M.409  First Officer James Emor 'Jim' or 'Jimmie' O'Halloran  Jr
 flag usa b. 30 Aug 1915, Wood Lake, Nebraska 

18 Mar 1941 to 17 Mar 1942,

8 Jun to 20 Nov 1942 




with medals, though I'm not sure which ones



With huge thanks to Betsy, Jim's grand-daughter, who sent me many valuable photos and biographical details.


Father: James Emor O'Halloran, a lumber and hardware store owner (G. W. O'Halloran Lumber Co, founded by his father George Washington O'Halloran) and a Member of the Wood Lake Board; "the board met in regular session and allowed a few bills and discussed some very important questions" - The Stockman, 04 Apr 1919

  Golden Wedding in 1962 - Ainsworth Star-Journal

Mother: Elizabeth Catherine [Gardner] (d. age 99 in 1988)


One brother George, and one sister Mary Belle:

"George flew B-17s in the 92nd Bomb Group, 327th squadron, of the US Army Air Force and was decorated.  He led the largest bombing mission over Berlin, leading 1100 or 1200 bombers.  On one mission, George was shot down over Germany, losing all 4 engines, had two of his crew jump because of pieces of the aircraft coming off, and crash-landed successfully, saving all the crew, south of Liege."

  1947 - Lincoln Journal Star

"Even Mary Belle (Boyd) learned to fly, getting her flying license privately. She was written up in the Witchita, KS, paper at one point in later life as "the flying grandma". She used to fly herself and my Uncle Rex Boyd from KS to NE to see University of Nebraska football games!"


m. 4 Jul 1935 in Long Pine, Nebraska, Doris Amelia [Lyman]

prev. 5 years flying (Private and Commercial); 1940-41, instructor, Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, Oklahoma ...

  Spartan Instructor - 1941

 ...which still exists:

blackcat13The Spartan College Black Cat with the 13 signifies that “Knowledge and Skill Overcome Superstition and Luck”.



  US Draft Card, dated 16 Oct 1940


Arrived in Liverpool on the 'SS Mercier' 22 Apr 1941, with fellow ATA pilots John Cleveland Davis Jr (M.416), Gilman Benedict Warne (M.428), Emmett Kenneth Chaffin (M.568), Marvin Harrison Dunlavy Jr (M.408), and Harold Lindsey Price

Postings: 6FPP, 8FPP, 3FPP


 Off sick from 19 Aug 1941 to 8 Feb 1942 with 'smashed foot'

    "Nebraska ferry pilot and wife

This is First Officer James O'Halloran, his wife Doris and their three-year-old son, [James Emor O'Halloran] 3rd, of Wood Lake, Neb. The picture was taken while O'Halloran was on 40-day furlough from his duties as a ferry pilot. Last August he was one of a number of pilots injured in a plane crash and spent five months in an RAF hospital. He has ferried some 80 different types of planes from airdromes thruout England, Scotland, Wales and north Ireland"


 He wrote to Doris (letter dated 5 Sep 1941): "This may a bit confused as only an hour ago I came out from under the anaesthetic they gave while they operated.

Day before yesterday [sic] I and a 2nd officer were riding to an airdrome with our captain, in a multi-engined bomber while still 3 miles over the sea, before arriving, the right engine failed completely. We proceeded on one engine to the point where we could enter the traffic. I was in front with the Captain and 2nd Officer Greaves and a Fleet Air Arm officer were in the rear, as we tried to enter the circuit around the airdrome were cut out by another ship. We pulled away and when we attempted to turn back into the drome, we were unable to turn sufficiently to make it. I knew we were going to crash and also knew that due to the cluttered up landscape and none of us being strapped in, we would none of us live through it.

I sat perfectly still for the last 30 seconds knowing that you were going to be a widow. As the crash came I braced myself and was thrown from the pilot's compartment into the nose compartment where the bomb-aimer rides. I looked back into the cockpit and saw that the Captain was OK. Then we hit again, more violently as we had only grazed the top of a dyke before. I ws thrown against the glass nose and the bottom of the compartment I was in. I slid on my face and belly with the plane sliding on my leg. When it stopped I pulled my leg free and removed my shoe as I knew it was crushed.

My back hurt terribly and I was bleeding badly from scores of wounds. My eyes were so full of soil I could not see but I managed to crawl out through what had been a solid glass and metal nose. I could hear gas pouring out but heard no flames so I lay on my back right where I came out. I finally heard the Captain saying "Oh, I am sorry". He was certain we were all dead.

I called to him and he said he was all right and later told me the others were alive. I was the one most severely injured but it was like getting 95c change from a dollar you have just spent just to know that I might live to see you and Skipper again. I was resigned to being killed and the thought of being afraid didn't occur to me, but it was wonderful to be alive.

We were taken to a dressing station then to an emergency hospital where we were put into metal frames  (two of us - one had a broken arm). Then after two days there, they put us on a boat and shipped us to England to the RAF Station Hospital.

I am in Ward No. 2. There are about 10 officers in here with broken backs, legs, etc. The doctor who operated on me last night was a very good orthopedic surgeon in Canada before the war.

I guess I am about the luckiest man alive. I was positive that I couldn't hit the ground at over 100 miles an hour sitting where I was and not be killed, but I did."


The aircraft was a Blenheim IV, V5374, piloted by Oliver 'Paddy' Armstrong, Officer Commanding 8FPP, the Belfast Ferry Pool. He was held responsible for the crash, due to his "incorrect handling" of the aircraft after the engine failure.

It crashed 3 miles NE of Jurby, Isle of Man:

The other ATA passenger was John Milne Greaves, who was in hospital until 22 Apr 1942, resumed ferrying but then died in an aircraft crash 3 months later.


AIR81/10245 Blenheim IV V5374 Captain O E Armstrong (Air Transport Auxiliary), Second Officer J M Greaves (Air Transport Auxiliary), Sub Lieutenant L P Twiss (804 Squadron), First Officer J E O'Halloran (Air Transport Auxiliary): injured; aircraft accident near Jurby aerodrome, Isle of Man, Blenheim V5374, 5 Air Observer School, 19 August 1941.


The "Fleet Air Arm officer" was  Lionel Peter Twiss OBE, DSC & Bar (23 July 1921 – 31 August 2011), later a test pilot who held the World Air Speed Record in 1956.


2 other accidents, 1 his fault:

- 25 Jul 1941, he landed his Spitfire down-wind, due to "that's the way the Landing T was indicating"

- 6 Sep 1942, whilst taxying, the wing tip of his Battle struck a Spitfire's rudder


"A good officer and a capable and obliging pilot"

  Contract Terminated "with the purpose of joining the US Naval Reserve"

 Later a Lt-Col, US Navy aviator.


"He completed his 500th trans-Pacific flight in March 1948. He then continued to make the regular NATS flight from Honolulu to the United States and back until October 1948. Not wishing to neglect the mighty Atlantic, Major O'Halloran's squadron moved to Germany, where he made 127 flights in the famous Berlin Air Lift from Rhein-Main to Templehof.

   1948      Honolulu USNAF Air News, 1948

Returning to the States in July 1949, he resigned from the US Navy in order to join the US Air Force. With the advent of the Korean conflict, he requested active duty and was assigned to the 77th Strategic reconnaisance squadron on 11 Mar 1951.

His entire career has been one of an aeronautical nature. After graduating from Wood Lake High School in 1932, he took up aviation as a career when he was appointed an instructor at the Spartan School of Aeronautics of Tulsa, Oklahoma." - Rapid City Journal, 1 Jul 1951


"Jim and Doris eventually divorced, he married again (to Beverly) and moved to Owl Creek, Hiawassee, Georgia"

  d. 12 Aug 1989 - Towns, Georgia


 "Jim's son, James Emor O'Halloran III, was an US Airforce pilot and then a commercial pilot."

Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

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