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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering World War II
Edgar Percy Beaver
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Name: Edgar Percy Beaver Rank: Flight Officer Service Number: T-063583 Service: 885th Bomb Squadron (Heavy), Special Operations, 15th Air Force, USAAF Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart Date of Birth: December 23, 1921 Place of Birth: Groton, New London Co., Connecticut Date of Enlistment: October 1943 Place of Enlistment: Unknown Height: 5 feet, 9 inches Complexion: Light Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Blue Marital Status: Single Next of Kin: Edward J. Beaver (Father) Date of Death: December 23, 1944 (on his birthday) Age: 23 Cemetery: Forest Chapel Cemetery, Barrington, Bristol Co., Rhode Island Edgar Percy Beaver was the son of Edward James (1897-1978) and Gladys Althea (Marquardt) Beaver (1897- 1962). His father was born in St. Peters, Richmond County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. His mother was born in Groton, New London Co., Connecticut. Edgar had three siblings – Kenneth Marquardt Beaver (1919–2009), Gladys Arlene Beaver (1923–2017), and Eleanor M Beaver (1924–2021). The family moved to Barrington, Rhode Island in 1924. Edgar graduated from Barrington High School in 1941. He was an outstanding student and participated in many activities to include football in high school. Edgar entered Rhode Island State College in September 1941 with the Class of 1945. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and participated in the Army ROTC program. Edgar registered for the US Draft in Barrington, Bristol, Rhode Island, on February 16, 1942, in his second year at Student Rhode Island State College at the time. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces Flight Officer Program in October 1943. Flight Officer was a US Army Air Forces commissioned officer rank used during World War II from 1942 to 1945. Flight officers served as navigators, flight engineers, bombardiers and pilots. Private Edgar Percy Beaver graduated from the ten week US Army Air Forces pre-flight training program, a combination of enlisted basic training and officer candidate school. He was assigned as a cadet at The Flying/Aviation Cadet Training Program, US Army Air Forces Training Center at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Upon completion of flight school, he was awarded his pilot’s wings and was commissioned as Flight Officer (FO) and assigned to the 885th Bomb Squadron (Heavy). The 885th Bomb Squadron operated in the Mediterranean Theater as part of the 15th Air Force stationed in Southern Italy. In October 1944, the 885th was given the mission to augment the transport of supplies and weapons to partisan groups fighting behind enemy lines. On December 23, 1944, flying from Brindisi, Italy, Flight Officer Beaver volunteered to fly as co-pilot of their B-24 Liberator (known as Lady Mary), to drop supplies and equipment to partisan groups in Yugoslavia, in the Banja Inka Area. After successfully completed their mission, his plane was shot down near the coast; and Flight Officer Edgar P. Beaver was killed along with all members of the 9-member crew, and two passengers (agents): Pilot 2nd Lieutenant Arthur B Legath Navigator 2nd Lieutenant Arthur N Chasen Bomb Aimer 2nd Lieutenant Thomas J Kirk Engineer Corporal Victor Cicotti Radio Operator Sergeant Alfred R Friedlander Gunner Corporal John E Smith Gunner Corporal Charles A Sutten Gunner Corporal Paul E Courter The two agents aboard have been identified as Flight Lieutenant John Walter Chirnside and Wireless Operator Leading Aircraftman Clifford John Andrews, RAFVR. Edgars remains were recovered and returned to the United States for burial. He is interred at the Forest Chapel Cemetery in Barrington, Rhode Island; buried with full military honors. For his actions, Flight Officer Edgar Percy Beaver was cited for Gallantry in Action and Bravery and awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart (Posthumously). “Flight Officer Beaver’s courage and devotion to duty contributed to the success of our forces in defeating the Germans and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army Air Forces. He was a son of Rhode Island State College who answered the call to service during World War II and gave his life in service to the State of Rhode Island and our country. He was another known as one of the ‘Greatest Generation’.”
Beaver 15th USAAF