AFM 200-25   16 Janary 1961                             Korean War POW/MIA Network

Beardall, Harold Martyn

Capt;   AO 769375

8th Bomb Squadron, 3d Bomb Group;   Pilot   B-26; 44-34221A

Identifying Data:  Birth Date. 16 October 1924     Race. Caucasian
Eyes: brown; Hair: black; Height: 5' -8.5; Weight: 144 lbs.

Distinguishing Marks. Irregular 1.5" x 1" scar, region of 1st lumbar vertebrae; multiple small scars on dorsum left hand and volar surface right forearm not exceeding .5" in diameter. All firm and well-healed.

Circumstances of Loss:

1. Reported MIA 21 May 1951.

2. About 1900 hours, 21 May 1951, the plane's pilot, Capt Festini (Capt Beardall was an orientation pilot), requested permission to cross the bomb line, giving his position as 10 miles north of Seoul in the Imjin River area. This was the last known contact with the plane. SSgt Robert M. Wilkins, AF16189312, a repatriated crew member, said that the plane was forced down between 1900 and 1930 hours by automatic weapon fire and that he bailed out, landing about 30 miles northwest of the bomb line. The plane was at about 3,000 feet when hit.  Wilkins believed that the only other survivor was Beardall.

Subsequent Reports:

1. The following repatriates reported seeing and in some cases speaking to Capt Beardall in or around Pyongyang during September, October, and perhaps November 1951:

a. Sgt Martin R. Watson, RA 11033539, said he saw "Hal Beardal" in September on the outskirts of Pyongyang in poor condition, under mental strain and suffering from diarrhea. He identified "Beardal" as a reservist from Orlando, Florida, and a lawyer in civilian life.

b. Capt J. S. Hearn, AO 664306, USAF, said he saw Beardall on 23 September. The Koreans were being tough on Beardall and Beardall was belligerent to them. Beardall was tried as a war criminal. When he (Hearn) was sent to Camp No. 2, Beardall remained behind at a Pyongyang police station.

c. Lt Col Thomas D. Harrison said that Beardall was with Lt George Knego, that he saw Beardall in mid-October, and that Beardall was starved for 15 days during May or June, but partially regained his strength. Harrison identified Beardall as having- a law degree or as having studied law. In a letter to Beardall's parents, a copy of which was sent to the Air Force, Harrison referred to a book "The Edge of the Sword" in which Capt Ferrar-Hocksley says Beardall died while a POW.

d. Lt George J. Knego, USAF, quoted Beardall as saying: he was interrogated during the summer of 1951 and the Koreans were accusing: him of being a war criminal.

2. Repatriate Lt Col Donald J. Mac Lellan, AO 790369, reported that Beardall was last seen by Lt Knego and Capt Hearn around November at Pyongyang. Mac Lellan heard that Beardall was having a difficult time with interrogators.

3. Repatriate SSgt Robert M. Wilkins reported that Beardall was last seen during November 1951 (could have meant October), that Beardall was held at interrogation point when the other prisoners were moved to Camp No. 2, and that Capt Hearn and "Lt Kenogle" were supposedly the last to see him.

4. Repatriate Capt William N. Preston, 15076A, said the name of Beardall was given to him by another repatriate, Lt Col Witt, to be memorized and turned-in at the POW exchange. Beardall's name came from Chinese hospital records. His name was also on a wall in the village at Camp No. 2. Beardall was understood to be under interrogation.

Conclusion:

Capt Beardall was alive and in enemy hands in late October or early November 1951. He may have died while a POW, but there is no confirmation.

Personal History:

Birthplace. Orlando, Fla.

Cities of Residence. Orlando, Fla.; De-land, Fla.

WW II Service. European Theater (Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe), 10 months.

Marital Status. Single (divorced).

Parents (redacted).

Civilian Schools. Sewanee Military Academy, Sewanee, Tenn. (high school) ; University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; Stetson University, Deland, Fla., LL.B.

Military Schools. Santa Ana, Calif. (pr< flight, 1943) ; Ontario, Calif, (primar; 1943) ; Lemoore, Calif, (basic, 1944) ; L Junta, Colo, (advanced twin engine, 1944]

Previous Occupation. Vice president an attorney, Fidelity Title & Guaranty.

Nicknames. Repatriates refer to him a "HaTor"Al."

Sports. Golf, hunting, and fishing.

Miscellaneous. Uncle is retired United States Rear Admiral John Beardall.

Korean War POW/MIA Network