James Andrew Jackson Beal was born on April 8, 1917 in Knoxville. He was the son of Peyton C. Beal and Sallie M. Beal. He was the brother of Ruth Mae Beal, Charles Beal, Helen M. Beal, Elizabeth Anna Beal, Mary E. Beal, and Paul E. Beal. He was married to Christina Oglesby. At the time of his enlistment, he was employed as a chauffeur or driver. He enlisted in the military on May 7, 1942 in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
He died on January 18, 2001 in Knoxville. He is buried in Union Cemetery in Knox County.
“In WWII, an artillery round hit the communications radio of my grandfather’s battalion. He took pieces of tin from the rations containers and created the resistors needed to create a fundamental communications radio which helped the military find the battalion. He was credited with saving the lives of the entire battalion through this effort. He also suffered permanent hearing loss from a mortar exploding too close to him. He was on the front lines demolitions experts which created roads for the tanks to follow. He had many medals but he never would let me see them for he only told me a couple of stories and then only when he lost loved ones and the pain of death was too much to bear. The medals were taken after his death, again I didn’t get to see them. I will never know how many medals he received outside of the purple heart.”
–Submitted by Theresa Gail Joyner