Bentley-Beard, John Maurice

Date of birth:
December 20th, 1918 (Shoreham/Sussex, Great Britain)
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Service number 740502 (NCO); 89588 (Officer).

John Beard was educated at Leamington College in the West Midlands before working with the Midland Bank in Leamington. He joined the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve in 1937 and received his wings little time before the outbreak of the war.
He served as a Sergeant in 609 Squadron, before joining 249 Squadron in early 1940. On 18th September 1940 he shot down a Bf110, his first victory. He next scored on 27th September when he chased a Do17 which he damaged.
He was attacked by two Bf-109's, and turning on them, shot both down. During the rest of the month he destroyed another Bf-109 and a
He-111, bringing his score to 5. On the 25th of October he was shot down but managed to bale out. He landed safley near Tunbridge Wells altough being wounded and admitted to Pembury Hospital. He returned to the squadron in January 1941 and was commissioned, but left soon after. He did not see further combat. He ended the war with seven confirmed voctories.
His Hurricane which crashed on the October 25th 1940 at Rankins Farm, Linton, Kent was recovered in November 1986. Following a trend for ex-pilots to attend the exhumations of their old aircraft, Bentley Beard was present.

Little else is known regarding the post-war career of this airman.

Promotions:
December 28th, 1940: Pilot Officer (probation)
December 28th, 1941: Flying Officer
December 28th, 1942: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
No. 249 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
October 22nd, 1940
Action:
Citation:
"Sergeant Beard has displayed great courage and coolness in his engagements against the enemy. This was particularly shown on one occasion in September, 1940, when, by cool tactics, he destroyed two Messerschmitt 109's which attacked him from the rear, whilst he was pursuing an enemy bomber. He has destroyed a total of five enemy aircraft."
Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1945
Air Force Cross

Sources