Bill O'Neill (1924-2011)

William (Bill) O'Neill had an interesting journey when he was 18 years old and signed up for ground crew of the Air Force. He thought he had been signed on the ground crew, but at his medical ward, he realized they had signed him up for the air crew.


He spoke to the Commander, who gave young O'Neill time to think about his decision (as an attempt to get Bill to stay with the Air Crew). Bill consented and stated that he would stay with the air crew in hopes that if he failed in the aircrew, he would join the Ground Crew.


The commander realized what he was doing and told O'Neill that even if he failed in the Air Crew, there was no guarantee he would be placed in Ground Crew. As a result, Bill decided that he would join the Army, as he could not stomach flying in the Air Force.

He joined the Army in 1943, and went to Chatham for basic training and to Nova Scotia for coastal duty. On August 17, 1944, he disembarked from France to a British run camp in England and went on tanks during the Blitz.