BEAN, WILLIAM RAYMOND JR. RIP Jan 18 2014
Name: William Raymond Bean, Jr. Rank/Branch: United States Air Force/O3 Unit: 435 TRS Date of Birth: Home City of Record: Ft Payne AL Date of Loss: 23 May 1972 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 170800 North 1064700 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4D Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: William Byrns, returnee Refno: 1862 Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action Combat Casualty File. REMARKS: 03/28/73 RELEASED BY DRV RESIDES IN ALABAMA - ALIVE IN 96 No further information available at this time.
Arlington National Cemetery Services - Funeral will be at 0900 on 9 Apr 14. Attendees will rendezvous at the administration building at 0830 with Ray already there on the caisson. We will be able to walk or drive to follow the caisson to the gravesite.
Col Ray Bean will be interred Wednesday, 9 April 2014 at Arlington National Cemetery. Please arrive at the Administration Building NLT 0900 Hours.
Alabama POW to be honored at Arlington National Cemetery
An Alabama-grown hero passed away January 19 and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on April 9 for his heroism leading up to his capture as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.
Air Force Col. William Bean Jr. was an Alexander City man who flew F-4 Phantom II fighters over North Vietnam where he was forced to eject and subsequently captured by enemy forces on May 23, 1972.
At the time, Bean had been flying as a night Forward Air Controller providing cover for ground troops when he spotted a band of hostile forces driving military supplies to the enemy.
Before taking enemy fire which led to his capture, Bean was able to destroy the supplies.
Bean spent 310 days in captivity until his release during Operation Homecoming, a military effort to bring American soldiers back home.
Bean continued to serve in the Air Force as a Test Project Officer with the 4485th Test Wing stationed out of Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. and later as an instructor pilot at various installations.
Moving to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Bean became the commander there of the 90th Flying Training Squadron of the 80th Flying Training Wing until 1983.
Bean also served as an operations deputy commander and group commander at other assignments with his final assignment as a professor at Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base.
After serving in the Department of Strategy, Doctrine and Air Power at AWC, Bean retired from Maxwell on Oct. 1 1997.
Bean was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his achievements as an F-4D Weapon Systems Officer in 1972 while flying over Southeast Asia in combat missions and for his devotion to duty.