Iowa National Guardsman dies in Guam drowning
JOHNSTON | The Iowa National Guard reported Sunday that Osage High School graduate Drew Bellairs, 20, a senior airman with the Air National Guard, drowned while swimming at Marbo Cave, Mangilao, Guam, on Saturday, July 25.
Bellairs, a member of the Maintenance Group, 185th Air Refueling Wing, Iowa Air National Guard based in Sioux City, was serving on temporary duty while assigned to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam at the time of the accident.
“It is always a tragedy when we lose a member from Team Andersen," Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth said in a statement. "We come together during this time of loss to support each other and our prayers are with Senior Airman Bellairs' friends and family."
According to Guam websites, the cave area is a popular spot for hikers and is located south of the base, on the eastern coast of Guam.
Bellairs was born in Greeneville, S.C. on April 28, 1995, and graduated from Osage High School in 2013, where he participated in chorus, band, cross country, basketball and golf.
Bellairs was a student at Iowa State University, majoring in criminal justice and was active in the ISU Flying Club and Skiing Club.
He enlisted in the Iowa Air National Guard in July 2012 as an aerospace maintenance journeyman. He was an aircraft mechanic and was assigned as a crew chief for KC-135R refueling aircraft.
Bellairs had previously deployed to Japan for typhoon response.
Bellairs is survived by his father and mother, David and Beth Bellairs, sisters Jenny and Natalie Bellairs, and brother Sam Bellairs, all of Osage.
Funeral arrangements are pending.