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James Beeler '49

Date of birth: January 7, 1928

Date of death: November 2, 1950

Age: 22

Lucky Bag

From the 1949 Lucky Bag:


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.)


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

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 of 1949

James is one of 40 members of the Class of 1949 on Virtual Memorial Hall.