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501st Heroes
MSgt Carl Beck
H-Company, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division

Carl D Beck, born in Avondale, western-most Missouri, November 1925. Enlisted December 1942 in the 501st Parachute infantry Regiment for basic training at Camp Toccoa, GA. Completed Parachute school April 1943. Regiment posted to Camp Mackall, NC for advanced training. Parachuted into Normandy on morning of D-Day. Parachuted into Holland September 1944. Deployed into Bastogne by truck December 1944. Occupation duty in Austria followed by 501 PIR deactivation at Berchtesgarden May 1945.

Reenlisted in 1946, served with 82nd Airborne Division and 508 Regimental Combat Team until injured on parachute jump in Texas April 1953. Continued on active duty, serving tours in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Retired from active duty as MSGT Jul 1963 while on ROTC duty at Wofford College, Spartenburg, SC.

Awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with Cluster, French Crois de Guerre, Belgian Forreguerre, and Dutch Order of Wilhelms. On Jun 6, 2004 awarded the French Legion of Honor. Parachuted into Normandy on June 6, 1994 and again on Jun 7, 2004 to commemorate the 50th and 60th anniversaries of D-Day.

Married for 37 years to the late Virginia Gaston. Served with the city of Atlanta as a Transportation Engineer, retiring July 1998. Employed  part time at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA.