Paul Beach Sr.
Flt Ops - Captain
 Sept 25, 2011


 

Paul A. Beach, of Phoenix, took his last flight on September 25, 2011 after a brief illness. He was born on September 21, 1922 in St Joseph, Missouri and grew up in Missouri, Indiana and California. In May, 1941 while a college freshman, his National Guard unit was called to active duty. He was selected to be a part of the enlisted pilots program fulfilling his dream to fly. He graduated from flight school on August 5, 1942 at Lubbock Air Field, Lubbock, Texas in the class of 42G. His first assignment was ferrying aircraft to foreign and domestic bases. He also flew hospital evacuations across the United States. In January, 1945 he was assigned to the 1345th AAFBU at Kurmitola, India. He flew 75 missions over the Hump into China in B-24's (C-109) and C-154's. He told many stories of adventure, flights and even tigers running through camp. His most memorable trip was air lifting the 94th Chinese Army General Staff from Cheng Tao to Shanghai on VJ Day, the first time in seven years an American airplane had landed there. After the war he began his career as a commercial air line pilot, first with Western airlines, and after a brief recall for the Berlin Airlift, returned to flying with Bonanza Air Lines serving as Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot. Bonanza became Air West, then Hughes Air West, and then Republic Airlines. He retired in September, 1982, logging 28,500 flight hours in his long career. Paul was a friend to many and would help anyone who needed it. He enjoyed traveling, hunting, fishing, hiking and tennis throughout his life, even playing tennis through age 87, winning many Senior Olympics in his 60s and 70s. He spent his retirement in Phoenix and Munds Park, AZ with his wife, Janice, and later took care of Janice as she fought Alzheimer's disease. Until his illness, Paul took care of Janice, feeding and comforting her twice daily for the last ten years. Paul was preceded in death by his mother, Geraldine Turner, his son Paul Allen Beach and his daughter, Dr. Diane K. Beach. He is survived by his wife Janice Berg Beach, his daughter Karen (Steve) Larsen of Mesa, AZ, his daughter in law Kathy Beach of Post, TX, and Janice's children Lynette (Mike) Berg Robe of Studio City, CA, Dr.Howard (Peggy) Berg of Amarillo, TX and Richard (Judy) Berg of Burnsville, MN. He has eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.