Marco Island resident Bedford Biles dies at 92

Fay Biles with husband Bedford Biles at their Marco Island home. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Fay Biles with husband Bedford Biles at their Marco Island home. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

— Marco Island resident Bedford Biles, who enlisted in the Army after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and went on to receive three Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star, has died.

Biles, 92, passed away Sunday, two weeks after having surgery on his foot, according to information provided by his wife of 64 years, Faye.

Biles, a veteran who was part of the 101st Airborne’s Screaming Eagles, was recently featured in the Naples Daily News for a story on the anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy.

He became a paratrooper, he told the Daily News in June, because it paid $50 more than a soldier. It wasn’t long after basic training that he was headed to Europe with the rest of the 101st Airborne.

“They didn’t tell us much and we didn’t tell our families much,” he told the Daily News in June. “In those days, there was a saying, ‘A slip of the lip will sink a ship.’ But we knew D-Day was coming about a week before when they transferred us to a facility with barbed wire around it. Nobody in, nobody out.”

Biles survived his jump from a C-47 on June 6, 1944, safely parachuting into Normandy. He told the Daily News that he estimated he was one of 5,500 of the initial 18,000 who jumped that survived to daybreak.

He would go on to make jumps in Holland, in Alsace-Lorraine in France, the Babarian Alps and in Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge. For his service, he would receive three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, the French Legion of Honor and many medals.

Born Jan. 31, 1921, in Stanley County, N.C., Biles was a football star in Concord N.C., eventually earning an athletic scholarship to Duke University. He enlisted in the Army while at Duke after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Following the war, Biles returned to Duke and met Faye, who made up her mind to meet the war hero returning to Duke after she read about him in the paper.

After graduating, he went to work as terminal manager of Roadway Express Trucking Co. in Akron, Ohio. He then became district manager and then a consultant working to help Roadway terminals solve dock problems. Eventually, he quit to attend the University of Akron Law School. He retired to Marco Island in 1989.

© 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 6

Konfuzius writes:

What a tragedy! I great hero and real nice guy.
I feel very sorry for Fay the great Old Lady of Marco Island. My deepest sympathy.

2themoon writes:

Another great one leaves us. A true American hero and great guy.

liberator100 writes:

A true American hero. May he rest in peace.

WMissow writes:

A wonderful patriot has passed from our midst. My heart goes out to his beautiful wife Fay.
May the Lord bless his soul.

happy34145 writes:

Bedford, thank you for your great service to our country, a true hero. Rest in peace.

His wonderful wife Faye is in our thoughts and prayers.

lauralbi1 writes:

Faye: I do not know how to contact you on a more personal basis, but I just want to send my condolences and my deepest regrets for your loss.
Ed Issler

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.