Bryan Clark – US Army Air Corps – World War II
Bryan was born in Akron Ohio and spent his childhood in Indiana. As a child, he grew up listening to his father’s exploits during World War I. Bryan heard about America’s entry in World War II over the radio while at a Sunday meal with this family. He reflects upon his emotions as he listened to the attack on Pearl Harbor unfold over the news and his decision to join the military as soon as possible.
In November of 1943, at 17 years of age, Bryan joined the Aviation Cadets, a US Army Air Corps (USAAF) flight education program. By January 1944, Bryan transferred to Biloxi, Mississippi to continue training as a flight mechanic. After completion of this course, he transferred to a facility in Brownwood, Texas, where he specialized on the L5 medical transport plane.
Bryan explains in depth the physical features and uses for the L5 plane which very closely resembles a Cessna aircraft. The purpose of the two-seater plane was to transport single patients. Upon completion of his training, he shipped off to San Francisco to await transport westward. After a brief stop in Hawaii, he was informed that he would be part of a crew to construct a small airbase on Leyte.
Bryan provides a unique perspective when he describes how he and his comrades constructed the airbase under cover of smoke, which was deployed to discourage Japanese air attacks. Once the airbase was completed and brought on-line, he remained to assist as ground crew for the L5 squadron and to respond to flight-line crashes.
Bryan stated that his most memorable experience during his time in service was a flight that took him over the devastated city of Hiroshima. After the war, Bryan returned to school and earned his doctorate.
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Bio prepared byÂ Shannon P. Reck, MMH