two elderly men with plaque that reads Birthplace of the Eighth Air Force
Frank D. Murphy formerly Captain & Navigator on Crew #31, 426th BS, 100th BG (Left) and John J. O’Neil formerly Staff Sergeant, Tail and Waist Gunner 813th BS, 482nd BG visit the Birthplace of the Mighty 8th Air Force in Savannah, GA in 2002. Together they flew one more mission of the Mighty 8th.

This site was developed in loving memory as a tribute to two 8th Army Air Force Combat Veterans. My father Staff Sergeant John J. O'Neil and our dear family friend Captain Frank D. Murphy. John J. O’Neil, 482nd Bomb Group (P), 813th Bomb Squadron, Station #102, Alconbury, Huntingdonshire, England 1943-1945. Frank D. Murphy was the Navigator on Crew #31 of the 418th Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group (H) Station #139 Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk, England 1943. Words will never be able to describe the profound impact these two individuals have had on my life. It is in there honor that this website is presented.

Biography of John J. O'Neil

John J. O'Neil was the right waist gunner on the first B-17 over Berlin on March 4, 1944. He later founded FNP Military Press and co-wrote, along with two of his fellow B-17 crewmates Marshall Thixton and George Moffat the book "Bombs Away by Pathfinders of the Eigth Air Force" The book tells the "top secret" story of the 482nd Bomb Group and the Untied States early use of radar equipped B-17 and B-24 bombers in the Daylight Strategic Bombing Campaign against Nazi Germany during WWII.

John was born in Malden, Massachusetts on February 13, 1923. He entered the service on July 3, 1941, and was assigned to Grenier Field, Manchester, NH. He arrived in Scotland on January 12, 1943 and was sent to the 4th Fighter Group. He trained to be an aerial gunner at RAF Kirkham, Lancashire. In August, 1943, he joined the 482nd Bomb Group (Pathfinder) at Alconbury and completed his first mission on December 20, 1943 to Bremen. On March 4, 1944, he flew with the 95th Bomb Group to Berlin, and was credited with being the first USAAF heavy bomber to bomb Berlin. In March 1944, the 482nd BG (P) became a radar training station for navigators and bombardiers.   Read More...

black and white photo portrait of a young man in an Air Force uniform

Biography of Frank D. Murphy

Frank was the Navigator on Crew #31 on the infamous Munster Mission of October 10, 1943. Frank’s B-17 was shot down and he was forced to bail out. He was later captured by the Germans and spent 19 months as a POW. Frank later wrote the book "Luck of the Draw Reflections on the Air War in Europe" considered by many to be the finest first hand account of life on a Bomber Crew and POW.   Read More...

black and white photo portrait of young a man in Air Force uniform

"Flying One More Mission Together for the Mighty Eighth"

This is the remarkable true story of two WWII Combat veterans of the Mighty Eighth Army Air Force who came together to fly "One more Mission together for the Mighty Eighth". One of them was from Georgia the other from Massachusetts. One of them was a Captain, the other a Staff Sergeant. One of them was a Navigator, the other a Tail Gunner. This is the story of the late Frank D. Murphy, author of the book: "Luck of the Draw: Reflections on the Air War in Europe" and his publisher, the late, John J. O'Neil Founder of FNP Military Press. They came together later in life to give us the best book ever written on life in a front line American Bomber crew. Read More...