Remains Of Brookings Fighter Pilot To Be Buried At Arlington National Cemetery
The remains of a World War II fighter pilot from Brookings will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery more than 70 years after he took intense anti-aircraft fire while on a mission in Germany.
Officials say 1st Lt. Donald Beals will be buried Monday. His remains were identified last year using mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched a brother and a sister.
In April 1945, 22-year-old Beals was piloting a P-47D Thunderbolt and spotted enemy aircraft on the ground near Lonnewitz, Germany. He was struck by anti-aircraft fire after diving to attack.
Beals initially was listed as missing in action. He was declared dead in 1946. The next year, an investigator found aircraft wreckage at a crash site but couldn’t identify any human remains.
Beals’ remains eventually were recovered in 2014.