ISU national guardsman drowns in Guam



Luke Manderfeld

A 20-year-old ISU student drowned in Guam on July 25 while on duty with the National Guard, according to an Iowa National Guard news release.

Drew Bellairs, an interdisciplinary studies major, was swimming in Marbo Cave, Mangilao, Guam, when he was caught in an air pocket and unable to get out, the Des Moines Register reported. 

After attempting to get help, Bellairs’ friends returned to find him unconscious.

An Osage High School graduate from Osage, Iowa, Bellairs participated in the ISU Flying Club and ISU Skiing Club, according to the release. He completed his freshman year in May.

“Obviously, a very tragic situation.” said ISU university spokesman John McCarroll. “Certainly a very tragic situation for his family. We’re very saddened to hear about [the death].”

Bellairs was a member of the Maintenance Group, 185th Air Refueling Wing based in Sioux City, Iowa. He served on temporary duty with the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, according to the Iowa National Guard.  

Bellairs had previously assisted in a typhoon response in Japan.

He earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal during his military career, according to the release.