Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Godspeed Woody

On August 23, my good friend Gaynor “Woody” Bean passed away. He was 94 and far from being a “mover and shaker” in the modern scheme of things, but let me tell you of the man he really was and of the debt all Americans owe him as a member of the “Great Generation.”

Born in the coal country of West Virginia, he grew up as a hillbilly and suffered through the Depression. To escape poverty, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps and was sent to Panama.

While he was there, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and he returned to the US for training as a waist-gunner in the B-17 Flying Fortress. Assigned to a crew and shipped off to Europe, he flew with the 15th AF from bases in Southern Italy and lived through 50 combat missions over Italy, Austria, Germany and the Balkans.

After the war ended, Woody married Louise and settled in the mid-West where he had a very successful career. They later moved west and operated an automotive business in Point Loma for many years before moving to Fallbrook as semi-retired avocado and citrus growers.

I met Woody in the 1990’s through my daughter and son-in-law when they bought the house next door to him. As an infantryman in Africa and Italy during WWII, I’m sure I saw his B-17 fly over my foxhole on a mission, and whispered “Godspeed” as I do now. Good-bye and God bless Woody, we’ll miss you.

Robert F. Green

 

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