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Vern Allan Brenn
Birth: Feb. 24, 1921
Saint John
Stafford County
Kansas, USA
Death: Dec. 19, 2002
El Cajon
San Diego County
California, USA

Vern was born in St. John, Kansas. His family moved to Arizona in 1934. He and his parents, Allan and Blanche Brenn and his sisters, Twila and Viona, drove in a little old car that Vern thought was a 1929 Pontiac, pulling a small utility trailer that contained all their worldly possessions. They settled near Prescott Arizona, which had a population of about 262 in 1930.

Vern joined the Army Air Corps on November 12, 1942. After basic training, Vern's crew was assigned to the 44th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force. They picked up their B-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska on December 24, 1943, flying it to the British Isles. They remained there, receiving advanced combat training until November 1, 1943. Vern, who was a sergeant, was the tail gunner on the B-24. After many bombing runs, Vern's plane, named 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Marjorie Lea May Brenn (1914 - 1993)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:

Vern was born in St. John, Kansas. His family moved to Arizona in 1934. He and his parents, Allan and Blanche Brenn and his sisters, Twila and Viona, drove in a little old car that Vern thought was a 1929 Pontiac, pulling a small utility trailer that contained all their worldly possessions. They settled near Prescott Arizona, which had a population of about 262 in 1930.

Vern joined the Army Air Corps on November 12, 1942. After basic training, Vern's crew was assigned to the 44th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force. They picked up their B-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska on December 24, 1943, flying it to the British Isles. They remained there, receiving advanced combat training until November 1, 1943. Vern, who was a sergeant, was the tail gunner on the B-24. After many bombing runs, Vern's plane, named "Sharkface," crash landed in England after a bombing run over Germany on March 16, 1944. The crash killed all but four crewmembers and one subsequently died of his injuries, leaving Vern one of the final surviving three crew members.

Vern was badly injured in the crash and it took many months for him to recuperate from the injuries. He said that he received so many transfusions from being injured that he now has more Irish blood in him than any other, so that made him and Irishman. I always sent him a card on St. Patrick's Day. He was Vern O'Brenn and we were the McKains. It was our mutual joke, but it was also his way of honoring the brave Irish. Therefore, I am putting him with the other proud Irishmen, Brien T. John F. and Ronald W., even though he did not care much for the him as the governor. Perhaps now they have mended fences....

Vern married Marjorie in November 1946. During the last years of her life, she battled cancer and Vern took care of her at home by himself. When she died on December 10, 1993, he placed his wedding ring with her in the casket. Vern told my mother, Twila, who wrote a family history, that Margie died peacefully at home, as she wished to do. He was holding her hand. Vern died at home, as he wished to do. I like to think that Margie was there holding his hand. And the guys from his 67th Squadron Crew were waiting for him as he crossed over.

Vern was the greatest Uncle anyone could have. He was quietly brave and I believe God always answered Vern's prayers. I looked to him for spiritual guidance and still do. We all loved him very much. When the course of historic events seems bleak, I think about what Vern has been through, the depression, the great war, loss of both parents within 24 hours and I know that we can deal with our times by being brave and asking God for help.

Vern's actual military address was:
8th Army Air Force
Heavy Bombardment Group
2nd Air Division
44th Bomb Group
67th Bomb Squadron
Shipdam, England.



44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties 16 March 1944
Friedrichshafen, Germany. The 68th Squadron had the honor of leading the 44th BG and the entire 2nd Air Division. Flak was ineffective for most of our formation, credited to the use of aluminum chaff for the first time. However, even with the reduced damage by flak and few enemy air attacks on the 44th's formation, the 67th Squadron had a plane crash at Kingsnorth, near Woodchurch, Kent, England.

67th SQUADRON:

67th Sq., #42-7549 K-Bar, Scarborough THE SHARK/SHARK FACE Crash-landed-
67th Squadron Crew:
SCARBOROUGH, JOHN I. Pilot 2nd Lt. Lake Charles,
ASN 0-730624 KIA, buried Cambridge (D-6-39) Louisiana
BEAN, LORAN M. Jr. Co-pilot 2nd Lt. Wichita,
ASN 0-756831 KIA, buried Cambridge (D-6-29) Kansas
NESBIT, ALDEN C. Navigator 2nd Lt. Magnolia,
ASN 0-678381 KIA Arkansas
EDMONDS, DAVID Bombardier 2nd Lt. Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania
ASN 0-734660 KIA, buried Cambridge (D-3-75) Pennsylvania
MUIRHEAD, EDGAR P. Engineer S/Sgt. Houston,
ASN 18188771 KIA Texas

Page 232 www.44thbombgroup.com July 2005 edition
16 March 1944 44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties

HOWLEY, ROBERT M. Radio Oper. S/Sgt. Spokane,
ASN 19144166 KIA Washington
STICKEL, ROBERT J. Waist Gun Sgt. Moline,
ASN 16097147 Severely wounded, KIA Illinois
SILVERMAN, JEROME B. Asst. Eng. Sgt. Bronx,
Slightly injured New York
LANDELLS, CHARLES Ball Turret Sgt. Wood Ridge,
ASN 32606252 Severely injured New Jersey
BRENN VERN A. Tail Turret Sgt. San Diego,
ASN 39266431 Broken ankle, nose California

Charles Landells sent his description of this day, "We lost an engine before the target. We saw Switzerland across the lake but Lt. Scarborough said, ‘Let's go home.' Fortunately we were not attacked as I think we lost another engine before reaching England. We were banking to make a landing on a fighter field somewhere in Kent when our other two engines quit! Our left wing dropped and an observer on the ground said we hit a tree with our wing tip. I know when I looked out of the waist window I was looking straight down at the ground. I remember being thrown forward and then the waist section rolling over and over, with dirt and spent casings falling on me. When it all stopped, my one thought was to get out before any explosion or fire. I saw an opening above me and crawled up to it and without hesitating, went right out. I dropped about four feet to the ground and kept moving. About 20 feet away from the plane, I heard Vern Brenn call and saw him in a drainage ditch. I fell in beside him to learn that Jerome also was out and a bit farther away.

"When we realized there was no fire, we went back to see if anyone else survived. We found Lt. Bean, our co-pilot and Lt. Edmonds, our navigator next to one another. We knew that Bean was dead, but Jerry gave Lt. Edmonds a shot [morphine] from the escape kit because we were not sure about him. We saw Sgt. Howley, radio operator, laying across a bush, but people had arrived by then and forced us to lay down on stretchers.

"Up until then I hadn't realized that I had injured my back and my head was bleeding. Vern had a broken nose and ankle, while Jerry only had frostbite. Bob Stickel died a few weeks later. Bob was new to our crew, having been picked up when we were in Ireland."

Sgt. Vern A. Brenn clarified some items. "I've always carried a sense of guilt about being one of the three of us who lived through it. All of the other seven were far more deserving to live than me. The only one who was not one of our regular crew members was the navigator, Edmonds. He flew as a spare, replacing 2nd Lt. O'Connell from New York.

"Yes, we were a new crew in the 67th. Lt. Scarborough and I had flown our first mission as spares on another crew – he as a co-pilot and I as a ball gunner. That mission was to Berlin. The plane we were flying when we crash-landed was SHARK FACE and it had a lot of missions on it."

"The day we went down was mission number three for Lt. Scarborough and me. Flak was heavy and we had to feather one engine due to low oil pressure – this on the way to the target. We were still able to hold our position in the formation and completed the bomb run. On our way back we
lost another engine and were then not able to keep up with our group, and the P-38 escort took turns covering us back to the English Channel.

July 2005 edition www.44thbombgroup.com Page 233
44th Bomb Group Roll of Honor and Casualties 18 March 1944

"By this time our fuel supply was about gone. I remember the pilot asking all of us if we wanted to ditch or try to make it to the English shore. We all said to go for England. Somewhere over the Channel, we lost another engine and started to lose altitude very fast. One crewman in the front spotted a farmer's field and we headed for it. At this time we were only about five hundred feet with the pilots struggling to keep the plane in a position to crash-land. Then I heard the last engine cough and die!

"I seem to remember a large bump and a very loud crushing noise – and then I must have been knocked out. When I came to and realized I was still alive, I tried to get out and run but I couldn't move. So Jerry Silverman and Charles Landells carried me to a safe grassy place away from the wreckage, then they went back to check on the rest of the crew. They found all the others dead except Bob Stickel. He was injured so badly that I don't think they tried to move him immediately."

"Some English farmers were the first to arrive on the scene after they had called for assistance from the nearest hospital and an ambulance. All four of us survivors were loaded into the ambulance and driven to the hospital. We were there several days until they transferred all of us except Bob Stickel, to an American hospital near Southhampton. We were told that Bob could not be moved and he later died."

"Landells was so badly injured he never flew again. Jerry Silverman retrained to fly the nose turret position. I flew only three more missions after being grounded for a long time."

Many years after the war, Charlie Landells visited Woodchurch and learned more about the perspective of the people on the ground. It was their contention that Lt.Scarborough pulled up to save the houses, and the green where the school children were playing.


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[Updated: 8-27-11]



Re. Margie Lea Brenn. I will be adding a photo of Vern, Margie and Linda that my mother gave me. On the back she wrote: "This photo of Vern, Margie and Linda was taken in Nov. 1946 about the time of their first marriage. The divorced in 1954, then remarried March 24, 1968. They were able to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary March 24, 1993."

 
Burial:
Glen Abbey Memorial Park
Bonita
San Diego County
California, USA
 
Created by: Mickey
Record added: Jan 07, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7062759
Vern Allan Brenn
Added by: Mickey
 
Vern Allan Brenn
Added by: Mickey
 
Vern Allan Brenn
Added by: Mickey
 
 
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Love you TT and thought of you all yesterday.
-Anonymous
 Added: Apr. 24, 2015
Happy Birthday to Vern, Vi and TT!
-Anonymous
 Added: Feb. 25, 2015
Happy New Year to Vern, TT and Vi
-Anonymous
 Added: Jan. 6, 2015
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