Bryan, Bruce Richard



Bryan, Bruce Richard


Bruce Richard Bryan


Andrew Green


Bruce Bryan was born on May 20, 1920, in Metro, South Dakota. He always knew he wanted to be a pilot and joined the Air Corps in 1941. His basic training began immediately upon joining the service. At first, Bruce was too underweight to become a pilot, but within a few weeks he gained 14 pounds, making him eligible for pilot training. Three months after he joined the Air Corps, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. For the first three years of the war, Bruce remained in the United States. When he was finally sent overseas, he began flying missions over Italy. One day, his plane took two direct hits and went down. He was quickly captured, and spent the next eight months in a POW camp in northern Germany. Although the Germans allowed him to write letters, his family never received these letters, and were told he was missing in action. Bruce states that for the most part, his treatment was acceptable. One guard did "knock him around" but that was not the treatment that he usually received. In April 1945, Russian troops liberated his camp. When VE Day arrived, he was turned over to U.S. forces. In May 1946, Bruce got married. He and his wife of over 60 years live in Allen Park, Michigan.

Date Span

Dates of Service


Enlisted; United States Army; 449th Bomber Group; World War, 1939-1945; Second World War - European Theater; United States; Lieutenant; Prisoner of War


Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Collection Location


Spatial Coverage

Second World War - European Theater; United States

Item sets