JAMES D. BEELER, 2LT, USMCR

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: January 7, 1928
Date of death: November 2, 1950
Age: 22

Lucky Bag

1949 Beeler LB.jpg

From the 1949 Lucky Bag:

James D. Beeler

JEWELL, KANSAS

Jim became a midshipman as an honor graduate of Wentworth Military Academy, and his academic achievements here have been in keeping with this distinction. Who can forget the discomfiture of the engineering chiefs who sought to "put the middies in their place," and picked Bimbo as the man to quiz? He was very active in athletics, particularly football and track, working his way up from JV to varsity football, and lettering in varsity track, where his specialty was the shot-put. Bimbo's home state was Kansas, whence the Jewell County "gouge" appeared weekly, and his early life on the farm developed his resourcefulness and friendliness to a high degree. Although he has fine qualifications for a Naval Officer, the call of the country has always made the choice of a Navy life debatable for him.

Loss

Jim was killed in action in Korea on November 2, 1950. He is buried in Kansas.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant James Dayton Beeler (MCSN: 0-50152), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as a Rifle Platoon Leader of Company G, Third Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea, on 2 November 1950. Assigned the mission of leading his platoon as guard for a motor convoy carrying supplies to a front line infantry unit, Second Lieutenant Beeler was quick to act when a numerically superior enemy force suddenly attacked with heavy small-arms and machine-gun fire. Realizing that it was impossible to continue the advance along the mountainous terrain after analyzing the situation, he assumed an exposed position to direct counterfire against the attackers, at the same time ordering the convoy to turn around and evacuate the wounded. Remaining in his position until the convoy had effected a withdrawal, he further exposed himself to direct enemy fire to make certain that all casualties had been evacuated and, while searching the area, was mortally wounded. By his courageous and inspiring leadership, heroic efforts and grave concern for the safety of others at great personal risk, Second Lieutenant Beeler contributed to the saving of many lives and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Action Date: November 2, 1950
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: Company G
Battalion: 3d Battalion
Regiment: 1st Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

Other

The book "Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War's Greatest Untold Story--The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company" by Patrick K. O'Donnell, tells many stories of Jim, one of the platoon commanders of George Company, 3/1 Marines.

Jim attended the Wentworth Military Academy, clearly excelling at that school. He is mentioned 19 times and in this yearbook (?) from 1945.

From the WMA Hall of Fame:

James D. Beeler, Class of 1945

Induction Class of 1992
Football
Track

James Beeler, Class of 1945, excelled scholastically as well as in athletics at Wentworth. President of the "W" Club in '45, he lettered in both junior college varsity track and football, and was also assistant coach of the high school football team. In 1944 he was the Academy Honor Graduate and winner of the Ted Messmore Memorial Award.

Appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in '45, Mr. Beeler was a "sixty minutes per game guard" on the Navy football team all four years at Annapolis, winning a "N" in football and serving as captain of the track team in '49.

Upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1949, he was commissioned in the Marine Corps and was killed in action November 2, 1950 in Korea.


Class Navigation

Class of 1949
James is one of 40 members of the Class of 1949 in Memorial Hall.
<< Rodney James '49 George Lochner '49 >>