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John J. Beck ( Missoula 1942 )

posted: Aug 5, 2020

Missoula jump records for 1942 state that “John J. Beck” was a “parachuter at Nine Mile Camp, Huson” in 1942. There is an additional notation that he became a “construction worker, Alutians [sic]” sometime after 1942.

Definitive records have not been located that connect a John J. Beck as being a smokejumper. However, a WWII Draft Registration record appears to be that of John Beck. The registration document was completed October 16, 1940, stating that a John Jesse Beck was born in Lewistown, Montana, on May 19, 1916. He is employed at the Missoula White Pine and Sash Company in Missoula and his wife is Helen Bertha Beck. His address in Missoula has a line drawn through it with PO Box 711 Gridley, California, written. This is typically done to record updated addresses of registrants. Helen and John were married July 6, 1940.

The only records found for John Beck in Alaska is reference to a John Beck working for the Arctic Research Laboratory at Point Barrow, Alaska. In September 1963 he was an aerial observer for an airplane crash. Another article in December 1963 names John as the Arctic Research Lab shop foreman, and another in 1966 states that John Beck and his Eskimo construction crew from Barrow have moved a camp. The last article continues stating that Bill Beck came up to help with camp management, allowing John to spend time with construction. John had a brother, with the name Bill, born in 1924.