Olen C. Bryant

Olen C. Bryant was a navigator with HALPRO.  He was an original member of the John Payne crew.  He transferred from this crew and flew with the Cecil Patterson crew.  The last 376th mission he flew on was December 1942.

From this time period, the 376 records have no entries from Olen.  He must have rotated stateside, eventually joining the 485th Bomb Group.  He was on a mission in February 1945, when his plane was shot down.  This is the story posted about his experience:

Olen Cooper Bryant was the group navigator on a 485th Bomb Group mission to Regensburg, Germany in February of 1945. On the return
trip from the target his B-24 was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire in the #3 engine. The aircraft turned to the left and collided with another B-
24 in the formation. The aircraft were at an altitude of about 17,000 feet at this point. Bryant fell an estimated 10,000 feet into the mountains near Chiusaforte, Italy. He landed in deep snow. His fall had been observed by two gunners, who dragged him down the side of the mountain in a makeshift stretcher constructed from one of their parachutes. Bryant suffered neck, back, pelvic, and facial injuries but survived.

The above story came from Free Fall.

According to the 485 Bomb Group web site, Olen was the group navigator.

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At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

Donate directly to the 376 Endowment

To read about other endowment donation options, click here.

2019 River Cruise


DATES : Sep 13-16

CITY : Dayton, Ohio

HOTEL: Crowne Plaza

2018 reunion details

previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid

The Liberandos

Three Crawford Brothers

Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior

376th Bomb Group Mission History

The Last Liberator

Full Circle

Shadows of Wings

Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War

I Survived Ploesti

A Measure of Life

Shot Down In Yugoslavia

Stories of My Life


Born in Battle