Walter E. Beall
(1905 – 1990)
patriot, philanthropist, humanitarian, aviation pioneer, business man and educator
Walter Beall joined the United States Marine Corps in 1917. He wanted to serve The United States of America at that time engaged in World War I.
Four months later, after completing the Marine Corps grueling 8 week boot camp, Walter was released from service. In 1917, Walter was 12 years old!
In 1920 Beall joined the Army-Air Force served honorably and was discharged in 1924. In 1920 Walter was 15 years old!
At 19 he went to work for an aircraft company located in Hagerstown, Maryland.
In 1926, at the age of 21, Walter joined the United States Navy. He remained on active duty for the next twenty nine years and worked in the field of Naval Aviation as an aviation machinist.
During World War II Walter served in the Pacific and was assigned to the staff of the famous Admiral ‘Bull’ Halsey. During that tour of duty Walter was cited for bravery. He was commissioned by the President of The United States as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO4). In the military a Warrant Officer is a leader who serves as a technical expert, providing valuable skills, guidance, teaching, and expertise to commanders and organizations. Navy Chief Warrant Officers are technical officer specialists who perform duties that require expertise and commissioned officer authority to direct technical operations.
In 1955 at age 50 and having served in WWI, WWII and the Korean War, Walter retired from active Naval Service. He was highly decorated for his service to country.
Walter Beall was well known throughout the United States within the aviation community. In his later years he overhauled aircraft engines and rented hanger space to private and commercial pilots. He was one of the first licensed pilots in the United States. A proponent of aviation education and safety, he was an FAA Pilot and Mechanic Examiner. He was a member of the exclusive OX-5 Pioneers, the association of aviators who helped mold the development of early aviation. He was a member of the Experimental Aviation Association and a member of The Sun and Fun Fly- In Club.
Walter Beall joined the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) in 1939 and living his ethic of citizenship, community and service to others soon found himself involved in the Association at the local, Regional and then National levels.
He served the Association by volunteering for many committee assignments, both as a member and chairman. In 1946 Walter formed the Southeast Region of the Fleet Reserve Association. He served two terms as it’s Regional President.
In 1949 Beall was elected Branch President of FRA Branch 60, one of the largest FRA Branches on the East Coast. Walter was a member of the FRA for 51 years practicing the three cardinal principles of the association: Loyalty, Protection and Service to others and country. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) as well.
Walter was also a philanthropist and humanitarian. During his lifetime he helped many people earn college degrees and pursue their dreams.
Walter never retired. He worked and remained active until the day he died at the age of 85, in June of 1990.
Some saw Walter as an eccentric, some saw him as a Renaissance Man. Walter only saw himself as a quiet, simple man possessing a strong sense of responsibility, citizenship and community. He felt that everyone should give of their energy in service to our country and others, not self. He also believed that people should never be denied the opportunity to realize and achieve their full potential.
When Walter died he bequeathed his estate to The Past Regional Presidents of the Fleet Reserve Association. The Past Regional Presidents decided that the best way to utilize Walter’s estate, perpetuate his ethics and memorialize his life and contributions was to establish scholarships for the children of FRA members wanting to study the field of aviation.
Walter E. Beall possessed a strong sense of responsibility, citizenship and community. He felt that everyone should give 100 percent of their energy in service to country and others, not to self.
Walter believed that people should never be held back because of personal circumstances or ever be denied the opportunity to realize and achieve their full potential.