U.S. Army 1942–1945
Bill O’Brien joined the Army Air Force after Pearl Harbor, went to Texas for bombardier training and in 1943 was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant. Bill and his crew of 10 were sent by Liberty Ship as a replacement group through Casablanca and on to Tunis. There with the 301st Bomb Group, Bill saw the destruction left over from the clashes between Rommel and Montgomery. His group would receive their orders for a mission in a closed room, be told of the terrain and the type of anti-aircraft they’d be up against. After flying 10 missions, Bill was filling in for another bombardier with a crew he didn’t know, was shot down over Greece and sent to Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany.