Van Beest, William, Capt

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 Service Details
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Last Rank
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 0302, 5th Marine Division
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Officer Collar Insignia



 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by PFC James E. Franklin (Slim) to remember Marine Capt William Van Beest.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Nobles County

Casualty Date
Mar 14, 1945
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Not Specified
World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Iwo Jima
Location of Interment
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section M Site 450

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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 Ribbon Bar
Rifle SharpshooterPistol Sharpshooter

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, The Basic School (Quantico, VA), X
 Unit Assignments
1st Bn, 27th Marine Regiment (1/27), 27th Marine Regiment27th Marine Regiment5th Marine Division
  1944-1945, 0302, 1st Bn, 27th Marine Regiment (1/27), 27th Marine Regiment
  1944-1945, 0302, 27th Marine Regiment
  1944-1945, 0302, 5th Marine Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1945 World War II
  1945-1945 Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Iwo Jima
 Colleges Attended
Iowa State University
  1939-1943, Iowa State University
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Name: William H Van Beest
Birth Date: 24 Mar 1921
Death Date: 14 Mar 1945
Interment Date: 25 Feb 1949
Cemetery: National Memorial Cemetery of The Pacific
Cemetery Address: 2177 Puowaina Drive Honolulu, HI 96813
Buried At: Section M Site 450
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve)
1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division
Date of Action: March 13, 1945
The Navy Cross is presented to William H. Van Beest, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with the First Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against the enemy on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 13 March 1945. First Lieutenant Van Beest having taken over an infantry company after the company commander had been wounded was confronted by the enemy final defensive position which had resisted attack despite attempts on five successive days. Going forward, accompanied by a tank officer, he first reconnoitered the terrain. Then, personally leading the tanks, Lieutenant Van Beest began a tank infantry assault on the position. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Lieutenant Van Beest continuously made his way from one platoon to another despite a withering hail of mortar and small arms fire. He ascertained what targets were holding up the attack and then personally directed the flame throwing and other tanks until the resisting emplacements had been destroyed. Lieutenant Van Beest continued these actions until the enemy final defensive line had been broken. As a result a gain of 300 yards was made possible toward the extreme northern end of the island. Lieutenant Van Beest's actions were not only an inspiration to all who saw him on this day but resulted in the destruction of 17 enemy emplacements containing machine guns and the death of 98 enemy personnel. Lieutenant Van Beest's conduct on this and many similar occasions until he was seriously wounded was in accordance with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: at Nobles County, Minnesota
Home Town: Little Rock, Iowa
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