James E. Bryan: Veteran of the Month | August 2020
James E. Bryan
World War II Veteran | U.S. Navy 1944 – 1946.
On December 20th, 1943 Chicago resident James E. Bryan enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday. Bryan’s training, which took place at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, TX, and Catalina Island in California, prepared him for a position as a Radar Technician. Radar (radio detection and ranging) was used in World War II to accurately detect and follow movements of enemy ships and planes at night or in inclement weather. The war ended before Bryans training was complete, but many credit Radar as a critical factor in winning World War II, tilting many battles in our favor. After the war ended, Bryan completed his Naval career in Pearl Harbor. Bryan’s Naval radar training had him considering a career as an electrical engineer, but once enrolled at the University of Illinois, he decided to major in Business Administration and Finance.
Bryan’s service took him away from his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Carlson. The young couple wrote letters to each other every day they were apart. Bryan saved every letter Dorothy wrote, even sending them back to his mother for safekeeping. In 1944, Bryan’s parents decided to surprise the couple with a Christmas gift to remember. They escorted Dorothy by train from Chicago to Corpus Christi for a visit. The determined young seaman did not stop there and even hitchhiked to Mount Vernon, IA, to visit her while she was attending Cornell College.
After his service, Bryan married Dorothy and moved to the Chicago area where they raised four children. They now have nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Bryan spent the entirety of his career at Standard Oil of Indiana. During his service, Bryan met many “good buddies” who he has remained friends with over the years. He has always been especially grateful for his G.I. Bill benefits, which paid for his college education.
Veterans Care Coordination is proud to recognize James Bryan for his service to our country. We are privileged to have the opportunity to share the stories of our nation’s heroes. Special Thank You to Chris Christian, at USA Home Care Plus outside of Chicago IL, for introducing us to our Veteran of the Month. Christian was happy to nominate Bryan, stating, “We serve our Veterans because our Veterans served us.”
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