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Leo Bernard "Lee" Braun
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Birth: Aug. 7, 1918
Lastrup
Morrison County
Minnesota, USA
Death: Jan. 8, 1944

Leo was the youngest of four children (a daughter, then three sons) born to Michael J. & Cecelia (Heinen) Braun.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From his obituary (w/minor edits), published 20 January 1944 in The Melrose Beacon:

"The war has left another mark on this City and community in claiming the life of one of it's fine young men. First Lieutenant Leo Bernard Braun was killed in action in New Guinea on 8 January 1944. News of his death was received from the War Department by his wife at Austin on Saturday, the 15th.

"Leo Braun, know to his friends as Lee, was born at Lastrup, MN on 7 August 1918 and was past 25 years of age at his death. His father died in the flu epidemic of the fall of that year and the family came to Melrose in December 1918. Leo attended Saint Boniface grade school and graduated from the Melrose High School in 1936.

"Previous to March 1941, when he was inducted into the Army from Mawes County, he was employed in the Kolb bakery in Austin. He had his basic training at Camp Claiborne, LA, and entered pilot training in July 1941 and attended flying schools at Douglas, GA, Maxwell Field, AL, and Greenville, MS.

"At George Field, IL, on January 14, 1943, he received the silver wings of a flying officer and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Air Forces. After receiving his wings he went to Greenville, SC. It was there that he married Selma Paul, of Austin, MN.

"He went to Hawaii in July 1943 and spent a few weeks there and later was in Australia for a short time before being assigned to a bomber flying from a base in New Guinea. He piloted a twin-motor B-25 bomber and had been numerous missions. He was recently promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant.

"His wife & mother received letters from him dated January 3rd (1944) in which he wrote he had just returned from a two-weeks rest leave at Sidney, Australia.

"Details of how he met death have not been received by the family."


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The family later learned that he was flying a mission, with a crew of six, on 8 January 1944 in a B-25D bomber with the 823rd Bomber Squadron {nicknamed "The Terrible Tigers" for the distinctive tiger motif painted on the aircraft's nose} of the 38th Bomb Group the "Sun Setters". From US Navy reports: "The intended destination was Uligan Harbor, New Guinea. The plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire during a run on the target. The right engine burst into fire, enveloping the whole plane within 15 minutes. The plane crashed in an area occupied by the Japanese and was found in May 1946 as a complete wreck and widely scattered. There were no survivors."

LOCATION: Latitude 4 30' 0S Longitude 145 25' 0E -- Ulingan Harbor is located on the north coast of New Guinea.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
While his body was never recovered, his family had a marker engraved "In Honor of 1st Lt. Leo B. Braun" installed at Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery in Melrose, MN.

In the Spring of 1943, Leo married Selma Olga Paul in Greenville, SC, he was age 25, she was 22. Born 6 March 1921 in Minneola (Township), MN; Selma was the tenth of eleven children (five daughters & six sons) born to Samuel & Paulina (Wifel) Paul.

Leo & Selma had no children.

On 27 March 1948, Selma second married Lewis Peter Tolzman in Mower County, MN.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Michael J. Braun (1888 - 1918)
  Cecelia Heinen Braun (1890 - 1972)
 
 Siblings:
  Viola Marie Braun Roering (1913 - 2009)*
  Clarence John Braun (1915 - 1968)*
  Roman Christian Braun (1916 - 2000)*
  Leo Bernard Braun (1918 - 1944)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Body lost at sea
*Cenotaph [?]
 
Created by: Peter Joseph ("PJ") Brau...
Record added: Oct 30, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79572757
Leo Bernard Lee Braun
Added by: Peter Joseph ("PJ") Braun
 
Leo Bernard Lee Braun
Added by: Peter Joseph ("PJ") Braun
 
 
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Remembered.
- Kent Gebhard
 Added: Oct. 28, 2015
Rest in Peace, "Lee"... your family & your fellow veterans salute your US Army Air Force service to our great country during WW-II. You did your part & more; paying the ultimate sacrifice to help preserve & protect our freedoms.
- Peter Joseph ("PJ") Braun
 Added: Feb. 26, 2015
Rest in peace, Uncle Leo. I'm sorry I never had a chance to know you.
- Chris Braun
 Added: Jul. 3, 2014
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