Bura Bruner "B.B." Breland, Jr
AFRH-G Veteran Highlight – Bura Bruner "B.B." Breland, Jr
By Lori Kerns, AFRH-G Librarian
Bura Bruner “B.B.” Breland, Jr. was born in Carson County, TX in the year 1926. He is one of eight children born to his Mississippi-native father, who was an oil field worker, and his mother, who stayed at home to raise the children. The family eventually moved to West Texas for their father to begin working for an oil company that would eventually become Exxon. In school, B.B. was always top of his class. He enjoyed playing football and running track.
At the age of 17, B.B. decided to join the Navy right as WWII was beginning. He was sent to boot camp in San Diego, CA. After boot camp, he was chosen to become a Corpsman on one of the first groups of Medical Corps to serve the Marines. He was sent along with the corps to San Francisco, CA.
As soon as the news hit that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, B.B. was sent, along with his group, on a troop ship to the South Pacific. They made their way to Pearl Harbor to see the devastation that had occurred. They got back on their ship to move to the other side of the island. He and his group were assigned to an airstrip on the east side of the Guadalcanal where they saw their first action. Here, the Corpsman took care of the victims of the Pearl Harbor attack. B.B. remembers watching airplanes coming in and worrying because he could not tell whether they were U.S. or Japanese planes. On one eventful day, a Japanese plane crashed and set the runway on fire. B.B. suffered injuries when his feet were burned from the fire. He was taken to another island where his burns were treated. Once he recovered, he was transferred back to San Francisco. Because of his injuries, he was given the option to get out of the military. He gladly took the offer.
B.B. went back to Texas to live with his family. His father decided to return to his home state with his family. B.B. finished his high school education graduating with honors in Perry County, MS. Around this time, he met a girl named Frankie. The couple got married and eventually had two daughters, Vicky and Tina.
After high school, B.B. decided to further his education by attending Perkinston Jr. College. Soon after, an opportunity came around for him to work for his father’s oil company so he went back to Texas. His position with the oil company moved him around between Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. While working in Mississippi, he decided to finish his college degree in Business by attending University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. B.B. ended up staying with the oil company, which was now Exxon, for many years and finally retired.
When AFRH-G reopened after Hurricane Katrina, B.B. was one of the first residents to arrive. These days, he enjoys his retirement by eating with his friends and watching TV. He also enjoys frequent visits from his daughters. Most days you will catch him talking to his best friend, Jimmy, and his brother, D.C., who are also residents at the home.