They gave their lives upholding our tradition of Honor, Duty, Fidelity.
Badge: # 592
Died: 11-27-1944; Pierce Foundation, High Bridge, Hunterdon Co.
Cause: Tuberculosis from smokeinhalation/house fire rescue
Site: Injured 8-6-1935; Millville, Cumberland Co.
Stationed: Troop "A" Port Norris
Service Time: 10 years 1 month
Resided: Port Norris, Cumberland Co.
Francis R. O’Brien was born on February 6, 1909 in Nutley, New Jersey and he lived in Spring Lake and Essex, New Jersey. He attended the Norwood Military Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to enlisting in the New Jersey State Police, he worked part-time as a private chauffeur.
Trooper O’Brien enlisted in the New Jersey State Police on April 16, 1931 as a member of the 24th Class and was stationed at Troop “A”, Port Norris. His service with the New Jersey State Police was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of duty and faithful and energetic devotion to the high principles of the New Jersey State Police.
Trooper O’Brien died as a result of injuries sustained in the line of duty.
On August 6, 1935, Trooper O’Brien responded to a house fire on the Bridgeton Pike in Millville to assist the fire department. When he arrived, he was advised that a 13-month old baby was still in the burning building on the second floor. He immediately took off his gun belt and had the firemen soak his uniform with water. He then entered the second floor window from the porch roof and rescued the child from a crib. Sadly, the child was dead.
Trooper O’Brien received the Department Merit Award for Outstanding Bravery.
Trooper O’Brien suffered from smoke inhalation which later turned into Tuberculosis. He was granted a medical discharge on May 1, 1941. On November 27, 1944 he died from a hemorrhage caused by his lung infection.
Trooper O’Brien served 10 years and 1 month with the New Jersey State Police. He was 35 years old.