Wilfred Beaver was born on May 10, 1897, in Bristol, England. He enlisted in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on August 7, 1914, and served with the Canadian Field Artillery in France before joining the British Royal Flying Corps on February 28, 1917. After completing flight training, Beaver served as a Bristol F.2b pilot with Number 20 Squadron where he was credited with the destruction of 19 enemy aircraft in aerial combat between November 1917 and June 1918, making him the 3rd highest scoring American ace of World War I. He left the British Royal Air Force on April 13, 1919, and emigrated to the United States later that month, becoming an American citizen on September 21, 1926. Beaver was commissioned a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Forces on June 20, 1942, and served at Great Falls, Montana, until joining the 447th Bomb Group in England in July 1943. Col Beaver served as Executive Officer of the 447th BG from July 1943 to November 1945, and left active duty on January 15, 1946. He remained in the Air Force Reserve after the war and retired on June 1, 1957. Wilfred Beaver died on August 19, 1986.
His British Military Cross Citation from World War I reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the last five months he has destroyed five hostile machines, and has brought down completely out of control six others. During the recent operations he has performed exceptionally good work in bombing and firing upon hostile troops from very low altitudes. He has displayed marked gallantry and resource, and has proved himself a patrol leader of great dash and ability.