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and Place of Birth:
February 8, 1922 Secaucus, New Jersey
June 1978 Secaucus, New Jersey
988th Military Police (Aviation) USAAF
European Theater of Operations
"Bill" Brech was born in Secaucus, New Jersey on February 8, 1922. A semi-pro right-hander
before the war, Brech was arguably
the best pitcher to serve with the Air Force in England during World War II.
Brech was well known in his hometown before the war as a pitcher with the
Otto Mack team. He entered military service in January 1942 with basic
training at Camp Lee, Virginia, and was later transferred to Barksdale Field,
Louisiana, and Fort Meyer, Florida, before arriving in England at the end of the
high point of Brech's military baseball career was a sensational no-hit
performance against the US Army in the 1943 all-professional game at Wembley
Stadium. "If there is such a thing as a baseball Hall of Fame in England," wrote
Charles F Kiley in The Stars and Stripes, following Brech's no-hitter. "The name
of Bill Brech today occupies a prominent place in that institution."
Brech pitched a total of three seasons with the 988th Military Police Fliers and
won more than 20 games, including a no-hitter against the 1st BADA Bearcats in
the 1944 Air Service Command Championships.
was 24 years old when he returned home to Secaucus, NJ in 1945. There was no
question he was a talented pitcher, but he had no previous experience in
professional baseball, and although he signed with Harrisburg of the Class B
Inter-State League for the 1946 season, he did not play. Instead, Brech worked
for the shipping department of the Inland Steel Container Company and continued
to play semi-pro baseball with the Otto Mack team, which toured the northeast
coast of the United States for several years. Brech was just 56 when he passed
away in June 1978.
|988th Military Police (Aviation) Fliers
in France, 1945 (Bill Brech is front row, first left)
Thanks to Brad Brech for help with his father's biography.
Created July 2006. Updated October 31, 2007.
Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball
in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.