Donald W O'Reilly


Object Number - UPL 34847 - Donald W O'Reilly, Military Policeman, 491st Bomb Group. Photo taken in the Red Cross club at Rainbow Corner, near Piccadilly Circus.

Don was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and enlisted after Pearl Harbour. Based at Chelveston, Shipdham and then at Metfield with 491st BG he served from 1942-45 with the Military Police. “I feel blessed that they allowed me to join,” he says. “I think I am the only PFC in the 8th Air Force that flew on a B-17 and B-24!”

On D-Day Don's duty was to secure the briefing for the bomb raids behind enemy lines. Of Curtis LeMay’s visit he remembers, “My memory of Curtis LeMay is that he had a two finger cigar butt salute!”

In November 1944 Don was watching a movie on the Base the night of Britain’s largest explosion at Medfield bomb dump. The accident cost seventy lives and was “utter destruction, remarkable and scary.”


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Units served with

  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment



Date23 Oct 2018 08:55:19

American Air Museum text from displays

Date27 Sep 2014 18:07:44

491st BG Roster / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Donald W O'Reilly: Gallery (3 items)