Bruce Bryan was born on May 20, 1920, in Metro, South Dakota. He always knew he wanted to be a pilot. He joined the Air Corps in 1941. Three months after he joined, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
His basic training began immediately upon joining the service. At first he was underweight for becoming a pilot but within a few weeks he gained 14 pounds, making him eligible for pilot training.
For the first three years, Bruce remained in the United States. When he was finally sent overseas, he began flying missions over Italy. One day, his plane took two direct hits and went down. He was quickly captured and spent the next eight months in a POW camp in northern Germany
Bruce states that for the most part, treatment was acceptable. One guard did "knock him around" but that was not the treatment he usually received. In April of 1945, Russian troops liberated his camp. When VE Day came around, he was turned over to U.S. forces.
Although the German's allowed him to write letters, his family never received them and were told he was missing in action. In may of 1946 he got married. He and his wife of over 60 years live in Allen Park, Michigan.