Donald Beard

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Donald Wainwright Beard
Born (1895-05-20)20 May 1895
Elworth, Sandbach, Cheshire, England
Died Unknown
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Royal Air Force
Rank Lieutenant
Unit No. 4 Squadron RFC
No. 11 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Military Medal

Lieutenant Donald Wainwright Beard (born 20 May 1895, date of death unknown) was a World War I flying ace credited with eight aerial victories.[1]

Service through end of World War I[edit]

Beard originally joined the Royal Flying Corps as a mechanic on 20 August 1913. He was manning the guns in the back seat of a Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 on a 4 Squadron mission flown on 20 July 1916. During a dogfight, Captain Copeland, the pilot, was wounded. Beard shot down the attacking Pfalz E.I, then flew the B.E.2 home. His heroism earned him a Military Medal and a chance for pilot training.[2]

Training completed, he was assigned to 11 Squadron as a sergeant pilot of a Bristol F.2 Fighter on 26 November 1917. On 9 March 1918, with Sergeant H. W. Scarnell manning the rear guns, Beard drove a German Pfalz D.III down out of control. Six days later, the same team destroyed an Albatros D.III fighter and drove down two others. A week later, with Second Lieutenant H. M. Stewart as gunner, Beard set a D.V on fire.[2] On 3 April 1918, Beard was commissioned as a Temporary Second Lieutenant.[3] Beard's final victories came on 9 May 1918, when he destroyed one Pfalz D.III and drove another down out of control.[2]

Between the wars[edit]

On 10 December 1920, Beard gave up his commission because of poor health caused by military service.[4]

Beard married Stella Marie Gladys Londt.[5] She died in a car crash on 27 December 1933,[6] aged 22;[7] their infant daughter Sally died shortly thereafter[6] on 1 January 1934.[5]

World War II[edit]

Beard struggled to serve England during World War II. The bare recitation of his official record suffices to illustrate that. He was commissioned as a Flying Officer for the duration of World War II on 18 November 1940.[8] On 22 January 1941, probationary Pilot Officer Beard was assigned to administrative duty.[9] On 20 July, he was transferred to the Technical Branch.[10] On 18 November 1941, Beard transferred into the reserves.[11] On 13 March 1942, he once again resigned his commission as Pilot Officer because of poor health.[12] As of 8 April 1947, he is also shown resigning his commission, which may indicate he returned to duty after the 1942 resignation.[13]

Honours and awards[edit]

Awarded the Military Medal on 9 December 1916. Sergeant with Serial no. 839.[14]


  1. ^ "Donald Wainwright Beard". 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Guttman & Dempsey (2007), p.91.
  3. ^ "No. 30798". The London Gazette. 16 July 1918. p. 8339. 
  4. ^ "No. 32176". The London Gazette. 31 December 1920. p. 12759. 
  5. ^ a b "Sally BEARD 1933-1934". Family history of Greg Murrell. 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Murrell, A. M. (2002). "Donald Wainwright Beard". John Murrell of Rayleigh, Essex, England: His Descendants in South Africa. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Murrell, Greg (2013). "Stella Mary Gladys Londt". Murrell Extended Family. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "No. 35028". The London Gazette. 31 December 1940. p. 7299. 
  9. ^ "No. 35065". The London Gazette. 4 February 1941. p. 696. 
  10. ^ "No. 35241". The London Gazette. 8 August 1941. p. 4576. 
  11. ^ "No. 35515". The London Gazette. 7 April 1942. p. 1564. 
  12. ^ "No. 35498". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 March 1942. p. 1337. 
  13. ^ "No. 38554". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 March 1949. p. 1183. 
  14. ^ "No. 29854". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 December 1916. pp. 12041–12042. 
  • Guttman, Jon; Dempsey, Harry (2007). Bristol F2 Fighter Aces of World War I. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-201-1.