Gen William Elmer Bryan Jr.

Gen William Elmer Bryan Jr.

Birth
Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA
Death 6 Apr 2008 (aged 86)
Ocean Springs, Jackson County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Court: 7 Section: HH Column: 21 Niche: 5
Memorial ID 25847677 · View Source
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Major General William E. Bryan Jr., U.S. Air Force retired, with his family at his side, yet another member of the "Greatest Generation," was lost to us April 6, 2008. Our dad was a true war hero in every sense of the word. He entered the Army Air Corps in March 1942 at the age of 21 from his hometown of Flint, Mich. Dad flew 114 combat missions in World War II in the P-51 Mustang fighter from 1943 to 1945. Stationed in England with the 339th Fighter Group, he achieved status of "Ace," reserved only for VSH fighter pilots. A career military man, in August 1950 dad again flew the P-51 Mustang on 121 combat missions with the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing during the Korean War. In 1967, while commanding the 831st Air Division, he had occasion to fly a mission from Thailand to North Vietnam. Thus he would declare that he flew fighters in three wars. He was later promoted to brigadier general and served 18 months in Vietnam. As a highly decorated command pilot with greater than 5,000 hours of flight time, he finished his career as a major general with 33 years of service to his country at which time he retired to Ocean Springs. His commendations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal the Croix de Guerre and the Air Medal with 23 Oak Leaf Clusters. Our mother, Olive Bryan, traveled the world with him, raising their four children: Gale Singley of Pass Christian, Miss., Julie Hurst of Norfolk, William E. Bryan III of Raleigh, N.C., and Joni Bryan of Mobile, Ala. Until her death, several months before Katrina hit, their love story spanned 60 years. Dad has given us a lifetime of wonderful story telling, raunchy old military songs, a love of the music of the 40s and 50s and jokes - many, many jokes - laughter and love. Until his death at age 86, he was a living legend. His sister, Ruth Yuille of Flint, Mich., and his family and friends will miss him more than we can say. Farewell and blue skies for your last flight, Dad. Visitation will be held today, at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home in Ocean Springs from 6 until 8 p.m. General Bryan will be sent to Arlington, Va., for interment in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.


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  • Maintained by: Dottie
  • Originally Created by: Gare Kunert Allen
  • Added: 8 Apr 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 25847677
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gen William Elmer Bryan Jr. (5 Oct 1921–6 Apr 2008), Find a Grave Memorial no. 25847677, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Dottie (contributor 47226067) .