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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: April 16, 1916
Date of death: February 24, 1943
Age: 26

Lucky Bag

1940 Bried LB.jpg

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Don, known to many as Joe, took a roundabout path to arrive in the Navy, got here a little late but appears to be doing very well despite it. He must have done a good job of preparation, because his life at Bancroft Hall has been unusually smooth. Academics never worried him, as his standing will indicate. Other trials never seemed to materialize. If he fulfills the duties of an officer in the same effortless, smooth manner he has exhibited here, and continues to be a friend to all in every sense of the word, his career will be highly successful. We, his roommates, see no reason why it will not be.


From History of Class of 1940:

The significant dates and events in his all too brief life are substantially as follows. He was a native Oklahoman, born in April of 1916 in Oklahoma City. After graduation from Classen High School in 1934, he attended the University of Oklahoma for a year, then worked for the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. for another year while awaiting an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He entered the latter with the class of 1940.

He is best remembered as a good and dependable friend, a considerate roommate of a cheerful and tolerant disposition with a wry and entertaining sense of humor. He was an excellent student in the first quarter of his class, and ever available to help the less talented. He was of a curious mind and involved himself in a variety of activities, sports and clubs. He was fascinated by classical music. Somewhere along the way he picked up the nickname "Joe", though the source is lost in antiquity. He had his share of faults and weaknesses, no doubt, but they too are lost in that same haze of passing years.

In June, 1940, "Joe" reported to the light cruiser USS BROOKLYN in the Pacific and spent two years aboard during the final year and a half of peace and the early months of U.S. involvement in World War II. In June of 1942, he returned from the western Pacific to begin flight training, but first was married to a charming young woman, Alice Grenelle Reid of Washington, D.C.

By February of 1943, Don had won his wings and was to return to Washington on leave. On the morning of the 24th, however, a bizarre aircraft landing accident at Cecil Field, Florida, ended those plans and all plans for the future. He walked away from the accident, apparently unharmed, but collapsed within minutes and died almost immediately of spinal injuries.

A son, Donald R. Bried II, was born prematurely that day and survives. Alice Bried, never remarried, died in 1962. Like her husband, she is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Along with so many of his classmates and contemporaries, Donald Raymond Bried was caught up in and destroyed by an inexorable war long before he could fully realize his considerable potential. He was less than twenty-seven years of age.

Class Navigation

Class of 1940
Donald is one of 89 members of the Class of 1940 in Memorial Hall.
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