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Major Don M. Beerbower Plaque

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Mounted outside the retaining wall of the church, to the right of the entrance gate.


A rectangular granite plaque containing a commemoration message that is written in French in gold and engraved lettering. Major Donald "Don" M. Beerbower, commander of the 353rd Fighter Squadron "Fighting Cobras" and war ace of the 9th USAAF, was Killed in Action at the age of twenty-two on August 9, 1944, while the P-51 Mustang formation he was leading was attacking the site of Air Base 112 in Reims, which was occupied by the German army and defended by several anti-aircraft batteries.

Source of photo: Frédéric Lafarge /

Monument Text:

En Souvenir du


Major Don M. BEERBOWER, 22 ans

As des US Army Air Forces

Mort en service aérien commandé

le 9 Août 1944

Ferme LEMAIRE Saint-Thierry

Pour la Liberté.



English translation:


In Memory of


Major Don M. BEERBOWER, age 22

Ace of the US Army Air Forces

Died while commanding the Air Service

August 9, 1944

LEMAIRE Farm Saint-Thierry

For Freedom.



Don Merril Beerbower


353rd Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group

354th Fighter Group

9th Air Force

United States Air Force