Samuel M. O'Connor

My Great-Grandpa

His Life Story

My great-grandfather, Samuel O'Connor was born in Cork, Ireland on November 19, 1904. As a child he grew up in Ireland with his two sisters Eileen and May. We aren't sure exactly when he came to the United States but my mom believes it was when he was around 17 year old. He was well educated as a child and attended Creighton University for 8 years and left qualified as a physician and a surgeon. After college he worked as a physician until World War ll came. Also, sometime after college he learned to fly planes and received his pilot's license. He was older when the war came and decided to enlist. He was a very proud American after immigrating here and being well educated here. He felt it was his duty. He served a physician and a surgeon. During the war he was placed in a airbase in the Aleutian Islands. There the military ran missions for the Pacific War. After WWll, he was relocated to a base in California. After another year he retired from the military and went home to his wife. At this time my grandfather was about 8 years old. Their family was quite well off so Samuel never returned to work.

Where does he fit into history?

Being born in 1904 and passing away in 1987 there were a lot of historical events that happened in his lifetime. To start, he was in the United States for the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. This was a big event and was even more important to my great grandpa because of he had a history in aviation as well. Also, right around the same time, Al Capone was arrested for money laundering right in San Francisco where he lived!

Later on, when the war started he was quite involved with it. He was based in a small strategical airbase that ran secret missions in Japan. This airbase was in the Aleutian Islands where Japanese soldiers were rumored to be. This was true and my great grandfather lost a great friend due to this. A Japanese soldier snuck into my grandfathers tent in the middle of the night and stabbed his good friend and tent mate. My great grandfather was outside the tent at the time and when he returned and was attacked as well. He was able to kill the soldier. Other than this, he never had any more action in combat.

After the war, he returned to California and worked at a military base as a doctor and surgeon. On August 5, 1946 he retired from the military and went home to his family. After his retirement he was able to see some cool events including the first color TV as well as the foundation of NASA.