World War II Central Illinois Stories

Trumpet Player John O’Connor Recalls World War II


John O’Connor of Champaign served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He was chosen as lead pilot with the first experimental flying unit aboard the B-24 Liberator. He flew 50 missions and also used his skills as a trumpeter and band director. Flying back from a mission, John and his crew would often pull out their instruments and play. O’Connor later became a member of the Medicare 7, 8 or 9 Jazz Band, performing around the country.

(Aired on WILL-TV's "Prairie Fire" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, 2008)