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Bernard T. Healey

 

Date and Place of Birth: 1921 Omaha, NE
Date and Place of Death:    December 30, 1942 near Brest Peninsula, France
Baseball Experience: College
Position: Outfield
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Military Unit: 423rd Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force USAAF
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Bernard T. Healey, the son of Damil and Mable Healey, was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1921. He attended Creighton Prep and played centerfield for the Omaha McDevitts American Legion team that made it to the national semi-finals in 1937. The following year he won the Omaha American Legion batting title with a .431 average. The Omaha World-Herald called Healey a, “Babe Ruth type hitter, a game wrecker.”

Healey went on to play baseball and football at Creighton University for two years before enlisting as as an aviation cadet with the Army Air Corps at Fort Crook, Nebraska in November 1941.

Healey trained as a bomber pilot and received his wings and commission as a second lieutenant in 1942. He was assigned to the 423rd Bomb Squadron of the 306th Bomb Group at Wendover Field, Utah. In August 1942, the 306th BG left Utah for Westover Field, Massachusetts and then on to Thurleigh airfield in Norfolk, England.

On December 30, 1942, Second Lieutenant Healey was co-pilot to Captain John B. Brady aboard a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress. The target that day was the Keroman Naval U-boat base at Lorient, France. A number of B-17s had to abort early due to a variety of problems and when those still in formation numbered less than the required amount, the group returned to Thurleigh before reaching the French coast. Captain Brady, however, who left later than the rest of the group and was catching up, joined formation with the B-17s of the 305th Bomb Group. On the way back, as the group approached the tip of the Brest Pensinsula, German fighters attacked. Brady’s B-17 was set on fire and all crew members safely bailed out but the German fighter planes then turned their attention to the descending parachutes. Bernard Healey, together with Captain Brady and six other crew members died that day.

Healey’s body was never recovered. He is memorialized at the Cambridge American Cemetery in England and the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska.

Sources
423rd Bomb Squadron Combat Diary (1942-1945)
www.8thafhs.com
www.306bg.org

Date Added August 11, 2013

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