2LT Wilbur M Brean

2LT Wilbur M Brean

New Jersey, USA
Death 27 May 1944 (aged 22–23)
Burial Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Plot I, 183-184
Memorial ID 3296416 · View Source
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Wilbur served as a Second Lieutenant & Pilot on B-17G #42-102475, 338th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided Essex County, New Jersey prior to the war.

B-17G #42-102475 took off from England on a bombing mission over Karlsruhe, Germany. Right before "bombs away" they collided with B-17 #42-102561 for an unknown reason. It's unclear who collided with who.

Wilbur was "Killed In Action" in this crash during the war.

It was noted by other crew members that Wilbur stayed on the B-17 to try to keep it level so that the others could bail-out. That was definitely a "Hero" move that saved some of the crew members lives!

He was originally interred in the Stein Cemetery in France and was later repatriated September 20, 1950.

He was awarded an Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Service # O-689940

The reason he is named on a group headstone is because when soldier's were killed in close proximity to each other they were unable, at that time, to identify them separately and interred their remains together in one grave.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Airmen who perished on B-17G #42-102475:

Brean, Wilbur M ~ 2nd Lt, Pilot, NJ
Egan, Robert F ~ 2nd Lt, Navigator, NJ
Ellender, John C, Jr ~ 1st Lt, Bombardier, LA
Faneca, Albert J, Jr ~ T/Sgt, Engineer, SC
Fava, Eugene D ~ Sgt, Tail Gunner, NY
Galbreath, Glen E ~ S/Sgt, Radio Operator, KS
Mangum, Marion J ~ Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner, CA

Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. William Hill, Gunner: Sgt. Jack M. Dark, and Gunner: Sgt. William F. Brinkley all survived the crash.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For airmen who perished on B-17G #42-102561 see:

McCulley, George L ~ S/Sgt, Tail Gunner, OK

Bio & Crew Report by:
Russell S. "Russ" Pickett


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  • Imported from: US Veteran's Affairs
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 3 Mar 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3296416
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 2LT Wilbur M Brean (1921–27 May 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3296416, citing Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by US Veterans Affairs Office (contributor 5) .