John W. O’Bryan, Jr., was the son of the publisher of the Abbeville Progress, a newspaper that competed with the Abbeville Meridional beginning in 1913.
John graduated from Abbeville High School, and attended L.S.U. He created a history of Abbeville from old postcards, which is now a part of this website. When he left L.S.U. he joined the US Army Air Corps in February of 1943 with the intention of becoming a pilot. His father's newspaper published a picture of him on October 16, 1943, showing him standing next to the airplane that he was using for pilot training.
John's father died in December of 1943. His mother, Ella Villemez O'Bryan, being disinclined to run the newspaper herself, sold the Progress to the Meridional as of January 1, 1944.
Second Lt. John W. O'Bryan, Jr., was killed in action when his plane was shot down over the North Sea off the coast of France on July 11, 1944. He is buried in Graceland Cemetery.
John had a brother, H. D. O'Bryan, and two sisters, Hazel O'Bryan Gosselin and Ida Ruth O'Bryan.
John was married to Mary Olga Sagrera and had two sons, both of whom still live in Vermilion Parish, namely, John W. O’Bryan, III, and Patrick Semmes O’Bryan.
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