CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

FALLEN HEROES


Walter Beck

In 1951 Water Beck was electrocuted at station 2.

Walter Clayton Beck was born in Alexandria in April of 1922, to Charles and Eula Beck. Walter attended George Washington High School and in 1941, he became a member of the volunteer fire department. In September of 1942, Walter joined the U.S. Navy and served until 1946. During his service, lasting through most of World War II, he served in both Europe and in the Pacific and earned the Purple Heart. After returning to Alexandria, Walter again joined the volunteer fire department and also worked as a paid firefighter at the Cameron Station Quartermaster Depot. On January 15, 1949, he became a paid firefighter with the Alexandria Fire Department. Just a couple years later, on May 26, 1951, Firefighter Beck was working at the station at 213 East Windsor Avenue, then known as the No. 2 Truck and Engine Company, when a freak accident occurred at 4:41 p.m. He was hosing down the sidewalk outside the station. A car belonging to another firefighter was parked nearby and its battery was attached to the charging unit inside the firehouse. When Firefighter Beck grabbed the car in an attempt to hose down the area underneath it, an electrical current ran through his body. The chief of the rescue squad and other firefighters pulled him away from the car and took him by ambulance to Alexandria Hospital. Medical staff worked for hours to revive him but were unsuccessful. Walter Clayton Beck, 29, was pronounced dead at 8:20 p.m., a victim of accidental electrocution. He was survived by his wife, Mary Jane, his parents, four sisters, and five brothers, three of whom were volunteer firefighters.

Gravesite:
Alexandria National Cemetery
Plot B-3635
1450 Wilkes Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

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