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William Jennings Brien, Jr
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Birth: Apr. 10, 1922
Russell County
Virginia, USA
Death: Nov. 19, 1945
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA

Ship's Serviceman (Barber) Second Class (SSMB2) William Jennings Brien Jr. William Jr considered Johnson City, Tennessee his hometown. His father a WWI United States Navy veteran moved here while William Jr was at a young age. He's the son of William J. Brien Sr and Thelma Burleson. William Sr was a barber by trade and owned two Barber Shops in Johnson City, so it's easy to say William Jr followed in dad's footsteps. While cutting hair he heard the stories of the WWI veterans and when WWII broke out, he too joined the Navy in April 1942.

He was assigned to the 12th Special Naval Construction Battalion (NCB), "The Boxcar Battalion", a SEABEE unit. While on leave back in Johnson City, William Sr told him he could take the barber chair he learned to cut hair in and take it with him. They contacted the U.S. Navy and they gave permission and had it shipped to California, so it could travel with him and his unit. William served with the 12th Special NCB on the Russell Islands in the Pacific and on Okinawa, Japan. While on Okinawa, the island was hit by Typhoon Louise and the hut that housed William's barber chair was lost to the sea, so somewhere off the coast of Okinawa rests a Johnson City barber chair.

Upon returning to the states after Japan surrendered, William was driving some men to their out-processing appointments when the vehicle he was driving was hit by a bus. William's leg was badly mangled and while the doctors were deciding what to do, a blood clot came loose and we lost William Jr on that fateful November day.

William was 23 years old and married to Kathleen Woods from Jonesborough, TN, they had no children.
Note: Grave Marker was placed on 17 November 2010 and a military service conducted on 19 November, 65 years to the day of his death. The grave was unmarked until that day.
Oak Hill Cemetery
Johnson City
Washington County
Tennessee, USA
Plot: Plot Section Q, Row 1, Grave 2
Maintained by: Allen D. Jackson, USAF (...
Originally Created by: Ronny Ferrell
Record added: Nov 20, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61904659
William Jennings Brien, Jr
Added by: Allen D. Jackson, USAF (Ret)
William Jennings Brien, Jr
Added by: Allen D. Jackson, USAF (Ret)
William Jennings Brien, Jr
Added by: Allen D. Jackson, USAF (Ret)
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- Ronny Ferrell
 Added: Nov. 25, 2010

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