William D. “Bill” Ohr

Date of birth: Nov. 11, 1921
Dates of service: Aug. 27, 1942, to Dec. 21, 1945
Hometown: Portales
Theater and location of service: Europe
Branch: U.S. Army
Rank: Private First Class
Unit and specialty: 574th Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion
Lives in: Monroe, Mich.
Veterans organizations: Veterans of Foreign Wars

Ohr had been working on the family farm in Portales when he was drafted into the Army. After spending 20 months in the United States, Ohr and his unit were sent to Europe. They spent Easter Sunday of 1944 aboard ship. They arrived in Europe in England, then moved on to France, Belgium and Holland. Their last stop before the war was over was Germany.

Ohr was one of two men controlling a 37mm anti-aircraft gun turret. While one soldier controlled the turret’s up-and-down movements, Ohr was responsible for the side-to-side movements.

Primarily they provided protection from low-flying enemy aircraft and at times from threats on the ground.

“Most of the time we felt pretty secure,” Ohr said. “There were some times we were in places that were pretty bad, but I was fortunate we didn’t have a lot of casualties.”

Holland stood out in Ohr’s mind. “We liked the people in Holland. They were very friendly. They shared their homes with us,” he recalled.

“I was just pleased that I was able to serve and that things went as well as they did for us,” he said.

Upon his return home, Ohr went back to farming and began a career as an electrician.

Veterans’ profiles are a weekly feature. To submit a profile, contact CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson at 763-6991 or by e-mail at:
sharna_johnson@link.freedom.com