Ezbon Browning Beauchamp
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Parents, Ezbon & Hattie Beauchamp
|DATE OF BIRTH:
1/7/1942 – 1/8/1946
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|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class
Ezbon Beauchamp was born and raised in Logan County, Kentucky. He went by “Browning” or “Buck” to distinguish himself from his father, Ezbon Senior, and by 1941 had completed high school and shown a flair for mathematics. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, Buck Beauchamp rushed to the colors; he enlisted in the Marine Corps exactly one month after the attack.
By April, 1942, Private Beauchamp was sweating out his first sea voyage. He was not bound for some Pacific island; instead, he and his comrades of the First Provisional Marine Battalion were headed for the war in Europe. Beauchamp made his first port of call in Londonderry, Northern Ireland–the Navy maintained an operating base there. The duty must have agreed with him, for it was late summer of 1944 before PFC Beauchamp returned to the United States.
Beauchamp spent the winter of 1944 at MCB Quantico, serving as a rifle instructor. But the staggering Marine losses at Iwo Jima meant that nearly any man in uniform could be selected as a replacement, and so Beauchamp found himself headed for the other side of the world as part of the 59th Replacement Draft.
When he arrived at his new billet (Company A, 24th Marines) in the summer of 1945, Beauchamp was in an interesting situation. He had more time in the Corps than many of his new comrades, and at the age of twenty-two was considered an old man. However, he lacked their combat experience, and worked hard to make up the deficit as the company prepared for the invasion of Japan.
Buck Beauchamp would never be tested in action against the Japanese. The war came to an end while he was still training at Camp Maui, and with only a few months left on his four-year Regular hitch, there was no need to send him overseas. Beauchamp was honorably discharged on January 8, 1946.
Like many of his generation, Ezbon Beauchamp went back to his small town once the war was over. He eventually settled in Auburn, Kentucky where he raised a family, served as a deacon at Auburn Christian Church, and taught mathematics. He suffered a double tragedy in 1987, with the loss of his fifteen year old son Robert Ezbon Beauchamp in January followed by the death of his wife, Nona, one month later. “Buck” helped establish the Robert E. Beauchamp Scholarship Fund in honor of his son.
Buck Beauchamp died in 2003, at the age of eighty. He is buried beside his wife and son in Berea Christian Cemetery, Russellville, Kentucky.