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June 6, 2014

Brooks Beasley: A willing soldier

Live Oak —

Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to fight Nazi Germany. The cost of the event was high, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded. Americans will never forget those who served our country in helping defeat Nazi Germany. Many Americans were being drafted to serve their country. Brooks Beasley of Suwannee County was willing to serve this country like so many other men of the time and he enlisted a year prior to June 6, 1944, the date of that landing in Normandy.

Beasley was born at his family’s farm in Stilson, Ga. on Aug. 19, 1924, to Burl and Melrose Beasley, and was joined by two brothers and two sisters.

“I was born in the house where we lived,” Beasley laughed. “Babies back then weren’t born in a hospital.”

Beasley attended school in Bulloch County, but he also had to do his part on the family farm.

“We didn’t have water or lights, and we plowed with a mule,” he said. “We would have to get up and milk cows before we caught the bus for school.”

Beasley attended grade school until he reached the 10th grade. That’s when he decided it was time to serve his country in the U.S. military.

“I was of the draft age, and I didn’t want to serve in the Army, so I volunteered for the Navy,” he said. 

Within a short time, Beasley was on his way to boot camp in Bainbridge, Md., and was enrolled in radio school, where his duties included copying messages between Naval communications. 

Following boot camp, Beasley volunteered for submarine service. He was then sent to Submarine School in New London, Conn.

“I was first assigned to USS Bass SS-164 on the North Atlantic and East Coast,” Beasley said. “Our primary function was support for training.”

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