The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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Those who Served

Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Sgt. Harry George John O'Bree .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 460 Sqdn. (d.28th May 1944)

My cousin Sgt Harry O`Bree was shot down over France 23/4/1943 where he is buried. Some nuns returned his shirt collar number to England. He could have been flying Halifaxs, as the M.of I. had previous made a film of G for George at his station. He was a bomb aimer. His name is in the RAF book in Lincoln Cathedral. CWGC come up blank, would like to know his Squad. No. and where in Lincolnshire he was stationed. He originally came from Portsmouth.


According to CWGC, F/Sgt H.G.J. O'Bree died on 28/5/44 whilst with 460 Sqdn. Bomber Command Losses state that he was on Lancaster LM545, AR-J which crashed into the sea off the French coast, two bodies were recovered from the sea, one of which was your cousin. (Alan)

Seaman David O'Brien .     Naval Auxiliary Personnel HM Rescue Tug Frisky   from St John's, Newfoundland)

(d.28th Sep 1942)

David's brother Michael was an Able Seaman in the Candian Merchant Navy fell on the 30th of March 1941 while on the SS Eastlea out of Newcastle upon Tyne. His brother Maurice was lost on HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940.

Able Seaman. F. O'Brien .     Royal Navy HMS Forfar

F. O'Brien is listed as a survivor of the crew of HMS Forfar.

Pte. Gerald O'Brien .     British Army 5th Btn. Dorsetshire Rgt. (d.10th July 1944)

Pte O'Brien was killed on 10th July 1944 near Caen at Hill 112. He is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial, Panel 15 Col. 3.

F/O. Jack Dennis O'Brien DFC..     Royal Australian Air Force 186 Squadron   from Brisbane, Qld, Australia)

Jack O'Brien served with 186 Squadron and was awarded the DFC in 1945. My sister and I are trying to obtain more information on our father. He died as a civilian on 14th March 1955 and we have very little information. If anyone has any information or photos we would be most grateful.

Pte. James O'Brien .     British Army 3rd Mobile Laundry Unit Royal Army Ordnance Corps   from Liverpool )

(d.4th Jan 1944)

My grandfather James O'Brien served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He died age 37 and is buried in the Bone War Cemetery in Algeria. He left behind his wife Ellen Day and five young sons. His parents were Patrick O'Brien and Annie O'Brien from Liverpool. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Able Seaman Maurice Francis O'Brien .     Royal Navy HMS Forfar   from St John's Newfoundland)

(d.2nd Dec 1940)

Maurice's brother, David also fell 28th Sept 1942 whilst serving on HM Rescue Tug Frisky. Their brother Michael was an Able Seaman in the Candian Merchant Navy fell on the 30th of March 1941 while on the SS Eastlea out of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Able Seaman. Michael O'Brien .     Canadian Merchant Navy SS. Eastlea   from St John's, Newfoundland)

(d.30th Mar 1941)

Michael was an Able Seaman in the Candian Merchant Navy fell on the 30th of March 1941 while on the SS Eastlea out of Newcastle upon Tyne. His brother Maurice was lost on HMS Forfar on the 2nd of December 1940 and his brother David also fell 28th Sept 1942 whilst serving on HM Rescue Tug Frisky.

Cf.Stok. Michael O'Brien .     Royal Navy H.M.S. Brontosaurus   from Carrigrohane, Co.Cork)

(d.2nd March 1946)

Chief Stoker Michael O'Brien was the son of Denis and Mary O'Brien (nee Keneally), of Carrigrohane. His brother Joseph also died on service.

He was 38 when he died and he is buried in the Athnowen (St. Mary) Church of Ireland Churchyard

Pte. Samuel N.M.I. O'Brien .     British Army Royal Army Medical Corps

I have been looking into my father's service with the RAMC in WW2. Samuel O'Brien was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. He was 19 or 20 when he enlisted. I am waiting on his records from the army, but I was hoping that there may be some who remembered him. He passed away in 1995 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Whatever any one can add will be most welcome. Thanks to all the vets.

Cpl. Daniel O'Callaghan .     British Army Royal Army Medical Corps   from Liverpool)

I would like to find any one who knew my Danny O'Callaghan, he served with the 15th Scottish Division.

P/O J. C. O'Connell .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.

AC2. Patrick Michael O'Connell .     Royal Air Force 278 Sqdn.   from Welwyn Garden City)

Michael O'Connell served in 137 and 278 Squadrons, RAF.

K. O'Connelley .     102 Squadron

"Red" O'Conner .     US Navy 105 Sqd. Fleet Air Wing 7

This photo is from Virginnia Quaifs's collection, my Mother was the Red Cross Director, assigned to Dunkeswell Navy Base during the last years of the war.

Thomas O'Conner .     Merchant Navy SS Lancastria

Tom O'Conner was a Deck Boy, he survived the sinking of the Lancastria.

F/Sgt. Charles Joseph O'Connor .     Royal Air Force 50 Squadron (d.8th Jul 1944)

Charles OConnor served as a bomb aimer with 50 squadron.

John "Paddy" O'Connor .     Army Ox & Bucks Light Infantry   from Dingle, Rep of Ireland)

My father's name was John 'Paddy' O'Connor. All I know is that my father joined the Ox & Bucks Regiment when he was 15/16 years old in about 1937. He lied about his age (so he used to say!) He came over from Ireland as there was nothing for him there. He said he was at Dunkirk. We have a photo of him, very young, in his uniform but with no insignia - I presume he was a private. Mum said he was a 'valet to the Padre'. He also mentioned being 'in the Gliders'. His only physical war wound was losing his big toenail of his right foot!! My father hardly ever talked about the war. He died over twenty years ago now but as a family we would love to know his history. He was demobbed at the Cowley Barracks in Oxford sometime between 1947 and 1949. Post war he worked as a Brickie, and at Morris' Car Works in Cowley Oxford.

Pte. John Joseph O'Connor .     New Zealand Exp. Force New Zealand Armoured Corp   from Wellington, New Zealand)

I am trying to find information on my grandfather, John O'Connor. He was aboard the Nino Bixio when it was sunk on the 17th of August 1942, he managed to survive. I believe he was injured in the torpedo attack and nearly drowned. I would like to trace his movements, but can find only details of him in the Gruppigano 57.

Asst. Stwd. Michael O'Connor .     Merchant Navy SS Cape Corso (d.2nd May 1942)

Michael O'Connor lost his life when the SS Cape Corso was sunk.

Ord.Sea. Sidney O'Connor .     Royal Navy HMS Bickerton   from Jarrow)

(d.22nd Aug 1944)

Sidney O'Connor died aged 19, he was born in Jarrow in 1925, son of Andrew and Annie O'Connor (nee Fant) of Jarrow. He is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

K O'Dell .     Land Army

I was a Land Army girl and one memory I have was when my friend and I had a job to do collecting brussels sprout stalks with a horse and cart and filling in bomb craters. The idea was to back the horse and cart to the crater, put the back down and release the sprout stalks. Being such conscientious girls we pushed the horse as well as the cart down into the crater - and my friend went down, too. You can imagine the pandemonium. I yelled for help and eventually some farm men came running over and. One had to unharness the horse and another saw to my badly shaken friend while a tractor pulled out the cart. The dear old horse, Deba, was none the worse for wear and we carried on with our work, feeling quite sheepish about the whole affair.

The friend,Vera, still lives in America. She married a GI and moved there after the War. It was a great life on the land - hard, hard work, often in the icy cold and wet, but we did have some lovely summers. We worked till late at night, cutting corn, stacking sheaves, thrashing, but the worst for all of us was collecting the ghastly barley chaff with its dirt and prickles in your clothes in the sweltering heat.

Can any ex-Land Girl remember the lovely harvest teas we had brought out to us by the farmers' wives? Do they remember cutting the legs off our dungarees in the summer to get a lovely tan?

Charles Henry O'Donnell .     Royal Navy HMS Manchester   from Birmingham UK)

Charles Henry O'Donnell, born 1912 in Ireland, was my uncle. He served aboard HMS Manchester and when the ship was sunk in 1942 he and companions rowed to the North African coast (they were not picked up by any Allied shipping) and were captured and interned by the Vichy French - presumably at Laghouat, although I do not recall Charles ever mentioning the name of the camp to me. He did say, however, that the treatment he and his companions suffered was harsh and cruel. I believe, but have no evidence, that he returned to the Navy after Algeria was liberated.

F/O David Keith O'Donnell .     Royal New Zealand Air Force 214 Sqdn.   from Wellington, NZ)

(d.15th Jan 1943)

My mother and I are interested in corresponding with anyone who has any knowledge of the bombing run on Lorient on 15th/16th Janury 1943 by 214 Squadron planes. My uncle was the navigator on Stirling W7637. This was the only Stirling lost that night and missing. My uncle (my mother's brother) P/O Keith O'Donnell was a New Zealander and trained in Canada.

Update: Are you aware of the brief entry regarding the crew of this aircraft in the book Bomber Command Losses 1943 by WR Chorley? 214 Sqn Stirling I W7637 BU-W Op:Lorient Took off 1826 Chedburgh. Lost without trace. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. S/L Carlyon was a Canadian serving in the Royal Air Force.

  • S/L P.W.M. Carlyon DFC
  • Sgt C.E.C. Ransom
  • F/O D.K. O'Donnell RNZAF
  • Sgt J.L. Kemp
  • Sgt L. Carr
  • F/S J.N. Peck RCAF
  • P/O P.F. Pinder RCAF

  • Kathy O'Donnell .     Timber Corps

    F/O Ronald James O'Donnell .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 630  Sqd. (d.17th May 1945)

    Sergeant Donald O'Donoghue .     RAF 460 Squadron (d.9th October 1943)

    Sqd Ldr. Gerard Wilfrid O'Donovan DSO. DFC..     Royal Air Force 582 Squadron

    Aged 89. Living near Bath although in poor health. His rear-gunner, Ernest Baker, wrote of Gerard O'Donovan, 'We all felt safe with Gerard. Wherever we went I never had any worries knowing Gerard would get us home. Gerard was a man to be respected and admired.'

    Flt.Sgt. James V. O'Dwyer .     Royal Air Force 57 Squadron   from Ireland)

    Jim O'Dwyer may have been my father. He seems most likely from the little I was told. I would have been so proud of him. I would have loved to have known him. Sought him all my life, but he is probably gone now, I was told he was Irish and volunteered.

    ERA4 John Edward O'Flaherty .     Royal Navy HMS Pembroke   from Capri Road, Croydon, Surrey)

    From my Dad, John O'Flaherty's Service Certificate I can see that he joined the Royal Navy as an Engineer & Turner on 10th of December 1942. He joined the following Ships,

    • HMS Pembroke 2, joined as ERA4 on 10 December 1942 to 22 February 1943
    • HMS Wayland, joined as ERA4 on 23 February 1943 to 9 December 1943
    • HMS Hasdrubal (Ferryville) joined as ERA4 1 April 1944 to 2 December 1944
    • HMS Pembroke joined as ERA4 3 December 1944 to 4 November 1945 when he was discharged, cause given as Physically unfit for Naval Service

    Upon his discharge he arrived in the Royal Naval Hospital Bristol, then to Warling Park Hospital, close to his family. As a child I don't remember much about him, he spent a lot of time in Hospital not returning home permanently till the late 1950's. Even then he seemed to be absent now and again. He retrained as a Center Lathe Turner, having several jobs before settling down to work for Merryweathers building Engines for Fire Engines at their Deptford London branch. He retired at 65 and enjoyed five years of retirement before surcoming to Cancer. He is remembered by his Children and Grandchildren.

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