The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Those who Served

Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.

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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.

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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?

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.

Joyce O'Grady .     Women's Land Army   from Leeds)

Joyce O'Grady

Joyce O'Grady served in the Land Army at Ilmer Burches Farm in Buckinghamshire. The photo shows L-R Joyce O'Grady, Unknown, Bill Byre and Daphne in about 1945.

Greaser Michael O'Hagan .     Naval Auxiliary Personnel HMS Forfar   from Glasgow, Scotland)

(d.2nd Dec 1940)

Trimmer Thomas O'Hanlon .     Naval Auxiliary Personnel HMS Forfar   from Liverpool)

(d.2nd Dec 1940)

Hugh O'Hara .     British Army Royal Engineers   from Airdrie)

My father Hugie O'Hara was amongst the troops who liberated Bergen Belsen on 15th April 1945 I think. He was in the Royal Engineers up untill 1952 and then from 1955 till 1959 in the TA 240 field Squadron RE's.

F/S Leo Francis "Pat" O'Hara .     RCAF mid upper gunner 419 Sqd.   from Canada)

(d.10th Oct 1944)

F/Sgt. Leo Francis O'Hara .     Royal Canadian Air Force air gunner. 419 Sqd. (d.9th Oct 1944)

Lilian O'Hara .     Land Army

My mother-in-law, Lilian O'Hara, died last year, and amongst her posessions were two badges - one which I think is a Land Army hat badge and the other looks like the Olympic rings. We also found a photo of her with the Olympics ring badge fastening her shirt at the collar. Please can anyone tell me if the Olympics badge is something to do with the Land Army? We would love to know.

Cook John Joseph O'Keefe .     Merch. Sea. Cook RMS Athenia   from Helensburgh, Scotland)

(d.4th Sep 1939)

My maternal Grandad John Joseph O'Keefe was the ship's cook onboard the fated Athenia - the 1st ship to be torpedoed in the 2nd World War.

His name is on the Cenotaph in our local park in Helensburgh, Hermitage Park, although my Nanny, Mary O'Keefe was never given a war widows pension. He didnt die straight away but did die eventually as a result of his injuries sustained during the attack.

He was landed at Galway and spent several months in hospital. A lot of his injuries were burns due to the stock pot pouring over him during the blasts.

He left behind his wife Mary(d) and 6 children, Margaret(d), Rose(d), Frances (my Mum), Mary(d), Effie and his only son, John(d).

I would love to have any other information that anyone may have about the crew and survivors. Many thanks.

Flight Lieutentant John "Jack" O'Leary D.F.C. A.F.C..     RAF 106 Squadron   from 9, Glendower Rd Liverpool)

My late father John O'Leary flew with 106 squadron from Oct 1943 till June 1944. I am still in posession of his log books covering all the missions he flew. There are names in the logs that I heard mentioned when I was very young. Names like F/O Harvey, P/O Perry, P/O Starkey and P/O Miffin. Sadley my father died from a heart attack when I was only 15 years old (now 63). and I never got to find out what part these people played in my parents life. I say parents because my Mother Winifred Boddy and her sister Mary Boddy, as they were then know were attached to 106 Sqd. Why do we always leave it till late in life to wonder about our parents or is it just me. I would be interested if anyone knew my father and can shed some light on his wartime activities

Ella O'Neal .    

James O'Neill .     Bevin Boys

My father James O'Neill, who is still alive, served as a Bevin boy from start to finish. Although he was an air cadet and wanted to join the RAF as a rear gunner, he was dismissed and sent down the mines. He did his initial training at Humber Hill and Victory mines in County Durham where he lived and then went onto Bettshanger Collery in Kent for the remainder of the war. He was one of the last to be demobbed in 1948.

If anyone has any records that I can pass on to him of people, places and names that would help him to remember I would be eternally grateful.

Peter Paul O'Neill .     British Army   from Dublin, Ireland)

My grandad, Peter O'Neill was in the British Army and survived the war. He was only nineteen when he joined the Army and fought in Dunkirk. My auntie lived in England and was watching the television and saw her father coming off the boat.

S/Sgt Victor O'Neill .     British Army Royal Armoured Corps   from Manchester, Lancs)

My Dad, Victor O'Neill had served in the 1st World War in the 2/6th Dragoon Guards. He was demobbed in 1921 and then joined the RAC for the 2nd World War. He was captured in Crete in 1941 and was taken to Stalag 8b in Ciezyn, Poland. His POW number was 22148.

Capt. Albert Joseph "Paddy" O'Shea .     British Army 1st Batt/2nd Batt Irish Guards/Inniskilling Fusiliers   from London)

My father, Captain Albert J. O'Shea, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was a Guardsman in the 1st Battalion Irish Guards from 1931 until commissioned in July 1942 in the 2nd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers in India. In the Guards, on April 10 1940 the day I was born, he was sent to Norway. In the Narvik campaign he saw a lot of action on the ground and was also on the Troopship HMT Chobry was sunk at 2 AM above the Arctic Circle in May 1940 with many casualties including all the officers. A month later, after several more weeks of fighting, with the German invasion of France, the Narvik campaign was concluded and the troops came home. Norway was a disaster and in 2 months the British and Allied French, Norwegian and Polish lost about 7 thousand dead, wounded and missing from all Services. A disaster with poorly equipped British troops facing German ski troops with command of the air. Only the Navy was superior to the enemy

On his return he was a DI at the Guards Depot in Caterham, close to RAF Kenley a prime target of the Luftwaffe. On September 1, 1940 the house next door received a direct hit and our house was uninhabitable. A Guardsman in September 1939, he was a Sergeant and Temporary Company Sergeant Major in December 1941 en route to Officer Training in India. In July 1942 he was a 2nd Lieutenant and in August a Lieutenant. He was in Persia/Iraq Force, Syria and Egypt until September 1943. My mother died in a raid on my third birthday, April 10 1943. He had volunteered for the Long Range Desert Group and was doing Commando Training in Syria at this time. He was in hospital in Cairo missing the invasion of Sicily. Of the two other platoon commanders in his company the 2nd Battalion Inniskilling, one was killed and one wounded, so his dysentery may have saved him. He returned to the UK in September 1943

I only remember seeing him once during the war. I went to boarding school on my third birthday in April 1943 and he was posted to St Helena, S. Atlantic in August 1944 and came to visit me. I did not know him and thought he was very demanding. My "safe" school in Heathfield, Sussex was in Doodlebug Alley and we were in the air raid shelters almost daily from mid 1944 until early 1945 and one day I ran from the shelter and saw one just overhead. The first V 2 landed in Chiswick 200 yards from my grandfather's furniture store and his accountants' child was one of the first three killed by V2's

He became very ill in St Helena, was sent home in 1945, in and out of hospital for the next two years. He was promoted Captain in November 1945 Father was invalided from the Army in 1948 with a 100% War Disability pension and never recovered, passing away in November 1955. My mothers' 2 brothers both served in the RAF for the duration. One did 3 years in Malta throughout the siege and the other went to India and Burma. He was on embarkation leave in April 1943 when my mother died and left shortly after. He was in 3207 RAF Servicing Commando in Burma until the Japanese surrender.The two brothers did not see each other from 1940-1946

My grandfather, a WW1 soldier 1916-1918 was in the home Guard throughout WW 2 and my stepmother was a WAAD from 1941-1945

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