James H Brantley

Military ROLL OF HONOUR
Technical Sergeant George Vasaumper, crew chief of the 387th Bomb Group stands with a colleague and a B-26 Marauder (serial number 41-31677) nicknamed "Jisther". Image via George Vasaumper.

Object Number - FRE 7316 - Technical Sergeant George Vasaumper, crew chief of the 387th Bomb Group stands with a colleague and a B-26 Marauder (serial number 41-31677)...

Officially Killed In Action (KIA) but actually died in tragic accident while taxying, at start of B-26 bombing mission to France, on August 6 1944.

1st Lieutenant James H. Brantley was born on August 17, 1921. He was married to Ruth O. Brantley, and had a daughter, Mary Beth. His mother was Mrs. Jessie Wilkins. He was from Terrell, Texas.
His unit was the 387th Bomb Group (M), 556th BG (M). On August 6, 1944, while piloting his plane (B-26 tail #41-31677) for takeoff from Stony Cross, “a flare exploded and blinded him and burnt him. He jumped out of the airplane and the propeller is what killed him.” He was the only member of his crew to be injured.
He is buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery.

Connections

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Units served with

  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force Ninth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Nicknames: Jisther
  • Unit: 387th Bomb Group

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Terrell, TX, USA 17 August 1921 1st Lieutenant James H. Brantley was born on August 17, 1921. He was married to Ruth O. Brantley, and had a daughter, Mary Beth. His mother was Mrs. Jessie Wilkins. He was from Terrell, Texas.

Died

6 August 1944 His unit was the 387th Bomb Group (M), 556th BG (M). On August 6, 1944, while piloting his plane (B-26 tail #41-31677) for takeoff from Stony Cross, “a flare exploded and blinded him and burnt him. He jumped out of the airplane and the propeller is what killed him.” He was the only member of his crew to be injured.

Other

Killed in Action (KIA) (?)

6 August 2044 It was the first mission for pilot 1st. Lt. James H. Brantley; Lt. Loren Hinton, a veteran 556th combat pilot, was acting as instructor and copilot. Shortly after Lt. Brantley began his taxi roll the flight engineer attempted to load the plane's Very pistol, located overhead and directly behind the copilot's seat. While inserting the coded recognition flare cartridge into the Very pistol the flare accidentally discharged into the pilot's half of the cockpit. The fireball from the live flare ricocheted about wildly causing much confusion in the smoke-filled compartment. The flare's fireball came to rest on Lt. Brantley, causing sever burns to his leg. In his great anxiety to escape the ordeal, Lt. Brantley opened his overhead plexiglas hatch and exited the aircraft. The aircraft continued to taxi out of control, causing Brantley to slip from atop the plane into a rotating propeller, killing him instantly. Lt. Hinton cut the engine switches, but could not bring the rolling aircraft to a stop because the brake pedals were located on the pilot's left side position. The rest of the crew escaped the coasting B-26 by exiting via the bomb-bay and the waist gun windows and escaped with minor injuries. Jisther finally came to a stop after running into the front of a nearby squadron hangar. It was later salvaged for parts.

Revisions

Date1 Feb 2015 02:38:39
Sources

IDPF and/or crash report researched by Bill Beigel. IDPF donated to American Air Museum by Bill Beigel. For more information about this flyer, you may contact http://ww2research.com.

Date24 Jan 2015 05:31:31
ContributorTanks
Date27 Sep 2014 18:14:26
ContributorAAM
Sources

9th Air Force Roll of Honor (IWM in liaison with Ninth Air Force veterans and group associations, American Battle Monuments Commission, and Buddies of the Ninth Association) / B-26 memorials guide

James H Brantley: Gallery (3 items)