more than 100.000 prisoners and had 5.799 casualties in 172 days of combat.