The Silver Star
James L Beard was born in Senatobia, Mississippi, 2 July 1916. He grew up in Jonesboro, Arkansas and graduated from Jonesboro High School. In 1939, he graduated from Arkansas State College with a B.S. degree in agriculture (BSA) and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army (in the first graduating class of ROTC cadets at ASU). He entered active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and deployed to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii in 1940 with the 8th Field Artillery, 25th Division. After surviving the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Beard was action in Guadalcanal. Five years later, in 1946, he held the position of Assistant Professor of Military Science and Training at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, AL. By 1949, he was on duty at Camp Osaka, Japan as an officer with the 8th Field Artillery, 25th Division again. He served with distinction in WWII and in the Korean War (earning the Silver Star, 22 September 1950 and the Bronze Star medal with two oak leaves clusters, 11 May 1951). Captain Beard was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC from 1952-1955. He returned to Arkansas and served within the National Guard Unit in Jonesboro. James L. Beard (now deceased) retired from the Army National Guard, in 1965, as a Lieutenant Colonel. In 1967, he earned a M.S. degree in education (MSE from Arkansas State. He is being honored here for the Silver Star.
In the fall of 1950, Captain James L. Beard, 8th Field Artillery Battalion, U.S. Army, served as liaison officer with an infantry battalion during an attack 18 miles into enemy territory near Chuson-ri, Korea. At one point, during the advance, intense, hostile fire from three sides and harassing fire from the rear halted the column. Captain Beard rushed through heavy fire several times to the battalion commander and back again to his radio to obtain the most accurate information to direct supporting artillery fire. His valorous, selfless devotion to duty-enabled artillery to effectively fire upon and neutralize the enemy positions so that the attack could be resumed. Captain Beard's courage, mature judgment, and unremitting devotion to duty merited the respect and confidence of his associates, bringing honor to himself and are in keeping with the great traditions of the U.S. Army.